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Week 3 – Goodbye Facebook, Hello Basecamp.

     Wow. Time flies quite fast, we’re now already in our third week! This week, the students are asked to dive into a “closer to the ground” practices group size and its impact on open and innovative design. Personally, I think that this topic speaks more to me rather than the other topics since it’s related to my group’s theme: Work Team.
So, this is my reflection about this week.


What is working well for you in your group?
The first thing that works well, for me, in the group 3 will be our division of labour. After having read our weekly team activity together, we equally divide the task and also decide the deadline for the final group assignment between us. Usually, we first make some research personally and then share and stabilize our idea with someone who does this research in the same area and finally give the end result of the research to our co-ordinator. (similar to what Chris shared in the week 3 video! :p) Up until now, I think that this method operates well.
Then, the communication is the second thing that makes the functioning of this group runs smoothly. I’m always up-to-date about the task, about other members’ questions, about new tasks, etc. Personally, I think that Facebook is a great tool for communicating between group members BUT not necessarily a good platform since it also provides personal communication between the user, their friends, their family… We slowly believe that this could become more and more distracting and… we finally decided to opt for a new platform called Basecamp! *finger crossing*


The last significant aspect from this group is our group size. In my opinion, this size of group of 5 is the best, every member is reachable and can easily speak up.

As Christopher said in his website:
“In my opinion it is at 5 that the feeling of “team” really starts. At 5 to 8 people, you can have a meeting where everyone can speak out about what the entire group is doing, and everyone feels highly empowered. However, at 9 to 12 people this begins to break down — not enough “attention” is given to everyone and meetings risk becoming either too noisy, too boring, too long, or some combination thereof. Although I’ve been unable to find the source, I’ve heard of some references to a study from the 1950s that says that the optimum size for a committee is 7. Likewise, it’s fairly easy for us to see and agree that a dinner party starts to break down somewhere above 7 or 8 people, as do also tabletop games of both the strategic (I prefer 5) and role-playing varieties (I prefer 7). These size limits can be overcome, but require increased amounts of “grooming”.

What is challenging you?
What is challenging about group work, for me, is the idea of collecting ideas from other people and how to bring those ideas all together to finally come up with single idea that will embody every member’s idea, not merely one’s idea.

What is one thing you might do differently in the coming weeks?
If I have to think about one thing that I may do differently in the coming weeks to improve my experience and group’s work is trying to perfectionize my personal research and to maximize the use of tools that might be helpful to the group work such as Basecamp.

Have a nice week end, Bloggers! 

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Posted in All Students, Group 3, Work Teams
This was originally published at Which community?

Week 2 – Which networks?

(I’m apologize for the late post, problem with OBA’s WiFi connection.)


“Think about your own networks.”

Wait… what? Which networks? Well, I have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, DeviantArt, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber.. But wait, can we also consider Skype or Viber as ‘network’? (They’re officially software or application, but since I use them to interact with people, not only family but also, friends, colleagues etc., they can also be called MY network, can’t they?)

     Nowadays, it’s hard to define a ‘network’. It can be everything as long as it involves interactions between its users. In my opinion, I used to consider Skype or WhatsApp as informal networks in regard to social learning. Categorizing them as ‘real’ networks seems to be a bad idea. But after doing some research about the real definition of ‘network’, and also what differentiates it with ‘community’, I came up to the conclusion that applications such as Skype or WhatsApp connect the users and therefore can be called ‘network’.

·  The network aspect refers to the set of relationships, personal interactions, and connections among participants, viewed as a set of nodes and links, with its affordances for information flows and helpful linkages.

·  The community aspect refers to the development of a shared identity around a topic that represents a collective intention—however tacit and distributed—to steward a domain of knowledge and to sustain learning about it.

(source: http://wenger-trayner.com/resources/communities-versus-networks/)


     No one can deny the importance of these networks. They can be used either for individual usage (for example: research, self-study, harvest information), either for collaborative usage (group research, interaction with group members, document sharing).

     Personally, I equally use them for both usages. I used Facebook as one of my personal network and also belong to some groups on Facebook, mostly used for updating group works and adding some group files. It’s even harder to set the limit between individual and collaborative usage since the most influential social networks like Facebook or Twitter are emerging to become a ‘new’ tool for collaborative work thanks to its easy-to-reach, useful aspect (for example, file uploading files on Facebook). So, it might be a really good idea to merely work on one online space like Asana or Basecamp for the group work.

     Speaking about the most valuable, I would say that the usage of networks for collaborative works is way more valuable than individual usage. We can’t really call it ‘network’ if it’s limited to personal information harvesting, if there’s no linkage between people, if it provides no interaction between users. 


     Finally, the new area that I would like to explore by experiencing with my online networks is Business. I would really love to use my online networks for the business usage. But since I couldn’t currently ‘jump’ into this, I did some research about tools that might be helpful for my future plan to explore this new area. This is also one of my group tasks: doing a research about an application called Zoho. This application looks great for the business intention: it provides the website building and is useful to run our own business processes, manage the information and be more productive!

ZOHO

I’m looking forward to exploring this platform in the future; it is unfortunately not free for now!


Have a nice weekend, bloggers! :) 

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Posted in All Students, Group 3, Work Teams
This was originally published at Which community?

Week 1 – How can we make the most of the internet (online community, platform, networks) to become a great open innovator?

First of all, I honestly have to admit that the first Project Community class with Nancy White was quiet confusing. We talked about mixed things: social networks, international development… I was puzzled about what are we going to learn. Later on, I read Nancy’s post about “the power of confusion in learning” and it’s relieving to know that it’s actually normal to be confused, to know that I’m on the right track.
I think the aim of this first class is to guide us to be confused about what we’re going to learn in order to trigger our sense of curiosity about the exploration of communities and networks in open design engineering.

To answer to this question, I started to collect people’s suggestion about websites that could be useful in service of innovative and open design engineering, and also in online collaborative works:
- Basecamp (thanks Bart Hoekstra!), useful to organize group collaboration in ONE single page. But unfortunately we need to pay for this. ;(
- Asana, same mechanism as Basecamp, but free for up to 30 members! Yay!

In coming weeks, I would love to discover other online community tools that would help improving online community service. I’m also curious about the realisation and the mechanism of those online community service. Once a person comes up with an idea, then how do they find the team? How do they work?

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Posted in All Students, Group 3, Work Teams
This was originally published at Which community?