Professional Development, web 2.0

Q: Should I Start Blogging? A: Maybe.

A common question I field from teachers, faculty, graduate students, higher education professionals, and researchers these days:

Q: Should I start blogging?

My response:

A: Maybe.

write-your-own-blog

Image c/o Blogiau

Blogging and maintaining a blog is not for everyone. I often ask a follow up question to this inquiry to learn more about the motivating factors for the blog:

  • Why do you want to start blogging? [purpose, goal, sharing, reflection, etc.]
  • Do you enjoy writing? i.e. beyond 140-characters & comprehensively
  • What format do you want your blog to be? Written or other, i.e. video, photo-sharing, podcasting?
  • Do you want to express and share your ideas in a public, online forum?
  • What focus will your blog take – work, education, learning, research, or all of the above?
  • Who is your audience? Professional group affiliation? Research discipline? Just for yourself?
  • What platform are you thinking about? Blogger, WordPress or other?
  • Do you have an idea about how often you want to post to your blog?
  • Where will you be getting ideas for your writing? [Content IS king.]
  • How will this contribute to your learning, professional development, etc.? [depending on the person]
  • When will you post to you blog? Daily? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?

Everyone has different reasons for the WHY they blog, or even how they started blogging. Some use blogging as a forum to connect to a professional or academic community. Others use their blog to share resources and ideas. Bloggers often present concepts and challenge the status quo in their field. Then there are other bloggers who use it for shameless self-promotion and self-marketing. The main point is – you should blog because you WANT TO BLOG.

My blogging tale started back in 2006 when I initially took up blogging to share my travel adventures and general life happenings on, Souvenirs of Canada, for family and friends who wanted to stay in touch. In 2008, I created TechKNOW Tools as a professional development space for an academic advising technology seminar for NACADA, and after that I continued to use this space to discuss my own work experiences, research projects, and share what I have been learning.

blogging requires passion and authority

Image c/o Gaping Void

There are a number of reasons WHY I blog.  Thanks to a researcher reviewing educational bloggers, I audited my own blogging experience, and I have considered what [really] prompts me to blog and continue to blog. For me, blogging and writing about my progress is very reflective and I enjoy documenting, sharing, critiquing, and writing about what is going on in my professional (and sometimes personal) sphere. I appreciate the community of research and educational bloggers who play in this blog sandbox. I like their comments, questions, challenges, and support — and at the end of the day I LIKE BLOGGING — otherwise I would not blog. Really.

If it sounds blogging might be just space for you to share your interests and express your ideas — go get your BLOG ON! Here’s a quick “HOW TO” Set Up a WordPress Blog I created for my learners, with a few helpful resources posted at the bottom to get you fired up for your blog writing. Want some more ideas? Here you go:

Do you have resources for the beginning blogger out there? Any advice or comments for new or potential bloggers? Post it in the comments, and also be sure to say HOW LONG and WHY you blog. Blog on, my friends. Blog on.

Social Media

Curating Tweets: Social Media Content and Marketing Planning

With the 2014 CASE Social Media Survey results recently published, I thought I’d curate a few of my tweets shared regarding social media content creation and marketing practices. Although this sounds similar to my dissertation research on social media guidance, it is not. This exercise was to provide a few quick resources for an education organization as they redesign their communication (social media, publications, website, etc.) plan and develop a more effective social media content calendar (Example 1 or Example 2).

calendar

Content Creation

 

Content Sharing Strategy

 

Social Media Marketing 

 

SEO & Metrics

 

Email

 

Facebook

 

Twitter

 

Blogging & Blog Content


A number of these are relate to content sharing, marketing & targeting an audience; however this is not an all inclusive list. I have not included using other social media platforms, like YouTube, LinkedIn, or Instagram, or even provided “suggested reading” books and articles on this topic (yet).

For now, if you have any tweets and websites about said topic, please feel to comment on this post or UPDATE THIS GOOGLE DOCUMENT if you have suggestions. Please feel free to add to and share!

Social Media, SocioTech, Uncategorized

#iConf14 Social Media Expo Winners!

I am just back from the 2014 iConference (#iConf14) hosted by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin  in Berlin, Germany. The iSchools offer a stellar conference for scholars and researchers to share and discuss critical information issues that impact our society.

400 pounds

Let me give you the dirt (literally) on our collaborative project we completed for the 2nd Annual Social Media Expo: Community Systems, Sensor Monitoring, and the Internet of Things: A Case Study About Feed Denton Community Compost

compost_1

The University of North Texas team demonstrated how an interdisciplinary group from Decision Science, Computer Education Cognitive Science, Information Science, and Applied Technology & Performance Improvement can propose a design solution for a smart city/community for the iConference Social Media Expo. Our abstract paper and video for the competition outlined how social data, the Internet of Things, and smart design can improve sustainability in a community for Compost Denton.

SocialMediaExplo_ID_444_Figure_2

In thinking about information and how data is shared, our team proposed a unique design to make composting and data actionable. In conjunction with a pilot compost project in Denton, TX, our group suggested the use of augmenting this environmental start-up using Arduino sensors, smart technologies, data visualizations, and social media to encourage participation and inform the community about their ecological impacts. When data is socially shared, community members have the ability to see the larger picture for sustainable living by tracking individual and community composting progress.

gamification_loop

Thanks to the efforts made by local volunteers who initiated the Feed Denton Community compost pilot projects, we were able to consider how technological solutions can support and improve this model. Moving forward, we hope to support the business development plan and social media design to help scale and grow the Compost Denton initiative.

Here is the slide deck and our abstract that shares our proposed way to use social data for implementation and gamification for composting in a local community.

Guess who won? A message from the iConference 2014 daily news update:

“Congratulation also to the University of North Texas Social Media Expo team on
winning the 2014 Best Project Award. The winning entry was titled Community
Systems, Sensor Monitoring, and the Internet of Things: A Case Study About
Feed Denton Community Compost.
 It was authored by Laura A. Pasquini; Andrew J.
Miller; Fiachra E. L. Moynihan; Patrick McLeod. More at
http://ischools.org/the-iconference/awards/

Group Win Take1

From L-R: Fiachra E. Moynihan (@FiachraM), Laura A. Pasquini (@laurapasquini), & Andrew J. Miller (@findandrew) with their College of Information faculty sponsor, Dr. Jeff M. Allen (@drjeffallen). Not in photo – Patrick McLeod (@misternaxal).

award

Guthen Tag.  Danke für das Kommen zu unserem Social-Media-Präsentation heute. Thank you for your support and this opportunity:

  • Dr. Jeff Allen, our faculty sponsor from Department of Learning Technologies in the College of Information at University of North Texas
  • Shelley Farnham, Organizer/Coordinator/Researcher of the Social Media Expo from FUSE Social Labs at Microsoft Research (along with others who reviewed/judged the expo abstracts)
  • Humbolt-Universitadt zu Berlin our iConference 2014 host with the most.

 

Abstract: This case study provides on the Feed Denton Community Compost Project. This ethnographic research will review how the collecting of social data and implementation of information communication technologies can provide a smart city infrastructure for this sustainable community of practice through sensor monitoring and the Internet of Things.
Keywords: social media; community of practice; Internet of Things; social data; sustainability
Copyright: Copyright is held by the authors.

Reference:

Pasquini, L. A., Miller, A. J., Moynihan, F. E., & McLeod, P. (2014). Community systems, sensor monitoring, and the Internet of Things: A case study about Feed Denton Community Compost. iConference 2014 proceedings.  (pp. 1-8). In M. Kindling & E. Greifendeder (Eds.) (2014). Berlin, Germany:  iSchools. DOI 10.9776/14010 Retrieved from https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/48831

Collaboration, Higher Education, K-12, Open Education

Get Creative (Commons)

cclogolarge

is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.

[They] provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.

Creative Commons (CC) is quite relevant for all faculty & instructors who put together online course materials for students. It allows for content, such as images, videos, writing and music, to be shared freely and some access rights to the intellectual property. As classrooms expand and more material is shared openly, it is important for educators to be aware of how to use Creative Commons, and the implications for teaching & learning. Here are a few videos that best explain CC.

If you look at the Content Directories of CC is utilized by many companies, and even educational institutions. Some faculty started to challenge the traditional methods of research collection and how intellectual property is shared with others. One faculty shares how to encourage this open education movement in a publication called –  Open Doors and Open Minds.

The recent development and contribution from Creative Commons is the DiscoverEd search engine,  which provides accessible searches for open educational resources. This allows educators to access and share teaching and learning materials in an effective, easy way.

The question is… Wanna Work Together?