Associate Professor of Education and Human Computer Interaction, Iowa State University Faculty Associate, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University
Rey Junco applies quantitative methods to analyze the effects of social media on youth psychosocial development, engagement, and learning. His research has focused on discerning better practices for using social technologies to enhance learning outcomes. Junco has found that technology, specifically social media like Facebook and Twitter, can be used in ways that improve engagement and academic performance. Junco is also interested in examining how social media affect interpersonal relationships, identity development, online discourse, and digital inequalities, and how the use of digital media promotes formal and informal learning. He is particularly interested in how online anonymity impacts youth identity formation. As part of his ongoing research program, he is investigating the ability to use trace data (seemingly irrelevant data collected through natural uses of technology) to provide real-time and unobtrusive prediction of student outcomes. Junco is the author of three books, with the latest Engaging Students Through Social Media: Evidence-Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs focusing on translating interdisciplinary research findings to effective educational practices. Junco’s work has been cited in major news outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, PBS, NBC, Time, US News & World Report, USA Today, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and Mashable. Junco was also a regular guest on the NPR show, Tell Me More where he discussed how research informed the societal impact of social media use. His empirical work has been published in high-impact journals such as Computers & Education, Computers in Human Behavior, and the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. Junco blogs at http://blog.reyjunco.com.