Wednesday, 23 December 2015

PhD student article among most popular post in LSE Impact Blog’s 2015 Year-In-Review

Between January and December 2015 the LSE Impact blog received over 1 million unique page hits and has released its most popular posts this year. Among the top 5 most viewed articles this year is a post by PhD student Wasim Ahmed, from the Information School. The post proved to be very popular among the social media research community, and has strengthened relationships between the Information School and industry providers of social media data.  With over a million page views this year and over 28 thousand followers on Twitter, Wasim noted that the LSE impact blog is a fantastic place to disseminate research.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

PhD student Alexandra Boutopoulou interviewed about social media on ITV News Calendar


ITV News Calendar has recently reached a milestone of 100,000 likes on their Facebook page, an occasion that offered a good opportunity to discuss a bit more about the popularity and influence of social media.
 

In the UK, more than seven in ten (72%) Internet users have a social media profile and 81% of them use it at least once a day. Indeed, the numbers reflect the fact that the popularity of social media is now well established. But there are wider issues that are increasingly getting more attention and worth exploring in further detail here. Below I outline four key issues:
 

1. Data privacy and ethics issues concern users more than ever before
Users’ concerns about data privacy, the control they have over personal information, how this information is used by third parties or how social media data is collected and used for research purposes has become a significant issue. It is true that the very nature of social media encourages sharing of information and network building. Often enough, social media users out of fear of missing out, or for the sake of their own popularity might be willing to share large amounts of personal or sensitive personal data, without realizing that in the hands of third parties such data might easily be misused without their full consent. But concerns about privacy, especially among teens, might also influence usage. Research and reports show that especially younger audiences are particularly cautious with social media and demonstrate high levels of understanding of their privacy settings.

2. A smartphone society
Two thirds of UK adults (66%) use smartphones. These have now overtaken laptops as UK’s Internet users most preferred device. Users tend to check very often their social media newsfeeds so they can be to be constantly updated about what’s happening in the world. As their newsfeed becomes the focus of their attention, they transform themselves into a certain type of editors of their own content. This might not only influence their behaviour but also their approach to the world around them or their own responsibility towards information sharing.

3. Towards a more visual social media web
In an information over-loaded world, images are much easier to navigate and technology has driven the transition towards a more visual social media web (especially through mobile devices). In 2014 Mary Meeker (in her annual Internet Trends report) highlighted that 1.8 billion images were now being uploaded and shared every day on Flickr, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. Images not only allow for a much richer and quicker way of communication, but they also offer valuable insights into how users see the world and what is important for them.

4. Teens’ behaviour can show future trends and alter social media strategy
Born and grown up in a digital age, teenagers demonstrate a radically different behaviour than older generations. Although teenagers might speak a language relatively unknown to the majority of adults, they can shape the social media market and form the future of technology consumption. Facebook’s recent virtual reality developments for example, aim at younger audiences with an interest in sharing not only just information, but also experiences anywhere in the world.
 

Author: Alexandra Boutopoulou, PhD student in the Visual Social Media Lab.
Alexandra Boutopoulou receives funding for her PhD from the ESCR and Food Standards Agency, as part of the ‘Big Data and Food Safety network’, led by Farida Vis.

Alexandra’s appearance on ITV’s Calendar can be watched here.


Gianluca Demartini published in the The Conversation

Dr Gianluca Demartini, Senior Lecturer in Data Science at the Information School has been published in The Conversation. Gianluca's article entitled 'Clinton-Sanders data breach spat goes to the heart of modern campaigning' highlights the significance of data management in US electoral campaigning. How voter data is utilised to better understand the electorate and help campaigners craft their speeches as well as facilitating more targeted advertising and seeking prospective donors is explained. In addition, Gianluca highlights potential problems in using big data but explains how the use of this data may benefit the voter.

Information School Staff and Students Raise Money for Sheffield Food Bank

On 18 December 2015 the Information School held the 'Christmas: A beginner's guide' event to learn about the traditions of Christmas from around the world.


 
Staff and students discovered the Christmas traditions of Mexico, Italy, Cyprus and the UK. As well as sampling traditional Christmas foods, staff and students raised over £49.00 for Sheffield Food Banks. Many thanks to all who attended the event and made a donation.

Monday, 21 December 2015

iSchool PhD student helps deliver workshop at the Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference (#SocMedHE15)


On 17 December 2015 Kandy Woodfield (Head of Social Sciences at the Higher Education Academy), Curtis Jessop (Senior Researcher at NatCen Social Research), and Wasim Ahmed (PhD Researcher at the Information School) delivered a successful workshop on sustaining and growing a community of practice at the Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference at Sheffield Hallam University.  

The workshop was based on the New Social Media New Social Science (NSMNSS) network which has over 4,000 lively followers across the world. A live blog and the workshop slides can be found here.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Places still available for the Information School Society's Event - Christmas: A beginner's Guide

There are still places available for the Information School Societys forthcoming event:
 
Christmas: A beginner’s guide
 
Are you curious about the traditions of Christmas in the UK and around the world?
What is the significance of Christmas?
What are the key tastes and sounds of Christmas?

This event brings together iSchool students and staff to discover more about the Christmas experience and celebrate the holiday season.

Samples of seasonal refreshments will be provided!

 
 
The event will be held on Friday, 18th December 2015 in the iSpace, Information School at 12:30 – 13.30 and we will be asking for a small donation for entry with the proceeds going to buy food for a Sheffield food bank.

Book your place here

Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Information School Society presents Christmas: A beginner's Guide

On Friday 18 December the Information School Society presents 
 
Christmas: A beginner’s guide
 
Are you curious about the traditions of Christmas in the UK and around the world?
What is the significance of Christmas?
What are the key tastes and sounds of Christmas?

This event brings together iSchool students and staff to discover more about the Christmas experience and celebrate the holiday season.

Samples of seasonal refreshments will be provided!

 
 
This event will be held in the iSpace in Information School at 12:30 – 13.30 and we will be asking for a small donation for entry with the proceeds going to buy food for a Sheffield food bank.

Book your place here

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Congratulations to the Izzy Savage who has been shortlisted for the Best Student Placement Award

Congratulations to Izzy Savage, BSc Informatics with Employment Experience, who has been shortlisted for Best Student Placement Award in the 2016 National Undergraduate Employability Student Awards following a placement year as Technical Specialist at IBM in 2014/15. This is a fantastic achievement.

"This Award celebrates the amazing contribution that students make to businesses across the UK and abroad. Our finalists have made a genuine, measurable impact to their business whilst on placement."

Izzy was involved in a number of technical and client facing projects at IBM including:
  • Demonstrating the capability of IBM’s Analytical tools to several clients including a leading UK supermarket
  • Successfully developing and demonstrating ‘art of the possible’ applications to allow clients to easily understand how IBM can solve some of their industry pain points
  • Creating an asset for client executives within the Banking and Insurance industry that aids in creating new discussions with clients
  • Creating internal education videos for IBM Industry Technical Leaders for Retail, to inform those within the industry
  • Leadership in the delivery of a three day technical Interconnect event in Madrid.
The award ceremony is February 12th, 2016. Good luck Izzy!

Pamela McKinney explores student conceptions of group work in drawing the group


Pamela McKinney of the Information School has undertaken a project, which explores student’s perceptions of group work and how they work with each other in formally assessed, and casual group work situations. In order to research this complex topic Pamela adopted the “Draw and Write” methodology first designed by Jenna Hartel from the University of Toronto to investigate student conceptions of information.


Students from across the Information School were asked to create a drawing on a square piece of paper (10cm x 10cm) called an ‘isquare’ that describes or shows their conception of a phenomena, in this case their experience of group work.  They were then asked to write a brief description on the other side of the isquare of what their drawing represents.  This unusual data collection methodology led to the creation of rich qualitative data that gave an interesting insight into what students think about group work.  This builds on Pamela’s research analysing student’s reflective writing about their experiences of working in a group.




More information on the project and analysis can be found here. The findings from the project will be reported at the 2016 University of Sheffield Learning and Teaching conference on 7 January 2016 and the SURE showcase event in February 2016.