Last week, several from university relations attended the HighEdWeb 2011 Conference in Austin, Texas. As always, the conference offered a lot of valuable material and provided excellent opportunities to network and share with other Web professionals from across the U.S. (and world).
Below are top sessions recommended by our attendees:
- Engaging your global audience with real-time campus event coverage
Recommendation from Veronica Adinegara
We can do more to increase the reach of current events by doing real-time coverage using live-stream (ustream.tv), photography (eye-fi or Flickr) and dialogue (Facebook, Twitter or chat room). Other events besides commencement that present good live-streaming opportunities include out-of-town alumni events, campus events that have reached maximum audience capacity, musical performances for parents back home, etc.
- Cornell’s Digital Well: A social networking repository for marketing information
Recommendation from Brad Mitchell
Cornell created a ‘digital well’ that houses up-to-date marketing information such as news releases, faculty bios and photos, marketing photos, videos, branding materials, etc. This database was created as a simple way for the marketing staff on their campus to have quick and easy access to these materials at any time. The idea of a central repository that can be accessed by non-IT staff is great, and the way that Cornell built the repository was very intuitive and easy to use. One of the most interesting aspects of the system is that it allows users to ‘follow’ individuals or departments within the system, making browsing and searching that much easier. The system automatically catalogs everything from news and photos to YouTube videos, and marketing staff at that institution are slowly changing their mindset and using the marketing repository to its full potential.
- EZ QR 4 U2 DO
Recommendation from Abby Isackson
Cliff Jenkins talked about how QR codes are suffering from the “me too” syndrome. Over 78% of people do not have the application to view a QR code so there is still a learning curve. Use QR with a purpose, give instructions on how to scan and view it as well as provide some kind of reward for taking the time to scan/ view. Some of his examples of bad use were: on billboards (dangerous), within subways (no internet access underground) and tattooed on your body (Eeek!) Good use examples he gave: people could scan groceries photo while waiting for their bus then the company delivered the groceries to their home, Applebee’s entertained their “pick-up order” customers who where waiting, and Xavier University implemented a self-guided tour by placing QR codes throughout campus that gave bits of info about departments/buildings as well as guided them to the next QR code to scan.
- Lead the Horse to Water, And Make Damn Sure It Drinks: How to Lead Successful and Transparent Projects
Recommendation from Sara Clark
Alana Riley discussed three areas of project management: people, docs and tools. She reminded us how the people on our projects need to stay positive and feel appreciated. Having a positive mindset can change the outcome of a situation. She also shared several project management document templates and recommended free tools, including BaseCamp and Wunderlist.
- I’d Buy that for a Dollar: What Robocop can Teach us about Alumni Engagement
Recommendation from Jessica Clements
Presenter Jeff Stevens developed a framework for encouraging alumni engagement based on the principles of popular microdonation websites. Microdonation sites bring donors and those in need together to create a bigger sphere of giving. The success of these sites in building passionate, active communities can be applied in higher education by making involvement (whether donating or not) simple, transparent, collaborative, shareable and competitive. By focusing on outcomes not the sources of funding, brand ambassadors are developed, first, for our mission and, second, for our institution.
- Rip Into Your Site With jQuery
Recommendation from Josh Durham
I already knew jQuery was a great and powerful tool for enhancing users browsing experience but had never thought of it as a tool to aid in debugging and designing websites. Several demonstrations showed how it only takes a few lines of jQuery and a tool called jQuerify can speed up as well as simplify the development process.
Missouri State presents
Missouri State also presented at the conference:
- Brad Mitchell presented the Online Video Workshop.
- Sara Clark served on a panel in the Web Manager’s Leadership Academy.
- Sara Clark and Brad Mitchell presented Homepage Survival Guide: How to Raise Content from the Dead.