Does your University speak Global?

It’s rather extraordinary… for you see when one performs thoughtful, sound research, they gain a remarkable ability to make two questions grow where only one grew before.” Thorstein Veblen

Courtesy of BiggerThinking.com

In seeking to understand how university campuses located in both Latin America and European countries employ emerging media platforms to develop their branding initiatives and more importantly use these technologies to strengthen relationships between students, faculty/staff and the surrounding community, I woke up the other morning upon realizing that in truth, I’m actually quite curious about a broader, more encompassing question… Do these university campuses speak global?

And then I had to scratch my head because that question led the way to even more questions concerning this Fall’s thesis research:

What does it mean to speak global?

When a university campus located –in the US, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, or elsewhere– employs emerging media platforms to develop their branding initiatives and uses these technologies to strengthen relationships between students, faculty/staff, & the surrounding community, they’re making an earnest attempt to speak global.  Every online channel (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) that they opt to use creates content and effort which expands the campus’s network (both internally and externally), increases worldwide connectivity on behalf of those enrolled/employed at the institution, and also helps to expand what relationships/resources assist the university’s larger institutional goals.

Why does having the ability to speak global matter?
After reading a recent report from NACEweb.org which cites that there are at least, 723,000 international college students in the United States, and that this reflects a 4.7% increase from last year; it’s only logical to argue that a campus possessing the ability to speak global (using both digital and traditional media) matters significantly.

Moreover, a 21st century student compares their selection of college campuses using a rigorous grading scale.  To feel confident that they’re going to obtain the best education possible they’ll consider beside geography, financial cost, and campus culture: If a campus will offer opportunities to connect, study and/or intern with partner universities abroad?  Are there career center resources readily available to assist with life post-graduation?  Do faculty demonstrate a commanding knowledge of course subject matter and their field so that in the long run they might turn to their former teachers when seeking mentoring?

When a university demonstrates that they not only meet but surpass such standards, they’re building a brand identity which conveys that the campus seriously aspires to speak globally and maintain an internationally influential role.

Out of all the universities in existence today, which campuses most powerfully demonstrate a capacity to speak globally?
Again, although this project’s research focuses on the emerging media presence concerning campuses based in Latin American and Europe; a 2009 article written by CollegeSurfing.com‘s editorial board shares extensive information regarding the selected ‘Web 2.0 College Olympics‘ winners and how each university employs various digital media platforms to enhance their campus’s online and offline branding initiatives.

In order to specifically review current emerging media efforts taking place within Latin American and European universities, studying the below list of international educators and the campuses that they represent will tremendously consolidate this research niche:
– Professor Julio Blanco — @JulioCBlanco (Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina; Buenos Aires, Argentina)
– Professor Miguel Angel Trabado — @MATrabado  (ESERP School of Business; Barcelona/Madrid, Spain)
– Professor Sandra Turchi — @SandraTurchi (Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing; Sao Paulo/Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)
– Professor Martha Gabriel — @MarthaGabriel (HSM Educação; Sao Paulo, Brazil)
– Professor Andrés Silva Arancibia — @AndresSilvaA (Universidad Andrés Bello; Chile)
– Professor Roberto Arancibia — @RobertoA (Universidad Mayor, Universidad UNIACC, the Universidad del Pacífico; Peru/Chile)

Finally, if a university wishes to increase efforts toward learning how to speak globally (using digital and/or traditional media)… what are a few resources that will help their cause?
Countless (and largely free) resources exist around the web to help those institutions struggling to keep track of trends/news concerning social media and education.  A few favorites that’ve come highly recommended by colleagues include: Educause.edu, Chronicle.com, Classroom20.com, Edweek.org, WorldWideLearn.com.

Of course all of these questions merely hint at several concerns regarding international education and how it employs always-evolving digital media.  As a reader, please feel free to send in any and all comments, observations, or questions you might have relating to this field and topic.  Excelsior!

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How Are You Using Social Media to Interact Across the World’s Stage?

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players..They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.” William Shakespeare | As You Like It | Act 2 Scene 7

William Shakespeare crafted it.  Literary critics throughout the ages have toted it as prophetic genius, and it rings perhaps even more true now in the 21st century than it ever did when he wrote As You Like It in 1600 A.D.  In taking inspiration from the great Will.I.Am, this week’s emerging media question probes a bit further tainting the above idea with an emerging media context…

How Are You Using Social Media to Interact Across the World’s Stage?

Do you tweet to friends in France about how your dreams to one day live abroad exotically?  Do you swap emails with a Financial Analyst in Tokyo so that you know more about Asia’s financial context than your colleagues the next day at work?  Do you follow a design blog that always releases funky and cool fonts from that artist you ran into on Twitter during a #fontfantic chat and then traded contact info with?  Perhaps you’re even playing international fantasy football (aka Soccer) with a bunch of amigos in Spain since they will know how to trade players better than mates from England or Germany.  Thanks to social networks and evolving technology, you’re talking victory moves with World Cup winners.  You’re living in real time and digitally interacting across the World’s stage at the click of a mouse and the touch of a key.  Freedom reigns supreme, information is abound, and new relationships are forming while you travel through life’s journey.

In an age when employees perform 3 jobs as 1 person, 9am to 7pm is status quo and mobile devices operate as smaller laptops – tracking history, memories, and older data also employs using social media to a certain extent.  LinkedIn  users can archive messages sitting in their Inbox, Facebook holds vaults of pictures from Spring Break, former birthday parties, and family, Yelp files Digital records and catalogues comments we left about the Asian restaurants we favored and hated for future reference.  Again, every day life continues to interact at an increasing rate digitally through each of these mediums.  Conversations are stemming from what we have in common and we’re finding out what we have in common with one another when we connect online in some way.

For now I want to leave these questions open for reader comments and observations.  Share your stories, speculate on how society is using social media to interact across the world’s stage amongst various groups of players.  What parts have you held journeying across the digital landscape?  What role and where will you take on next?  We’ll mull over some other examples about interacting through social media across the world stage.  Think connectivity.  Embrace it digitally.