Harrisburg University blocks students and faculty from using all forms of social media for one week (on computers):
Inside Higher Ed reports on Harrisburg University’s plan to shut down all forms of social media on campus for one week. Provost, Eric Darr has decided to block student and faculty access to social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and AOL instant messenger. He is also disabling wiki and chat features which will make it impossible for students and teachers to communicate and collaborate using the campus’ intranet system, even from off-campus computers.
Darr says, “It’s not that, as an institution, we hate Facebook,” Darr told Inside Higher Ed. Instead, he wanted to see what would happen if colleagues and classmates were forced to talk instead of IM, to walk to offices and dorm rooms instead of emailing. He wondered if people had forgotten how to communicate face-to-face rather than online.
Mr. Darr, how are you going to block access to social media through cell phone usage? Are the cell towers clipped for the week? Dean Browell with Feedack comments on the article,
“There’s a disturbing angle to all of this that smacks of assumptions. Two of the four channels they propose to shut down are in drastic decline among their demographic (AOL, MySpace) and as other commenters have pointed out, the other two channels don’t require the campus system at all to operate. They sell $100 iPhones at Wal-Mart people, they haven’t needed your computer labs to get on Facebook for years. Twitter is utilized by a diverse demographic even through an inexpensive, non-smart-phone via text messaging.”
We look forward to the results of this experiment.
iPads in the Classroom:
Notre Dame’s assistant professor Corey Angst is taking his class paperless, and in a pretty fun way. His class is first and only class taught with Apple iPads. All 40 students get to use iPads in place of textbooks and other learning materials during the course. This is part of a year long study of e-readers by the University. Angst explained,
“We want to know whether students feel the iPads are useful and how they plan to use them. I want them to tell me, ‘I found this great app that does such and such. I want this to be organic…We have an online Wiki discussion group where students can share their ideas.”
They are hoping the iPad’s will help students manage real world projects, and will help the university enhance the educational experience.
Survey says social media is less expensive and yields significant result in higher education:
Lipman Hearne and CASE partnered together to survey 212 CASE member institutions to research how marketing dollars are being spent in higher education and the return on that investment. Institutions that have integrated strategic social media campaigns with traditional marketing/advertising efforts have seen a wide margin of positive results. Key findings are significant and provide powerful real time success stories. Moderate-to-heavy users of social media were actually spending less overall per student on marketing activities. The moderate-to-heavies spent $83 per student, and the light-to-non-users spent $121 per student. Visit the blog and survey report for more data and key findings.
Higher Education Checks Into Foursquare:
Several Universities are leading the way with geolocation checkins. The University of Oregon, for example, incorporated Foursquare into their Welcome Week student tours. Friending the Oregon Duck and checking into 10 locations on the tour earned students a badge and 20% off at Oregon Ducks Sportsware. Another example is The University of Nebraska at Omaha. They have a microsite in conjunction with Foursquare that provides deals and encourages students to visit alcohol free businesses in the area. Harvard is another great example. They were one of the first colleges to embrace Foursquare with custom badges. Perry Hewitt, director of digital communications and communications services at Harvard, explained
“Harvard is more than classrooms and buildings. It is an interconnected community of people, ideas, and experiences, and we are actively pursuing ways to enhance those connections.”
Higher Ed Cartoon:
A snarky cartoon (sadly, mostly accurate) ridiculing the tone-deaf design of many college home pages, published on July 30 on the website xkcd and circulated widely in social media circles and on campuses:
About a week before xkcd published its cartoon, the higher ed consulting firm Noel-Levitz released a study of how prospective students are using colleges’ websites, based on more than 1,000 responses from college-bound high-schoolers.
Key findings include:
- 1 in 4 students reported removing a school from their prospective list because of a bad experience on that school’s Web site.
- 92 percent said that they would be disappointed with a school or remove it entirely from their lists if they didn’t find the information they needed on the school’s Web site.
- 76 percent of students supported schools creating their own private social networks for prospective students.