Key Interests: social/new media; mobile and tablet communication; cognitive effects of media; networks; sensory information processing; user interaction studies.
Dr. Rhonda McEwen is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) where she lectures and conducts research on new media technologies and the changes that they evoke in everyday life - on and offline . She observes and questions the use and creation of information through devices and media interactions. Dr.McEwen's research focuses on the interaction between users and new media technologies, with particular emphasis on the influence of sensory perception on information processing. Specific aspects of this research include examinations of mobile communication media, the use of touch-devices by children in educational settings, and human-computer interface design. In the course of her research she studies communication technologies for people with neuro-diverse development such as autism; examines youth media practices; and engages in mixed-methods fieldwork techniques including network analysis, surveys, focus groups, interviews, observations, and experiments.
Dr. McEwen learns as much as she teaches while working with bright undergraduates at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology at UTM, and emerging scholars at the iSchool (Faculty of Information) on the University of Toronto's St. George campus. She holds a graduate degree in telecommunications and has 15 years prior experience working in the digital communications sector. With this background she balances a wealth of technical experience with media communications theory.
Currently Dr. McEwen, along with Dr. Adam Dubé (postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Information), is engaged in a research project that investigates the sensory information practices of children in the Toronto District School Board as they use tablet devices and mathematics applications (apps). In this research project they combine psychology, information studies, and user interface principles to study the effects of engaging with mathematics on tablet devices in classroom settings.
For more details, see the link to CV in the menu above or contact Dr. Rhonda McEwen at rhonda dot mcewen at utoronto dot ca. You can also visit her blog, "Wheel and Come again: socio-technical musings with my public" at http://rnmcewen.blogspot.com/.