Monday, November 23, 2009

What should be the Next Web 2.0 Tool(s) for the Field of International Education?

I don't have an answer to this question but I found myself thinking about this over lunch.

I started IHEC Blog in February 2007 but didn't start blogging on a regular basis until June of 2008. I opened a Twitter account in February of 2009. I tried to start a Facebook page for my side consulting business and couldn't figure out how to do it (but instead have connected with many people from high school, college and my early professional career when I worked with juvenile delinquents and individuals with developmental disabilities). I finally figured out how to make a fanpage on Facebook for IHEC Blog only two months ago. I'm also on several Ning networks (such as ExchangesConnect) and other random sites. All of my experiences on these networks has lead me to connect with many great people and these new connections have lead to many collaborations on various projects which is why I signed up in the first place so I'm meeting that goal.

I'm certainly no expert but having a presence on all of these networks has allowed me to sit back to watch and learn about how the many stakeholders in the field (the students, the faculty, the study abroad offices/providers, the researchers, the international education organizations, etc.) have been using the web 2.0 tools in their work. I've been learning much just by observing what is happening in these networks. Some people, offices, providers and organizations are using web 2.0 tools very effectively while others I feel could better capatilize on the power/value that web 2.0 tools can provide. Things are moving and changing at such a rapid pace and the web 2.0 is changing the way the world (and the field of international education) communicates, interacts and does business. Check out this video (4:22) if you aren't convinced[1]

I'm excited and interested to see how these tools and networks will evolve and how the field of international education adapts them into our work. Google Wave Perhaps?[2]

So back to my question...What should be the Next Web 2.0 Tool(s) for the Field of International Education? What have you wanted to do with any of these tools that you can't do now?

[1] Many thanks to @APIstudyabroad for putting this video on my radar. Stealing a little from Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) ~ @APIstudyabroad is doing it right!

[2] Over the weekend I was invited to preview Google Wave
~ much appreciation and thanks to the person who invited me! This person and I connected via various web 2.0 networks and have only communicated electronically but someday in person over a frosty mug!


  1. Thanks for the nice words and good article David. Let me know what you think of Wave!

  2. If only focussing upon one's personal position to automate or promote yourself fine, but if promoting your institution, web has become king (as all candidates now go the internet for information and/or word of mouth).

    As I explained to a large Australian university's international marketing manager, if prospective candidates know who you are they will find you easily online.

    But, if in an undeveloped market most will not be aware of your institution.

    However, if you optimise your website (including related language), and have a strategy to post online in that language in the right places, you can come out on or near the top of Google organic searches :)

  3. Great question!

    I get asked this every time I present a session on social media at a conference. But sadly, I find most are still trying to cope with Facebook and Twitter. With all of their responsibilities international ed professionals can't seem to squeeze social media participation into their day.

    I'd like to see one application that allows monitoring and posting to all social media accounts. I know you can have your Facebook post to Twitter and vice versa, but I don't use Facebook for the same audience that I reach with Twitter. Tweetdeck allows me to post separately, but what about YouTube, Ning, etc? I've seen one site that shows it's students tweets, youtube videos, facebook and blogs--I think it was UMD grad school?

    I'm definitely looking forward to Google Wave, but my invite must have gotten lost in the etherworld...I'm sooo jealous!

  4. @AIEC ~ Many thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I agree that prospective candidates will most likely know of and will have investigated institutions of interest. I do think that new media plays a critical role in reaching out to and connecting with those who are unaware of your institution but need to know who you are. Thanks again!

  5. @Penny ~ Thanks for your comments. I have not presented on social media to the international education crowd yet (but probably will soon) so my experience is only with those, such as with you, who are active and fluent in new media. I only use new media tools to connect with others in the field and to continue positng interesting information/links to the IE community which I did in my early days in the field primarily via SECUSS-L and INTER-L (I consider listservs such as these two to be vibrant social networks and currently the best way to reach most IE colleagues). I have much to learn on how IE offices and organizations can best utilize new media tools...

    I have ideas on how to better engage/educate our IE colleagues but this is a project for another day.

    I did some preliminary investigation on your Kindle idea and it's very interesting! I'm looking in to it but need to find the time...

    Be well!