Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Student Success Network is Born!

After a few webinars and attending trainings at the GoingOn offices I was ready to begin the build-out phase. I chose to concentrate on the areas that would provide the most direct benefit to students while also engaging them in a meaningful way. A few key needs were
  • Getting information about student services such as financial aid to more students in a timely way.
  • Creating a platform for crowdsourcing, i.e students can help each other and answer their peers commonly asked but important questions without the need to visit an office or wait in a line
  • Provide a resource for students to develop critical 21st century skills such as systems thinking, information technology proficiency, and even web site and blog design concepts 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Social Media Tools at Laney College

In recent posts I've mentioned the upcoming launch of the Laney College Student Success Network which is a powerful set of online tools that link together to allow students to engage with the college, each other, and instructors, programs and offices.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dealing With Difficult Students Online

If you've worked in education long enough you've probably run across a student who for one reason or another decides they don't like you, or something you've done, and they want to let you and maybe lots of other people know about it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Pilot Program Begins!

After several months of researching the dizzying array of applications and products that fit somewhere in the spectrum of online student engagement tools, I am happy to announce that I'll be starting a pilot program using the GoingOn platform. We've already started building out the network and we will gradually add groups of students as we get things up and running. Its very exciting to see the vision taking shape, so stay tuned as the Laney College Student Success Portal develops.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Social Networking Platforms: Concepts and video demo's refers to their set of applications as an academic engagement network, as we talked about in the last post, this consists of linked applications such as the virtual commons and student engagement tools. This video demonstrates the concept and how all the pieces fit together.

In the video below, students talk about the Schools App by Inigral. The focus in this video is on the social connections that students can build with other students who have similar interests.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Academic Social Networks: So What Do They Look Like?

In my previous post I mentioned two of the big players in the emerging industry of academic social networking platforms, and At first glance the interface looks very similar to facebook or other similar social networking sites, but upon closer examination you will see some differences.

Both the Schools App by Inigral and the Academic Engagement Network by Goingon have the ambitious goal of addressing the needs of students and schools from the time a high school student considers applying, through to building and serving alumni networks. Below are some screenshots to help you get an idea of what a student encounters in these applications:

Above: Inigral's Schools App is built on the Facebook platform and is closely connected with the social networking juggernaut.

Above: Goingon employs an array of linked applications, such as the campus channel, community builder, and personal commons.

Student are invited to join the applications via email, or more directly upon completion of an online orientation via a hyperlinked url. As we close in on the completion of our online orientation here at Laney College I am advocating for the latter as a primary means of connecting students directly to the application.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Education 2.0 - Can Traditional Systems Adapt?

Everyone seems to agree that change is inevitable for traditional educational institutions, but how much, what kind, and how fast seem to be the big questions. As someone who cares deeply about improving student access and success to higher education, I am always looking for innovative ways to improve my work, and by extension the work we do as educators.

Social Media Tools and Student Engagement
There has been an explosion in recent years in the number of start-ups and established companies using social media and web 2.0 approaches to engage students, enhance curriculum, and help schools better manage their relationships with students. Recently I have been looking at a few in particular as we explore new approaches to engage our students at their point of entry. and both feature web-based applications that provide a platform for engaging students with each other and with the school in question and provide some elements of customization.

But Do They Work?
Stay tuned as I report back on my conversations with education professionals who have been using these products and approaches. In the coming weeks I will be gathering information, doing webinars with product vendors, and otherwise exploring the use of social media and web 2.0 technologies in student engagement, enrollment management, and student success.