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The Hive - A Year in Review

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 01:56 pm

Roughly a year ago, the primordial nebula of A&S administrators, designers, podcasters, videographers, instructional designers, software developers, and help desk support workers was tasked with coming up a name to reidentify and unify our staff. Prospective names came and went. Finally, it was decided - the Hive. As you may have heard from some of our podcasts, the Hive is A&S' newly unified team of both creative and technical services which provides the College with support on web and print media projects, public relations, and computing and information services. We are organized into 13 structured, yet fluid teams. We are a higher education-multimedia-information-technology-powerhouse.

The name "Hive" conjurs up images of bees, obviously, but entomology aside, there are connotations of busy-ness, work, and the idea of many collaborating to solve common problems. This certainly describes the atmosphere of the Hive. We are indeed busy (our media teams have created approximately 200 videos and 100 podcasts just this year alone!), and often times more than one of our teams are in constant communication with each other, working to resolve what ever issue we are tasked with. We are a creative and technical solutions factory of sorts.

Not only do we come from varied disciplines and backgrounds, we also travel the globe to bring back new knowledge and cultural experiences to benefit the Hive. Recently we have had a handful of student workers and staff travel abroad. Help Desk team member Josiah Hanna currently is participating in computer science research in Paris, France. Lead podcaster Cheyenne Hohman and student photographer Dana Rogers recently traveled to Shangai, China to document the Appalachian Culture Symposium & Student Summit with A&S professors Frank X Walker and Michelle Sizemore. Check out some photos of their visit to Wenzhou here. A&S Web Team students Nicole Sand and Eric Grucza recently traveled to Seville, Spain and Osaka, Japan, respectively. Amelia Stevens, one of our videographers spent the winter session studying in France and has some awesome video blogs from her trip. You can click on the names of the Hive students to read their travelblogs. 

As you can see, we're all over the globe. Returning from these trips, we share stories and experiences, learning from one another, bringing different cultural perspectives into the Hive.

Over the past year as we have continue to organize ourselves, we have added new members and seen the depature of some of our most talented student workers. We have completed a countless number of projects and even lended our services to other UK organizations. As we have branded ourselves "the Hive", each person's work and contributions help to form our identity, even though our services and skills are diverse, we remain connected.

Since our unification, staff meetings became somewhat of a logistical challenge. Luckily, The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments (Vis Center) has an excellent theater in the Davis Marksbury Building. Each month we come together to share current goings-on of the Hive, to celebrate our hard work, and to implement new iniatives. To acquiant all members of the Hive with each other, one team per meeting introduces themselves and presents their work to the rest of us. So far, the Art & Design team, the Application Develpment and Research Computation team, and the Web Services team have all created a prezi that describes the nature of their workflow and processes to the rest us. Their names link to the presentations, I encourage you to give them a look and get to know us at the Hive!

Part of my job as a social media coordinator is making sure that the digital public knows about all the awesome things we do at the Hive. I'll be tweeting with the hashtag #ASHIVE for all things Hive-related, so you can always search for it and join the conversations on our Twitter page.

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A Top-Tier Visit to TiER 1

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Tue, 05/29/2012 - 03:10 pm

On Friday, before the scorching Memorial Day Weekend, A&S Hive team members Derek EggersAmelia StevensCarly GermannRuss Caldwell, and myself made a special visit to TiER 1 Performance Solutions in Covington, KY. Almost immediately, the similarities between the culture and workflow of TiER 1 and the HIVE were easy to spot. The HIVE, a fusion of creative and technical services does everything from designing and leading the online education offered by the College to producing video and audio content for all of A&S. Rooted in instructional design, TiER 1 organizes itself into teams (just like the HIVE) to satisfy the needs of their clients.

We spent the day talking with the company's Chief Learning Officer Kevin Moore about the culture and values of TiER 1, as well as learning the steps they take in approaching and solving problems and satisfying clients. I really enjoyed getting to know some of the staff at TiER 1 and hearing their stories about the transistion from higher education to the workplace. It is a change I am currently facing, and their advice was very helpful. I was surprised at how so many of the staff came from diverse backgrounds (occupational psychology, business, instructional design, graphic design) to form a cohesive, functional unit. Once again, this is something that is paralled with the HIVE, as our student workers come from various colleges within UK and bring their own talents, hobbies, and interests to the table.

I look forward to keeping in touch with them going forward, they were extremely welcoming and enthusiastic about their own work as well as what we do at the HIVE. Here are a few photos of us with Chief Learning Officer Kevin Moore, Ed.D. and Monika:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College Students and Technology

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Wed, 05/23/2012 - 11:19 am

It's no secret that technology influences student life. From the ways in which we take in information, retain information, and synthesize information, technology provides a helping hand in each of these processes. I recently came across an awesome infographic from Presta Electronics that maps college students' relationship with technology. I encourage you to look it over. Some of the stats may surprise you, as well as some of the useful apps for education. 

 

Social Gaming and Social Good

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Wed, 05/16/2012 - 03:01 pm

Many are quick to critique social media as being a giant time waste, something incredibly self-indulgent, and even slightly creepy. We have all heard these arguments before. An interesting counterargument posits that social media can be used to increase social capital and even be used for purposes of social good. The same two arguments also swirl around the sphere of videogames as well. I can't tell you how many times my parents told me to turn off my Nintendo and go outside. So what happens when you smash social media, gaming, and social good all into one? We're finding new, innovative sites almost everyday. 

You've probably heard of Kickstarter.com, a website that gives you your five minutes of fame explaining your dream or genius idea and lets people choose to help you achieve your goal. If the funds are not met by the due date, then none of the project gets funded. Crowdrise.com lets you start your own fundraising campaign for the charity of your choice and push it through social media sites. DonorsChoose.org is an educational charity that allows donors to choose to fund a variety of classroom projects and materials. Kiva.org works similar to Kickstarter, only it's focused on farmers in need and sustainable farming practices. The point of social media is to connect one another, and these websites are focused on making a deep, meaningful connection, and making a difference.

Social good can also be turned into a game. Don't believe me? Take a look at The Fun Theory. Routine, everyday activities are turned into games, and the results include safer driving habits, healthier lifestyle choices, and more sustainable consumer behaviors. Check out some of the videos, they are well worth their few minutes.

Jane McGonigal, Director of Game Research & Develoment at the Intstitute for the Future agrues that playing more videogames can save the world. Sound idealistic? Maybe. WeTopia is a Facebook game that turns players’ points into monetary donations for children’s charity projects. What if Farmville worked this way?

I am writing all of this after reading the article "Where Social Gaming Meets Social Good" that highlights a recent campaign by Toyota, a Facebook app called 100 Cars for Good.The app asks users to vote for one of five non-profits every day for 100 days, and a daily winner will be awarded a new set of wheels from Toyota the following day. 

I have my own, semi-profound and possibly idealistic conclusions about what this all means, but I'd like to hear your own. Do you think this could lead to a paradigm shift? Is this a way of democratizing wealth and increasing general welfare? Or will this just blow over when the next big thing comes around?

 

The Ten Commandments of Twitter for Academics

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 01:53 pm

As the Internet and social media are growing and changing, the idea of of what is proper nettiquete has been debated by many professionals and academics. While there is no one widely accepted canon of guidelines for online behvior, there seem to be a few generally accepted do's and don'ts.  I've recently been reading The Chronicle of Higher Education, a great source for all things higher ed. I came across this article, 10 Commandments of Twitter for Academics. The author, Katrina Gulliver, goes over a few commonly asked questions about social media interaction for academics as well as frequent mistakes academics make in the Twitterverse. It's a pretty interesting read.

If you don't have a Twitter account, you should get one. Follow A&S @UKarts_sciences and we'll be your first follow! Join the Conversation!

Tips For Writing Scholarship Essays, CV's, Grants, Recommendation Letters

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:13 am

I've discovered that a lot of us at the Hive frequent Inside Higher Ed, a great source for higher education news, blogs, articles, and opinions. Recently, I came across this blogpost that gives great advice for college undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers, and professors alike on good practices when it comes to writing a grant or scholarship applications essays, CV's, and even recommendation letters. I highly recommend checking it out if you have a few minutes to spare!

Social Discovery

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Mon, 04/16/2012 - 11:57 am

Here's an interesting article about the current trends of social media. The author uses the term "social discovery" to refer to the phenomenon of posting and sharing what users have found versus what users are doing. I think it's a very interesting concept, and he's hitting the nail right on the head. Media sites like Pintrest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and Reddit are all about sharing something that one has found and deems interesting and worthy of sharing, perhaps for their own benefit (self-esteem) or for the benefit of others (shared knowledge). 

Scroll through your Facebook feed. I'm finding more and more that my friends are posting articles, videos, songs, etc. instead of the self-deprecating status update or the pointless daily minutiae. The idea of sharing media on the Internet with any number of people is so commonplace now that we don't even think about. Of course, this is what the Internet was originally built for, but it wasn't until just a few years ago that people started to think about creating a "social network" such as Facebook or its predecessor, Myspace. I am curious to see where social media goes in the near future. Will its bubble burst and become a faded trend? Or will it's presence become even more ubiquitous and synonymous with the Internet?

 

P.S. As a tip of the hat to "social discovery", I originally came across this article on Reddit, and now I'm re-blogging it! (Redditors, sorry, I know this a re-post ;) )

Social Media Frenzy!

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Fri, 04/06/2012 - 01:24 pm

 

It seems that social media never sleeps. Everyday, something is being re-hashed, overturned, or invented to better connect users online. New applications like Tumblr and Pintrest are flooding the scene, while websites like Zinch and Kickstarter are social media appealing to niche audiences. It’s almost too much to keep up with!

Recently, I have been developing advertisements via Google and Facebook, something that is completely new to me. I’m learning fast, though! It seems that social media, as much as it benefits individuals, also can serve businesses, as well as academic institutions like A&S. This new avenue of advertising helps drive the cost of marketing campaigns down, especially when you compare to traditional print media methods AND you get to target a very specific audience.

I’d be really interested to hear what other social media sites people visit and use. Social media are developed now for a variety of interests and purposes. Any niche social media sites that I have yet to hear about? Let me know!

Sparc-ing Things Up

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Fri, 01/27/2012 - 12:39 pm

I recently got invited to Sparcet by A&S. It's a online reward/recognition social network for the work place. I check into my feed on Sparcet and found other Hive members lighting up the board with awards and compliments. The way it works (from what I can tell) is that anyone can give a "medal" to another working for any amount/quality of good work that they think deserves to be recognized, and it shows up in everyone else's feed. I began to read through all the "sparcets" that were given and couldn't believe it! We've got some awesome people at the Hive.

The Hive is a huge and growing entity. We are physically spread out, and often it's hard to keep track of what everyone else is up to. In this way, Sparcet is a great way to keep in touch with work related activity of others. And my favorite part is that it seems to be based off a simple principle: give credit where credit is due. Sparcet is great for this and demonstrates what a cool work environment the Hive has. 

Kudos to all my fellow Hive members for being awesome!

Are Bloggers Journalists? Apparently Not In Oregon

Submitted by jlbeam4 on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 10:46 am

A friend passed along this article to this morning. It regards a recent Oregon court ruling that an independent blogger must pay a large financial firm for defamatory remarks published in a series of blog posts. She was not given the same protective rights as traditional journalists in the state, and thus liable for publishing defamatory content. I encourage you to read the article for more details.

This semester, I have been reading about an increasing number of court cases that pit laws directly against advancing technology. The precedents set now are going to shape society in the years to come. What do you think? Are bloggers equal to journalists? 

The Internet is a great tool for open conversations, debates, and dialogs. It empowers citizens to speak out and let them voice their opinions to the world. The web works to even the playing field, giving everyone with access to the Internet equal opportunity to express themselves. Blogging activity has grown exponentially in the last decade, and now several respected, legitimate sources and public figures maintain their own blogs. 

Are bloggers journalists? Should they be granted the same First amendment rights? What happens if they aren't given this protection? Could this stifle conversation on the web?  These questions definitely need to be addressed. It is clear that blogs, bloggers, and the Internet are not going away any time soon, and if anything, citizens are becoming more involved with and vocal about current issues via the Internet.