Dissertation, Social Media

Policing Social Media in Higher Ed: Implementing Policies on Campus

During the course of my dissertation research, a few events connected to the scope of my study, and directly to the social media documents I was gathering.  I ended up building a database of 250 post-secondary education (PSE) institutional guidelines and policies to completely understand HOW the PSE sector is ACTUALLY  “guiding” social media. More importantly my research uncovers the organizational identity and cultural values of social media among 10 different countries. {More to be shared post dissertation defense June 12, 2014.}

If you are interested in either research around policies and/or social media impact to organizations, specifically post-secondary education, then you most likely heard about the Kansas Board of Regents approval to amend their policy manual back in December 2013 to outline “improper use of social media by University of Kansas faculty.” If not, I have an article and infographic of the timeline of events for you:

KBOR Policies

Image and article credits from The Daily University Kansan ().

Concerns about social media use have been a continual debate and topic for higher education for at least a decade. There have been challenges to using social media accounts for “official” use, faculty blogging, HR employee regulations, or just a general “need” for increased policy implementation among a number of colleges and universities.  The PSE sector is not alone. The K-12 sector and other industries also are keen to social media polices around use and sharing for their stakeholders.

All THAT being said, I have a few questions for you:

  • HOW does (or will) a social media policy influence and impact your institutional culture?
  • Does (or will) your social media policy support your student services or research at your organization?
  • What goals and outcomes do you (or will you) achieve by implementing a social media policy on campus?
  • Does your (or will your) policy consider helpful guidelines, suggested practices, and/or training and development?
  • How does (or will) your social media policy be implemented with regards to teaching, service, and research scholarship?

Or is your PSE concerned with communication control and organizational management?  I would hope your institution of higher learning does not limit user interaction, community engagement, or general opportunities to share opinions.

From my dissertation findings, I hope to continue on this thread of research to identify ACTUAL use, related to the social media guideline and policy documents I have studied, to further understand how participation and interactions on these social media channels influence organizational identity and culture on campus. Is your campus listed in my PSE institution sample? Are YOU interested is getting involved in this type of research? Let me know.

Training & Development

Social Media to Support Your Organization

Last week I was invited to participate in the Southlake Chamber of Commerce’s UNT Professional Develop Fridays. I wrapped up the series by discussing how to effectively plan and organize social media resources for to build a community for businesses and organizations in the city.

This workshop focussed on strategies and practical applications of how social media platforms can be utilized to enhance organizations, with regards to:

  • Effective communication and marketing methods
  • Customer engagement and community development
  • Development of a communication strategy to support organizational goals
  • Implementation of social media tools to enhance goods & services

We discussed how their organizations in Southlake could “get social” (Twitter notes from the session: #SocialSouthlake) by connecting business strategies to broader communication plans and community management ideas.

Discussion points from this workshop included:

  • Be an active participant in social media platforms – explore before you plan
  • Set goals that are realistic with social media – pick 1-3 platforms to start with and use them well.
  • Map out a strategic plan for social media implementation (see worksheet) connected with your business plan.
  • Research your community and partners in the industry – get to know your audience and others participating in your potential community
  • Consider methods that build and growth your community offline and online
  • Designate a community manager, or a few to lead your development and planning
  • Identify champions from your community, i.e. individuals who are active participants from within the community, who will support your social media implementation and growth
  • Plan content directly connected to your purpose and mission
  • Effective methods to measure and track progress related to goals

 

Additional resources from this session can be found here: http://bit.ly/SocialSouthlake

Thanks for the invite @Southlake_CC … be sure to keep it social. 🙂

Social Media, SocioTech

#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 learner’s 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/