Community informatics

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A Venn diagram depicting overlap in informatics
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Last Update

This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, June 2017


See also Bioinformatics | Clinical informatics | Health informatics | Medical informatics | Pharmacy informatics

  • Community informatics (CI) is an emerging information discipline defined as the study and practice of enabling communities with information and communications technologies (ICTs). Generally CI focuses on solving community problems with information technologies and associated processes.
  • CI focuses on the space between two concepts, community and informatics. It stresses that reciprocity must characterize relationships that emerge out of these concepts because the balance of power among groups is unequal. There is a need to understand not only how communities access, create, organize, and share information, but also the types and qualities of connections between and among communities. Community members lead naming the issues of important, and the processes that lead to solutions. People involved in CI use insights from sociology, planning, computer science, critical theory, women's studies, library and information science, management information systems, and management studies to empower personal, social, cultural, and economic development of and within communities.
  • CI is often situated within iSchools in library and information science in the United States (and elsewhere); provides venue for connection to community knowledge, educational practices and social justice (Gurstein, 2007)

Major issues in community informatics

  • the theoretical, technical, social, economic and policy contexts within communities
  • current examples and on-going developments in the Canadian, OECD and developing world contexts
  • community networking in Canada and globally, research and practice, the digital divide, effective use of ICTs
  • CI in the context of on-going development and research in information systems and current research

Youth community informatics

  • empower kids to engage with technology and their community; to be citizen journalists, media producers, technology teachers, map-makers and more
  • Stories in [Stop] motion workshop: 5th grade children took part in a 3 day workshop where they learned story-creation techniques, camera/film methods, and computer-based production and editing
  • Other projects included kid-driven citizen media, community mapping with GPS, peer mentors

Michael Gurstein, Community Informatics

See Michael Gurstein, Wikipedia


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