Tufts U uses ‘Vibe’ in massive outreach to prospective students

Tufts tries to draw people to Facebook without driving them away from other content.

Dean Tsouvalas, editor-in-chief of StudentAdvisor.com, recently interviewed Daniel Grayson, associate director of undergraduate admissions at Tufts University, which ranked 81st on StudentAdvisor’s Top 100 Social Media Colleges.

Grayson pushed to begin Tufts’ social media outreach and founded the admissions presences on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and CollegeConfidential.com, as well as managing the development of Tufts Admissions’ blogging from a single wordpress-hosted blog in 2008 to several dozen bloggers on an integrated blogging platform today.

He currently oversees Tufts admissions web outreach strategy, including the management and development of admissions.tufts.edu.  His tenure at Tufts stretches into its seventh year for 2012-2013, with experience reading applications within the United States and abroad.…Read More

The masters of social media in higher education

StudentAdvisor evaluated social media initiatives at 6,000 colleges.

From tweeting the day’s dining hall menu to online posts showing where students can find an empty parking spot, campus officials have found inventive ways to use social media for practical purposes.

The 100 best uses of social media in higher education were released this fall by StudentAdvisor.com, a Massachusetts-based website that helps prospective students compare schools.

The annual ranking reads like a laundry list of the most effective ways campus decision makers can draw students with relevant information that can become an everyday part of their Twitter and Facebook feeds.…Read More

New service helps students pinpoint search for open online courses

Einztein's library includes more than 2,000 complete online courses.
Einztein's library includes more than 2,000 complete online courses.

Sifting through archives of open online course material could soon become easier. A new public beta version of a web-based college course library aims to help students find open curriculum with a search function designed to narrow their hunt for video and audio lectures.

Einztein, a nonprofit organization based in Santa Monica, Calif., launched the beta version of a library with more than 2,000 complete online courses grouped into more than 30 categories, according to a May 25 company announcement.

Einztein’s library, approved of and curated by scholars and educational experts, features a search engine that helps students and educators drill down to exactly the course they’re searching for, doing the “heavy lifting of cataloguing and indexing the courses into a searchable library,” according to the announcement.…Read More

To impress, Tufts prospects turn to YouTube

It is reading season at the Tufts University admissions office, time to plow through thousands of essays, transcripts, and recommendations—and this year, for the first time, short YouTube videos that students could post to supplement their application, reports the New York Times. About 1,000 of the 15,000 applicants submitted videos. There are videos showing off card tricks, horsemanship, jump rope, and stencils—and lots of rap songs. Some have gotten thousands of hits on YouTube. Tufts, which, like the University of Chicago, is known for its quirky applications, invited the YouTube videos. Lee Coffin, the dean of undergraduate admissions, said the idea came to him last spring as he watched a YouTube video someone had sent him. “I thought, ‘If this kid applied to Tufts, I’d admit him in a minute, without anything else,’” Coffin said. For their videos, some students sat in their bedrooms and talked earnestly into the camera, while others made day-in-the-life montages, featuring buddies, burgers, and lacrosse practice. A few were quite elaborate productions. Even without prompting, admissions officials say, a growing number of students submit videos. For Tufts, the videos have been a delightful way to get to know the applicants. “At heart, this is all about a conversation between a kid and an admissions officer,” Coffin said. “You see their floppy hair and their messy bedrooms, and you get a sense of who they are. We have a lot of information about applicants, but the videos let them share their voice.”

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Report details coming trends in campus technology

Typing on a laptop could be outdated in four or five years, according to ed-tech projections.
Typing on a laptop could be outdated in four or five years, according to ed-tech projections.

Open scholarly content will become more commonplace in higher education in the next year as online universities and textbook companies organize and harness the internet’s mass of educational material, according to a report that predicts campus technology advances within the next five years.

The 2010 Horizon Report, released this week by education technology advocacy group EDUCAUSE and the New Media Consortium, describes technological changes that will have the greatest impact on college students and faculty.

The seventh annual report’s short-term prediction focuses on open content—a trend buoyed by MIT’s Open Courseware Initiative and the Open Knowledge Foundation, among others.…Read More