Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Good Afternoon Dr. Zielke,
For a group project in my social media class, we are focusing on developing a hub (Ning based) to allow ATEC students to access available resources (ex. atec.utdallas.edu; Facebook, Twitter, Blog groups; ATEC Presents etc).
I wanted to get your opinion from an administrator's perspective of what the department would think about having such a hub available via a link on the actual atec.utdallas.edu page.
We greatly appreciate your help and feedback,
Good Afternoon Tara,
My name is Christie Wright and I am working on a group ATEC project. Our main goal is to further examine existing ATEC student resources to create a new and improved web strategy plan for ATEC.
As our advisor we would love to pick your brain on a couple of issues. Please feel free to be as brief or detailed as you would like.
What is your opinion on the current ATEC website?
What additional functions and/or resources would you like the ATEC website to include?
Thank you for all of your help,
I would say that the ATEC website needs updating. I’m not sure who is or has been working on it. I think it would be nice to incorporate more social media connections into the website such as Twitter feeds and whatnot.
Along those lines I would recommend checking out atecpresents.com, a website created and run by undergraduate students.
Let me know if you need more information.
Tara Lewis M.Ed.
Assistant Director of
for Arts & Technology
(M-F 8:00am - 4:30pm)
I am in working on a group project for my social media class and would love to get your feedback.
Basically we are trying to create a NING based hub to give ATEC students access to resources such as ATEC Presents.
I would love to get your opinion on what has worked thus far and what you would have done differently.
Thank you for your help,
Below is the response from Michael Tsai
(below is the response in a legible format)
Well we've evolved quite a lot over the past year and a half. When we started this project it was for a school project. Our goal was to make a website full of useful
content and resources, where users can login, post whatever they want, have discussions, collaborate on projects and eventually meet in person. We knew that
students like ourselves were more comfortable meeting online because of work and comfort zone.
That didn't work out because we were dealing with software that was foreign and the lack of time and support to put in on such a big website didn't make much
sense for just two people. So we went back to the drawing board.
We knew we were facing and challenging facebook and other sites that people were already familiar with so we wanted to make something just for UTD students, (this
is the same idea for Tier 1, I just forgot to include this bit above) We've learned students don't really like to get outside their comfort zone and try out new things. Sad
to say and hear this but it is true. When someone learns they need to register and wait for a confirmation they make a U-turn. I on the other hand love trying out new
things and sites that are experimental.
Ah yes, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Yung Tsai, but most people call me Michael. I am one of the curators for ATEC PRESENTS alongside with Philip Atha.
Now back to what we've learned - We also learned that some students just don't care to interact with ppl so we decided to simplify things and do more work. What you
see now is just a gallery. We post submissions on the site, cut, crop, and post on facebook and Twitter. People are lazy and they don't want to do most of the work.
This is why Tier 1 didn't work, there was too much work, like registering, making a new profile, make a bio, e.t.c //
This Tier 2 (we've really gone through more than two tiers, the others are not important to discuss because they are not related entirely to your question, mostly it has
to do with software) from what we've learned from the feedback from students is a great way visually to explain what ATEC is all about. Personally it's a great wake-up
call for students who don't put their entire time on working on their 3D models.
Lastly, as an artist , and I think it's safe to say that every student in the ATEC department is an artist, we MUST do a lot of work to perfecting our skills AND to promote
ourselves. The problem I think with Tier 1 is that students (and I may sound bitter but I'm not) really don't want to do the work themselves in promoting their work.
Personally I know colleagues and close friends who only do classwork and put that in their portfolio, they later realized that that's not enough to satisfy a company
looking for original and creative works. Students really need to understand that they need to work really really hard on their portfolio or they will be like the many others
I know who still can't find jobs or are going back to school to get a Masters ........when they should just work harder.
They also need to utilize tools like Twitter for
resources, inspirations, news, and feedback. They need to start following people from the industry, other artists in their line of work who can HELP them, I think a lot of
people who use Twitter have a misconception of what it is ONLY used for, it's not about tweeting what you ate in the afternoon (though I may have done it a couple of
times) or following someone who only tweets about their favorite foods, it's a tool, and they need to start using it the right way.
So in short follow people who are helpful to you.
1. Tier 2 works because we SIMPLIFIED it.
2. People are lazy. (sad face*)
3. If we could do things differently we would still have Tier 1 but there's a problem, that's #2 on this list.
Well I've said too much and probably not enough at the same time. I hope this helps.
Title: ATEC Presents
My name is Christie Wright and I am working on a group ATEC project. Our main goal is to further examine existing ATEC student resources.
Since you are a fan of ATEC Presents I would love your feedback. Please feel free to be as brief or detailed as you would like.
What functions do you like about ATEC Presents?
What functions would you add or improve on ATEC Presents?
Thank you so much for your help,
Here are the responses I received:
(Philip's comment below in legible format)
What functions do you like about ATEC Presents?
Ever since Michael and I designed AP we've been thinking about more things to put into it. I guess in terms of the things that I like that I think turned out successful would be the gallery. We slaved for a long time trying to come up with the most practical gallery showcase that would lend itself to most all general ATEC projects and I think this one fits the bill.
What functions would you add or improve on ATEC Presents?
1. I think first and foremost it would be great if it could serve a greater purpose to the academic portion of ATEC. Initally when we first built the site we used a system called Drupal, and I had configured it so that users could upload their own tutorials whether text or video and the idea was that students could learn off of one another and learn much more outside of class. It never really caught on, but I think that the primary reason was because we couldn't any instructors to get on board with it and submit instruction material. I think Todd Fechter is the only professor who uses streaming videos in conjunction with his classes, but it's entirely hidden unless students are aware of its presence.
2. In a way, I guess I wanted it also to do what WebCT/Orion was supposed to do (and failed at), but more geared towards ATEC/eMac students only. That would ultimately include things like class assignment tracking, a working chat tool, a whiteboard system, forum, etc. but these would all be seamlessly integrated with the gallery. You might picture it as a sort of ATECized DeviantArt meets Facebook. Of course none of that would ever come to fruition because Facebook already exists.
3. This is big dreaming but. I would LOVE... LOVE, to have some way that we could implement a web based game player like Unity3D or Torque 3D. This would greatly rely on the fact that game development students create work using these engines, but I think it would be an extremely powerful and impressive component. ATEC currently does not have a means of showing off virtual world/game projects outside of the classroom, unless its prerecorded video which no students or teacher takes the time to bother with.
I'd be lying if I said I've enjoyed working on ATECPresents. It has been an uphill battle. Now in my senior year I've convinced myself that its a type of conceptual project that sounds great on paper but can never really work practically because it requires every student being a consistently active member. If the students collectively posted as much information into AP as they do Facebook it would be a flourishing wonderland of art, creativity, and knowledge. They don't however and as I've talked to students again and again throughout my years the dialog with everyone seems to be the same. We are not being taught the ways of this industry properly. Students constantly come to me with stories of consistent disappointment with the level of depth to their ATEC classes, and I think that it's that sort of morale killer that changes their perspective from getting involved to simply getting a degree and getting out.
The future for AP looks pretty bleak actually. Michael and I are the only two students we know that decided to grab a hold of our education and get the most out of it we possibly could, and that included trying to get this showcase going and getting a bigger picture of where ATEC's standing is as a department, but we are both graduating now. That being said we don't know of other students that want to take the reigns to keep AP alive, so if you know someone who needs a web burden let me know :)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
While ATEC live is most closely related to the ATEC and EMAC departments, our hope is to attract students and faculty from other related departments such as Marketing, Arts and Performance, Computer Science, Nanotechnology, etc. The involvement of these varied departments will make the ATEC experience truly interdisciplinary.
Although ATEC live aims to serve the UTD community in particular, its point of view is independent and unique from UTD's institutional point of view. Its bottom-up structure based on user-generated content is the most obvious difference when compared to the top-down structure of UTD's website which is predominantly representative of the institution itself.
The nature of ATEC live, as well as the technologies it is built upon, will change with the changing needs of its members. Our goal is not to create the ultimate all-enduring website, but to simply keep alive the flame of spirited conversation among our peers, using the tools available to us at the time. The goal is to keep our web platform as modular and user-friendly as possible, so that it can be supported and sustained through user participation with minimal maintenance from administrators.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Currently research is being conducted by an online survey located at the following link:
and face-to-face interviews of current ATEC and EMAC students.
Summary of what we have learned:
Although research is still being gathered and analyzed, we have learned that ATEC and EMAC students have an overwhelming desire to have a place to view career opportunities. Out of the seven respondents who have taken the survey all of them have given the highest possible score (five out of five stars) to the question “How interested would you be in ATEC providing a site where you can view career opportunities?”.
75% of students surveyed gave five out of five stars to both of the following questions: “How interested would you be in ATEC providing a site where others can view your portfolio?” and “How interested would you be in ATEC providing a site where others can view your resume?”
What are we planning to do with the information?
Due to the interruption of Spring Break, the results of the face-to-face interviews have not been analyzed. However, the results of the online student survey are confirming the information gathered during the in class student driven brain storming session conducted on February 23.
The next steps in the project will be to develop a collaboratec site map based on a decision matrix that is a culmination of both student needs and ease of creation. We will also complete a timeline that illustrates what elements of the project we plan on accomplishing and setting goals and deadlines for the established tasks.
How are we using social media in our project?
From the research gathered we have determined that all respondents participate in some kind of social networking. Specifically, Facebook and Twitter were unanimously participated in. We will create a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account for Collaboratec to increase project awareness, support, and continued research and suggestions.
Monday, March 15, 2010
We have about a month and a half when we come back from Spring Break. That gives us about 5 or so class sessions before we present our final project. Here are my thoughts...feel free to add to it.
We are not designing a website. We are proposing an online platform where people can collaborate. (Yes...I have been reading Futuretainment :D ) In the next few weeks, we are going to come up with the information architecture and possibly a wireframe of the platform.
We need to map out our needs and research possible technologies that can meet those needs. Could we use existing content management systems to solve the needs? Eva, would you be interested in taking the lead in researching the technologies (seeing how much you are already into tech research?)
Christie is in the process of analyzing the surveys, and the credit goes to her for originating the survey. Instead of all four of us dedicating our time to the survey results, it might be more efficient if Christie takes the lead in this arena of collecting data and researching our target audience.
Meanwhile, all of us in the group, and anyone else who is interested, will be contributing to the technology and demographic research efforts.
I am not 100% sold on the name "collaborATEC" although I came up with it. We need a simpler brand that is memorable. I am very interested in brand development and marketing, and would like to take on this challenge. In the next month and a half, I would like to develop a complete identity package for this platform.
These are just some suggested paths we can take in the following weeks. We can modify and finalize our plan next week when we meet.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
- Methodology: how are we conducting the research
- Summary of what we learned
- What are we planning to do with the information?
- How are we using social media in our project?
- Do we have University backing? ATEC backing? Faculty backing? Will they fund the actual development of the site partially/fully?
- Who will develop the site? Can we employ a professional web developer or would it be student work?
- Can we employ a web designer? How much should the site adhere to the university's web design guidelines (orange/green)?
- Is it part of UTD's site or independent?
- Who will maintain the site once it's developed? Would the department hire somebody full time/part time to keep it updated? The advisers clearly don't have the time to maintain the current website/online social networks.
- What is our timeline?
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Namewise: I am thinking ATEC connect, or ATECollaborate ... or something that reflects the collaborative spirit ...