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Awesome Article Alert

Is your department on Instagram? If you’re not, you may want to consider joining because “nearly one in five adult cellphone owners uses the app”, according to One Stat that Explains Why Instagram Is Adding Ads, which came out yesterday.

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A colleague shared this stat, which comes from the Pew Internet and American Life Project (if you don’t know about this already, bookmark the site now) and it got my attention for a few reasons:

1) That is a LOT of people on Instagram.  The author, Alex Fitzpatrick, captured just why this is a big deal: “Go ask five random people with cellphones (so pretty much anybody, considering 91% of American adults own a cellphone), and at least one of them is likely to say they use Instagram.” So yeah, I agree Alex, that does explain why Instagram is adding ads.  Everyone is on there!

2) I’m a member of the Instagram-ing club.  My department launched an Instagram account this fall to share pictures of our office activities and big events.  While we’re only at 41 followers, we’re excited about the possibilities. For example, we had students share their interview outfits and tag our account to grow followers.  We had 8 students participate.  That’s not a ton, but 8 students is a solid place to start, especially when their own friends liked their Instagram photos (read: viral marketing). Now that Instagram also offers videos, we hope to capture advice from students and alums, too.

3) It’s time to get visual. Instagram helps share your department’s identity in a visual manner (as I discussed a while back in my Pinterest post). Furthermore, if you tag your photos appropriately, you can join in the institution’s identity as a whole which is good for branding, plain and simple. At my institution, I see what the main university account uses as hashtags and I make sure to include those when I post.

What are your thoughts on the Time article? Is your department or school on Instagram? We’d love to hear about your experience and see how you’re using the platform!

by Shannon

8539503475_f9140b4b42_o-5710818I’m excited to share that, earlier this month, friend and co-founder of Circa Interactive, Clayton Dean, interviewed me for an article published on the Higher Ed Marketing Journal.  The article, Social Media and Higher Education: Interview with Kevin Grubb, is live now, and my 3 key takeaways from the piece are:

1.) Social media is no longer something we have to think of an addition to the long list of responsibilities at work.  Social media is a way you can do work – whether you work in admissions, career services or as a faculty member,

2.) To stay up to date on social media, consider adding a social marketing blog or professional association to the list of readings and events to attend.  Inspiration for great ideas may come from outside of higher education.  Check out our Stuff We Like page for some of our recommendations,

3.) Social media is a means to an end, not the end itself.  Research best practices, of course, but thinking creatively about how you can use it as a tool to communicate might have you coming up with a best practice yourself.

social @ edu readers, how are you seeing social media continue to integrate into your work in higher education?

By Kevin

Photo credit: flickr.com

Over the past few weeks, I have found myself engaged in various dialogues about higher education on an international level.  This is largely related to the recent series I organized, How the Internet Changed Career, and working with schools on the other side of the pond.  Speaking of which, the first part of the series was recorded and is available here; the second part will take place this Thursday, May 2nd, for any interested career services professionals out there.  Back to the matter at hand – international students.

I came across University World News’ article this morning on Facebook,  Know your international student – Global or glocal?  It reminded me, how would you characterize international students on your campus? How has the definition changed, especially due to technology? Are they global or glocal? Technology has had a major impact on this trend because students have the ability to interact and study on an international level thanks to social media and online education, like MOOCs.

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Rahul Choudaha takes a look at the motivations and barriers to students who pursue higher education on an international level. Not surprisingly, mobility is changing based on career goals and financial resources.  Have you seen an increase among international students on your campus? Would you define them as global or glocal?  How has the climate changed?  Does technology play a role?  Would love to hear your thoughts!

by Shannon

MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are a very hot topic as of late.  It was no surprise an article on this subject came up in one of my Google alerts, and I wanted to share it with all of you today. International higher education and MOOCs are on my mind especially, as I’m currently taking a class on Coursera and developing several projects in partnership with universities abroad.

The article, Can OpenCourseWare widen Europe’s science and technology skills-base?, was written by Anka Mulder and comes from The Guardian’s Higher Education Professional Network blog (an amazing resource if you’re interested in international higher education).  Here are a few takeaways:

  • To reinvigorate an interest among women, minorities and non-traditional student groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects,  over 50 universities in the EU have partnered to create the OpenCourseWare for STEM (OCW4STEM) project.
  • The project is designed to increase access to higher education through flexible, distance learning because “online learning anonymises the classroom, allowing every learner to feel confident and secure among their peers.”   An important research finding from the US.

It will be very interesting to see how this project progresses and if it leads to an actual increase in STEM professionals.  Some questions this brings up for me are:  How does this project compare to Coursera? Will credit be given and how will that be handled across different institutions?

To read the full article, go to Can OpenCourseWare widen Europe’s science and technology skills-base?

What are you thoughts on the project and MOOCs? Would love to hear them!

by Shannon

In my LinkedIn Today feed this morning (one of my favorite places to get news & updates, by the way), I stumbled across another interesting article that takes a look at the differences in digital behavior between generations.  Some good reading to help understand how higher ed professionals (made of up of mostly older generations) and our students (in my case, thinking of “traditional age” students – millennials) communicate.  Not surprisingly, the data in the article provided some interesting reflection points for me.

Here are my 3 big takeaways:

  • Over 50% of Twitter users are millennials.  Although it started out with an older population, there’s been rapid adoption among the younger generation.  See also: my previous post on Twitter vs. Facebook & College Students
  • 1 in 5 digital video viewers is a baby boomer.  So, yes, the boomers are watching all of those funny cat videos on YouTube.  YouTube also recently announced it has 1 billion active users every month.
  • Not shockingly, mobile and smartphone usage is on the rise among all generations studied.  More and more reason to continue going mobile-friendly in everything we do.

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Some stats on digital behavior by generation from the article

For the full article, check out How Digital Behavior Differs Among Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers.

So, how are you using Twitter to engage millennials?  How are you using video to engage all of your constituents (alumni, parents, adult students)?  And, are you going mobile?  Would love to hear some examples from the higher ed community around the world.

By: Kevin

In a recent exchange of emails, I came across a SlideShare report of a study about the role and impact of social media in the admissions process for higher education.  The “2012 Social Admissions Report” conducted by Zinch and Inigral, a market leader in social enrollment management solutions for higher education, details how 7,000 college-bound high school students used social media in their college search.  Within just a few clicks, I was fascinated.  Here are my 5 most intriguing finds from the report:

  1. 71% used a mobile phone to visit a school’s website.  Is your site mobile-friendly yet?
  2. 75% “never” use Pinterest.  And yet it was named the #3 social network in 2012.  Interesting.
  3. 68% used social media to research colleges & universities.  Would love to see a year to year comparison on that stat, because I would bet my bottom dollar that percentage is growing.  Fast.
  4. Facebook was the most popular social network used to research colleges & universities.  YouTube was #2.  I previously wrote a post about the importance of YouTube in higher education.  I suspect that will continue to grow.
  5. 75% said they would join a social network created for students at the institution.  Does this mean a custom social network for just your school?  Would love to hear if anyone has one and how it works.

But that’s certainly not all of the interesting facts, so head on over to SlideShare and check out the 2012 Social Admissions Report.

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A screenshot of the 2012 Social Admissions Report on SlideShare

And for the admissions/enrollment folks out there, I found some interesting reads on Inigral’s blog about social media & admissions.  Check it out.

In what ways are you or your college/university engaging with students in the admissions process?  Share your insight with us in a Comment.  I’m curious to hear some best practices around this subject!

By Kevin

Today, my social networks were talking about President Obama’s College Scorecard tool, which he mentioned during his State of the Union address this week.  The Scorecard is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center.  It is designed to help people seeking higher education by giving them data on things like the cost to attend, average debt load of graduates, and employment opportunities for graduates of each college or university in the United States.  The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote an interesting piece on the tool, which got me looking around the web for more information.

So, what’s the source of this “Awesome Article Alert” really?  And how does this all come back to social media?  Well, as I navigated to a search, here’s what I saw on Google.

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A snapshot of Google’s homepage today, with a link to President Obama’s Google+ Hangout

So, being curious, I clicked on the link to RSVP below the search bar.  President Obama would answer my questions?  Yes, please.  Here’s where I went:

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A snapshot of the page to RSVP for President Obama’s Google+ Fireside Hangout. Click on the image to be taken to the page.

Needless to say, I am impressed.  Google+ Hangouts have so much potential, and this is one really neat way to actualize that potential.

Have you participated in a Google+ Hangout yet?  Notice any differences in how your networks use Google+?  Would love to know your thoughts in Comments.

By Kevin

There’s lots of talk these days about the need for higher education to reform.  From concerns about the return on investment of a college education to the idea of delivering more courses online, it’s hard to avoid the discussion wherever you go.  I stumbled across this interesting piece from Pew Internet, a project of the Pew Research Center, and, to be honest, I am still digesting it.  It’s very simply called “The Future of Higher Education,” and I think it gives an interesting look at what over 1,000 experts, researchers and more have to say about the subject.

Here are some highlights:

  • 60% of the respondents believe that, by 2020, higher education will look quite different than it does today
  • Many respondents among that majority agree that peer-to-peer learning will become a bigger reality
  • Change is already happening incrementally, though it is coming with frustration and doubt

I did a search of the report and did not find much in the way of folks commenting about social media specifically.  I’d love to know what the experts think about it, as I do think social media is changing not just education, but the world in sometimes very dramatic ways.  Especially on the note that peer-to-peer learning will become a bigger reality, I could see a place for social networks there.  So, what will 2020 look like for higher education and social media?  Will Facebook still be around?  Will there be a dedicated educational social network?

Do you have any thoughts about the future of higher education?  Do you think some of that future is happening now?  Share it with us in the comments.

By Kevin

Do you wish the faculty at your campus would embrace social media?  Well, this refreshing article from The Guardian’s Higher Education Network may help plead your case.  In Amanda Alampi’s article, “Social media is more than simply a marketing tool for academic research“, she interviewed faculty to discover how they utilize Twitter, Pinterest and even Storify (a personal favorite of mine) to enhance their research and reach new audiences.

While this article reviews platforms many of us savvy social media users are well aware of, it is wonderful to hear how faculty are using these platforms and to present their perspective.  My favorite line is: “Learning through social networking platforms allows a researcher to be a lifelong student.”  This is the reason why I enjoy these platforms so much, and I hope the stories in this article can help show your faculty just how they can benefit too.

by Shannon

If you’re into stats on social media utilization and SlideShare, hang on to your hat because this one is right up your alley.  Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, recently released their “Global Social Media Check-Up 2012” and published it to SlideShare.  You can click through pretty quickly, pick up some of the stunning stats about the growth of social networks, and learn how major international organizations are harnessing its power in their work.  Here are just a few points that I particularly enjoyed:

  • Twitter boasts 340 million tweets per day
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • The average Facebook page for global companies has increased in community size by 275% since 2010
  • Twitter is the most popular social network among global companies
  • Global companies have multiple accounts on networks to do different things like target geographic regions, target audiences for products, and recruit top talent

In case you missed the link, here is Burson-Marsteller’s “Global Social Media Check-Up 2012” on SlideShare.  I know there are similar stats compiled out there for higher ed.  Do you have a resource that shows a “Higher Ed Check-Up 2012” you can share?  Pass it along in a comment!

By Kevin

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