The original purpose of my interview with Eric Stoller this past Monday (02.06.12) was to get some insight about his view on some technology tools to be aware of for 2012. Though our conversation went to a bit of a different place (My Conversation with Eric Stoller…), we did talk about some tech tools you might want to look in to:
- Tripit – Eric mentioned that this tool could be the best friend of an “Admissions Counselor Road Warrior.” This site allows someone to easily keep travel arrangements and hotel information in one location. You can send your travel information directly to the site or have it pull the information from your email client. It is free to use with different upgrade packages depending on the amount of travel you may do.
- Blogs – Eric advocated for blogs to be the “main channel” of one’s communication strategy. He wrote an article for insidehighered.com that provides more in depth explanation of this point of view (Blogs: The Foundation of Your Communications Strategy)
- Xobni – The word “inbox” backwords, Xobni is a way to manage all of your contacts across various platforms. The Smartr program culls info from email and SM and makes it easy for you to get in contact with others. Eric detailed the real-time search function and how it simplifies finding people you want to contact across different programs. As a bonus, it can be used in Gmail or Outlook and has mobile apps for Android and Iphone.
- Delicious – Described as being a social bookmarking site, Delicious is a precursor to the Pinterest craze. It allows you to add things you like while trolling the web and then have the ability to share or keep them to yourself.
- Google+ – I have advocated for people to start using Google+ and outline why in a previous post (Why You May Want to Start Cultivating Your Google+ Account.). So, I won’t take time to do that here.
And now, some tech tools you may want to avoid.
- Vimeo – Eric has not tried to hide his discontent with Vimeo and their lack of response to accessibility issues (Vimeo and Closed Captioning, Dear Vimeo, Patience Isn’t An Option, & Vimeo – Still Not A Viable Web Solution for Higher Education). There are other web-based video services that provide the same functionality and have better accessibility functions. Stick with them.
- Pinterest – Is it a passing fad or will it be the next Twitter? Perhaps it is too early to tell. There have been a bunch of posts recently about Pinterest and its use in higher education. I am skeptical. I am not sure about its applicability to higher education. As Eric said in my interview, “We [student affairs professionals] sometimes get too caught up in the flashy and new, before we get really good with the technology that is already out there.” I agree with him and I feel that Pinterest is a perfect example. It is okay to let our students have their own things. We do not have to engage with them on every platform imaginable.
You may have heard of some of these services and maybe you have not. What would you add? What would you get rid of?