Digital Leadership – Onboarding Technologies into Organizational Culture

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.

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Why Academics Must Use Social Media

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.

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Reflections on the ANZSSA Conference in Auckland, New Zealand

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.

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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:

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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

Jisc

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.