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

Social Media

Digital Clean Up: Social Media Audit & How Not to Be Hacked

As a digital ethnographer and networked researcher, I tend to play in different social (media) spaces. I typically try out new websites and platforms that I hear about from other scholars, practitioners, and researchers. Most of you know I can be found in a few key social media spaces (I’m looking at you Twitter, WordPress, SlideShare & Flickr); however I do use a number of other social platforms to collect, archive, research, collaborate, and write.

2013.04.04_Cleanup_DataImage from responsys.com

Over the past week, I started conducting my own social media audit for what I use and how it’s being used. Part of this is process is to keep track of files and resources, and also think about what I’m sharing and using online. In being purposeful with social media and my web tools, I wanted to see what I am using or not using. Recently I have been cleaning up a few of my digital spaces, to take inventory and assess how I’m using these spaces personally and professionally.

For example, I updated a title on a LinkedIn employment role by adding “Graduate Student” to my Research Affiliate position for the Center for Knowledge Solutions (which I have been contributing for the last couple of years), and I received a number of “congratulations” for the “new” job:

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 11.47.33 AMThen I discovered my name had changed on my Delicious account. I use this account to archive my tweets & tags for what I share on Twitter, so I was surprised to find my new found love for “fun and enjoy with my friends” while advertising mature dating single websites:

Delicious HackThis was quickly fixed within hours thanks to the Delicious Team, and I’m back to my normal nerdy self on this social bookmarking website:

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 9.03.00 PM

This incident reminded me it was time to review my social media spaces to see what I use and what I need to lose. It is easy to take advantage websites like JustDelete.me to kill off your pages; however I wanted to take stock of what I am using and document how I am using it. To assess my digital footprint and identity, I started my own social media audit spreadsheet o’ fun with the following columns:

  • URL for the profile
  • recordupdate passwords
  • review account settings (privacy)
  • date activated
  • date terminated (if deleted or archived)
  • verify information is correct
  • update bio, picture, etc.
  • review platform access & connections
  • assess unused or less accessed social media spaces to delete
  • identify how these social media platforms are being utilized

Screen Shot 2013-12-15 at 12.50.53 PM

Have you conducted your own social media audit lately? If so, how have you review and cleaned up your online accounts on your various social media platforms? How do you keep track of what social media spaces you use? Please share any tips & tricks. Thanks!

Higher Education, MOOC, Open Education

New Social Learning … is It “New”?

Education rarely reinvents the wheel. This is not necessarily a bad thing. There are a number of great theorists, researchers, scholars, practitioners, and educators who have been utilizing connected and social learning ideas for decades.

In thinking about social learning for instructional design, I will turn to Bingham and Conner’s (2010) outline for how this is “new” in many of our organizations:

  • The new social learning is not just for knowledge workers – community-oriented.
  • Plays well with formal education to capture shared learning.
  • Compliments training and supplements development.
  • Similar but not the same as informal learning – more search and reading.
  • More than just online search and social networking.
  • Not like broadcasting information, more communal.
  • Allows for interaction and experiences to share ideas.

Image from Social Media Portal

Thomas and Brown (2011) inquire about the new culture of learning in their book, specifically asking: “What happens to learning when we move from stable infrastructure of the twentieth century to the fluid infrastructure of the twenty-first century, where technology is constantly creating and responding to change?”

I am thinking about this question a lot. A number of educators are looking for the “new” instead of asking questions and assessing the present practices. As a scholar-practitioner with perhaps faculty inklings, I have many concerns and questions for the future of our learning in higher education:

  1. Who (collaboratively) will best respond to the challenges and changes for our learning landscape on your campus?
  2. Why are educational changes and decisions being made? Is there assessment and evaluation? Data-driven decisions? Literature to support the change?
  3. What are we doing well & what can we improve upon in our face-to-face, online, and blended pedagogy in higher education?
  4. How are we thinking about connections, creativity, and social learning for our campus learning environments?
  5. When & how seek out the learners’ input for changes to our educational curriculum, campus programs, and student support services?

The idea of one idea, one thing, or one person to tackle the challenges/changes in higher education is ridiculous. If you think a “new” way to learn – perhaps a MOOC – will solve your university or college, then I am concerned about your strategic goals and learning outcomes. Take a gander at George Siemen’s recent #open13 talk [slides & video] to get a historical perspective on MOOCs (then and now), learning challenges, and other considerations for higher education pedagogy. [P.s. If you want to talk more MOOCs and research – y’all should come down to Texas for the 1st MOOC Research Conference in December]

One great take away from George’s talk (via a priest) about the upcoming shifts to higher education: “Don’t move away from things…because if you move away from things you don’t have a clue where you’re going to end up. Instead, move towards something.”

References

Bingham, T., & Conner, M. (2010). The new social learning: A guide to transforming organizations through social media. Berrett-Koehler Store.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (Vol. 219). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.

Siemens, G. (2013, November 7). MOOCs: How did we get here? Elearnspace. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/2013/11/07/moocs-how-did-we-get-here/

Higher Education, Social Media

Gathering #SocialMedia Guidelines from Higher Education #SoMe #edusomedia #highered

Grey of Social Media

When discussing social media guidance in higher education, there seems to be a lot of grey areas. Social media use is a relevant topic on many college and university campuses. Over the course of the next few months, my plan is to review social media guidelines to sort out the grey, and identify more black and white ideas about social media guidance.

To pursue my dissertation research, I am currently gathering ANY and ALL Social Media Guidelines from Higher Education Institutions from ANY and ALL COUNTRIES. If you currently attend, work, teach, or know of any a post-secondary institution that provides guidance for social media, then I need your help! Please search your institutional website for “social media” guidelines. Keep in mind, your higher education institutional “guidance” for social media may also be labeled as: guidelines, policy, tips, rules, beliefs, regulations, strategy, or take on another name. If you are aware of any websites, documents, or artifacts that guide social media in higher education, please COMPLETE THIS FORM.

 Please consider contributing to help advance social media guidance and use at our post-secondary education institutions: 

Submit a Social Media Guideline & Policy Document

The following website was created to gather and build a social media guideline database and share information about this research:

http://socialmediaguidance.wordpress.com/

If you have questions, concerns, or want to get more involved in this social media guideline project, please feel free to CONTACT ME. Thank you!

PhD, Reflections

#sxswEDU: Thoughts, Reflections & Then Some…

Time sure flies when you’re conferencing, volunteering and travelling… so my thoughts on South By South West Edu (#sxswEDU), are delayed by exactly 2 weeks. My bad.

Due to my love of Austin and enjoyment of SXSW, I thought SXSW Edu would be a great conference to engage with other educators and expand professionally. There were a number of things I liked – such as being on public transit, new perspectives on learning, and connecting with tweeps (Shout out to: @tjoosten, @gsiemens, @veletsianos@audreywatters & more #iamEDU friends!). I also appreciated the lively banter our Social Media in Higher Ed (#smHE) panel had on the topic, and the great follow up conversations with other instructors, practitioners, and researchers. 

Essentially, I got what I wanted out of the #sxswEDu conference – connect, social, interact and learn. I sort of expected something else from this conference, specifically with regards to the education (K-12 and Higher Ed) involvement. I was a bit disappointed to see that the Panel Picker selected more sessions with industry, rather than any educators. It was odd. I was not alone in noticing the tensions were felt between the industry and educationWhy were the instructors, teachers, principals, faculty, higher education professionals, and educational administrators not sitting in these #sxswEDU seats?

Let's get ready to MOOC-off! Where art thou @gsiemens?

Although the education presence was not the “sage on the stage” approach, I am glad I was present to listen to what industry and technology leaders think the “future of learning” will be. I know that many of these sessions were challenged and talked about outside the formal #sxswEDU program, and I was curious as to how other educators interpreted the conference message(s). 

One thing that was very noticeable = the repetitive rhetoric being shared from room to room. To mix it up I, jokingly, initiated the  #SXSWedu Terms to Know, Use, Love & Hate Google doc to note the key words, terms or phrases I heard at the conference. Some might say I was being jaded (*cough* Siemens *cough*), but really I was just having fun with the common language of the conference. After curating this list, I decided to create a game (…which had multiple players, I might add): 

#sxswEDU BINGO Card #3

Note: Another suggestion was to draft a blog post with the complete list of terms. I decided to respectfully decline said challenge; however I will stay alert to the language and context of these words. It’s not a bad idea to keep your ears open and listen every once in a while… Thanks for reminding me of that #sxswEDU.

Higher Education, Social Media

Guiding Social Media at Our Institutions [ARTICLE]

Remember last fall when Tanya Joosten (@tjoosten), Lindsey Harness (@LindseyHarness) and I asked for your input on how your institution guides social media? No? Too long ago to remember? 🙂 Well regardless, we appreciated those who could respond as it helped us gather information on what we are (or are not) doing to direct social media use in higher education.

The results from the research are in, and published! Here is the recently published, peer-reviewed article for the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).

Access the article in PDF form here.

This article expands on Chapter 6 from Social Media for Educators to understand HOW higher education is guiding social media use. Through our open-ended questions, we learned more about how instituions are supporting and guiding social media. Often we see social media used a broadcast medium and there has also been a shift to designate new roles or responsibilities to support its use on campus.

Thanks to the SCUP Change-Disruption Mojo for featuring some of the findings as this week’s topic, specifically to Alexandria Stankovich (@thinkstank) for sharing both sides of the issue:

  • Concerns: monitoring online behavior, identity thief, privacy, FERPA/FIPPA, maintaining university image, control, ownership, required trainings

  • Benefits: interaction and engagement beyond the formal learning environment

Want to learn more about the research and/or article findings?

Key takeaways:

  • Social media is often used as a “broadcast channel”
  • We should engage and develop a culture through the use of social media tools
  • Institutions need fluid access to information regardless of the technology
  • Simplicity principle to build capacity for the social web
  • We need to develop models of effective practice for LEARNING!
  • Trust the faculty you hire – they have some great ideas
  • Recognize that learners are MORE than sponges
  • Match technology with task & building digital literacy opportunities
  • Is social media in your strategic plan? Is social media or technologies part of your learning outcomes on campus? THIS is where your efforts need to be
  • Institutional encouragement is needed for collaboration ON YOUR CAMPUS to identify how to best guide social media models & effective practices
“The pedagogical benefit of social media use beyond its application as a motivational technique continues to be unaddressed by many universities.”

This study was just the tip of the iceberg. There is definitely more research on learning, social media use, and higher education to be done. Time to get at it! Back to the dissertation proposal grind…

Reference:

Joosten, T., Pasquini, L. A., & Harness, L. (2013). Guiding social media at our institutions. Society for College and University Planners – Integrated Planning for Higher Education, 41(2), 1-11.

PhD, Professional Development, Reflections, SocioTech

Finding a Research “Home” with #SocioTech at #iConf13

As a College of Information student, the learning technology department compliments a number of research areas emphasized within our iSchool and at the 2013 iConference. Andrew Miller (@findandrew), Leila Mills, Mark Evans and I proudly represented UNT as one of the 12 finalists for the Social Media Expo hosted by FUSE Labs of Microsoft Research at the iConference this year. After conducting our ethnographic study on the Denton Local Food System (LFS), we submitted a research paper, video, poster, and created an online space for the LFS community to share information, house knowledge and connect to local happenings within the community at FeedDenton.org.
#iConf13 Social Media Expo Finalists
  Social Media Expo poster @ 2013 iConference (#iConf13) with @findandrew

What I enjoyed most about attending the conference was the refreshing opportunities to engage about research methodology and conceptual frameworks that apply to my scholarly interests. It felt like I was coming “home” when talking shop with various academics and graduate students during the conference. The best part might have been the pre-conference session:  SocioTechnical Systems Research workshop (#CNFWSP2). This is where I was able to connect to other #sociotech researchers, and learn more about areas of inquiry coming out of the iSchools and various disciplines.

The pre-conference was a full day o’ fun that housed various speakers, discussions, and sharing of directions in socio-technical research, including

  • critical study and comparative study
  • considerations for multi-scale ethnographic research
  • artifacts that change communication in organizations
  • impacts of human and non-human delegation
  • shifts from visible to invisible networks (part of ANT)
  • organization as a constant communication
  • sustainable information practices
  • action-based research for informatic improvement
  • participation, community resilience, plurality, design

Later in the day, Steve Sawyer, conducted a master class to present various sociotechnical systems (STS) perspectives, which drew upon theories from Actor-Network to social construction. Everything is relational as new forms of social organization is occurring with new technical arrangements all around us. We talked about #sociotech in practice, specifically how to situate the phenomena (conceptual & empirical framing) and conceptualize sociotechnical systems (identify characteristics of the social, technical and interactions) by looking at this STS conceptual space mapping from Steve.

Untitled
This post is just the tip of the iceberg, as I have a number of notes, ideas, references, and research peers to turn to thanks to this workshop. I was not surprised to run into some of the #sociotech usual suspects in #iConf13 sessions such local communities, learning environments, or ethnographic studies of online communities. I appreciated the comments and dialogues brought to both the paper and notes sessions (I preferred the workshop space in the notes session better), and I am motivated to dig back into my own research and dissertation grind.

Want to read more about the 2013 iConference proceedings or connect to a few sociotechs? Here you go:

 

Reference:

Miller, A. J., Pasquini, L. A., Mills, L. A., & Evans, M. (2013). Towards a methodology of virtually augmenting a knowledge sharing community of practice: A case study of the local food system of Denton, Texas. iConference 2013 Proceedings (pp. 1095-1101). doi:10.9776/13527