Thursday, 3 June 2010

way more than 140 characters...

Some of Don Schindler's tweets from a conference jumped out at me yesterday, this pair especially.

"Where to put money/time? 1. scanable text 2. mobile 3. facebook 4. photography 5. student comment 6. sharing ability 7. blogs #bigtenplus"

"Spend less time on 1. podcasts 2. twitter/linkedin 3. chats 4. online video (unless music, sports, instruct) 5. click thru news #bigtenplus"

The priority given to text is particularly nice to hear: I never feel like I can quite trust my own judgement on the issue, because I have a very strong preference for text over video which I suspect is a-typical. Or maybe not. There's work to be done re-writing and updating copy for our sites, though, to make them more web friendly, and scan-able.

It's easy to see the rise of mobile amongst our students in London - we issue them with very basic UK mobiles as emergency contact points, but in the last 18 months, maybe 2 years, I've started to see more and more students who bring their US smart phone with them, using them on an international data plans.

(I think it would be fascinating to be able to issue our students with UK smart phones and encourage faculty to develop their courses and assignments knowing that all their students would have a camera / video / online collaboration tool, modelling some of the research that's being done on using twitter and wikis and so on in teaching. I suspect we're not so many years away from effective smart phone ubiquity, but it'll be much longer before we reach a stage where we can assume/require that everyone has one.)

Relative order of Facebook / blogs / twitter is interesting, too - I'd have guessed blogs / Facebook/ twitter based on our experience, both metrics, formal feedback, and verbal impressions.

We haven't had as high a take up of our fb page as we'd initially expected - although far higher than the last time we experimented with it - but judging from the student feedback, that's at least partially an advertising / awareness issue: we could definitely promote it more. The blog is, so far, our most successful online experiment, but essentially we're only still using Twitter because a couple of us staff use it and find it useful.

On facebook I think it's that a lot of students use the service, but either don't know about or don't want to follow our page - Twitter is just a much smaller constituency of students using the service. ( Podcasts and video are both things that have come up as something we might want to introduce, but - maybe it's ok that we haven't got to them yet.)

Photography - plenty of room for us to improve here - and maybe linked to student comment, as I know we've had some truly superb photographers coming through the program, although I'm less sure what we might do to encourage them to share their images with us.

Plenty to think on...

* Photos by Timmy Toucan (RAF Eagle) and mrwilleeumm (G1 demo), used under Creative Commons, with thanks.


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