This has been an exciting week for Tufts University Information Technology (UIT) as the UIT Spark suite of communication and collaboration tools was recognized as the winner of the 2007 Campus Technology Innovator - Social/Community Networking category.
Tufts was one of 338 institutions submitting nominations for the 13 categories in the competition. You can read a case study about Spark in the August issue of Campus Technology.. Students, faculty, staff and others in the Tufts community can currently create blogs, wikis, or asynchronous discussions with Spark, as well as syndicating podcasts from the site.
The article describes the goal of Spark as encouraging “authentic and novel academic connections across the campus community.” With the guidance of project lead David Grogan, manager of the Curricular Technology Group, Academic Technology, UIT, the team of developers chose the Movable Type blog system from Six Apart, the Confluence wiki system from Atlassian, and used the JForum discussion tool, as well as designing a podcast publication utility.
After creating a Web interface for the first four tools in the suite, the team launched the first version of Spark in September 2006.This summer the team is implementing a “variety of enhancements” that will increase usability and “make content more visible, to encourage discovery and connection-making.”