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A Year’s Worth of Social Media in Higher Education

It’s been exactly one year to the day since “social @ edu” first set out to explore social media in higher education.  Call us sentimental, but we can’t keep ourselves from thinking about all that’s happened during this time – on this blog, in social media, and in higher education.  From the incredible guests posts to Facebook going public to pressures mounting to keep tuition low while providing world class education, it’s been a tremendous ride.  Whether this is your first read of “social @ edu” or your tenth, thanks for joining us on the journey.

In the year ahead, we expect that social media will continue to be integrated deeply into higher education and will be a force in revolutionizing the way we teach and learn.  As such, we’re looking forward to continuing the conversation on this topic, with our eyes on a few specific ideas going forward:

  • MOOCs (massive open online courses) and their potential to disrupt higher education.  While it’s unclear how MOOCs will evolve, it is clear that there’s some potential in this movement.  And what about social media’s role?
  • Webinars, videos, and responsive websites.  As the need for mobile-friendly sites and on-demand learning increases, higher education needs to be aware of these things.  While we may not look at those three things as “social media,” it’s important to broaden our look at higher education to incorporate other emerging technologies as well.  Of course, social media can be a part of these too.
  • Reputation management tools for social media.  With social media, “personal” and “professional” identities are harder to separate than they are in real life.  New sites like BrandYourself, Reppler, and Qnary have come out to offer individuals suggestions or help in creating a professional online presence.  Where are the place for these going forward?  We have our career services hats on for this one.
  • Visual identity. Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram grew in popularity this past year, and their momentum is not slowing down anytime soon. How will universities address the visual demands created by these platforms as part of a modern  social media strategy?
  • International trends and best practices. Increases in student mobility, study abroad and international branch campuses have created an environment where it’s critical to collaborate with institutions around the globe. What can we learn from one another? How can we partner through social media and technology? We are excited to welcome more international perspectives here, and identify tools to facilitate these partnerships.

And, of course, we’re looking forward to talking with you, on and offline.  We’ve been fortunate to meet, consult, and speak with many of you since the start of this blog.  We’d love to keep that going, and invite you to contact us anytime.

If you know us at all, you knew this was coming… what do you think?  What are ideas in social media and higher education you are thinking about for the year ahead?  Maybe we can tackle them together!

Thank you for your readership, your comments, and for inspiring us to keep moving forward.  We look forward to more of it all with you.

Kevin & Shannon

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