I am a researcher in the areas of youth Internet search and technology design with children at the University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Lab and College of Information Studies. I
have just successfully defended my dissertation on the topic of youth and Internet search, and am completing final revisions. In the coming months, my dissertation research will be published in book format.
My dissertation research focused longitudinally on
how youth ages 7-15 search on the Internet. Starting in 2008, and revisiting the same participants in 2013, I conducted field interviews with youth who demonstrated their Internet search habits. Using the search behaviors I observed, I established a framework of eight search roles that youth display when searching: Power, Visual, Rule-bound, Developing, Domain-specific, Non-motivated, Distracted, and Social. Each of these roles has strengths and defecits, and youth often display more than one role. Educators, technology designers, parents, and researchers can use the search role framework to better suport youth as searchers and to encourage better searching habits.
I also work with an intergenerational design team in the HCIL, called Kidsteam. We use Cooperative Inquiry methods to create new technologies and improve existing technologies for children by working directly with children throughout the entire design process. Kidsteam contributes innovative ideas to improving technologies for children through industry, government, and academic partnerships.