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.