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Assignments

Description of Assignments for TechniCity
The purpose of this class is to allow students to explore how technology is shaping cities, including the ability to engage the public through technology, analyze data, understand infrastructure networks, and identify creative mechanisms for promoting entrepreneurial urbanism. Assignments are currently under development and will be posted at a later date.

Description of Assignments for CRP 394 PlanningTech
The purpose of this class is twofold: to ensure that students are familiar with a range of social media and other technology tools that can be used in city and regional planning, including the ability to use them for practical applications. The practical application of these tools will be gained through your use in promoting the American Planning Association’s Great Places in America. In this course you will be exposed to a variety of Planning Technology and have the opportunity to use a handful of tools including, FourSquare, Wikipedia, Twitter, Yelp, Gowalla, Pinterest, SurveyMonkey, GoogleDocs, Dropbox, and Prezi. The assignments are designed to allow students to develop and master your use of technology tools and to provide helpful advise to the American Planning Association President, Mitch Silver on how he can expand his use of social media and how the organization could expand its use of social media, using specific examples.

Assignment 1: Each student will be assigned to a Great Place in America. You’ll be responsible for using a variety of tools to highlight the importantance of your great place including each of the seven listed below. Note that these should be completed in the order listed below, as certain tools rely on previous actions in other tools. The deadline for completing this assignment is on Saturday, March 31st at 8 am. You should expect to spend 3-4 hours to complete this assignment. You will be turning a blog (in a word document) that includes a paragraph about each of the six activities and an associated screenshot, along with links to your various posts (described further in each activity). The file should be named LASTNAME_Assignment1.docx. The assignment should be placed in the Dropbox folder CRP 394 PlanningTech. Your blog post will be posted onto the class website on https://planforsocialmedia.wordpress.com. (The purpose for this is that it will make your great place appear higher in the rankings due to all of the cross referencing of links). If you have any questions or difficulties, feel free to arrange an appointment, email, or tweet. Also see the links posted on the resources page.

1) Wikipedia: A wiki is a hyperlinked system that allows participants to create, edit, and revise documents. It’s a great tool for managing knowledge and creating accurate information. Wikipedia, a famous example, provides a place to contribute to creating a knowledge base for anyone interested in your Great Places in America. You’ll be editing an existing wikipedia entry or creating a new one if it does not exist. This is your opportunity to practice crowdsourcing.

You will be required to contribute at least 3 paragraphs to the wiki about your Great Place in America. One paragraph should include information that this has been designated as a Great American Place, with a link to the American Planning Association Great Places in America website under the External Links section of the wikipedia entry and provide this as a source for the information you post. The additional two paragraphs should reflect additional information that does not currently appear on the wikipedia entry that you have researched. This can include information contained in the description of your Great Place on the APA website.

You will be graded on quality (accuracy and clarity), substance (containing useful content), and appropriateness (suitability for the intended user base). You must submit the text of the three paragraphs you posted, taking screenshots from Wikipedia.com.  At the top of the page, provide a one-paragraph explanation of why your additional content is helpful, and why. Include a link to the wikipedia page.

2) Twitter: Students are expected to use Twitter to promote their assigned Great Place in America. Students will become familiar with the basic functions of Twitter through this assignment.

All students must create a Twitter.com account. The account must be publicly visible (unlocked). You may use a pseudonym and limited bio information to protect your privacy if you wish, but I must be provided with your @handle so I can add you to the class list. The account must have at least a brief bio note, and a photograph or other avatar (not the Twitter default). If students already have a Twitter account that they use for personal communication, they may either use it here or create  a new account specifically for this class. Students should then to the following. It does not need to be done all at once and will be most effective if this done over a series of days. You can use Tweetdeck to put together all of your planned tweets and schedule them to be distributed over the course of the week.

  1. Follow at least 50 people, of whom at least 20 must be unaffiliated with Ohio State University, one must be @APA_Planning. You should identify people to follow that are tweeting about your Great Place in America. Ideas for people to follow can be found by exploring lists, searching for your Great Place on Twitter,  and checking blogs about your Great Place for Twitter IDs.
  2. Tweet! Tweets should contain the #CRP394 hashtag so that they can be easily followed by classmates and others. Your tweets must include at least the following:
    1. First, send me a tweet (to @EvansCowley) so that I can confirm that you are signed up and ready to go, and add you to the PlanningforSocialMedia list
    2. Engage in conversation by asking questions and interacting with those who respond, using the @mention format in at least 10 tweets. These tweets should be focused on interacting with people who are tweeting about your Great Place in America.
    3. Share information by posting abbreviated links to at least 10 online items relevant to your Great American Place, including sharing the Great Place designation. These must be original tweets, and not retweeted links.
    4. Retweet at least 5 posts by people you follow about your Great Place in America. These should not be randomly chosen, but selected because of their usefulness and/or cleverness.
    5. Post at least 10 tweets of undirected, appropriate content based on what you have learned about your Great American Place.
    6. Create a Twitter list of resources on your Great American Place. Your list should include at least 15 sources/users.
    7. Follow the class list I’ve created (@EvansCowley/PlanforSocialMedia).
    8. Participate in conversation about course content using the #CRP394 hashtag

You will be graded on completeness (completion of all activities), quality (accuracy and clarity), substance (containing useful content), and appropriateness (suitability for the intended user base). You must submit screenshots from Twitter of your tweets and of your Twitter list, plus the link to your twitter list.  Please include your Twitter handle (@name). At the top of the page, provide a one-paragraph explanation of how you found people to follow and why the information you provided to them is helpful.

3) FourSquare: This is a popular location-based social media tool. Through this assignment students will become familiar with the basic functions of FourSquare and use it to strengthen the knowledge base for your Great American Place.

Students must have an account at FourSquare.com. The account must be publicly visible (unlocked). You may use a pseudonym and limited bio information to protect your privacy if you wish, but I must be informed of your username so I can grade your assignment. If students already have a FourSquare account, they may either use it here or create  a new account specifically for this class.

Over the course of the assignment, students must add tips for locations associated with their Great American Place. You are expected to craft 5 useful tips for sites associated with your Great American Place. One tip should provide background information (you’ll have to research to provide a good tip), The History Channel specializes in these kinds of tips, so see their FourSquare page for examples.One tip should provide useful facts, services provided, events (if they are held regularly–very time-sensitive information or one-off events do not make good fodder for FourSquare tips, since you don’t know when someone will be checking in and tips are stored indefinitely). One tip should offer a supportive opinion. Be thoughtful about what you might say about your Great Place in America. Remember that FourSquare tips are stored and may continue to appear to users for a long time. One tip should be an idea for things to do at your Great American Place. For example a tip for the Garden of the Gods Park could read, “Pack a lunch and drink and enjoy a picnic at Location X in the park.” One tip must alert people that this is an Great Places in America, designated by the American Planning Association with a link to http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/.

Good tips are those that would provide helpful information to potential users. Keep your users in mind as you prepare your tips. Tips should always provide specific information or suggestions that add to people’s understanding of the location. It is fine to offer an opinion, but always support it with an example. If you are unsure whether a site would be appropriate, just ask.

You will be graded on quality (accuracy and clarity), substance (containing useful content), appropriateness (suitability for the intended user base), and originality. You must submit a list of the tips you posted, taking screenshots from FourSquare.com. Please include your FourSquare username. At the top of the page, provide a one-paragraph explanation of the types of users you think will find your tips helpful, and why. Include links to your Foursquare.com tips.

4) Yelp: This is a popular location-based social media tool. Through this assignment students will become familiar with the basic functions of Yelp and use it to strengthen the knowledge base for your America’s Great Place.

Students must have an account at Yelp.com. The account must be publicly visible (unlocked). You may use a pseudonym and limited bio information to protect your privacy if you wish, but I must be informed of your username so I can grade your assignment. If students already have a Yelp account, they may either use it here or create  a new account specifically for this class.

Students must create a positive review for one or more locations associated with their Great American Place. (For Parks, just one review is needed, while for Great Neighborhoods and Streets you should identify three locations to write a review for). You are expected to craft a useful, informative review for sites associated with your Great American Place. Your recommendation should offer information and a supportive opinion. Be thoughtful about what you might say about your Great Place in America. Remember that Yelp recommendations are stored and may continue to appear to users for a long time. One tip should be an idea for things to do at your America’s Great Place. For example a tip for the Garden of the Gods Park could read, “In 2011, the Garden of the Gods Park was named one of America’s Great Places by the American Planning Association. Enjoy a great picnic lunch at the Location X in the Park…”

Good recommendations are those that would provide helpful information to potential users. Keep your users in mind as you prepare your recommendation. Recommendations should always provide specific information or suggestions that add to people’s understanding of the place. It is fine to offer an opinion, but always support it with an example. For those with neighborhoods or streets, if you are unsure whether a specific business would be appropriate to write a recommendation for, just ask.

You will be graded on quality (accuracy and clarity), substance (containing useful content), appropriateness (suitability for the intended user base), and originality. You must submit a list of the recommendations you posted, taking screen shots from Yelp.com. Please include your Yelp username. At the top of the page, provide a one-paragraph explanation of the types of users you think will find your tips helpful, and why. Include links to your recommendation(s).

5) Flickr: Flickr is a popular photo sharing social media tool. Through this assignment students will become familiar with the basic functions of Flickr and use it to strengthen the knowledge base for your America’s Great Place.

Students should use a precreated Flickr.com account. The login is planforsocialmedia@gmail.com and the password is plann1ng.

Students must add 10 photos to a gallery for their America’s Great Place. Following the directions at: http://www.flickr.com/help/galleries/#938178 You should create a gallery titled Name of Your Great Place – America’s Great Place. The gallery description should include Your Great Place was named one of the 2011 America’s Great Places by the American Planning Association (http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/) and include the paragraph of information about your Great Place from the APA website (http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/).  The 10 photographs should be selected from multiple Flickr users where possible. See the Your Galleries, under the Your Photostream for an example of a gallery. Once you complete your gallery, share it on the class website. In your gallery on Flickr, select the share button in the right corner. Select share on WordPress. Then type a description for your post and press post.

You will be graded on quality (of the photographs selected), appropriateness (suitability for highlighting this as a Great Place), and substance (containing useful photographs). You must submit a screenshot of the gallery you created from Flickr.com. At the top of the page, provide a one-paragraph explanation of the types of users you think will find your Flickr Gallery helpful, and why. Include a link to your flickr gallery.

6) Pinterest: Pinterest is a popular photo sharing social media tool. Through this assignment students will become familiar with the basic functions of Pinterest and use it to strengthen the knowledge base for your America’s Great Place.

Students should create a Pinterest account that should be linked to your Twitter account, you may also connect to your Facebook account, but this is not required.

Students must create a board and add the 10 photos that you used as part of your Flickr Gallery for your Great Place. Following the directions at:  You should create a board titled Name of Your Great Place – America’s Great Place and place it under the category of Travel and Places or under Architecture. The board description should include Your Great Place was named one of the 2011 America’s Great Places by the American Planning Association (http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/) and include the paragraph of information about your Great Place from the APA website (http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/).  (Note you may have to edit this down as you are limited to 500 characters. Next add 10 pins, that are the 10 photographs from your Flickr gallery. For each photograph add a helpful description. This can include some description from the Flickr photo or something you have researched or a helpful opinion. See http://pinterest.com/jecowley/ for an example of a board. Once you pin each picture, share it through your Twitter feed (be sure to use the #crp394 hashtag).

You will be graded on quality (of the descriptions), appropriateness (suitability for highlighting this as a Great Place), and substance (containing useful information). You must submit a screenshot of the board you created from pinterest.com. At the top of the page, provide a one-paragraph explanation of the types of users you think will find your Pinterest board helpful, and why. Include a link to your pin board.

Assignment 2: Students will be organized into teams to focus on development of a social media strategy for the President of the American Planning Association.

PHASE I: STRATEGY ASSESSMENT

Assessment of APA’s Current Social Media Outlets: Provide a positive summary of the social media tools APA is currently providing (looking at Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Blogger, FourSquare, Instagram, Website, Slideshare, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and any other social media tools. This should include an inventory of the current tools used (including links to these sites), the level of participation (# of users), and the Klout score (Klout.com). Provide a positive summary of which tools are effective and why. Students will be expected to have a presentation sharing the results of your research on  Saturday April 7th. Presentations should be approximately 10 minutes in length, highlighting the key points that could be of use in the development of the social media strategy. Your presentation should be uploaded to the class dropbox by 8 am on Saturday April 7th.

Stakeholder Engagement Team – Experts: Conduct stakeholder interviews with the following technology experts.  Ian Malczewski of Urban Strategies (ian.malczewski@gmail.com), Chris Haller of Urban Interactive Studio (Challer@urbaninteractivestudio.com); Christian Madera of the National Capital Planning Commission (@cpmadera); Anthony Townsend of the Institute for the Future http://www.iftf.org (@anthonymobile); and Phil Salesses of MIT’s Media Lab http://pulse.media.mit.edu/ (@philsalesses salesses@media.mit.edu). You must immediately work to setup skype interviews (or other method) with these five experts. You’ll need to research their organizations in advance of your interview. Develop five key questions about their work that could potentially influence the recommendations that the class will be developing in its social media strategy. (All questions must be approved by your instructor before the interview, giving the instructor at least 24 hours notice of the questions). The last question should be what do you think professional associations could be doing using technology to better engage with their membership and the public? This means you need to send invitations should be sent no later than the weekend of March 31st with available times to ensure the best chance of successfully meeting this deadline. Students will be expected to have a presentation sharing the results of your engagement on  Saturday April 7th.

Stakeholder Engagement Team – Members: Visit a variety of social media sites where APA members are at on Facebook and LinkedIn. Your invitation should be carefully worded. Explain that you are a student who is exploring the use of social media by professionals. Develop a brief survey aimed at professionals. This should include questions about what social media tools professionals are already using, what tools they would like to communicate with professional associations using,  how frequently they review information provided via social media from APA and other professional associations, how often they would like to receive information from professional associations via social media, and open ended questions about ideas for how professional associations could engage with them. Contact your instructor for the username and login for SurveyMonkey.com. The draft survey must be submitted to your instructor by 7:00 am Monday April 2nd. Once the survey is approved the team should distribute the survey link along with a request for completing this to as many professional associations via Facebook and LinkedIn (or other social media sites). Contact your instructor for a preliminary list of professional sites (your team should research additional sites). Students will be expected to have a presentation sharing the results of your engagement on  Saturday April 7th.

Stakeholder Engagement Team – Students: Develop a brief survey aimed at students. This should include questions about what social media tools students are already using, what tools they would like to communicate with professional associations using,  how frequently they review information provided via social media from APA and other professional associations, how often they would like to receive information from professional associations via social media, and open ended questions about students ideas for how professional associations could engage with them. Contact your instructor for the username and login for SurveyMonkey.com. The draft survey must be submitted to your instructor by 7:00 am Monday April 2nd. Once the survey is approved the team should distribute the survey link along with a request for completing this to as many planning student association Facebook and LinkedIn (or other social media sites). Contact your instructor for a list of student sites. Students will be expected to have a presentation sharing the results of your engagement on  Saturday April 7th.  Your presentation should be uploaded to the class dropbox by 8 am on Saturday April 7th.

America’s Great Places Analysis: To calculate the impact of the use of social media by the class to promote America’s Great Places, the team will need to tally the number of followers, likes, repins, retweets, etc. The team should develop a protocol spreadsheet and an instruction sheet for evaluating each tool’s impact. You should create an easy to understand spreadsheet in GoogleDocs (use the spreadsheet at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuS1uzMsVRkxdHMxd1pXV3hHTll6aElSTkZ6MkR5QUE). This should be an easy to understand spreadsheet that is intuitive to fill out, as well as easy for you to tabulate the results and conduct analysis. Be sure to include formulas and other analytical tools to allow for an easy summary of the results in the second sheet. Complete an instruction sheet so that each member of the course can complete their spreadsheet entries step by step, demonstrating the impact of their use of social media in promoting their Great Place. Each of the team members should test the instructions and amend as needed to make sure they are clear. This should be submitted to your instructor by 8 am on Wednesday April 4th. The impact analysis forms will be completed in class on April 7th, allowing for one week of impact since completing assignment one. The team should be prepared to share the results as soon as the class completes their entries (this means your analysis sheet should be complete, so you can easily make a presentation of the results on April 7th). The team will then aggregate and analyze the results from the impact analysis and prepare a blog post. The team will prepare a 500-1,000 blog post, including screenshots and captions, and charts where appopriate, summarizing how your class used Social Media to promote America’s Great Places. This must include links to tha selection of entries on Wikipedia, Gowalla, Flickr, Twitter etc. This will be submitted for consideration for publication on the following blogs: American Planning Association 2012 Conference Blog, PlaceMatters, Engaging Cities, and Planetizen and in the following newsletters Planning and Technology Today and Ohio Planner’s News for consideration for publication. The article should provide a list of the tools used (including links), a description of how these tools can be used to promote places, a summary of the impact and lessons learned. Once this blog is complete it will need to be sent to the editing team for review by Tuesday, April 10 at 8 pm.

PHASE 2: STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT

America’s Great Places Strategy: Using the work of the class in the first assignment and the impact analysis available in GoogleDocs create a summary that highlights how these social media tools can be used to highlight this highly visible and important APA program. Include a series of recommendations for how this program could be further promoted using social media.

Engaging Students Strategy: How can students be effectively engaged in the American Planning Association? What social media tools should be used to engage with students? How can APA modify its current use of these tools to more effectively reach and engage with students? Provide specific examples of how this could be achieved.

President’s Strategy: The APA President wants to be able to effectively communicate with the membership of the American Planning Association. Develop a specific strategy for how the APA President can communicate via Social Media that would require no more than one hour a week.

The deadline for completing all Phase 2 work is on Monday, April 9th at Noon. All strategy related documents should be saved as TITLEOFSTRATEGY date and name of key contact point for the team. For example, PresidentsStrategy040812JaneSmith.docx. When the file is complete, the team must notify the instructor so review of the work can begin immediately. 

PHASE 3: PRODUCTION AND DISSEMINATION

Editing: The editing team is responsible for writing the introduction for the strategy providing  a description of the effort, methods etc. The editing team is responsible for copy editing all text for the report, organizing the text into a layout ready format. The editing team is responsible for communicating with the students who prepared the text to correct any errors or provide any missing information. The complete social media strategy with all corrections addressed is due on Tuesday, April 10th at 8 am. The editing team will also be responsible for reviewing the blog/newsletter post with a deadline of Thursday, April 12 at 5 pm.

Layout and Production: The report will be prepared using an InDesign template that will be provided. The team will be responsible for preparing all charts, tables, and other graphics needed for the report. All pictures used in the report can be obtained from Flickr, using the Creative Commons search. All images must have attribution in the report. The team will be responsible for laying out all text and graphics. The social media strategy is due on Thursday, April 12 at 5 pm. A copy of the final report will be posted to this website.

Presentation to APA: This presentation will be prepared in Prezi and will be presented via an ipad. We’ll be in a small group setting and will be presenting directly to APA staff and leadership. We will discuss the appropriate delivery mechanism once the audience is clearly defined. The presentation team will prepare a Prezi (ask the instructor for the login and password) and write a script of the presentation. The presentation is to be no more than 15 minutes in length. It should have the following organization 1) A summary of APA’s current outreach and what’s working 2) A summary of the stakeholder input 3) Recommendations for the President’s Social Media Strategy 4) Recommendations for using social media with students and 5) A summary of the Great Places effort of the students and recommendations for the future. Template graphics will be provided. The presentation and report team should coordinate to develop the graphics needed to support both products (for example, charts). All pictures used in the presentation can be obtained from Flickr, using the Creative Commons search. All images must have attribution in the presentation. The presentation is due on Thursday, April 12 at 5 pm.

Pecha Kucha to APA Audience:  The team will provide a powerpoint presentation and a script. This will be a large group setting presenting as part of the “Fast, Funny, and Passionate” session at the APA Conference. As the session title indicates, this presentation must be humorous. Your instructor will be delivering the speech with passion, but this team must make the presentation funny. This session is typically attended by hundreds of APA members. The presentation should cover 1) An introduction to your class 2) An introduction to the Great Places program 3) How your class used social media to promote Great Places 4) The results of assignment 1 5) Advice for planners on using social media. The title of the presentation will be “Pin, Post, Push to Promote Planning”. The presentation will be 7 minutes long. The powerpoint must have each slide set for automatic slide changing every 20 seconds. The presentation must be exactly 21 slides. Pace your presentation so there is a comfortable amount of narrative in a 20 second slot. A powerpoint template has been provided in the class dropbox. You will prepare a script for the presentation that will be approximately 1,400 words in length, divided into 20 seconds for each slide (the instructor has posted into the class dropbox her script and powerpoint from last year’s APA conference as an example). Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse again to get the pacing right for each slide. Each slide should focus on one idea and should be limited to one image (two may be possible). If text is absolutely necessary no more than six words should appear on the slide. Most slides should only have one picture. (see example in the drop box, a training video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGaCLWaZLI4&context=C3793dbbADOEgsToPDskIHUlHfdkKJQmMdT2c1yyx  see an example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0dxnrx4bGM) Humor should be inserted carefully. You can use humor by finding funny examples of social media, humorous comments posted by the class, or inserting a bit of sarcasim when discussing the evaluation. For example, one of your class readings pokes fun at Pinterest. You could for example open with a humorous quote describing Pinterest and then shift to how the class actually used it to promote planning. This presentation will be in a large room, so make certain the slides will read clearly at the back of the room. You can check this by stepping back ten feet from the PowerPoint on your computer screen. If you can read it from ten feet, the audience in the back of the session room will also be able to read it. All images, screenshots etc must be credited. Credit the author or creator using a text box in your presentation at the bottom of the image. Include the author/creator’s name and organization. See the session manual at http://www.planning.org/conference/participants/pdf/fastfunny.pdf for guidelines for the presentation. The presentation is due on Monday, April 9 at 5 pm (APA requires upload by the 10th at the latest). Your instructor will be delivering the presentation and may make some modifications based on her speed of speech. A copy of this presentation will be posted to http://www.slideshare.net.

If you have any questions or difficulties, feel free to arrange an appointment, email, or tweet. Also see the links posted on the resources page.

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