University 2.0 ideas


In the last few weeks, I’ve come across quite a few presentations regarding University 2.0 (links: 1 2). They seek to make use of several Web 2.0 technologies, that have become popular in the last 2-3 years, for educational institutions. This idea seems quite interesting to me, especially because I was trying to get some of those technologies like wikis and blogs implemented for our b-school. I have another year and a half of my course remaining, and I hope to implement as many of them as I can with help of my classmates and others from the school.

So, here’s a a basic outline of the ideas:

LinkedIn profiles

LinkedIn has become a standard in professional social networks, and it is quite important for professionals to have an up to date LinkedIn profile. My idea is to get everyone to set up their profiles and put the links on our school student profile pages.

Student & Faculty introduction videos

This will make the profiles richer, and should definitely look better than having just static photographs. There are several online video sharing sites, and any of them could be used for this purpose. It could be done initially for the students who are part of different committees, and later expanded for the others depending on the response.

Social network groups

There are several social networks out there like orkut, facebook etc, and our school has a group on each of them. They need to be streamlined a bit and kept up to date. The links to the groups could also be placed on the official school site to gain better visibility.

Online magazine

We have a school magazine L!VE that is published both physically and electronically. However, the electronic version is in a pdf form with only a few of the articles being published in html form. My intention is to make use of  a blogging platform to publish our magazine online. This will not only increase the visibility of the magazine, but also facilitate interaction on the articles and get the content indexed on search engines. WordPress seems to be an ideal platform for this purpose, and there are quite a lot of magazine themes for this purpose.

School blog

Currently we do not have a blog for our school. However, we do make use of blogs during our annual b-school fest like we did for AVENUES 08 this time. The idea here is to make blogging a continuous phenomenon. This should again facilitate interaction, increase visibility, and keeps notifications up to date.

Wiki

I had already started a wiki some time back, and did manage to put up some content on it. Over time, it can become a very important knowledge repository with different kinds of information on our school.

Once set up, these avenues should definitely help the school from different aspects. Moreover, most of these services can be setup or for free. There are of course several other services that can be used in addition to the ones mentioned here like photo sharing, social bookmarking etc. So, the main investment required will be time, which is quite an important commodity in management courses :-).

However, there are several challenges and constraints to be overcome before these become a reality, the biggest of which is going to be getting participation and garnering critical mass from the various stakeholders so that this initiative can be sustained in the long run.

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3 thoughts on “University 2.0 ideas

  1. Here is my take on the various ideas put forward.

    Linked In Profile links: My concern regarding having LinkedIn profiles of the students published in public domain is that whether the benefits of this initiative would be distributed in a equitable way. Student X, with more work experience and who has been on LinkedIn for a longer time would have a larger network, more recommendations etc., where as a fresher Student Y who has just joined LinkedIn, would have to struggle to build a network and get recommendations. What be the ramifications if a prospective employer skims through the profiles. Should a person hold an advantage just because he or she has a better Linked in Profile?
    Some time has to be devoted by individuals towards building their network. If about 30% of the batch have got half-baked profiles and poor network, wouldn’t that look bad if it appears on the students’ page?

    Student and Faculty Intro videos: I am not for having individual student introduction videos because that would take up a lot of server space with minimal returns. Faculty and Club/Initiative videos would be a much better choice if they are well made.

    Social Network Groups: The Social Network groups can only be put on the Website if they are properly streamlined and moderated. This initiative is going to face stiff resistance from the administration and the gains from this, need to be clearly spelt out.

    Online magazine: I agree with you; an online magazine is much more reader friendly than a pdf file.

    School Blog: Again a very good idea which requires participation as well as content generation on a regular basis.

    Here is one blog which is deep slumber

    http://xlcampus.blogspot.com/

    and here is one which is unsure of what content to publish.

    http://dawnofdms.wordpress.com/

    The Wiki also needs to be streamlined and the link made visible to all and the community participation has to be encouraged.

  2. I agree with your points on the LinkedIn profiles. There needs to be an effort from the students to build up their profiles, just like building up a resume. The effort will definitely worth it, and open up new avenues for interaction. Moreover, the social networks and groups could also be used to initiate a mentorship program of sorts, like senior-junior or student-alumni. Of course, we need to keep everything updated, and settle down on which networks we want to stick with.
    As for the videos, we won’ be hosting anything :-), it’ll all be on video services like youtube. We’ll just embed the videos on our site. This should also get us exposure on the video sites. It’s a pretty common practice nowadays too.
    At the end of the day, it all boils down to involvement from all concerned, and without this none of these initiatives can be sustained. I guess we’ll have to put our marketing skills to good use :-).

  3. Pingback: University 2.0 | eLearning Blog // Don’t Waste Your Time …

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