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!

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.

Get Digital or Get Out of the Way: Overcoming Our Collective Fear of Technology

NASPA - Get Digital

December 8, 2015 at 1:00pm ET.

***Registration and more information***

Inspired by my “Get Digital” post, I’ve asked three amazing higher education leaders to give their thoughts on why student affairs is so afraid of technology…from social media, to hiring decisions, to the future of the profession, this panel is going to cover a lot of ground and cause some radical critical thinking to take place!

This panel discussion features three higher education/student affairs experts and will cover key issues in how student affairs practitioners construct, create, and manage technology-related projects, strategic communications, and digital initiatives.

Technology and social media are essential components for today’s student affairs practitioner. However, fear of technology and/or a lack of competency can lead to issues with efficiency, communications, action, success, and organizational development.

This panel will make you think about the future of student affairs and engage your critical thinking skills via intellectual prognostication of the following topics:
Continue reading Get Digital or Get Out of the Way: Overcoming Our Collective Fear of Technology

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

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.

Family Weekend at the University of Miami

Eric Stoller speaking at the University of Miami

People often ask me what I do for a living. Realizing that I probably don’t tell that part of my story very well, I’ve decided to post every now and then about what I’m up to as it relates to my work. Most of my speaking and consulting endeavors are the result of grass roots “promotion.” Whenever I speak in front of a large group of students, staff, faculty, family members (not my family, however, that would be pretty interesting), and/or industry leaders, I’m effectively showcasing my ability to educate and inform. This usually leads to future invitations to speak at events/schools/businesses.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at Family Weekend at the University of Miami as their keynote speaker. With a room full of parents and family members (and a few students), I gave a talk on social media, digital identity, career development, and thinking before you post/share/tweet/snap/etc.

My talk at the University of Miami included references to / examples of items from Twitter, reddit, Snapchat, Yik Yak, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.

My next gigs include consulting visits to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a keynote address at the NODA Annual Conference.

On “Side Hustles” and Being Your Own Boss

podcast with Eric Stoller

Every time I make it “around the horn” to celebrate another successful year of consulting, speaking, and writing, I get a bit reflective about the journey. As if on cue, Dustin Ramsdell from the The Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast, invited me to do an interview about my endeavors.

Here’s the full audio interview where I go into detail about my journey as a student affairs professional / higher education consultant. I manage to throw in some thoughts on work/life balance as well as some insight into what my typical day is all about.


Spoiler alert: life is great, work and life aren’t a dichotomy, and it’s been 4 years since I started doing this work full-time. Thanks Dustin for giving me some time on your show.

[image credit]