IUPUI to Participate in eCitizenship Study
September 24, 2009
- Rich Schneider
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IUPUI is one of 34 colleges and universities selected by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) to join the American Democracy Project (ADP) in a three-year initiative to study technology’s power to engage and empower citizens.
The initiative, “eCitizenship: New Tools, New Strategies, New Spaces,” will explore how students can use new technologies, especially social networks, to become more politically engaged and coordinate their efforts, said Johnny Goldfinger, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Campus Coordinator for the Political Engagement Project, and co-director of the eCitizenship Study at IUPUI. Youngbok Hong, Associate Professor of Visual Communication, in the Herron School of Art and Design, is also co-director.
IUPUI and the other universities will send teams to an organizational meeting in November at Wayne State University to begin collaborating on the project. The initiative is being led by the Center for the Study of Citizenship at Wayne State University.
According to the AASCU announcement of the eCitizenship initiative, Facebook, wikis, blogs and a host of other technology-based tools are transforming the ways that citizens interact with others and with government. It does not take an expert to see that technology is transforming our democracy. It does take an expert—in fact, a team of experts—to understand this transformation and to find ways for colleges and universities to use these tools to prepare informed, engaged citizens.
The American Democracy Project, which includes almost 300 campuses across the United States, is an initiative focused on higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for our democracy. It began began in 2003 as a project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in partnership with the New York Times.