The Commodore 64 was a magical device. When I was a kid, the “C64” was my initial experience with a computer. I typed papers for class (printing them out on a dot matrix printer), played a few rudimentary games (high tech back then!) and even managed to dabble a bit with programming. I was excited for the future of technology…the hype of what was yet to come.
While “technology hype” is often criticized, I am as excited today about the prospects of new technologies as when I was learning how to use the now ancient C64. For example, while watching an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, I learned that there are plans to create tiny space probes powered by lasers that can go almost 167,654,157 miles per hour. That’s technology that gets me hyped. It’s science (almost) fiction today that will be our reality in the near future.
So how does this connect to higher education? Commodore 64s, space probes, etc? It’s all about a sense of experimentation, trying to do things that weren’t possible before something was invented that now lets us do something new…or better. In higher education, we aren’t always the most high-tech. However, we do interface with a massive amount of technologies that create opportunities to enhance student success.
Continue reading Tech Hype: Emerging Technologies are Our Future
When I was a graduate student at Oregon State University my assistantship supervisor/mentor would always talk about Hobsons as the go-to provider for high level thinking and strategy about enrollment management. Now that they’ve purchased Starfish Retention Solutions, Hobsons is not only a major player in the recruitment and admissions space in HE, but they are also capable of delivering the latest technologies for student success and academic advising.
Last year, I had the opportunity to speak at my first Hobsons event. Here’s a breakdown of some of the concepts/ideas/thoughts that I spoke about:
Continue reading Digital Leadership and Listening: Process, Time, and Role Modeling
There are a lot of digital champions within today’s higher education landscape. And, some of these champions are leaders. They tend to show, rather than tell, how technology can be used within a variety of contexts.
Being a digital leader requires an understanding of leadership fundamentals as well as a big picture view of existing technologies. Leading and learning in the digital world requires nuance, experience, and a willingness to try new things.
Social media, predictive analytics, information systems/portals, virtual/augmented reality content/hardware, mobile apps, early warning systems, cloud-based services…the list of technologies that intersect with digital leadership is practically endless.
Continue reading Digital Leadership – Onboarding Technologies into Organizational Culture
We sleep next to them. We carry them around with us wherever we go. We use them for social interaction, classroom polls, information gathering, navigation, entertainment, translation, coursework, payments, augmented reality (AR), research, virtual reality (VR), media making, etc. Mobile technologies offer up countless functionalities for learners and academics.
In higher education, mobile learning can “increase learner satisfaction and retention, widen participation and potentially reduce costs.” Mobile technologies can also enhance the student experience, connect learners with advisors, and provide conduits for peer-to-peer engagement.
Continue reading Learning and Connecting on the Go – How Mobile Technologies are Changing Higher Education
Sometimes it’s worthwhile to create a post that spans a variety of inter-related topics as a way of sharing a collection of ideas. When I was outlining this piece, I was struck by the seemingly disparate lens in which these topics are often looked at from an institutional perspective. However, with a deeper glance, it’s the connections between these areas that are the strands that form essential aspects of the student experience.
Continue reading Student Success, Retention, and Employability – Getting Digital in a High Tech, High Touch Environment
To those who believe deeply in the power of higher education, all while tenaciously pushing for its betterment.
Enrollment management has long been one of my professional areas of interest. As a core function within higher education, enrollment growth matters. Recently I had the chance to read a new book on this particular subject from Helix Education.
The Enrollment Growth Playbook represents next generation thinking about how universities and colleges think about their enterprise-level goals, growth, marketing, enrollment, retention, and data intelligence.
Continue reading The Enrollment Growth Playbook
Closing out the year with a clip of an interview that I did with David Webster at the University of Gloucestershire. After giving a keynote lecture at their annual Faculty Learning & Teaching Symposium, David and I sat down for a chat about higher education, teaching, learning, and social media.
A bit of an exaggerated title on this deck, but the content/context is what matters. Presented at the University of Gloucestershire’s Faculty Learning & Teaching Symposium.
Continue reading Why Academics Must Use Social Media
The Australian New Zealand Student Services Association (ANZSSA) Annual Conference in Auckland, New Zealand was one of my favorite events of 2016. It took almost a year’s worth of planning and prep for me to make it to the Southern Hemisphere, but in the end, it was an epic conference in a wonderful city.
Special thanks to Alison Dow, Andrew Tui, and Jordi Austin for the opportunity to give multiple talks including a keynote at the event, a pre-conference workshop, and a special presentation for staff at the Unitec Institute of Technology.
I’ve included my slide decks for all three presentations at the end of this post.
Continue reading Reflections on the ANZSSA Conference in Auckland, New Zealand
It’s amazing what we can do with a series of ones and zeroes. Modern technologies consisting of databases connected to interfaces that deliver functionalities that improve our day to day lives. The creative and imaginative ways in which we make meaning, offer services, engage, and even make predictions for future success are all predicated on a variety of technology-based solutions. In higher education, our use of technology has always run in step with the world around us. From the days of old when punch cards held reams of research to the present day when information is stored in data-rich, mobile accessible clouds, the student experience is directly connected to an institution’s technology.
Continue reading Digital Engagement – How Technology Enhances the Student Experience
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