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 werenâ€™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 â€œhigh-tech/high-touchâ€, well, itâ€™s not really an option, itâ€™s a necessity.
Today’s technology makes it easy to distill course materials into digital formats and enhances them as a result.Â 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
There are a lot of digital champions within todayâ€™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 servicesâ€¦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 â€œincrease learner satisfaction and retention, widen participation and potentially reduce costs.â€ 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 itâ€™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, itâ€™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
Slides and description from my keynote talk last month at the University of Greenwich Academic Practice and Technology (APT) Conference:
Are we really â€œpost digital?â€ when we are still having to teach the â€œwhyâ€ and â€œhowâ€ of digital engagement?
It seems like the gap that weâ€™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 â€œacross the pondâ€ 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
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.
Lifelong learning is exciting. The constant ebb and flow of learning new things makes each day an adventure. If you don’t have time to learn, are you really living? What message are you sending out to your kids, your spouse, your co-workers, your friends, or anyone else that matters to you when you say that you “don’t have time to learn how to do ______?” Remember, learning is lifelong. Learning never stops.