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Social @ Edu: 2013-14 Edition

Happy New Academic Year! Here at Social @ Edu, Kevin and I are looking forward to the academic year ahead. Today, we want to share a few things we’re excited about, and more importantly, find out what you are looking forward to for the 2013-14 school year.

The Career Counselor’s Guide to Social Media

How do you advise students and their professional use of social media? What factors, challenges and unique qualities should students consider with the big social media platforms?  Three of us set out to answer those questions and more this summer with NACE’s Career Counselor’s Guide to Social Media.  These guides focus on the big five platforms – Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter –  and special considerations when advising students’ use of social media in their job search.  But, Kevin, Megan Wolleben (our writing partner for the guides and one of our favorite guest authors here) and I know the guides can do more than that – they can teach us all a little something about how to use social media for our own professional development, not just students’.  More importantly, they can serve as a resource any professional in higher education can leverage in student interactions. We hope all of you will take  a look, let us know your thoughts, and hopefully inspire you!

University Pages on LinkedIn

On August 19th, 2013, one of the largest social media platforms in the world launched a new product poised to change the face of professional networking. The platform? LinkedIn. The product? University Pages. The big deal? There are many reasons why this is big, but one that stands out is a new, user base – high school students.  High school students are on Twitter and Facebook already.  No biggie there. They are not, however, on LinkedIn, but will be by the end of this week. It is a game changer because this is the professional network.  Should high school students be worrying about their professional ambitions at 15?  As it pertains to college admissions, perhaps.  But, there are a lot of factors to consider – which is why this product is not just one that career services’ should be focused on.  Higher ed professionals concerned with access, admissions, and more should pay attention.

For those of us in career services, these pages offer our centers and schools the chance to showcase what sets us apart, what our alumni have gone on to accomplish, and connect with the future faces of our institutions.  It brings the missions of admissions, alumni relations and career services into one space, and that didn’t exist with Company Pages. We’re excited to see how University Pages impact use of LinkedIn and the effect of interactions between prospective and current students with alumni.

So, is this a good or bad thing? To us, it’s a good thing.  We also fully recognize the real answer will reveal itself with time. It will depend on the generational differences between LinkedIn users and their social media etiquette in their interactions.  And, it will depend on where you’re sitting – student, staff, access advocate, etc.  We’re excited to see how this plays out and where the conversation goes.

Guest Authors on Social @ Edu

We’re also extremely excited to welcome new voices to Social @ Edu this coming year, and welcome back past guest authors.  We’ve heard from an overwhelming amount of higher education professionals and those affiliated with the industry in the past year, and are frankly extremely flattered and humbled by the interest.  We want to encourage any higher education professionals who have a story to tell related to social media in higher education to get in touch!

These are a few things we’re looking forward to, but now it’s your turn. What are you looking forward to this year?

by Shannon

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