Traversing Engagement, Experience, Teaching, and Learning

Slides and description from my keynote talk last month at the University of Greenwich Academic Practice and Technology (APT) Conference:

Are we really “post digital?” when we are still having to teach the “why” and “how” of digital engagement?

It seems like the gap that we’re trying to bridge is more about organizational culture than technological challenge. Our new normal is all about engagement. Assuming we have the capability, we just need a shift in our motivations and expectations.

In 2016 (and beyond), Universities and Colleges are shifting towards a market in education in which teaching, learning, employability, student experience, and digital engagement is the epicentre. Providing a balance of views, hope, digital best practice, and “across the pond” comparison, this keynote will set the tone for a day designed to both enhance and challenge our digital capabilities.

Tweets from attendees:

Continue reading Traversing Engagement, Experience, Teaching, and Learning

Crafting a consultancy

What I’ve been up to…

Blogging, tweeting, learning, running, writing, reading, listening, cooking, speaking, volunteering, traveling, consulting, and sleeping.

It’s been 8’ish months since I last gave an update on the blog. Once again, I’ve been quite busy (in a good way). In fact, being busy as a consultant is always a good thing. I’ve spoken at events all over the UK, gave a keynote to an international audience in Mallorca, Spain, and traveled back to the United States to consult with two of my favorite higher education clients.

By the way, as I am constantly crafting my consultancy, here’s my latest description on what I do for a living:

I teach individuals and organizations (usually universities and colleges, but sometimes businesses too) how to communicate more effectively using digital channels. Effective communication via social media includes all things related to marketing, recruitment, student engagement/experience, career development, alumni relations, identity development, “customer” service, teaching/learning, and organizational change.

[Complete list of consulting/speaking engagements thus far for 2016]

Lastly, I have to give a huge shout-out to Jisc for inviting me to speak at their annual DigiFest conference in Birmingham. Definitely one of the neatest events that I’ve ever been to…so much technology!

Student Services, Social Media, Yik Yak, and Engagement


One of the first UK higher education organizations that I found whilst researching UK HE + technology was Jisc. After attending a couple of their events and connecting with their social media team, I was invited to share my thoughts on social media, student services, Yik Yak, and digital engagement. Here are excerpts and links to those posts:

Enhancing student services with digital engagement

Student services teams that capitalise on the reach and utility of digital channels have an opportunity to enhance their work, create campus connections, and lead the way for successful student experiences.

Yik Yak – the rise of anonymous geo-social connectivity

For now, Yik Yak is the dominant player in the anonymous geo-social mobile app space. Educators should learn how to use Yik Yak today as preparation for the next big thing. I’ve been posting, up-voting, and down-voting on Yik Yak. Sure, the anonymous aspect is a bit different compared to my preferred social media channels, but at least I can be confident that I’m engaging in lifelong learning in the digital realm.

Why educators can’t live without social media

There are enhanced educational opportunities that come from getting digital. Educators who are student-focused will always be ready for the challenges of the present and the opportunities of the future. It’s up to institutions to provide support, resources, and rewards to those who are using social media to benefit the learners that they serve. So let’s get digital in order to get learning.

Catching Up on Inside Higher Ed

Student Affairs and Technology at Inside Higher Ed

Being a blogger for Inside Higher Ed (IHE) has been one of the greatest opportunities in my professional career. Thus far, as the Student Affairs and Technology blogger, I’ve written 346 blog posts in 5 years. The site and its team of reporters, bloggers, and editors is a constant source of camaraderie and support…and when you’re an independent consultant, it’s nice to have at least some connections to a regular business/journalistic operation.

As previously mentioned, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog (today being the exception as I’ve been cranking out post after post after…you get the idea), I wanted to share several of my most recent IHE posts on this blog because I think it’s always a good idea to let one blog know what the other blog is doing…especially when you’re the author. So, get ready, because this is going to be a long post…seriously, this a good one:

Social Media Questions and Answers
Social Media Questions and Answers

CSSA 599 sounds like the name of a new droid for the new Star Wars movie. However, CSSA 599 is a special topics class at Oregon State University. Recently, students from the class tweeted a series of questions about social media/technology and invited me to respond. Giving answers in 140 character bursts makes you be extremely concise with your responses. After ruminating on their tweets/questions, I decided to write up some longer responses.

Pass the cast with Periscope
Pass the Cast Using Periscope

When Periscope came on the social media scene a mere 7 months ago, they made quite a splash. Acquired by Twitter before their official launch, Periscope (a direct competitor with Meerkat) is all about live-streaming mobile video with a social media twist.

Hello is a reintroduction
Hello is a Reintroduction

Sometimes you just need to say “hello.” From Apple to Adele, hello is oftentimes a reintroduction. Lately, it’s been an interesting professional exercise. When work takes you to multiple countries, colleges, universities, departments, disciplines, topics, etc., the act of saying “hello” and filling in the blanks of “what is it that you do?” takes a bit more time/effort than it did when titles were familiar and employment wasn’t the “self.”

Observations From the Frat Subreddit
Observations From the Frat Subreddit

Recently, I’ve been observing the r/Frat subreddit. It’s a fascinating space on reddit. If you work in student affairs, especially Greek Life / Fraternity Sorority Life (FSL), I would suggest that you take a look. The comments/posts are a melange of good, bad, and ugly.

Digital Identity Dev is a Process
Digital Identity Dev is a Process

Our digital identities matter. What we post, share, say, upload, snap, and tweet represents our digital identity. It’s our online presence.

Getting Digital is Required
Getting Digital is Required

When every individual in an organization gets digital, the entire organization benefits. In higher education, being digitally capable has to be required. Most students are paying a lot of money for their higher education. They deserve a tremendous experience. It’s unacceptable for anyone who works in higher education to be anti-technology or digitally underdeveloped. Get digital or get out of the way.

Why Digital Identity Matters: Strategies and Concepts for Student Services

AMOSSHE digital identity webinar

UPDATED: See below for the full video of the webcast as well as the slide deck from the presentation.

I’ve been working with AMOSSHE – the UK’s Student Services Association – to put on a series of continuing professional development webinars (in the UK, professional development is typically called “CPD”).

More than 100 attendees participated in the first webinar that I did with AMOSSHE…and we’re going to do the exact same webinar one more time to make sure that everyone gets a chance to participate (and because the recording didn’t work* during round #1).

The webinar is happening on Thursday, December 3, 2015 and is titled: Why Digital Identity Matters: Strategies and Concepts for Student Services

This free interactive webinar for Student Services professionals explores how you can use social media to improve student engagement and enhance the student experience. The session helps you develop a strategic communications framework, and identifies tools, sites and apps for social media success.

***Register for the webinar***

More info about the webcast:

Continue reading Why Digital Identity Matters: Strategies and Concepts for Student Services

7 Months is a Good Thing

It’s been 7 months since my last post on this blog. Of course, this is a good thing. Why? Well, it means that life has been quite busy with all sorts of things. Working in the US and the UK has kept me quite busy. When all is said and done for the year, I will have taken 3 epic consulting trips to the US and managed to establish/grow a consulting/speaking presence in the UK. And, I’ve been writing a lot for Inside Higher Ed.

Thankfully, virtual content delivery has been an effective way for me to “present” at US-based events as well as take on work with US clients in a way that doesn’t have me taking too many flights.

The past 7 months has been filled with learning as much as possible about UK higher education via in-person conversations, social media engagement, and reading everything in sight. Of course, I’m also still continuously plugged-in to everything that’s happening in US higher education.

Eric and Gillian

Additionally, Gillian and I have had several opportunities to travel in Europe (Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and France) and we even ran our first half-marathon in October…In case you’re wondering, the Cardiff Half Marathon is a wonderful event. So, apologies for being a bit less active on this blog.

My bio page as well as my speaking/consulting page are always up-to-date.

Getting Connected to UK Higher Education

Eric Stoller is learning about UK higher education using social media

My latest post for Inside Higher Ed tells the story about how I’ve been using social media to learn about UK higher education.

Consulting, Speaking, and Writing in the United Kingdom

Eric Stoller speaking to 1200 people at the NODA Annual Conference

Thrilled to be able to announce that I am now able to work in the United Kingdom as a higher education consultant. My wife and I relocated to London and are loving life in a new country/city. Looking forward to continuing to work with clients in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Higher education in the United Kingdom is in an interesting place when it comes to social media / digital identity and I hope to continue building upon the work that I’ve been doing in North America for the past decade.