Introducing CTS Connect
Posted: February 02nd, 2014
Introducing CTS Connect:
A CTS-Wide Social and Academic Networking Tool
CTS Connect is a social and academic networking platform, designed exclusively for the current members of CTS: students, faculty and staff. CTS Connect lives true to CTS’ commitment to building a strong community where honest and compassionate dialogues are generated beyond the boundaries of classes, distance, and on-campus/online modalities.
Isn’t It Just Another Facebook?
In some ways, it is. And frankly, not as sophisticated or convenient as some of the major social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter. We don’t have a mobile app for CTS Connect…just as yet. Oh, and CTS Connect requires you to create yet another username and password.
Then Why Should I Join?
We probably have all watched Saturday Night Live. We probably have shopped at major grocery chains. But it’s the home video of your 2-year old niece that will put a more genuine smile on your face. And perhaps it’s when your neighborhood grocery store cashier calls you by your first name that you feel at home.
CTS Connect sets out to do just that. It paves the road to building a strong and caring community where people know each other, and work together to generate thoughts, conversations, and resources that are meaningful and relevant to us (rather than anyone else) at CTS.
What Can I Do on CTS Connect?
- Engage in thematic conversations
Each month will have a particular theme, around which Featured Posts will be created. You can share your insights about the Featured Posts by posting comments and seeing how others engage those comments. The themes for the month will be determined on the basis of what the most current and relevant issues are at CTS. The first month’s theme is “Let’s Connect!” which celebrates the birth of CTS Connect, and highlights the varied ways in which different people at CTS make connections to our seminary and to people within it.
- Continue discussions
In the past, we have received so many requests to create a forum where people can continue on powerful discussions that occurred at events like the Orientation Retreat, Spring Colloquium, Convocation and others. Now that we have CTS Connect, these discussions can continue on beyond the time and space limits.
- Create groups, make friends, and share resources
One of the most powerful features of CTS Connect is that anyone who has an account can freely create groups and invite people to them. If you’re a member (or leader) of a student organization or peer-mentoring group, go right ahead and create that group on CTS Connect. If you’d like to start a discussion group on a particular topic that is meaningful to you, you can create a group for that, too. Or if you simply want to start a knitting group to share ideas and resources, you can do that as well. Within groups, you can share documents, announcements, file attachments and more.
- Browse events and be ready
All of CTS upcoming events will be posted under the dedicated “Events” menu. These events will even have a direct link to the CTS Connect discussion group pertaining to the event. If you’re interested in becoming a leader of any of groups for upcoming CTS events, go ahead and create that group and reserve the leader role for yourself!
The Fine Print
Because we want CTS Connect to be a place where open and honest conversations happen, we need to be honest about the catch, too. First, CTS Connect is based on an open-source platform, which allows us to customize CTS Connect in ways that works best for us. But the caveat is that every now and then, we may run into some technical glitches. For example, you can’t post a photo on your personal space (equivalent to Facbook’s Wall). Second, CTS Connect may not look and feel as polished as Pinterest. But our promise is that we will keep improving the functionality and the appearance of it, while you are contributing to generating discussions.
Ok, I’m Interested. What Should I Do To Start Using CTS Connect?
- Go to connect.ctschicago.edu and click the “register” button.
- Sign up with your CTS email address.
CTS Connect is a tool that is meant to benefit only the members of the CTS Community, so this username and email requirement allows us to verify the eligible users.
- Start browsing groups, friends, Feature Posts, and other posts, and even more posts. Start making groups, friending people, and commenting everywhere.
- And REMEMBER: CTS Connect is only as good as you, and more of you, and even more of you join and start generating conversations. So, please go ahead and sign up!
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