Wednesday, September 17th
Technology is one of the three underlying parts of successful online communities and networks.
Technology stewards are people with enough experience of the workings of a community to understand its technology needs, and enough experience with technology to take leadership in addressing those needs.
— (Wenger, E., White, N., Smith, J.D., 2009, Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities” CPSquare)
(The others are social architecture and processes/practices!) This week we’ll explore the practice of technology stewardship and look at some examples of Social Networks, Blogging, and MeetingWords.com, some of the tools we’ll be using. As part of the tool practice, we’ll also reflect on our online digital identities and on multitasking.
Experience a second Google Hangout on your own. This week we split up for the group work. Take meeting notes and experience multitasking as you hangout with another team, your tutor, your NGO, or Nancy. How are you going to use Internet, social networks etc for helping your NGO meet its unmet need? How to multitask: Hangout, write and read the meetingnotes, follow the links sent, talk to one another, make group decisions and come back to the classroom. And finally, reflect on what value these activities and practices provide you and your team.
Before next workshop:
- Identify what you need to know about your NGO, their purpose & design needs?
- What strategic technology will help the NGO analyse these needs?
- Thinking of your NGO “client,” what trends would you advise them to pay attention to? What initial recommendations might you offer them based on your research? This is your starting hypothesis. As you move forward, you will need to document your thinking and back it up with appropriate data and/or references. Hunches are fine, but they alone are not enough…
- Fill out a Spidergram identifying the types of activities that would be required in the strategic opportunities you have identified. With your NGO client, or simply as a team, rank the importance of each activity.
- Identify 2-3 potential technologies that might support the most important kinds of online community – network use you identified in the spidergram. These may be fully developed sites or individual tools. Define your research questions. What do you need to find out? Research the strengths and weaknesses of those tools for the types of activities they need to support. Be sure not to confuse the activities with the tools!
Personal Blog Reflection Prompt: Developing your technology knowledge
Go online to your networks and blog with fellow students about what you already know how to do with online tools and what you can teach or share. What special tools have you mastered? What can you do or what do you know about the other groups “unmet needs” they have defined for their NGO? Can your expertise be of use to them? Do some skills/needs “matchmaking” and tap the power of the group.
Question: How much does your personal preference drive your tool choices? What if everyone else in your group had different preferences? How would you proceed as you steward the technology?
Learning objective: the students should be able to interpret the NGO opportunities, explain why they choose 3 possible tools or examples of technology stewardship to discuss and illustrate in their Blog and with their tutor to determine ways to start their project research. Student blogs will describe their “tool” of choice as a steward of technology.