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 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.
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.
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.
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.