Online Learning Update

September 22, 2014

Leading in 140 Characters or Less

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:02 am

by University of Cincinnati President Santa J. Ono, EDUCAUSE Review Online

From my perspective, digital engagement plays an indispensable role in the effort to be the kind of leader I want to be. Others are skeptical, or may even find the concept anathema to their idea of the college or university. But whatever one’s attitude, I submit that we best serve our stakeholders by adopting or rejecting social media for good and thoughtful reasons rather than by reflex, whether avid or fearful. Here are some numbers that might widen your eyes, as they did mine. As of January 2013, there were more devices connected to the Internet than there were people on Earth. In 2014, the average time people are spending on Facebook each month reaches 15.5 hours. Twitter logs over 300 million tweets every day. Virtually all—98 percent—of 18- to 24-year-olds use social media. According to one source, 40 percent of people said they socialize more on social media than face-to-face. Whether or not a president chooses to engage in digital communication, social media is helping to shape the environment of his or her institution. If that institution is to thrive (not just exist), leaders need to take a look that is long, slow, and careful at the media that are brief, quick, and provisional.

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