10 higher ed blogs worth the quick read in 2016

Deep thinkers in the higher ed-tech world share their thoughts on reinvention, the new IT model, management changes, and what really works in the classroom.

higher-ed-blogsThough Twitter is always good for a quick one-sentence thought-and-reply, it’s still blogs that evoke not only the most thoughtful opinion summations from its authors, but also attract a community committed to engaging in meaningful dialogue: two characteristics that lend well to higher education.

As colleges and universities across the higher education spectrum continue to experience dramatic shifts in practice in practically every aspect of the campus ecosphere, blogs can often provide a national sounding board for faculty, staff and stakeholders that are often siloed with their department or institution.

But which one to take the precious time left in the day to read?

Here, the editors of eCampus News have selected 10 vetted and well-read higher ed blogs that cover a range of topics, with a focus on education technology and IT topics. Know of some that didn’t make the list that you think are worth a mention? Be sure to leave your comments in the section provided below!

[Listed in alphabetical order]

1.Academic Tech Tips: Run by IT staff at Loyola University Chicago, this higher ed blog offers technical advice and how-to’s on apps, software workflows, lecture capture, and all areas that deal with issues of technical expertise.

2.Community College Roundtable: A higher ed-tech blog from eCampus News that solicits unedited blog posts from community college professors and administrators on innovation and the evolution of teaching, learning, and admin within their institutions.

3.Dr. Josie Ahlquist: Ahlquist is a prolific blogger, a student affairs educator, and received her EdD from California Lutheran University doctoral program studying higher education leadership. She is interested in what technology can do from both the student and faculty perspective, and her posts showcase her research into social media trends’ influence on higher education.

4.e-Literate: Written and curated by Michael Feldstein, former Assistant Director at the SUNY Learning Network and current partner at MindWires Consulting, this higher ed blog features by-invitation-only bloggers with diverse backgrounds in e-learning and online learning, as well as blended learning and instructional technology.

5.EDUCAUSE Blogs: EDUCAUSE, a well-known resource for all in higher ed (and especially IT), the nonprofit association aims to connect IT professionals and help drive meaningful change in colleges and universities. EDUCAUSE staff “synthesize current topics and invite guest-bloggers to share their thoughts on a wide variety of issues and themes important to higher education,” notes the blog website. The association’s staff blogs on everything from cybersecurity to classroom practices, and invites readers to share their experiences and thoughts by commenting on blogs of interest.

(Next page: Higher ed blogs 6-10)

6.Higher Ed Management: Dr. Keith Hampson of Acrobatiq (A Carnegie Mellon University venture) writes about management strategy for those working in digital higher education. The posts cover design and development, innovation, business models and trends in technology strategy.

7.Logorrhea: A higher ed blog written by David Hinson, an eCampus News advisory board member, the Director of Information Technology at Yeshivah of Flatbush, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a mobile platform developer, Hinson brings his (primarily video) experiences to life both higher ed and mobile development.

8.The Lone Sysadmin: This higher ed blog, created by Bob Plankers, a virtualization architect, system administrator, storage administrator, network administrator, end user, project manager, and developer, derives its name from The X-Files’ “Lone Gunmen” hackers. “I write for various technology outlets, and serve as an analyst with The Virtualization Practice. I also operate a consulting business specializing in system design, automation, and modern IT operations. I am an IT generalist and I’m good at it. I’m also not nearly as cocky as the previous sentence makes me seem,” he writes. “In my 25 years of working in IT I’ve concluded one thing: technology is easy, it’s the people that are hard. Plankers’ posts focus on the human side of IT management, highlighting accomplishments that don’t just come from surviving technical crises.

9.Mistaken Goal: Blogger Kevin Guidry is a senior research analyst in the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning (CTAL) at the University of Delaware. “The URL for this site is inspired by a common theme we face in life in which we can easily mistake the tools we are (or should be) using to accomplish a goal for the goal itself. It’s an issue I often face as I become immersed in particular tools – technologies, pedagogies, analytic techniques, etc. – so it’s good for me to have this constant reminder to keep my focus where it more properly belongs,” he writes. “This is not a unique thought and many other people have expressed it more eloquently than I. One of my favorite formulations is from Stanley N. Katz in ‘In Information Technology, Don’t Mistake a Tool for a Goal’: “…technology is not something that happens to us. It is something we create. We must not confuse a tool with a goal. We must, therefore, be sure that technology serves the fundamental purposes of higher education.” Guidry investigates the junction of student affairs and technology, and became a hit when he provided a first-hand account of his experience as a MOOC student.

10.Prof Hacker: The blog, part of The Chronicle’s network of educational blogs and forums, contains posts that are written by a rotating band of professors and educators. Edited by Jason B Jones, director of Educational Technology at Trinity College, and George H Williams, associate Professor of English at the University of South Carolina Upstate, ProfHacker provides “tips, tutorials and commentary on pedagogy, productivity and technology in Higher Education.”

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