Blogs and raising school profiles
I know that I was a good student at Jordanhill, the Education Faculty and the University of Strathclyde, but I didn't know that I was so good as to merit being fourth on Google when you search for the University.
OK, so this has less to do with my Distinction and more to do with the fact that blogs bring Googlejuice, for individuals but also for institutions. At least what is coming up on my blog post about Jordanhill is positive stuff - a lecture I did there that was well received and linked to by lots of people.
But what happens if someone one day decides to write something highly critical? If the University had a blog then they would be able to respond and their blog would appear higher on Google than the perpetrator's. Problem sorted, and the University comes over as an institution in touch with its students, current and prospective, and as a place where I or any other teacher would love to work. Who wouldn't love to work in an open organisation where you can enter into a dialogue with the senior management?
If it doesn't get itself a blog soon, then it's not going to be long until someone somewhere posts something that isn't to their taste. Not because the university is doing anything particularly bad, but just because education is highly subjective and everyone has an opinion on it. And lots of them are beginning to blog about it.
I have to say that this post and this current way of thinking has been wholly inspired by Loic Le Meur's Les Blogs pour les Pros and Shel Israel and Robert Scoble's Naked Conversations. It's the academic chapter that was missing from both. Let's hope blogging doesn't turn into a Dell Hell for the University of Strathclyde - or any other old academic institution.