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Social Change through Networking Together

Ruth Shillair, Ph.D. student, researcher

Exploring technology and how it can be used to improve life
Michigan State University,
Communication Arts & Sciences,
Media & Information Studies

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My blog

Check out my latest posts.

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Internet Safety
Rarely does a week go by without some news about online threats and compromised data. Many people are concerned about online risks, but few know what they can do as individuals. Also, many terms used in reporting these events sound technical and overwhelming, so frequently there is little or no change in the behavior of those using online services. One of my research projects looks at how the background and experiences of individuals contribute to differing responses to these threats.
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Older Adults
Older adults are the one cohort that has the lowest Internet adoption rate, yet there are many potential benefits for them in using this technology. We are examining the results of a major study that worked with over 300 participants in 19 assisted and independent living centers and how technology training and use affected their quality of life.
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Mobile Potentials
Mobile use continues to grow around the world. The use of mobile devices for a virtual wallet is only starting to be adopted in the United States. These new innovations bring tremendous convenience, but they also bring increased concerns about security and privacy. We are looking at research into policies and practices to help people understand their options and how to protect themselves.
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Online Communities
Social networks and online learning opportunities abound. Yet many online learning initiatives end up not harnessing the potential of generative learning. I am looking in to the dynamics of social roles in online learning communities. I presented my research at the Learning @ Scale conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Learning is a lifelong process. Humans naturally love to learn. I am exploring ways to use online education to support and encourage that natural process.


One of my research projects is seeking to form generative learning groups in online learning situations.Working with Dr. Wiestke VanOsch.


Also, researching online safety,especially how different age cohorts understand safety. Our project is called Online Safety for the ages.


Also researching how technology can help diverse and marginalized populations.Working on iPad adoption among senior citizens with Dr. Shelia Cotten.

Reasons to talk?

Online safety, cybersecurity and human behavior is very complicated. The challenges in this realm require multi-discipline approaches to find solutions. If you have a research interest that you feel would work well with my interests and want to work collaboratively, please contact me.
learning and the diffusion of information.


My portfolio

I appreciate all types of communication, visual communication is very powerful. Here are just a few of my photographs. I have a broad selection of backgrounds, natural textures, and travel photography. Contact me for prices.

Some of my publications

Computer safety is important to all of us. However, all of us do not have the same skills or backgrounds. How do we design effective communications to encourage individuals to have safe practices?

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Older adults are often struggle to use technology, could iPads be a key to improve access?

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Online education is seen as an egalitarian place where all are equal, or is it? This research looks at the power of role and how it influenced perceptions.

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Contact me

I am interesting in networking with others who are interested in how technology can improve: education, diffusion of information, generative communities, and life. This is only possible as we work together to improve online safety.
At MSU we have a diverse and talented group of researchers in our department that are pursuing a wide range of research. We are always interested in outstanding researchers and students who also have a passion for excellence.
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