The iSchools organization is a consortium of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field. These schools, colleges, and departments have been newly created or are evolving from programs formerly focused on specific tracks such as information technology, library science, informatics, information science, and more.
Information and communications technology (ICT) pervades most aspects of our lives and changes everyday’s practices in work and leisure time. To design innovative ICTs we need to engage with practices, institutional arrangements, and technological infrastructures. All of these issues are interrelated and historical grown, they need appropriate design methods. The challenge in the field of human-centred computing is to design innovative applications so that their appropriation leads to a better quality of life, sustainable development, and social integration.
We are investigating into innovative ICTs, especially in the practice fields of cooperative work, community support, entertainment, ageing societies, and sustainability. In doing so, we contribute to the research fields of Human Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Ubiquitous Computing, and Software Engineering. The investigations into innovative ICTs in specific domains are related to each other via cross-cutting issues. These issues are currently ubiquitous and software technologies, methods of participatory design, end-user development, integration of organization and technology development, and the foundations of design science.
The media research of the iSchool for Media and Information continues the research tradition of the Institute for Media Research (IfM), which has arose in the year 2001 from the (precursor) institute LUMIS. Based on the research of the fundamentals of media and communication studies within the scope of single projects, the Institute of Media Research has considerably expanded its profile towards applied and praxeological research. Striking examples for this are numerous projects in cooperation with regional and national commercial enterprises (e.g. T-Systems, RWE), in particular however the participation in the security research of the feral government, have all been supported by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF). The so-called new media like the internet, mobile, social and smart media have considerably gained importance compared to the classic media (print, radio, TV) within the work on these projects.
With the success of ubiquitous computing, today's media usage takes place on manifold mobile sensory smart devices. While media technologies are increasingly shaped by a diverse set of heterogeneous digital practices, new scientific approaches are needed to understand the cultural, social and technological impact of multiple media in action. The research of mobile media requires mobile methods, which allows the analysis of virtual co-presence, simultaneous online and offline activities, distributed information infrastructures and the augmented spatiality of new user interfaces.
The Institute of Science, Technology and Media Studies offers solutions for the evaluation and validation of new technological developments, including usability studies, innovation studies, market surveys and the development of application scenarios. In order to explore contemporary media practices “in motion” and “in situ”, we are utilizing inventive methodologies taken from data ethnography, digital methods or technomethodology. In order to realize such research activities, the Institute of Science, Technology and Media Studies is integrated into an extensive network of top-ranked international cooperation partners and has access to flexible research capacities.