Scraping Facebook: An Awesome Tool for Grabbing Data from Posts

Scraping ice or data

I am sure many of you would like some help scraping. By scraping, I mean the technique of extracting information from websites. Specifically, the posts of a Facebook group. When I was working on one of my early projects entitled Youth, ICTs, and Democracy in Egypt with the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the iSchool, we needed to undergo a qualitative ... Read More »

When Copyright Met Privacy

Secret Identity

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I have broken copyright law and probably will do so again. I’ve made copies of books and articles–sometimes using the crude tools of the late 20th century (aka: the copy machine), and other times using far-easier tools like the “right click.” I’ve also copied “records” onto cassette tapes, burned CDs from store-bought ones, ... Read More »

Government Experience Design: How Do We Make Gov Work?

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User experience is one of those fields where it’s easy to have things overhyped. There are enough buzzwords floating around the business world that losing track of what the discipline actually focuses on is a trap easily tripped. There are those that even argue that a laser-like focus on the user neglects other, just as important, aspects of business. But ... Read More »

Taking the Teen Summer Reading Challenge to Virtual Heights

Two girls reading outdoors in summer

Teen Summer Challenge began in 2012 when dedicated Pierce County Library System (PCLS, Washington) staff identified the need for an approach to summer reading that moved beyond a traditional one-size-fits-all model to reach and engage diverse teens across the county. Low participation numbers and low engagement prompted staff to think outside the box to provide a meaningful summer reading experience ... Read More »

‘R’ You Ready to Analyze Big Data?

Programmer

What is R? If you guessed, “a letter in the alphabet,” you’re only halfway right. The letter R also represents a programming language typically used by people to compile statistics as well as analyze or create visual representations of a data set. In many ways it is similar to products like Microsoft Excel, SPSS and STATA but free to download ... Read More »

Gidget: A 21st Century Approach to Programming Literacy

Gidget

Over the past two years, iSchool Ph.D. stu­dent Mike Lee has been work­ing on Gid­get, a game designed to teach computer programming concepts to kids and teens through debugging puzzles. Gid­get is now avail­able for any­one to play at www.helpgidget.com. Give it a try! The game takes a very dif­fer­ent approach than exist­ing learn­ing tech­nolo­gies for pro­gram­ming. Rather than try­ing to moti­vate kids through cre­ativ­ity (as ... Read More »

Do We Need Public Access to Information & Communication Technologies?

IT-for-Social-Change1

It’s been just over a year since the iSchool’s Technology and Social Change (TASCHA) research group released the Global Impact Study‘s final report, “Connecting people for development: Why public access ICTs matter.” TASCHA has created various tools and resources based on the study’s findings and data. The resources they developed to help answer the question, “Do we need public access to information & ... Read More »

Facebook Savvy Migrants? Research Notes from the U.S.-Mexico Border

Recently deported migrants eat breakfast at a shelter in Nogales run by the Kino Border Initiative.

Editor’s note: This post discusses some initial findings from an on-going research project by authors Bryce Newell and Ricardo Gomez about the use of Facebook by undocumented/irregular migrants from Mexico and Central America.  The research is funded by the University of Washington’s Royalty Research Fund, and is being conducted in affiliation with the UW Information School’s Information and Society Center. Sitting ... Read More »

Big Data Art: Twitter Meets the First Amendment

jeff hemsley

In conjunction with their current exhibition, The Power of Labeling, The Incluseum, a project run in part by iSchool PhD student Rose Paquet Kinsley, is presenting Exhibit Focus Fridays! Every Friday during this summer, they are highlighting an aspect of the exhibition. Recently, they featuring the piece “Occupy the Amendment” by iSchool PhD alum and artist Jeff Hemsley.  Here, Jeff describes his artistic process in ... Read More »

Libraries & Librarians on Pinterest

Librarians on Pinterest 2

By now, nearly everyone knows about Pinterest, a social media tool that has changed the way we collect things online. And we suspect that some of the best boards are from our lovely librarian friends. Because nobody knows collecting and organizing information like librarians. In honor of #alaac14, we submit this list of our favorite literacy and library-oriented boards for ... Read More »