NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2013) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

Week 3: Technology Stewardship and use during the course

Starting Monday September 16th

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by ▓▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓:

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by ▓▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓:

Theme:Technology Stewardship

Technology is one of the three underlying parts of successful online communities and networks. (The others are social architecture which includes people and how they connect,  and processes/practices!)

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)

This week we’ll explore the practice of technology stewardship and share a framework to consider how collaborative tasks might map to tools. You will begin to identify your NGO’s needs, then we can see how their needs map using a Spidergram. Some of you are working with projects with a defined platform, so you might look more deeply at the different tools in that platform (drupal).

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by J Brew:

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo by J Brew:

As part of the tool practice, we’ll also reflect on our online digital identities and on multitasking. We know, that’s a lot in one week! But some of this we’ll revisit again in later weeks, so don’t worry

We will experience our second Google Hangout as a class but this time with a twist. We’ll move into separate areas and have 10 connections for those who want to talk, and everyone else can listen and participate via our page (we’ll set up a link on Monday). We’ll again take shared notes.  Consider these questions before our Hangout:

  • Where will you sit? What is a good (quiet) place to work as a team?
  • How are you going to make sure you hear and understand what is going on?
  • How can you effectively your voice heard in this busy classroom?
  • How can you and your team effectively contribute to the group notes?
  • How will you experience and manage the multitasking of the Hangout, Meetingwords and what is going around you in F2F space? Follow the links sent, talk to one another, make group decisions and come back to the classroom? That is a lot to juggle. Consider who does what, rather than everyone doing everything.

This experience will be a little test to help launch your inquiry into how are you might suggest your NGO use Internet, social networks etc to help meet its challenge. In your team work, you will explore some tool options and how to make some recommendations to your NGO. And finally, we will reflect on what value these activities and practices provide you and your team.

Learning objective

You should be able to interpret the NGO opportunities, explain why you 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.


    • Update your tutor on your team work
    • Do a spidergram for your NGO Challenge. Identify some potential tools that fulfill the types of activities you need to support.
    • Continue to understand your NGO challenge/needs. Through research and/or interviews, identify the types of design needs your NGO has. How do they contribute to the value and purpose of your NGO. What questions do you still have about the NGO, its purpose and design needs?
    • What strategic opportunity to use online communities and networks in any/all phases of design work that your group will help the NGO analyze? 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…
    • Based on the strategic opportunities you are identifying, fill out a Spidergram identifying the types of activities that would be required in the strategic opportunities you have identified. With your NGO client if possible, 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 activities you identified in the spidergram. These may be fully developed sites or individual tools.
    • What do you need to figure out next? This will vary by team. 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 WORK: Your post by midnight on Tuesday night, comments by midnight on Friday.
    • Personal Blog Reflection Prompt: Developing your technology knowledge and your digital identity around that knowledge. It can be very useful to let others know what you know and can share, and to know what you can learn from them. That is part of your digital identity. (Remember, we don’t want to be FartBoy!) This week you will explore and share your technical knowledge as part of building your digital identity. Go share on your blog (and maybe practice on the Facebook group first) what you already know how to do with online tools. What tools are you good at? For supporting what kinds of activities? What would you be willing to teach others?  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. Please post this by Tuesday at midnight.


  • Spidergram and how to use it (YouTube video) review Spidergram Base Slides (PDF)
  • Read Chapter 10 of Digital Habitats by Wenger, White and Smith. Pay close attention to the orientations section- If you would like to read the earlier chapter that goes more into depth on the Orientations of the spidergram, let Nancy know and she can send you a digital copy. (Ask and ye shall get!)
  • Nancy White { Ah, you figured it out! It was one giant simulation and game! (Actually, I think it would be fun to apply game principles to this... } – Dec 18, 5:43 AM
  • Nancy White { I'm nodding in total agreement with Marcelo. Our own fears can be the biggest barrier, but it was wonderful to see all of you stepping... } – Dec 18, 5:42 AM
  • Nancy White { Hi Anna I like how you traced your learnings... excellent. One question -- what advice do you have for next years Project Community students??? Thanks... } – Dec 18, 5:41 AM
  • Nancy White { I LOVED this line: "I believe that what we are looking for today in design or the creative process is to accept people’s own ability... } – Dec 18, 5:39 AM
  • Nancy White { I had to smile when you wrote "produce something better than we did." If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?... } – Dec 18, 5:31 AM
  • «« »»
See all conversations...

Featuring Recent 10/1403 of Community Posts

Read more