It’s been ages since I updated my blog. I guess having two kids has prioritized my time just a bit.
The last post on this blog was back in 2019 when I wrote about our move from the United Kingdom to the United States.
And then the pandemic struck a year after we had moved.
One of these days I’ll get around to writing something about my move from being a freelance consultant (9 years!) to being a vice president for two different edtech companies and then leaving my last role in order to be a full-time parent to my two kids.
But this post is really more about our news from 2022…when we moved to the Netherlands.
3 countries in 3 years. Just a quick update. Nothing fancy or in-depth. Back to part-time freelancing for me whilst Gillian is full-time freelancing with her writing business.
We’re learning Dutch and making friends from around the world who have settled in the Randstad. With more than 1,500 miles (2400+ km) on the bakfiets (Dutch cargo bike), we are cycling daily and enjoying life.
Just a quick life update. We’re moving back to the United States in April. It’s been a big decision for sure as we’ve made a lot of great friends during our time in the UK and it’s a fantastic place to live. However, with family being mostly located in the States and a little one who loves his grandparents, it makes the best sense for us at this time to make the big move back across the pond.
That said, I’ll be booking speaking/consulting engagements with conferences, universities/colleges, and companies starting up in May.
My current topics for digital engagement presentations, sessions, and/or keynotes: using social media to enhance the student experience, leadership, career development, research impact, organizational change and for teaching/learning.
For more info on my work, please check out my bio/testimonials page as well as a list of my previous clients.
When I was a college student, there were times when I skipped out on buying a required textbook for a course. Finances were always tight, so I tried to balance my checkbook with buying actual books. Even then, textbooks weren’t cheap. Today, students are paying more and more for their higher education experience. If a university can find ways to make attending college more affordable, accessible, and “high-tech/high-touch”, well, it’s not really an option, it’s a necessity.
Today’s technology makes it easy to distill course materials into digital formats and enhances them as a result. Colleges and universities are quickly shifting from books to bytes to improve the student experience and boost course outcomes.
Here are 10 reasons why your university should go digital with its course materials:
Continue reading 10 Reasons to Go Digital with Your Course Materials
The following is an excerpt from Chris Douce’s review of my keynote “How digital engagement enhances the student experience” presented at the Higher Education Academy’s HEA 2017 Annual conference: Generation TEF.
The opening keynote was by Eric Stoller. Eric has built a consultancy about using technology and social media to create digital engagement, with a particular emphasis on higher education.
I’ve noted that Eric said that there are social media skeptics and that social media is a subject that can be polarising. There was the suggestion that social media is all about learning, and the learning doesn’t stop when students leave the classroom. A point I noted was ‘life-long learning should be at the heart of the experience’; this is especially interesting since the life-long learning agenda within my own institution has been fundamentally impoverished due to government increases of tuition fees. It is now harder to study for an entirely different qualification, or to study a module or two with the intention of developing skills that are important in the workplace.
Continue reading How Digital Engagement Enhances the Student Experience
Audio from a podcast interview that I did with the Efficiency Exchange back in April at Jisc‘s DigiFest event. I had a cold, hence the reason why my voice is a bit off. Hope you enjoy this quick clip.
If you’re interested in all things related to university enrollment, admissions, and recruitment, I would recommend reading the Enrollment Growth Playbook from Helix Education.
Here’s my take on the playbook from earlier this year:
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.
Recently, the team at Helix Education contacted me about a new interactive game-based version of the Enrollment Growth Playbook.
Continue reading Enrollment Growth Hero
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