Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Student Leaders: How to make the most of your summer

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Louise

Author Louise Blavet is a graduate from Tufts University in International Relations with a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership, and is interning this summer at Wiggio.

Are you one of those really busy students with many leadership positions? Do you find the first few weeks of college hectic as you try to balance classes, club meetings, sports, and partying with your friends?

What Wiggio recommends: use your summer to plan ahead!

Summer days are usually spent hanging out with family and friends, traveling, working, reading, sleeping, and/or tanning. Spending a couple minutes out of your vast days to think ahead and plan for the fall can be vital in alleviating some of the pressures you get during that first week of school. Here are a few tips that can help you plan for your organization’s successful fall semester roll-out.

1. Determine your tools for success: Whether you plan to start a new campus organization or lead the club you have been presiding for three years, it’s important to identify your organization’s needs, goals and objectives for the fall. Once you’ve understood what you want accomplished by the end of the summer, you will more easily know what events and meeting topics you will want to implement. The earlier you do this, the better. As a leader, having this vision will not only help you plan relevant content, it will help communicate your mission more eloquently and motivate others to follow.

2. Bureaucratic stuff: Check your college’s Student Activities Center, to make sure your organization has fulfilled all the paperwork, funding requests, and workshop sign-ups to ensure your existence on campus. You also might want to make sure you have an awesome classroom reserved for your weekly meetings.

3. Recruitment Planning: Want to impress incoming freshmen and lure upperclassmen? Instead of putting together last minute unappealing word.doc posters, and chalking your campus grounds before a rainy day, start thinking about what makes your organization different or unique, what it has to offer, and how students can benefit from being a member to develop a recruitment strategy that works.

4. Expand your Network! You’re still in college, so you might not know how important networking is. However, if you want to push your organization to the next level, explore opportunities to partner with other student organizations, or find faculty members for mentorship and development.

5. Calendar Planning. It’s probably the most helpful tool you could ever use, so use and share that Wiggio calendar! Take the time to plan all your fall semester events, meetings, socials, etc. in a coherent manner. In your planning, also mark your school’s important days (Homecoming, midterms, days off…) to avoid planning events during these conflict times. Make sure that all events are dispersed throughout the semester, giving realistic times to prepare for them.

6. Stay in touch. Few students are thinking about school over the summer. Perhaps you don’t need to reach out to your general members, but it’s important that they know they can reach you anytime.  Also, keeping your executive members involved will reduce some of their fall semester responsibilities.

7. KEEP IT FUN :) Students join campus organizations primarily because they seek a social environment that offers friendship, support and understanding. Collaborating together doesn’t always mean serious business, so when you’re brainstorming ideas for events, meetings, marketing strategies, make sure you keep it fun!

Measuring Effectiveness of Collaboration Software

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Darryl Myers

Darryl Myers is the VP of Business Development at Wiggio.

Since launching Wiggio’s premium service, our clients introduced us to an array of collaboration use cases.  Although our clients come from various industries, we’ve noticed a common question arising from them as they adopt collaboration software for their groups:  “How can we analyze user adoption and participation?”

Several industries are shifting towards cloud computing and using collaboration software.  While the advantages are obvious, some organizations are still unsure of exactly how switching to a collaboration software will affect their group’s organization and communication.

As you know, Wiggio is a collaboration and productivity application, where groups of all types and sizes can leverage web-based capabilities for group work.  The organizations that we’re engaged in conversation with are all searching for a social collaboration tool that will not only provide easy-to-use asynchronous and synchronous tools, but also analysis and visibility into user and group behavior.

Enter the Community Portal, a new feature within Wiggio’s premium-service. The Portal provides collaboration champions/administrators transparency and analysis into group and user behavior.  With it, administrators can assess and identify:

  • Each user’s activity levels
  • Listings of groups per user
  • Group activity as a whole
  • Types of content created within each group

Our goal for the Community Portal is to provide group administrators insight and transparency into group and user activity. The Portal allows administrators to assess user adoption and contribution, helping administrators track the transition from their old working habits to the Wiggio collaboration platform.

Wiggio Analytics

Admins can determine the level of engagement of individual groups and projects, based on the activity levels per group.  And, administrators can identifying passive content consumers, as well as users that contribute the most to group work, by evaluating the activity levels for each user.  Instead of pouring through qualitative content, the portal provides quantitative analysis about which users and groups are contributing the most to their group or their project’s success.

To learn more about what the Community Portal and our Premium Service offers, or for a personal demo, email us!

Wiggio: a Personal Learning Environment (PLE)

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Kate Ames CQUniversityKate Ames is a senior lecturer in professional communication at CQUniversity, Rockhampton, Australia. She lectures in journalism and public relations, and is a passionate educator of distance students who ‘keep me on my toes’: “If you can find a way to impart a difficult and complex concept to someone floating on an ice-breaker in the Antarctic region so that they ‘get it’, then you can teach anything, anywhere.”

I have been exploring and using Wiggio for a while now. I’m a senior lecturer in journalism and public relations at a university in regional Australia (CQUniversity) that has a long history of distance education. There are four factors that significantly influence my approach to teaching and adopting technology in my courses:

  • Approximately 70 per cent of my students are off-campus, of which many are in very remote parts of the country (and the world), and telecommunications technology (specifically internet access) is a particular challenge.
  • I believe it’s imperative that students learn to engage with one another meaningfully in an environment that’s potentially ‘global’, so on-campus and off-campus students are regularly required to work together in groups.
  • Most of my courses are based on authentic learning, so students are doing real things for real clients, or working on real projects.
  • I believe students are engaged when they see ‘relevance’, so any technology that we spend time teaching has to be relevant and useful for the longer term.

So, while I would never tell the students I’m helping them set up a ‘personal learning environment’, or PLE, as is the term most embraced in educational circles, it’s in my thinking when I’m designing a course.

On the 14th of April this year, I posted a critique of Wiggio as a PLE on my own blog http://onlineedreflections.wordpress.com/. In this, I reflected on Wiggio’s usefulness as a collection of tools we use on a daily basis for learning. While I recommend you read this blog for the ‘academic’ perspective on Wiggio, in summary, I suggested that Wiggio meets the criteria of a PLE in a formal sense: it provides a collection of tools; it’s a personal learning and networking space; it allows students to access material regardless of location or stage of life; and it enables learning within formal or informal settings.

I also argued that the benefits of using Wiggio as a PLE are that it’s free and intuitive; it doesn’t add anything new but brings together platforms that are familiar to students. The concept of ‘sharing’ is a core element of Wiggio’s setup; group spaces can be based on employment, education, social or other bases. The way in which Wiggio is designed, allows users to access material within different groups (which allows break-out groups from within one larger group to form, with no impact on their ability to access a larger pool of information).

Wiggio enables students to build spaces as they progress. A group area for one course, and then a group area for another, even if they’re only working in pairs. Many of my students are already working in the communications industry (including media). We haven’t been using Wiggio for long enough to do longitudinal research, but anecdotal evidence suggests that students are then taking what they learn in class, developing Wiggio groups with work colleagues, and then sharing their knowledge. Other students have recommended Wiggio groups for social purposes, such as with their martial arts training team, or soccer club.

So they’re embracing Wiggio as a PLE, even if they don’t know they are.

While my critique on my blog goes into some academic depth about why Wiggio works as a PLE, in the simplest terms, it’s extremely easy to use. It doesn’t seem to draw on bandwidth, which is an issue for our students, and it’s related smartphone applications allow mobile connection. As a teacher, I simply introduce students to Wiggio.com, demonstrate how it works, and away they go. Students find it relevant because they are located all over the country/world and must communicate with one another and work on collaborative projects. It appears to have been embraced by them in their educational, work, and social environments. In the longer term, I get a sense that it will be used as a networking space between industry representatives and students.

I’ve become so reliant on Wiggio for teaching, research, and communicating with peers that I sometimes wonder what I used, or how I worked before. But that thought is fleeting. It’s certainly changed the way I work, and it’s changing the way students work because they’ve embraced it. Group work is always challenging for students, but a tool like Wiggio reduces the potential for problems in communication, and that’s half the battle won.


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