Rhonda McEwen is Professor at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and at University of Toronto iSchool. She holds an MBA in Information Technology from City University in London, England, an MSc in Telecommunications from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in Information from University of Toronto. Professor McEwen has worked with and researched in digital communication media for 15 years, both for companies providing services and in management consulting to those companies. Her research and teaching centre around information practices involving new media technologies, with an emphasis on mobile and tablet communication, new media, social networks, and sensory information processing. McEwen’s research was the covered by the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes in 2012 and 2013. Her recent publications appear in the journals Information, Communication & Society, Computers and Education, Learning & Instruction, New Media and Society, and Library and Information Science Research.
Professor McEwen’s research focuses on the communicative interactions that arise when users engage with new media technologies. The implications of these interactions are social in nature and result in peer-to-peer or networked communicative practices; in other cases there are implications for the manner in which user’s process information with consequences for learning and technology design; and there are cases when there are both social and cognitive effects. While at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) she pursued the study of mobile media and cognitive informatics through two trajectories, including theoretical inquiries into the cognitive effects of using touch-input devices in educational environments, corresponding to a learning science sub-specialism in cognitive informatics that focuses on information processing and communications technology design; and in analyses of the social consequences of everyday information practices and of engagement with new media, with a focus on expanding the core concept of information practice within the fields of communication and information studies.
Professor McEwen’s current research projects include Communicating during Covid-19: China and diaspora, Robots and Communication, Virtual Reality, Sensors and Cognition, Eye-gaze as a form of Human-Machine Communication.
Professor McEwen has been part of many different teams that have been awarded funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and the MITACS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.
- Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Advancing Education Program, ($249,900) 2016-2018. Principal Investigator. “Student Time Management and Self-Regulation Using Real-Time Gamification Technology”.
- MITACS Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship, ($55,000), 2016-2017 Academic Supervisor. Post-doctoral Researcher: Dr. Morteza Zihayat Kermani, “A Sequential Model to Recognize Depression Acuity Using Social Media and Physical Activity”.
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant, ($158,000) 2015–2018. Co-Investigator, Lead researcher: Mobile Media. Principal Investigator: Brent Berry. “Networked Individualism: A Comparative Study of Social Networks, Digital Media, International Ties, and Privacy”.
- SSHRC Insight Development Grant, ($75,000) 2015–2017. Principal Investigator. “I Made This: Children’s Participatory Learning with 3D Printing”.
SSHRC Insight Grant, ($240,000) 2013–2017. Co-Investigator. Principal Investigator: Jeffery Boase. “The Implications of Smartphone Use for Peer Bonding and the Development of Social Capital During Adolescence: A Triangulation of Digital Trace, Survey, and Interview Data”.
McEwen, R. & Dubé, A. [forthcoming]. Understanding Tablets in Early Childhood: First Encounters with Touch Technology. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, [Expected 2017].
Jacobson, J., Lin, C. & McEwen, R. Aging with Technology: Seniors and Mobile Connections, Canadian Journal of Communication [under review].
Dubé, A. & McEwen, R. “Abilities and Affordances: Factors Influencing Successful Child Tablet Communication.” Educational Technology Research & Development (2016): 1–20. doi: 10.1007/s11423-016-9493-y
McEwen, R., Zbitnew, A., and Chatsick, J. “Through the Lens of a Tetrad: Visual Storytelling on Tablets.” Educational Technology & Society 19.1 (2016): 100–112.
Dubé, A. & McEwen, R. “Do Gestures Matter? “The Implications Of Using Touchscreen Devices In Mathematics Instruction.” Learning and Instruction 40 (2015): 89–98. doi: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2015.09.002
McEwen, R. & Dubé, A. K. “Engaging or Distracting: Children’s Tablet Computer Use in Education.” Educational Technology & Society 18.4 (2015): 9–23.
Demmans Epp, C., McEwen, R., Campigotto, R., & Moffatt, K. “Information Practices and User Interfaces: Student Use of an iOS Application in Special Education.” Education and Information Technologies (2015): 1-24. doi: 10.1007/s10639-015-9
McEwen, R. & Dubé, A. “Intuitive or Idiomatic? An Information Studies and Cognitive Psychology Study of Child-Tablet Computer Interaction.” JASIST: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (2015). doi: 10.1002/asi.23470
McEwen, R. Mediating Sociality: The Use of iPod Touch™ Devices in the Classrooms of Students with Autism in Canada.” Information, Communication & Society 17.10 (2015): 1264-1279. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2014.920041
Dubé, A. & McEwen, R. [Abstract]. “Do Gestures Matter? The Implications of Learning Mathematics on a Tablet Computer.” Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology 68.4 (2014): 265-265.
Chatsick, J., McEwen, R., & Zbitnew, A. “Telling their Stories through iPad Art: Living Narratives of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities.” In The Mobile Story: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies, Jason Farman, ed. Routledge Press. USA, 2014: 249-260.
McEwen, R. & Wellman, B. “Relationships, Community & Networked Individuals.” In The Immersive Internet: Reflections on the Entangling of the Virtual with Society, Politics and the Economy, Robin Teigland & Dominic Power, eds. London, UK: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013: 168-179.
Dubé, A. & McEwen, R. [Abstract]. “Can Tablet Computers Facilitate Children’s Understanding of Mathematics.” Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology 67.4 (2013): 276- 276.
Campigotto, R., McEwen, R. & Demmans Epp, C. Especially Social: Exploring the Use of an IOS Application in Special Needs Classrooms.” Computers And Education 60.1 (2012): 74-86. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.08.002
McEwen, R. & Scheaffer, K. “Orality in the Library: How Mobile Phones Challenge Our Understandings Of Collaboration In Hybridized Information Centers.” Library and Information Science Research 34.2 (2012): 92 – 98. doi: 10.1016/j.lisr.2011.08.001
McEwen, R. “Tools of the Trade: Drugs, Law and Mobile Phones in Canada.” New Media & Society 13.1 (2011): 134-150. doi: 10.1177/1461444810365306
Ling, R. & McEwen, R. “Mobile Communication and Ethics: Implications of Everyday Actions on Social Order.” Etikk i praksis: Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, Special Issue on Mobile/Ubiquitous Computing 4.2 (2010): 11-26.
McEwen, R. & Fritz, M. “Getting on the Same Wavelength: An Analysis of EMF Social Policy and Mobile Phone Practices of Youth in Canada.” In Mobile Communication: Dimensions of Social Policy, James E. Katz, ed. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers 2010.
Jack Jamieson. “History and Values in Web Development.” In progress.
Dirk Rodenburg. “Representational Shift: Information and Sports Performance.” In progress.
Hervé St. Louis. “User Perceptions of Security Risks in Multiple Authentications.” In progress.
INF 2242 Studying Information and Knowledge Practices
INF 1240 Research Methods
Sarah Hampson. “Annoying, Irritating and Oddly Poetic: The Language Of The Internet Tribe.” Globe & Mail (Canada). April 2015. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/annoying-irritatingand-oddly-poetic-the-language-of-the-internet-tribe/article23841318/
Marlene Habib. “Youth and Technology: Power and Danger.” Sept 2014. Globe & Mail (Canada). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/giving/youth-and-technology-poweranddanger/article20790028/
TedxUofTMississauga. November 2013. https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/8516
Wither Twitter. (Interview). “Fresh Air.” CBC Radio. July 2013. http://www.cbc.ca/freshair/episodeupdate/2013/07/20/whither-twitter/
“Selfies…and More.” (Interview). “Fresh Air.” CBC Radio interview. November 2013. http://www.cbc.ca/freshair/episode-update/2013/11/24/selfiesand-more/