New York, NY March 10, 2011 - Universities have been slow to adapt to the growing pervasiveness of social networking technologies. In fact, today’s college students have mastered social networking technologies, which permeates their everyday lives, except when it comes to interacting with their university… until now.
Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University, in Hoboken, New Jersey, one of the foremost technology universities in the country, has changed that and launched a campaign to use social networking to engage the various constituents at the University. Stevens wanted to go beyond just “socially networking” with their students; the Administration wanted to get the students involved and contributing on day-to-day issues.
In order to accomplish these goals, Stevens created the Stevens Idea Initiative, powered by ID8 Systems, www.id8systems.com. ID8 Systems, a start-up company spun-out from Stevens-based research, is a premier provider of Social Productivity solutions for the corporate, government and educational market.
According to Howard Schechter, President and CEO of ID8 Systems, “Stevens wanted to provide the same ability as corporations, to engage students, faculty, alumni or the administration in collaborative problem-solving and idea generation.” In use, ID8 breaks down the silos between faculty, students, the administration and alumni by creating a networked organization that promotes idea collaboration. ID8allows a work group of users to invite and collaborate with their peers on solving day-to-day activities, bypassing threaded emails or expensive and time-consuming ‘brainstorming’ sessions. ID8 increases user’s productivity by allowing users to collaborate in a virtual 24 x 7 work space. The system also allows for organization-wide engagement on innovation or idea challenges, such as the Stevens Idea Initiative.
The Stevens Idea Initiative began on November 1, 2010 with two challenges, one directed to the undergraduate students and faculty and the second directed to faculty only. The Idea Initiative was viral within 12 hours of the launch. Dr. George P. Korfiatis, Provost & Interim President of Stevens stated: "Students and faculty reacted extremely enthusiastically to the Stevens Idea Initiative for the initial two campaigns. Powered by ID8 Systems, the Stevens Idea Initiative facilitates the creation and prioritization of ideas across the constituencies of the University. Participation exceeded our expectation with 40% of our students and faculty participating in the first idea challenge. Students are especially thrilled that their ideas count and are part of the shared governance at Stevens."
The first challenges lasted for six weeks and closed at the end of the fall semester. The Idea Initiative produced 193 unique ideas, with more than 3,000 comments posted by the participants. Using ID8’s patent pending crowd sourcing methodology, the users were able to rate the value of the ideas to Stevens. Ultimately, 3 of the top 10 ideas were selected for implementation.
What contributed to the success at Stevens was a dedicated group of students and faculty, the Student/Faculty Alliance (SFA), who were responsible for the project from start to finish. Stevens’ IT department was also instrumental in this project, as ID8 was interfaced to the University population via Stevens’ Shibboleth® implementation. The Shibboleth System is a standards-based, open source software package for web single sign-on across or within organizational boundaries. It allows sites to make informed authorization decisions for individual access of protected online resources in a privacy-preserving manner.
“Students have become accustomed to using social networking and informal collaboration,” said Mr. Schechter. “ID8 is a purpose-built social network that lends itself to collaborative environments such as a university. When introduced to an astute user community, such as university students, with directed campaigns, ID8 was able to produce some significantly overwhelming results. And the crowd was able to identify the best ideas for implementation. The students, faculty, staff and administration are also looking forward to using the ID8 work group collaboration functions commencing in the spring semester to be able to engage a selected group to participate in day-to-day challenges.”
“Social networking has changed the way we all interact. Social Productivity is the next logical step in using collaboration tools to engage users in increasing the productivity of an organization. This applies not only to corporations, but to Government and Educational Institutions. We believe that the Stevens Idea Initiative, powered by ID8, represents the future of how universities will interact with its constituents,” concluded Mr. Schechter.
About ID8 Systems
ID8 is a premier provider of Social Productivity solutions used by corporations, the government and educational institutions to create a networked organization that fosters innovative collaboration among the various constituents. ID8 increases the productivity or the organization by facilitating collaboration on DAY TO DAY work group issues as well as organization wide Innovation processes. For information about ID8, call 917-838-3907 or email visit us on the web and request a demonstration at www.id8systems.com
About Stevens Institute of Technology
Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research. The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.
Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, masters, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts. Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,350 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world. Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/news.