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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
— Jisc (@Jisc) March 2, 2016
— Eric Stoller (@EricStoller) March 2, 2016
Update: My slides are now embedded at the bottom of this post.
On Friday, December 11 I’m speaking at Princeton University as a featured speaker for Princeton’s Social Media Day. My talk will be on “Why Your Digital Identity Matters*.” Additionally, I’m participating on a panel on social media and journalism for media makers on Thursday, December 10th. This will be my second time visiting Princeton University as a speaker and I’m excited to get to come back to share my thoughts with Princeton’s staff, students, and faculty.
Social Media Day at Princeton University is a campus-wide event designed to engage, educate and empower faculty, staff, students and alumni to learn about best practices, trends, tools and tactics in the effective use of social media. The event will include prominent digital leaders and alumni, representatives from multiple social platforms and members of the University community who will facilitate discussions, panels and workshops for students, faculty and staff. A few of the topics that will be covered include:
- How to use social media effectively for personal and professional branding
- Ways you can leverage or build communities and networks
- Taking social to the next level within the Princeton community
- Using social for research, teaching, the arts, entrepreneurship and more
*More info on my Why Your Digital Identity Matters talk:
Digital communication has fundamentally altered the core tenets of professional interaction. Gone are the days when our professional and personal lives were separated into two distinct halves. Nowadays, a comprehensive digital presence showcases your ability to blend professionalism with your holistic self. Social media provide opportunities and challenges for individuals as they strive to create a personal brand that is both vulnerable, authentic, and professional.
Update: My slides from #SocMedHE15 are now included at the end of this post.
Sheffield Hallam University is hosting the Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference on 18 December 2015 (pre-conference is on 17 December). With more than 60 presenters on deck to discuss all things related to teaching, learning, engagement, and social media, this promises to be one heck of a conference.
I’ll be kicking things off on December 18th with a keynote on the disruptive nature of social media and the opportunities for extending our networks for learning.
#SocMedHE15 is about the use of social media for learning in Higher Education; it has been designed to create a forum for academics, their students, developers and strategic managers to consider the opportunities, challenges and the disruptive influence of social media for learning. The conference will be structured around three themes allowing us to explore the pedagogic possibilities of social media, as well as the strategic and operational challenges institutions face in supporting it. The title of this year’s conference is:
“Finding Our Social Identity”
Additionally, the new Star Wars movie comes out on December 18th. It’s basically going to be an epic day. Bonus Star Wars gif after the break…
Continue reading Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference #SocMedHE15
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Our digital identities matter. What we post, share, say, upload, snap, and tweet represents our digital identity. It’s our online presence.
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.