IT Partners Recap

Yesterday I was joined by what appeared to be over 100 IT staff, faculty, and students for the quarterly IT Partners meeting. I always enjoy the meeting as it is a chance to update the community about things happening in the IT space around campus. It was great to see people and to recognize that I now know a whole bunch of new people! It was designed a little differently than what typically is done — we decided to have a panel session that focused on the rise of MOOCs and online learning in general. It was highly interactive with lots of really great questions … I enjoyed it for quite a few reasons given my background in both traditional online education and more recently in launching MOOCs.

As I have done in the past, I did a little kick off session filled with some updates. I decided I would put those slides here in the post … if there are any questions, just leave a comment!

Gathering Feedback

This morning I responded to a survey for Evernote and what I think of it, what they could do better, and the like. It was a very well designed survey both from a survey design perspective and a usability perspective. When I finished it, I followed the URL back to the service that hosts it and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. It was built by a company called, Typeform. It got me thinking of ways we could be doing more consistent and continuous outreach for information from the people we serve on campus. I know all about survey fatigue, but I am wondering how many people would take the time to fill out a survey every now and then — especially if the point is to improve specific areas of service offerings on campus. To that end I built a short survey that you can get to below or by following the link. It deals with printing services and what attitudes look like around campus. Give it a try!

PayPal and GoDaddy may have cost one man his $50,000 Twitter account | The Verge


“It’s another worrisome case of how hackers can easily breach services with small amounts of personal details to obtain desirable Twitter handles. Hiroshima warns others not to let companies like PayPal or GoDaddy store your credit card information.”

via PayPal and GoDaddy may have cost one man his $50,000 Twitter account | The Verge.

The # (hashtag) and the Future

As I sit here watching a portion of the President’s State of the Union Address on YouTube, I keep bouncing between it and twitter. One thing that is clear to me, politics aside, is the influence information technology has had on everything. Seriously, everything. As the video plays full screen wirelessly on my laptop, there are synced slides next to President Obama … most of them containing a hashtag — #SOTU. Since I wrote of the early days of twitter earlier today I was struck by the ideas that (a) I can’t believe it has only been seven years since twitter has been around and (b) how much our culture has been influenced by a simple 140 character messaging service.

When I started using Twitter there was no such thing as a hashtag and now it is part of not just nearly every commercial, but the #SOTU. It blows my mind that something as important as the State of the Union Address has a hashtag and that the world can engage in a real-time conversation about it.

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The other thing I am floored about is that the field that I grew up caring about has such a central role in what the future of our World is all about. When I got involved with technology it seemed like a hobby, even a bit of a joke. Now it is at the heart of nearly everything that happens on the planet. This slide speaks to that simple fact. What an amazing time to be alive and to be engaged in information technology. Check these growth indicators and take stock in how what we do matters to the future.

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Seven Years

I just got an email that informed me of the fact that seven years ago yesterday I joined Twitter. I spent quite a bit time working to understand and promote the value of twitter back then … as a matter of fact I was writing relatively extensively about it back then. I worked with my good friend and colleague, Scott McDonald to integrate it into a course we were teaching with real success. We published an article together that in part explored Twitter as the driver of something we called, “Multi-Channel Discourse” in a classroom context. Needless to say I learned a lot about connecting communities through active investigation of Twitter. I don’t use Twitter as much as I used to, but I am still active and find it amazingly valuable as a professional development tool, curated link list, and for a good laugh. At any rate, happy #twitterversary to me.

One of the posts that caught my eye was one I did years ago was related to getting people to respond to questions … the question being, “What makes a great Twitter status update?” Back then I used Twitter to poll my community quickly to see what I would get … so I did it again today for the first time in a very long time and would encourage anyone to reply. I still see the unlimited potential in technologies that connect, engage, and bind communities — Twitter has actually made my life better.