#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

#EDUSprint 1: Beyond MOOCs – IT as a Force of Change

I joined today’s @EDUCAUSE 1st #EDUSprint webinar, IT as a Force of Change, discussed connected learning, technological impacts, educational models, and, of course, MOOCs. For those of us who educate, design, and research these items, not much of today’s session was new; however the speakers highlighted some interesting points and conversations around “where we are and where we need to go with higher education learning?” Today’s session was focused on framing large-scale, online learning programs – which is why MOOCs came to the forefront of the questions and discussion with the featured panel: Elliot Masie (The MASIE Center) and Chris Dede and Timothy Wirth (Learning Technologies, Harvard University). #EDUSprint 1 - Beyond MOOCs

MOOCs were called many things and labels were shared about the role of MOOCs in higher education. Here are a few words/phrases to describe MOOCs: unbundle, four letter word, innovation, change, disruption of education, learning model, same-old pedagogy, digital engagement, connected learning, revenue-maker, the future, and even an EXPERIMENT. If this is true…

In thinking about pedagogy and instructional design, I really hope we are considering the impact to our learners and subject material. Too often we go to the “shiny and new” hype for learning trends, rather than using learning outcomes to align curriculum content and assessments. Sometimes, I think our administration and educational leaders seem to miss the point…

Here are a few resources shared during the session that might be useful for those of you wanting to bone up on large-scale online learning with MOOCs:

Beyond the talk and questions about MOOCs, I thought the central thread for connected learning and meaning-making in education was strong. The fundamental question that needs to be ASKED and ANSWERED by more of our institutions was posed by Elliot.  was posed by Elliot is critical for our institutions to ASK and answer:

“How can we build a connected campus?

More information and a recording of the 1st #EDUsprint session can be found HERE, and, of course, there are a few Twitter notes from other #EDUsprint -ers for you to take a gander at… and perhaps I’ll see you in the #EDUsprint streams tomorrow…

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