Friday 10 May 2013

HEA Computing Seminar: Professional Online Presence

This week I attended and presented at a seminar led by Dr Thomas Lancaster (@DrLancaster) at Birmingham City University. This was the second in a series supported by the Higher Education Academy. I was invited to present when I met Thomas at the STEM HEA Conference. Also there, was Mark Ratcliffe, HEA Discipline Lead for Computing.

The day commenced with a talk from David While on professional development with a focus on what academics need to learn about what is happening in schools. What skills will they bring in to university? Whilst ever increasingly tech savvy, are they ready to apply those social media skills in a professional context. My experience says not following numerous conversations giving guest lectures to university students on developing a professional online presence.  

Thomas then went on to provide a context for the day and proposed programme outline. His first talk was about how we should go about constructing a professional presence.

My contribution was looking at how we can develop connections using social media as part of our professional learning networks, but also looking at some things to consider in relation to the impact our digital footprint can have. 


Thomas went on to give a second presentation. The focus was on strategies that academics could use to add content to their blogs and social sites, increase the reach of their research, gain publicity and benefit from the wider possibilities afforded through social media.

The discussions there after were about how social media has opened new communication channels to people we may never have met, as well as opportunities to collaborate. For some the use of social media in a professional was still relatively new so having the time to raise questions and put in to practice some new skills was useful. 

Throughout the event participants tweeted using the hashtag #heaprofpres. To collate these tweets Thomas used Storify, providing a record of the event and reactions to it. 

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