Dialogue through technology

Dorm Room Diplomacy   Intrigued to learn about the activities of an organisation called Dorm Room Diplomacy which gets groups of students together from around the world, via videoconferencing, to engage in dialogue aimed at promoting greater international understanding: Founded by students at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, Dorm Room Diplomacy fosters intercultural dialogue … Continue reading Dialogue through technology

Urgent: save those emails

Do we need to preserve Vice-Chancellors' emails? A diverting essay in Inside Higher Ed has a call for the preservation of presidential email: ...boards of trustees should act – with a sense of urgency. They might begin by appointing a task force, composed of professional historians, lawyers, board members, and administrators, to recommend procedures for … Continue reading Urgent: save those emails

Guidance or directive?

Easy finance A new statement from HEFCE advises universities how to make financial information more visible to students. But is it advice, guidance, assistance or in fact a clear directive? New guidance aims to help universities and colleges in England present information about income and expenditure on their web-sites in a way that is transparent … Continue reading Guidance or directive?

What are academic bloggers up to?

What are academic bloggers blogging about? And why? A great article for the Guardian Higher Education Network by Pat Thomson ( @ThomsonPat )  and Inger Mewburn ( @thesiswhisperer ) on bloggers in higher education. The piece is a summary of an article in a special edition of Studies in Higher Education and the longer one is well … Continue reading What are academic bloggers up to?

An engaging app for students?

Possibly. But it's a tough sell. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a story on a new app which claims to offer faster outreach to students. But will it catch on?     The app, Student Engauge, is part of a larger trend toward mobile outreach, as colleges seek ways to engage with students who … Continue reading An engaging app for students?

Communicating science. Though improv.

A surprising source of help with communicating science. A great story in The Chronicle of Higher Education on an accolade for Alan Alda for his contribution to helping scientists communicate In New York City this week, Mr. Alda is being honored at the university's celebrity fund-raising gala for his central role in creating Stony Brook's … Continue reading Communicating science. Though improv.

Broadcasting university performance

Very public reports on institutional performance. Accessible university performance data.   Rather impressed by this Performance Tracker which is concerned with reporting in a very accessible way on the progress of Michigan's public universities: The achievement of Michigan's public universities is a critical factor as we look to participate in the knowledge economy of tomorrow. … Continue reading Broadcasting university performance

Marketing inflation

Increasing marketing spend in universities - real or hype? Inside Higher Ed features a report on a recent conference on marketing in higher education which featured some bold predictions about the money UK universities will be spending in the brave new market place. Discussion focused on whether we would see levels of spending of up … Continue reading Marketing inflation

Banning key Twitter words for athletes

Vocabulary tightening for student athletes using Twitter It seems that, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, two universities are to bar athletes from using hundreds of words on Twitter. Monitoring social media postings by athletes is, apparently, quite normal but this goes even further: The University of Louisville flags 406 words or slang expressions … Continue reading Banning key Twitter words for athletes

Another university league table variation

A league table of universties' social media 'visibility' Econsultancy have published a league table of Russell Group universities' social media profiles or their 'visibility': The visibility score we use here is based on the total number of links a web domain has scored on the six social sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Delicious and StumbleUpon, … Continue reading Another university league table variation

Finding the good stuff

Social media can be overwhelming... And this can make finding the really good stuff really rather difficult. The Schumpeter column in The Economist has an interesting take on this. Most commentary on social media ignores an obvious truth—that the value of things is largely determined by their rarity. The more people tweet, the less attention … Continue reading Finding the good stuff

ICO: private email accounts are subject to FOI

New regulatory joy from the Information Commissioner's Office The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published some exciting new guidance making it clear that information held in private email accounts is subject to the Freedom of Information Act: Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham said: “It should not come as a surprise to public authorities to have the … Continue reading ICO: private email accounts are subject to FOI

A checkup call from the top

Valuable student support measure or a bit of a gesture? In addition to spending what must be a huge amount over the past few months on advertising in the trade press, Boston University has undertaken another big investment, according to The Boston Globe, checking up on new students: With new students wrapping up their first … Continue reading A checkup call from the top

A “hyperwired” freshers’ week?

Freshers! Come and try a new kind of learning laboratory The Chronicle of Higher Education has a fascinating freshers' week piece on a very different kind of learning lab, within the setting of a student dorm: Students moving into a newly renovated dormitory at the University of Kentucky signed up for a hyperwired college experience: … Continue reading A “hyperwired” freshers’ week?

UK: Swedish Registrars Seminar 2011

2011 UK: Swedish Registrars Seminar This event, held in September at the University of Cardiff, was the latest in long series of biennial seminars, alternating venues between the UK and Sweden and I was privileged to be invited to attend as one of the dozen or so UK delegates. The seminars started, I think, about … Continue reading UK: Swedish Registrars Seminar 2011