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Smart Communities Initiative

Erin Garty, PhD student in Learning Environments and Educational Studies, was given an Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Graduate Research and Service at the Second Annual Kickoff Breakfast for Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week.

“This award was unexpected but much appreciated, and I would like to thank Lisa Yamagata-Lynch and Kelly Ellenburg for giving me the opportunity to work with them on a Smart Communities Initiative service learning project.” – Garty

Garty was nominated by associate professor, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, who highlighted her efforts with the Smart Communities Initiative (SCI). Garty and classmates worked to determine how to ethically obtain electronic and non-electronic citizen input for the city of Cleveland to use for planning purposes. Garty compiled individual team reports from peers and then spent many hours after the course was over to prepare and design the report for publication. For more information about this experience, please refer to the story “SCI Ethical Needs Report Published.”

The Ethical Needs for Collecting Citizen Input for Future Planning in Cleveland, TN report has been published.

Ethical Needs Analysis for Collecting Citizen Input poster at at SCI End of Year Showcase links to URL of report.

In the summer of 2014, nine students enrolled in Lisa Yamagata-Lynch’s Professional Ethics in Instructional Technology course joined the inaugural Smart Communities Initiative (SCI). The students had diverse backgrounds and represented the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. During the semester, they worked in small groups, had classroom discussions, and collaborated with the Cleveland city planners to conduct an ethical needs analysis for collecting citizen input.

In April of 2015, Yamagata-Lynch, associate professor, and Erin Garty, master’s student presented the findings from the course were presented at the SCI End of Year Showcase. Yamagata-Lynch and Garty explained that the fundamental ethical concerns included equitable access, anonymity and online community behaviors, ownership and copyright, and policy-related issues such as privacy and security. The report holds many recommendations, resources, and options all tailored to the needs of Cleveland. Garty was charged with creating the actual report, and said her greatest challenge was pulling together contributions from multiple voices and turning it into a cohesive report with a single voice.

“Writing this report provided me the experience of working with multiple stakeholders that added to what I believe I gained the most – practical real-world experience.” – Erin Garty

For additional information please see previous post – Instructional Technology partners with the City of Cleveland.

Nine Instructional Technology students worked collaboratively with the city of Cleveland, Tennessee to create an Ethical Needs Analysis Report as part of the Smart Communities Initiative (SCI).

SCI, from the Office of Service-Learning, brings faculty and students together with surrounding areas and municipal groups who focus on issues to improve the region’s environmental sustainability, economy, and social integrity.

Lisa Yamagata-LynchThrough SCI, students enrolled in Lisa Yamagata-Lynch‘s Professional Ethics in Instructional Technology summer course were able to take their academic knowledge and apply it to a real-world setting. They conducted an Ethical Needs Analysis for Collecting Citizen Input in order to develop a survey to collect data for Cleveland officials that would not endanger the privacy of citizens.

Yamagata Lynch says that the final report is being prepared for Cleveland and she hopes to share it soon, provided it is a public document.