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KMDI-Semaphore Speaker Series – Rhonda McEwen

November 21 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Rhonda McEwen

“Understanding Tablets from Early Childhood to Adulthood Communication”


In this talk, Dr. Rhonda McEwen presents background and findings from the recently published book entitled “Understanding Tablets from Early Childhood to Adulthood” (McEwen & Dubé, 2017; Taylor & Francis – Routledge). This book is the culmination of 3 years of empirical research on tablet-user interaction and offers an alternative to dominant and populist narratives that young people are intuitively able to successfully use tablet devices. Adopting a research-driven approach, the book contests the ideology that touch-technologies are easier to understand and identifies the factors that contribute to communicative encounters between users and tablets. Communication theory and cognitive psychology concepts and methods are employed to offer an epistemological exploration of user-tablet interaction with a focus on the use of these technologies in educational settings.

About Our Speaker

Rhonda McEwen is a Canada Research Chair in Tactile Interfaces, Communication and Cognition. She is an associate professor at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and at the iSchool, at the University of Toronto. In her recently published co-authored book  Understanding Tablets from Early Childhood to Adulthood: Encounters with Touch Technology (2017), McEwen describes her theory of user-device interaction that defines the exchange between humans and machines as a unique form of communication. Through experimental and sensor-based methods she offers alternatives to dominant and populist narratives that young people are intuitively able to successfully use touch-technologies. In her current research she is investigating eye-gaze systems, wearable devices, and Virtual Reality headsets to analyze the relationships among the senses in information processing. McEwen has published 19 articles, including within: Information, Communication & Society, Computers and Education, Learning & Instruction, New Media and Society, and Library and Information Science Research journals


November 21
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


room 417, Claude T. Bissell Building, 140 St. George Street, Toronto
140 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 3G6 Canada
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