I welcome 2012 with optimism and with gratitude! I am in a middle of a revolution that’s bigger than technology. I am not sure how to define it, but society is changing fast, in part brought on by technologies like social media and mobile. The last time I experienced this change so rapid and exciting was in the mid 1990’s when web became mainstream. I found 2011 to be a year of transformation for the IT organization I work for and based on general observations, this seems to be true for IT organizations in general. As one in a leadership/management position of having to maintain legacy systems, accommodate the changing needs of our customers and the consumerization of IT, it was a year wherein I had to spend an average of 3 hours at night learning/thinking about social media, mobile and how our roles as an IT organization are changing. I spent some time thinking about how technology will transform our society in general and specifically about student affairs, the area of the university I work in. I learned many lessons along the way, not just about technology but how I will approach my leadership role moving forward.
credit - helpingmedia
Trying to keep up and learn new mobile web design principles and frameworks is getting harder to do. Since last year, I have been doing quite a bit of research on mobile web for my work and for personal curiosity. Yet, I know I still have a long way to fully understanding what and how to properly go about approaching mobile web development. There are many articles discussing design and development principles like adaptive, responsive web design, progressive enhancements, mobile first, and server side vs. client side adaptations. Frameworks to develop upon are introduced from time to time as well. A framework I am very familiar with is the UCLA Mobile Web Framework (MWF) used by multiple University of California campuses including UC Los Angeles, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and UC San Diego. New ideas will undoubtedly come out in the next few months. Questions I have had to think about and discussed with colleagues include “Should we have one site that can be displayed several ways depending on the device?”, “Should we have separate desktop and mobile websites?” or “Are we also developing native apps?” I have quite a list of resources if you’re interested. I have tried to read, learn and experiment including creating a prototype site but it’s been a dizzying experience.
Update: I presented on the topic of Alternative Professional Development to the UCSB NASPA Undergrad Fellowship Program (NUFP) on April 6, 2012 which included the materials below. Presentation on slideshare.
I wrote about the benefits I have gotten from social media here, Powered by Twitter: Social Media Experience of a Student Affairs Techie. These benefits include meeting colleagues in student affairs and technology professionals from all over the United States and Canada as well as learning from others via blogs, twitter, facebook and now google+. Below is a diagram how I access and manage contents I come across from different social media platforms as part of my personal learning network and for entertainment. Image below links to the pdf diagram.
What of these social media sites do you use? How are you using social media as a personal learning tool? Any other sites you could recommend for me to use?
Institutional support is necessary for social media to thrive in higher education. Individuals and grassroots efforts have opened the door for social media to be accepted at universities and have proven the values of it. To further the use of social media, institutional support is required for it to be embraced, to be sustained and to explore further uses. While the mention of policies and guidelines and even having committees that represent the different factions of the university including marketing, IT, legal, business unit reps could be seen as overly bureaucratic, it is my opinion, based on experience, that it is necessary for social media to be embraced as part of official university business. If a group, representing the different functions of your organization, does not clearly define the use and boundaries of social media, some individual(s) will improperly define it for the organization based on limited and biased perspectives.