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Teaching Trend: A PINTERESTING YEAR FOR HIGHER ED

Submitted by BNCAdmin on Thu,12/27/2012-12:42

A new infographic from WorldWideLearn.com, an education and career counsel resource, examines the role Pinterest is playing in higher education. 

Pinterest is an online destination for creating “virtual pinboards” of thematically curated content from the web at no cost to the user.  Its easily navigated, visually appealing interface has garnered over 10 million users, making it the fastest growing social media site of the year.  Visitors average over 1.5 hours on the site monthly, and while Pinterest is known for its popularity among women, male interest is on the rise, especially when it comes to classroom learning as Deneen Gilmour, Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism at Minnesota State University, recently discovered.

Education professionals across the country are using Pinterest to enrich student participation and collaboration, aggregate reading materials and assignments, share visual inspiration, and showcase student work.  For more inspiration on how to use Pinterest to reach your students, check out WorldWideLearn’s infographic below to see what your peers are up to.

Professors, Peers, and Pinterest
Courtesy of: WorldWideLearn.com

INIGRAL EMBRACES THE FACEBOOK GENERATION WITH “ENROLLMENT INTELLIGENCE”

Submitted by BNCAdmin on Tue,12/04/2012-16:40

In what has been dubbed “A Boom Time for Educational Startups,” San Francisco based Inigral is making headlines with its Schools App for Facebook, Android and iPhone.  The app facilitates and encourages student body social networking as soon as an acceptance letter is received.  It then delivers analytics on prospective student activity in order to forecast enrollment and ascertain digital clues as to why final decisions are being made. 

Last month Inigral announced that its new “Enrollment Intelligence” technology not only predicts enrollment, but also significantly increases the likelihood of it for the over 100 participating institutions, like Samford University, which is notably entering into its third year of partnership with the company.  The announcement further presented Schools App as an advantageous approach to student outreach for admission professionals with increasingly limited budgetary resources.

Last year Inigral became the first for-profit company (not to mention the first education tech company) to ever receive funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, prompting Fast Company to list it as one of the 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education.  In October that innovation paid off when The Gates Foundation re-invested in Inigral.  Venture Beat’s coverage of the endowment highlights the parallels between the Gates Postsecondary fund’s goal of reaching low-income students from diverse backgrounds and Inigral’s ability to provide personalized communication to college hopefuls from all walks of life within the Facebook generation.

Perhaps Dr. Brian C. Mitchell, founder and director of the Edvance Foundation, summarized the Schools App secret to success best when he simply described it as “a bridge between what students want out of a social network and what institutions need to meet their enrollment and retention goals.”  With the rapid growth this start-up has shown so far, only one question remains.  What gap will Inigral bridge next?