Student Spotlight: Brazilian Journalist Roberta Salomone shines outside the College Classroom

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” ―Confucius

Courtesy of RobertaSalomone.com

It needs to be said, thank goodness there’s LinkedIn, because Roberta Salomone’s CV will never fit a standard one page PDF – it’s impossible – adjusted margins/spacing and 9pt font won’t even help. Of course anyone faces this problem if their background includes four degree credentials from various US/Brazil top ranking colleges, and a never-ending list indexing their internship/work experience, which begins circa 1999. With all this experience, it’s no wonder Roberta works with such prominent platforms like Internet WeekSocial Media Week, Você S/A Magazine, etc.

So whether one refers to her as an International Media Journalist, Children’s Book Author, Keynote Speaker, or MBA veteran – titles aside she’s a sophisticated, digitally savvy writer keeping diligent tabs concerning the latest communications industry buzz; and a person to follow via Twitter or read her latest blogging ASAP.

It’s a fair argument to say we’ve only just begun to see the first few stages when it comes to the Roberta Salomone media revolution. Her creative references, imaginative content reflect a progressive ‘Maker’ using every digital platform/tool and community available to exhibit thoughtful, contemplative articles.  That said, where she found the time to write an award-winning whimsical yet educational children’s book is anyone’s guess; but somewhere along the way, write it she did. So if you’re wondering- okay no one’s omnipresent, what’s her research niche, well keep reading dear friend…

To understand and appreciate the talent Salomone brings to the table, one must know that this Rio de Janeiro reporter was profiling the most topical, worldwide tech stories before anyone really knew what her articles highlighted. In a mid 2007 piece she wrote for the well-known newspaper Folha de São Paulo, she investigates the pros/cons, development process surrounding 2004 Brazilian Facebook competitor Orkurt – founded and launched by Orkut Büyükkökten. Shortly after this she also wrote a piece about the digital community ASmallWorld.net that didn’t even receive attention stateside until mid-2010. In the early 2000s while top CMOs were trying to explain ‘Internet Marketing’ to their Fortune 500 bosses, south of the equator Salomone was graduating (no doubt with many honors) from high school already fully tuned to the looming media renaissance.

Courtesy of LivrariaSaraiva.com.Br

Although old school Roberta Salomone fans will wait a few more years before they’re able to record her E! True Hollywood Story, it’s a safe bet that we won’t wait long to read her next fantastic article. Wherever you end up reading Roberta’s latest work, at the very least take a second and give her a Retweet.

I assure you it’s hard-earned and well deserved.

Amanda // @acmontgomery
E acrawfordmontgomery@gmail.com
LinkedIn.com/in/AmandaMontgomery

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Brazil’s 2013 Plan at Hand: Fixing the Education Gap ASAP

“In the long term, most plans are of little importance but that said,
thoughtful planning is always essential.”
— Winston Churchill

This past summer, when the last 2012 London Olympics athletes finally left England with their medals in tow, and after the last Confetti gun was fired at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the whole UK let out a collective, appreciative sigh. Understandably worn out, her majesty’s government wasted no time in passing on the ‘Party Host’ torch (pardon the pun) to Brazil.  Their Southern Atlantic neighbor will spend the next four years serving as the official ‘Celebration Nation’ not just to the 2016 Olympics but also to the 2014 World Cup community.

Never mind Brazil’s infamous reputation concerning the ability to throw one fun carnival; that’s not exactly helpful when it comes knocking out a housekeeping ‘To-Do’ list many miles long.  Every Culture,  Tourism, and Engineering office continues to spend day and night strategizing ways to accommodate a guest list exceeding millions.  And forget the tea candles, place cards, or pressed napkins.  For now, the country’s education leaders will spend next year’s majority trying to fix the education gap that’s holding back amongst other things Brazil’s booming growth spurt.

While in São Paulo for BBC World News, Katty Kay’s latest report on this topic explains how looming concerns over slower economic growth, inflation, etc., stand to nullify every progressive educational benchmark Brazil’s surpassed since the early/mid 90s.  Moreover, the leading international research firm PISA, recently profiled national education systems, ranking Brazil 53rd.  It’s a concerning placement, taking into account that Brazil’s economy -now the world’s #6 GDP- just bumped the UK to spot #7 not all that long ago.  To point, Kay notes that if Brazil wishes to sustain noticeable progress, “it will require more than muscle to lift a country into modernity; they will need human resources too.”  And while it’s not an exact science,  the process to improve a nation’s ability to educate their domestic population needs to begin with reviewing all teacher feedback.

It’s extremely risky when a government, underestimates a teacher’s role (no matter the grade level) and their ability to influence the educational community locally, nationally, and abroad.  Speaking candidly with Kay about the subject, Priscila Cruz, a prominent Education Campaigner, reiterates that Brazil’s 2+ million teachers posses a great voting power.  In serving as the Executive Director to the organization, Todos Pela Educação, Cruz operates an invaluable company, using the latest technology and media to distribute countless necessary resources, in order to help any Brazilian teacher receive better professional training.  As a result when it comes to electing senior officials who have the power to change government policies concerning education, more teachers will cast knowledge votes.  Any social, economic, or political change relies upon the individual citizen’s ability to maintain a versed political understanding- all party loyalties aside.

As Kay’s article for BBC points out, it’s true that “over the past 20 years Brazil has done an impressive job of getting more students into the education system.”  However that success translates to a different problem, as enrolling more students, now requires schools to expand their class availability.  Furthermore, if teachers fail to receive extensive training before they actually start teaching their classes – the negative impact gradually trickles down and directly impacts every Brazilian student.  Although sophomoric, many young students voice their genuine understanding that gaining even the most basic education, acts as a passport that will eventually grant access to creating a successful future.  Such enthusiastic, insistent student potential deserves far more than an educational environment that underserves the teachers and their instructional materials.

Failing to implement such serious changes will not only hurt Brazil’s academic reputation internationally; there’s also weighty financial implications to consider.  It stands to reason that if Brazil’s working demographic isn’t sufficiently educated, then it will force the present and future commercial development to hire a labor force – not locally from Brazil – but more expensive professionals, eager to relocate overseas.  A Brazilian workforce lacking transferable skills, also jeopardizes the ability to diversify the nation’s economic activity.  It’s exceptionally dangerous for any country to rely on a single trade exchange, i.e. only exporting natural resources or supplying commodities to China.  Hence, if Brazil wishes to evolve past the ’emerging leader’ role then they must prepare to keep pace with Asia/US/European competition.

Without question, luck, timing and a rare geographic/coincidental proximity between two such monumental events like the Olympics and World Cup all give Brazil premium opportunity to show off the nation’s historic legacy and other strengths.  But in order to make this global presentation a truly successful, resonating performance they must first figure out how to redesign the way both lower/higher education rouses the population.  Once this internal enlightening begins, it’s only a matter of time before Brazil’s talent pool will flood into the market place.  It will serve Brazil well to follow their national motto more closely than ever over the next decade.  It’s an unremitting philosophy… Order first, then Progress.

Verdade, meus amigos, muito verdadeiro. // True, my friends, very true.

Amanda // @acmontgomery
E acrawfordmontgomery@gmail.com
LinkedIn.com/in/AmandaMontgomery

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!