Publications

Pawluczuk, A. (2020). Digital youth inclusion and the big data divide: examining the Scottish perspective. Internet Policy Review, 9(2). DOI: 10.14763/2020.2.1480

Abstract

The aim of this article is to examine some of the emerging challenges associated with digital youth inclusion and the asymmetric power dynamics between those who collect data and those who are the targets of the data collection process - commonly referred to as the ‘big data divide’. Digital inclusion is understood here as a strategy to ensure that all people have equal opportunities and appropriate skills to access and benefit from digital technologies. Digital inclusion practice encompasses a range of methods and approaches used to help individuals and communities to access and understand digital technologies.

While the literature analysis is framed within a wider, international context, the discussion is primarily situated within Scotland’s studies. I argue here that digital inclusion should not solely be viewed as a strategy for employment and education, but as a set of larger, systematic, continually evolving, and critical youth engagement practice. In the era of the ‘big data divide’, digital inclusion programmes should aim to enable young people’s critical digital abilities to continually review and respond to their positions within the power structures of data society. To achieve this, three areas for consideration for youth digital inclusion practice are proposed: (1) digital youth inclusion provision: control and definition of the process; (2) holistic examination of young people’s digital needs, aspirations, and fears; and (3) consideration of young people’s human rights in the era of ‘the big data divide’.

 

Pawluczuk, A., Yates, S., Carmi, E., Lockley, E., & Wessels, B. (In Press). Developing Citizen's Data Citizenship in the Age of Disinformation. In International Telecommunication Union, Digital Skills Insights 2020.

Abstract

What types of skills do people need to meaningfully and critically engage with different digital services and platforms today? A key component of citizens digital literacy is an understanding of the uses of their personal data. Unfortunately, evidence from the UK (Ofcom) and USA (Pew Research Centre) indicate that many citizens have limited understanding of the data they share, its use by different organisations, nor basic data protection behaviours. In addition, most citizens are not aware of how they can utilise publicly available data to undertake both personal and civic action. This lack of “data literacy” opens citizens up to risks – personal and financial – and importantly limits their ability to operate as active citizens in a growingly digital society. 

 

Current policy challenges point to an urgent need to understand and address citizens 'data literacy' (UN Digital Cooperation, 2019; UNESCO, 2018; DCMS, 2018). These challenges include: regulatory changes ; public concern over the effects of social media; repeated data breaches; and growing inequities in the uses of digital media. The analysis presented here is based on a nationally representative survey of UK citizen data literacy carried out by ‘Me and My Big Data’  in 2019. ‘Me and My Big Data’ is a Nuffield Foundation funded collaborative research project between the University of Liverpool, Glasgow University, Hallam University, which seeks to understand the levels of and variations in UK citizens data literacy, and to develop policy and educational materials to support improving this. 

 

The aim of the article is to provide new insights into UK citizens’ demographic and their relation to data skills (security measures, verification of data, trust in online sources) and understanding of the use of their data. We analyse these insights through the new theoretical framework we have developed called ‘Data Citizenship’. This framework was crafted following a broad literature analysis, which identified the current gaps in theorising digital literacy in the age of disinformation. The ‘Data Citizenship’ framework focuses on three conceptual areas - Data Thinking (citizens critical understanding of data), Data Doing (people’s everyday engagements with data) and Data Participation (people’s proactive engagement with data and their networks of literacy). We explore each concept through the questions in the survey and propose that ‘Data Citizenship’ provides digital inclusion researchers, policy makers and practitioners with a useful and flexible framework to examine skills and critical thinking required due to the digital transformation.

Pawluczuk, A., Hall, H., Webster, G., & Smith, C. (2020). Youth digital participation: measuring social impact. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 52(1), 3-15.

Abstract 

Current scholarly debate around digital participatory youth projects and approaches to their evaluation are examined in this article. The analysis of the literature presented here reveals (1) an over-reliance on traditional evaluation techniques for such initiatives, and (2) a scarcity of models for the assessment of the social impact of digital participatory youth projects. It is concluded that the challenges and limitations of social impact evaluation practice in digital participatory youth projects should be addressed through the adoption of alternative, participant-centred approaches. These issues are discussed in reference to a currently ongoing study that seeks to identify solutions for enhancing social impact evaluations of participatory digital initiatives by young people.

Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000618769975

Yates, S., Carmi, E., Pawluczuk, A., Wessels, B., Lockley, E., & Gangneux, J. (2020). Understanding citizens data literacy: thinking, doing & participating with our data (Me & My Big Data Report 2020). Me and My Big Data project, University of Liverpool. https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/humanities-and-social-sciences/research/research-themes/centre-for-digital-humanities/projects/big-data/publications/

‘Me and My Big Data’ is a Nuffield Foundation funded collaborative research project between the University of Liverpool, Glasgow University, and Sheffield Hallam University, in collaboration with Good Things Foundation. This project seeks to understand the levels of and variations in UK citizens' data literacy and develop policy and educational materials to support improving this.The preliminary analysis presented here is based on a nationally representative survey of UK citizen data literacy carried out during August - September 2019, by ‘Me and My Big Data’ [1]. These are initial results based on the teams first assessment of the survey data. Percentile response rates to survey questions are accurate and weighted to ensure representativeness. The identification of Digital User types follows a methodology previously established and published by team members [5]. The scoring of users across the three dimensions of Data Citizenship is a novel approach under development by the team. The team will be undertaking further work to test the robustness of these measures. The scores across user types should therefore be taken as indicative rather than definitive.

Yates, S., Carmi, E., Lockley, E., Pawluczuk, A., French, T., & Vincent, S. (In Press). Who are the limited users of digital systems and media? An examination of UK evidence. First Monday.

This paper presents findings on the correspondence of levels of digital systems and media use with a range of socio-economic and demographic measures in the UK. Most research on inequalities in regard to digital systems and media has focused on access and skills. Building on prior work (Yates & Lockley, 2018; Yates, Kirby & Lockley, 2015) we argue that inequalities in regard to digital systems and media are better understood around types of user and their correspondence to other key social variables – rather than solely individual skills and access. The analysis presented here covers a range of key demographic variables, especially those that are markers of distinct social disadvantage. We find that those not using the internet have distinct characteristics – predominantly around age, education and deprivation levels. We also find that those undertaking limited uses (overall limited use or a very narrow range of uses) are all predominantly from lower socio-economic status backgrounds with variations due to age and education. The data used for the analysis is the recent UK Ofcom 2018-19 (n = 1882) media literacy survey. The paper uses latent class analysis methods to inductively define user types. Multinomial and binary logistic regression are used to explore the correspondence of latent class group membership to key demographic variables. These insights have direct UK and International policy relevance as they are key to the development of strategies to tackle ongoing digital inequalities in UK society.

Carmi, E. & Yates, S. J. & Lockley, E. & Pawluczuk, A. (2020). Data citizenship: rethinking data literacy in the age of disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation. Internet Policy Review, 9(2). DOI: 10.14763/2020.2.1481

Abstract 

Current scholarly debate around digital participatory youth projects and approaches to their evaluation are examined in this article. The analysis of the literature presented here reveals (1) an over-reliance on traditional evaluation techniques for such initiatives, and (2) a scarcity of models for the assessment of the social impact of digital participatory youth projects. It is concluded that the challenges and limitations of social impact evaluation practice in digital participatory youth projects should be addressed through the adoption of alternative, participant-centred approaches. These issues are discussed in reference to a currently ongoing study that seeks to identify solutions for enhancing social impact evaluations of participatory digital initiatives by young people.

Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000618769975

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C., & Hall, H. (2019). The Social Impact of Digital Youth Work: What Are We Looking For?. Media and Communication, 7(2), 59-68. doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i2.1907 

 

Abstract 

Digital youth work is an emerging field of research and practice which seeks to investigate and support youth-centred digital literacy initiatives. Whilst digital youth work projects have become prominent in Europe in recent years, it has also become increasingly difficult to examine, capture, and understand their social impact. Currently, there is limited understanding of and research on how to measure the social impact of collaborative digital literacy youth projects. This article presents empirical research which explores the ways digital youth workers perceive and evaluate the social impact of their work. Twenty semi-structured interviews were carried out in Scotland, United Kingdom, in 2017. All data were coded in NVivo 10 and analysed using thematic data analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Two problems were identified in this study: (1) limited critical engagement with the social impact evaluation process of digital youth work projects and its outcomes, and (2) lack of consistent definition of the evaluation process to measure the social impact/value of digital youth work. Results of the study are examined within a wider scholarly discourse on the evaluation of youth digital participation, digital literacy, and social impact. It is argued that to progressively work towards a deeper understanding of the social value (positive and negative) of digital youth engagement and their digital literacy needs, further research and youth worker evaluation training are required. Recommendations towards these future changes in practice are also addressed.

Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i2.1907

Pawluczuk, A., Hall, H., Webster, G., & Smith, C. (2019). Digital youth work: youth workers' balancing act between digital innovation and digital literacy insecurity. Information Research: An International Electronic, 24(1). 

Abstract

Introduction. The aim of this paper is to present empirical research which examines the ways youth workers in the United Kingdom perceive their work in the context of digital literacy project facilitation. There is currently limited research focusing on digital youth workers’ perspectives on opportunities and challenges affecting their interactions with and perceptions of young people’s digital literacy. Thus, this study aims to: (1) contribute to the scholarly discussion on digital youth work and digital youth literacy (2) elicit and analyse youth workers’ perceptions of the opportunities and challenges of youth digital literacy project facilitation.


Method. Twenty interviews with digital youth workers in the United Kingdom were conducted in 2017. The interviews were based on themes drawn from a literature review that explored the areas of digital literacy, youth information behaviours in the digital age, digital youth work, and digital youth participation.


Analysis. Research data analysis was guided by grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006) methodological approach and conducted using NVivo 10 software. Results show a clear alignment with the existing literature in the areas of youth digital literacy and digital youth work. The analysis presented here focuses on two emerging themes: (1) Digital technologies in youth work: youth workers’ hopes and fears; (2) Digital literacy in youth work: youth worker’s perspectives on the digital skills gap between young people and adult youth work facilitators.


Conclusion. The results of this study reveal that youth workers are both excited and sceptical about the digital development in the field. There is existing anxiety associated with the lack of digital literacy skills in the youth work sector. Thus, it is argued here that further research and practical digital training initiatives should be undertaken to examine youth worker’s digital literacy skills.

Available at: http://InformationR.net/ir/24-1/isic2018/isic1829.html

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C., & Hall, H. (2017). Evaluating the social impact of youth digital culture co-creation: let's participate and play. In Proceedings of the 31st British Computer Society Human-Computer Interaction Conference (p. 32). BCS Learning & Development Ltd. doi.org/10.14236/ewic/hci2017.32 

Abstract

This paper examines young people's participation in digital culture and current approaches to measure its social impact. The analysis of the literature presented here reveals the current scholarly understanding of the value of digital youth culture, social impact evaluation methods and their limitations. In order to contribute to the analysis of the value of young people's contribution to digital culture, this paper proposes two areas of consideration when working with young people: 1) Youth participation in evaluation; 2) Playful approaches to evaluation.

Available at: https://ewic.bcs.org/upload/pdf/ewic_hci17_4p_paper32.pdf

 

 

Publications/ Conference Papers

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C.F. & Hall, H. (2018). 'Social impact evaluations of digital youth work: tensions between vision & reality'. Presenting at Transmedia Literacy International 2018 on the 23rd of March. 

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C.F. & Hall, H. (2019). 

'The social impact of digital youth work: what are we looking for?'. Article publication accepted in Media and Communication (ISSN: 2183-2439)

 

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C.F. & Hall, H. (2018). 'Digital youth work: youth worker's balancing act between the digital innovation and digital literacy. Research paper presented at ISIC2018 Krakow 2018 October 11.

 

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C.F. & Hall, H. (2018). 'Social impact evaluations of digital youth work: tensions between vision & reality'. Presenting at Transmedia Literacy International 2018 on the 23rd of March. 

 

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C.F. & Hall, H. (2017). Digital culture co-creation: capturing the social impact of small-scale community projects. Paper to be presented at Ways of Being in a Digital Age – A Review Conference, Liverpool, 10 - 11 October 2017.

Pawluczuk, A., Hall, H., Smith, C. F. & Webster, G. (2017, June). Youth digital participation: measuring social impact. Paper presented at i3 - information: interactions and impact, Aberdeen, Scotland

 

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C.F. & Hall, H. (2017). Evaluating the social impact of youth digital culture co-creation: let’s participate and play. Paper to presented at Make Believe – The 2017 British Human Computer Interaction Conference, Sunderland, 3-6 July 2017.

 

Pawluczuk, A. & P.Kopec (2017). Young innovators in the digital era In The guide to the tools for research of youth in the migrant communities (pp. 54- 64). Warsaw, Erasmus + Program & the School for Leaders for the Polish Community Abroad

 

Pawluczuk, A., Webster, G., Smith, C.F. & Hall, H. (2017). Digital culture co-creation: capturing the social impact of small-scale community projects. Paper to be presented at Ways of Being in a Digital Age – A Review Conference, Liverpool, 10 - 11 October 2017.

 

Awards 

 

Best poster award at The Digital Human: Humanities and Social Sciences in the Digital Age at the University of Strathclyde (2016).

 

Best presentation at iDocQ Information Science doctoral colloquium 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr Alicja Pawluczuk

Alicja’s research and community education practice focuses on digital inclusion, digital, and data literacy. She is a founding director of the digital inclusion and digital storytelling collective Digital Beez. Through the use of participatory, critical and multidisciplinary approaches, she aims to examine the power dynamics associated with the digital and data divides.

Alicja’s digital inclusion practice is rooted in the areas of democratic education and community development. She has extensive experience in digital inclusion community projects design, facilitation, and evaluation. Both her community engagement practice and her research are characterised by the use of experimental and interactive methodologies. Over the last 10 years, her work has been responding and changing in accordance with the contexts of digitalization of society. Alicja has a track record of peer-reviewed publications and cross-disciplinary public engagement activities. Both her research and practice are characterised with the use of experimental and creative methods. She has managed and contributed to digital literacy and digital inclusion and learning projects with the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and Erasmus.

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