theolynn

Posts Tagged ‘DCU LINK’

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – some links to free social media metric tools

In Business Education, DCU Business School, Digital Marketing, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Uncategorized on April 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

“In physical science the first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be.”[PLA, vol. 1, “Electrical Units of Measurement”, 1883-05-03]

As the semester at DCU Business School comes to an end, I find myself with marginally more time and have decided to refocus again on sharing some nuggets in the long form. This particular article will be a work in progress and so I apologise in advance for the “list” nature of this and that it will be expanded and polished over time. NOTE: I have excluded the big three search engines as a tool because you should be using these anyhow.

As Lord Kelvin said, to measure is to know. There is an ongoing debate on whether you can calculate the ROI on social media – I don’t particularly understand the perspective that you can’t – if there is an action, it can be measured. Once you accept it can be measured, then the next question might be whether it is feasible (economically, technically, ethically etc) to do so. Then once you have some measurements, how do you interpret this data. This blog discusses some free tools that you may be able to derive some value from.

A good starting point is David Berkowitz’ (@dberkowitz) list on “100 Ways to Measure Social Media”. David has also made his presentation to the PMA available. I like this presentation (the list is embedded) as he contextualises his thinking.

My interest and focus is increasingly around understanding how business re-orient from the demo-graph to the social graph and understanding network theories is essential. I like Dan Halgin and Stephen Bogatti’s paper on Network Theorizing.If you accept this re-orientation, you need to rethink your marketing and customer engagement strategy dramatically – in many respects it requires getting to know your customers on a much more deeper level and finding a point on the social graph that you can intersect or levers for influence. This is not really something new. Historically, this is how we always did business – people would ask friends, families, neighbours, authority figures for recommendations on people based on their centrality within a community, their social activity and their connectivity or network. Today, we have many different types of network – in the real world and the virtual and what it means to be connected to someone means different things in each network or does it? Is your Twitter network the same as your Facebook one or your LinkedIn one or your FourSquare Friends or your Contacts list on your phone or even your Christmas Card list ? How much influence do you have on these networks? What does it mean when your “friends” don’t “like” you? Being a “friend” used to be hard but now it is just complicated.

Visualizing your social network or the social network of your target customer is a good first step. There used to be some neat free tools around like Agna and now LinkedIn is looking at this, in a relatively basic way, using InMaps. Wikipedia have a good page on Social Network Analysis software. Understanding the network topography is only a start. Who are these people?  Who has influence? Well, there emerging popular players in the social media universe are Klout (Klout have an app – sociofluence but some influence interpretation reports seem inconsistent) and Peer Index. I like both for different reasons. Klout is easy to use and can be used to craft and refine your personal and institutional brand. They have made a pretty good stab at categorising social media users (and in this context Facebook and Twitter users initially) and provide a lot of data points that can be used for marketing purposes. I like Peer Index because it allows you to create peer groups and compare them against activity, authority and audience and therefore allows quick visualization of influence. When looking at these profiles, I look at the score and see what’s driving them. If it is very facebook driven, you might ask whether the person’s user’s influence is driven by personal social activity. Another piece of data to help establish they type of influence the target has, is their topic analysis – does it reflect personal casual interests or personal professional interests. Both can be useful for marketing purposes but may be interpreted differently for employment purposes. There are a couple of other similar tools like Grader (Grader offer tools to rank you on blogs, twitter, facebook, foursquare etc etc) and Twitalyzer. While there seems to be some correlation between Klout and Peer IndexGrader  is often a mystery to me and I don’t really understand the utility of the foursquare grader. Another snapshot tool is Twitter Search and OpenBook – the former allows you search all twitter feeds and the latter all facebook accounts with public settings -you may get an insight in to what people are really saying about you. This is best used with keyword analysis via Google.

Sentiment Analysis seems to the be one of buzzword bingo winners of recent times. I’m a big fan of the sector and have tried Radian6, Scout Labs and others but these are expensive for a small to medium sized business. I believe people feel have a more positive sentiment to positive people and indeed the people you want to be associated and are more likely to help you are generally those of a positive outlook. However, people who are unhappy or negative often have a problem that you may be able to solve and they also represent opportunities. Twitrratr is a quick snapshot of the twitter sentiment surrounding a brand, product, person or topic based on analysis of positive and negative words (links to words sourced from Jim Sterne).

Some other twitter tools which may be useful to look at are Tweetreach and Twunfollow. The free Tweetreach  tools give you a snapshot of the last 50 tweets of  user and provides you with analysis of reach (by users and impressions), tweet type and the contributors to reach. While many people focus on the size of their audience, few monitor who is unfollowing them. Unfollows may be interpreted as failed attempts to engage – these people have decided to follow you because of a message and then decided to unfollow you, why? Understanding the unfollow motivation may provide an insight in to your messaging style and how you might refine communication. For free, Twunfollow provides you with a 7-day analysis and trending graph for both follower and follower growth and then lists unfollows, follows and deleted followers (eg they may have been deleted by themselves or for spamming). Each unfollow entry includes how long they had been following you from. My students have recently been messing around with Twalue and Twength (although I may have first (re)tweeted this. Twalue puts a monetary value on your twitter account and twength measures your average twitter length. The former isn’t really useful without comparative data and then I think the way the valuation is done could be perceived negatively. The latter may have value in that long tweets may not be retweeted or when retweeted are truncated and therefore the message is impaired. So Twength may be useful for refining a factor that impacts on amplification.

A note on blogs – blogging platforms come with a variety of good analytical tools.  These are largely covered in David Berkowitz’ list but it is worthwhile looking at Jason Stamper’s  Blog Value Index and Avinash Kaushik’s Blog Metrics: Six Recommendations For Measuring Your Success.

One observation which may be useful is that success on one social network does not necessarily translate to other social networks – a blogger may not transition to microblogs and have the same impact. Similarly, the number of followers does not equate to influence.

Other reading? I liked Jim Sterne‘s book, Social Media Metrics and his blog. Why? It had lots of stuff I had seen elsewhere but bundled them together nicely in to a customer lifecycle structure. It was also a fast and easy read! I also really like Gary Arndt’s blog post on Klout vs PeerIndex, mostly because he has engaged the executives from Klout and Peer Index via comments and there are some great insights in these comments.

Please feel free to leave comments and suggest some sites I may have forgotten or need to check out.

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Leaving the ‘Paris of the East’ – Goodbye Shanghai! – Day Nine of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai

In Business Education, DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Travel, World Expo 2010 on August 11, 2010 at 9:18 am
The DCU Business School Group pose one last time outside the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai.

The DCU Business School Group pose one last time outside the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai.

And so our Shanghai adventures come to an end.

We decided to spare ourselves the hassle of  negotiating the Shanghai transport system at 7am and rented a coach to the Airport – it took significantly longer than the MagLev! Unsurprisingly (1) we had more luggage leaving and (2) few people were awake to witness our departure through the outskirts of Shanghai. Checking in at Pudong International Airport was straightforward and only one person had to pay extra baggage charges!

Laurynas Binderis modelling a fetching pair of sunglasses at Duty Free in Pudong International Airport, Shanghai.

Laurynas Binderis modelling a fetching pair of sunglasses at Duty Free in Pudong International Airport, Shanghai.

Pudong International Airport is extremely modern and the range of shops and duty free goods is excellent. I think I did a good job avoiding the propensity to buy unusually large amounts of tacky souvenirs and bought what I thought my wife and kids would genuinely like (and for the record they did!) – a Shanghai Tang scarf for Niamh, a “genuine” Chinese ethnic doll for Aoife, a panda bear pillow for Jamie and last but not least, a Panda hat for Chloe. The Panda hat may be a bit big!

Ciara Dolan models Chloe's Panda Bear hat as Micheal O'Leary looks on enviously in Pudong International Airport, Shanghai. Stylish.

Ciara Dolan models Chloe's Panda Bear hat as Micheal O'Leary looks on enviously in Pudong International Airport, Shanghai. Stylish.

The flight home was a mixed affair. I got upgraded to Business Class so I was as happy as the proverbial pig however the group got randomly spread across the rest of economy rather than together and I think the BA crew could have been more understanding in relation to some specific cultural requirements some of our students had. Equally everyone was tired. The minor stopover at Heathrow, lunch at Giraffe and short hop to Dublin was not worth mentioning – everyone home safe and sound!

6,141 miles, 9 days, 24 postgrads, 3 support staff, one monkey, very little sleep – was it worth it? Absolutely.

The roll of honour:

Andrew Bonello (Research Assistant, DCU Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge (LINK) Research Centre, DCU Business School)

Andrew Bonello (Research Assistant, DCU Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge (LINK) Research Centre, DCU Business School)

Sarah McPartlin (Teaching Assistant, DCU Business School)

Sarah McPartlin (Teaching Assistant, DCU Business School)

Micheal O'Leary (Teaching Assistant, DCU Business School)

Micheal O'Leary (Teaching Assistant, DCU Business School)

Wafa AlMuhamma (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Wafa AlMuhamma (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Laurynas Binderis (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Laurynas Binderis (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Siobhan Buckley soaks up Shanghai on the Big Bus Tour

Siobhan Buckley (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Rosemary Clancy (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Rosemary Clancy (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Brian Connolly (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Brian Connolly (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Joe Cullinan (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Joe Cullinan (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Sean Cullivan (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Sean Cullivan (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Ciara Dolan (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Ciara Dolan (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Sean Donnelly (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Sean Donnelly (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Niamh Downey (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Niamh Downey (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Rob Elliffe (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business Sc

Rob Elliffe (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Martin Hennig (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Martin Hennig (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Dan Higgins (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business Sch

Dan Higgins (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School

Keith Lawless (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Keith Lawless (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Tanya McNamara (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Tanya McNamara (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Beatrice Metzler (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Beatrice Metzler (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Laureen Morrissette (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Laureen Morrissette (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Niamh NicClamha (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Niamh NicClamha (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Lorna NiMhuiri (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Lorna NiMhuiri (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Nicolae (Nick) Opris (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Nicolae (Nick) Opris (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Carolann O'Sullivan (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Carolann O'Sullivan (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Barry Sweeney (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Barry Sweeney (MSc in E-commerce (Business), DCU Business School)

Zara Walsh (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Zara Walsh (MSc in Business Management, DCU Business School)

Ekaterina (Katia) Zavershinskaya (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

Ekaterina (Katia) Zavershinskaya (MBS in Marketing, DCU Business School)

The Monkey

The Monkey

r. Theo Lynn (Director, DCU Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge (LINK) Research Centre, DCU Business School)

Dr. Theo Lynn (Director, DCU Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge (LINK) Research Centre, DCU Business School)

More photos on flickr.
Irish Blogs

University Day at Shanghai – Day Five of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In Chinese Restaurants in Shanghai, DCU Business School, Dublin City University, Ireland, M on the Bund, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Tongji University, Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Andrew and I had an early start attending an Executive Breakfast briefing, to be attended by President Mary McAleese, organised by Enterprise Ireland at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Pudong district of Shanghai.  We represented Dublin City University with Xiaoxia Wang, DCU’s China Rep. We also invited and were delighted to host two guests, Ms. Grace Shou, Vice Director of the International Office at the School of Economics and Management at Tongji University, and Professor Xu Xiaowei, Vice President of Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade. After arriving at 0715 and admiring the view of The Bund from the 7th floor, the breakfast kicked off with introductions and gift giving to our guests. We also briefly met with Deirdre Walsh (ChinaGreen), Breiffini Kennedy (Asia Manager, An Bord Bia). Everything about the Shangri-La was five star – the food, the service and the company! While we had a pleasant discussion with Ms. Shou and Professor Xu, unfortunately President McAleese didn’t arrive until 0830 and Andrew and I had to leave to travel to Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade where we had prior arrangements.

Pudong Shangri-La

Pudong Shangri-La

Like all good plans, this didn’t go smoothly either. We hit rush hour in Shanghai and then our taxi drive drove right past our hotel, nearly in to an oncoming bus and then in his attempt to correct things tried to do a u-turn on a one-way highway in to a flash-mob of Chinese workers on mopeds! In the meanwhile, Micheal met our translator and got everyone on our coach for the day as we arrived 45 minutes late. Founded in 1960,the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT) has approx. 10,000 students and focusses nearly exclusively on international business. This focus has allowed faculty to specialise and the much of the teaching is bilingual. We were heading to their new  Songjiang campus, part of a university city-type development on the outskirts of Shanghai – similar to our trip last year to Dubai, this development had 6-7 colleges and the entire town was designed around student needs with each institution sharing some central services – possibly a good idea for all that NAMA-land. The trip to Songjiang took about an hour and we got to see the sheer size of Shanghai from a different view. Needless to say, we got lost but eventually 45 minutes late, we arrived at our destination to be greeted by Xu Rui (Cherry), our student organizer, faculty and some 20 postgrads. It was one of the most memorable and colorful welcomes to any university I have visited.

DCU Business School and Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade Faculty and Students, Shanghai, 2010

DCU Business School and Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade Faculty and Students, Shanghai, 2010

After posing for a group photo with faculty and students, we proceeded to a formal welcome from the students and some members of faculty. Again we were overwhelmed by our welcome and after an able introduction in English by one of the SIFT students, we were welcomed formally by Professor Shu Hong,  Deputy Zhang Yan and other colleagues. I said a few words and we exchanged gifts. I felt bad as SIFT went to immense trouble and gave everyone in our group a tiger gift and I only had gifts for the faculty and some smaller gifts for some of the students – note for next time.

Niamh NicClamha, Tanya McNamara and Ciara Dolan pose with SIFT students at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade College Museum

Niamh NicClamha, Tanya McNamara and Ciara Dolan pose with SIFT students at the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade College Museum

Next stop was a tour of the SIFT College Museum. This was extremely impressive. Again one of the students explained the history of SIFT through the various. The pride in their institutions accomplishments was impressive and it is something that we need to try and imbue a sense of within our students and universities in Ireland. After a brief walk through the campus, we joined the students and faculty for lunch in the student restaurant which again was an educational experience. It was great for us to get to sit with and share food with the Chinese faculty and students. Both sides were very inquisitive and engaged and the students’ English language level was excellent. See more photos of our SIFT visit on flickr here.

Dr. Theo Lynn and Xu Rui (Cherry). Cherry is a postgraduate at SIFT and helped organise our itinerary at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade.

Dr. Theo Lynn and Xu Rui (Cherry). Cherry is a postgraduate at SIFT and helped organise our itinerary at Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade.

And so after posing for some more pictures, we said farewell to our new friends in SIFT and headed in to our next stop – the School of Economics and Management in Tongji University (SEM-Tongji). SEM-Tongji is located in the centre of Shanghai and is partnered with over 50 business schools worldwide and is one of the leading management schools in China. We were greeted by Grace Shou, who we met at the Breakfast Briefing, and were lead to one of their lecture theatres where I was due to present.

DCU Business School Students visit the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University

DCU Business School Students visit the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University

I gave a brief introduction to DCU, the Business School and then discussed some observations on the Irish competitiveness and LINK research relating to the role of ICT usage in education. This visit was very different than SIFT but no less satisfying.  The Chinese attendees were very attentive and asked for insightful and direct questions.

Dr. Theo Lynn presents at the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai

Dr. Theo Lynn presents at the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai

In particular, as well as our research, I think they were both impressed with and curious about our research and teaching approaches for digital marketing and e-commerce, Next Generation Management and industry engagement. One of the last questions was particularly interesting in that they asked how many of our students would like to work for the government/civil service – the answer was probably a bit surprising for the Chinese. None.

Micheal O'Leary and Andrew Bonello Professor Wu questions Dr. Theo Lynn at the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai

Micheal O'Leary and Andrew Bonello watch on Professor Wu questions Dr. Theo Lynn at the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai

While the students toured the SEM-Tongji campus, I held meetings with Grace, Professor Wu and Susan Zhou. These were very informative and I hope to collaborate withSEM-Tongji on some e-commerce projects and visit again later in the year to deliver some workshops. Hopefully next year some of their students will join our classes on an exchange and vice-versa. As it was getting late in the day, we exchanged gifts and said our goodbyes to Tongji University and left for the hotel.

Niamh NicClamha, Laurynas Binderis, Sean Donnelly, Carolann O'Sullivan and Sarah McPartlin ready for dinner at "M on the Bund", Shanghai

Niamh NicClamha, Laurynas Binderis, Sean Donnelly, Carolann O'Sullivan and Sarah McPartlin ready for dinner at "M on the Bund", Shanghai

It’s Friday night in Shanghai! Some of the group decided to hit the town and check out the German bar for the World Cup match however a group of us put on our glad rags and went for dinner in ‘M on the Bund‘. M on the Bund is one of the best restaurants in Shanghai and one of the most reasonable fine-dining experiences I have had. It has a great location overlooking the Bund but the size of our group meant (i) our menu was restricted and (ii) we couldn’t sit on the terrace.

Siobhan Buckley, Ekaterina Zavershinskaya, Zara Walsh and Ciara Dolan on the terrace at 'M on the Bund', Shanghai

Siobhan Buckley, Ekaterina Zavershinskaya, Zara Walsh and Ciara Dolan on the terrace at 'M on the Bund', Shanghai

Despite this, everything on the group menu was great, our seating superb and the service excellent. I had the politically incorrect foie gras and beef and gorged myself to the limit on the “truly grand dessert platter to share”  – it was truly grand and more than enough to share.

The Grand Dessert Platter at 'M on the Bund' was worth attacking!

The Grand Dessert Platter at 'M on the Bund' was worth attacking!

I have to admit I bailed at 11pm whilst the youngsters hit the incredibly stylish Glamour Bar on the floor below the M. I quickly got a taxi and for the first time in five days, got to bed before midnight!

Rosemary Clancy, Siobhan Buckley, Sean Donnelly and Rob Elliffe glam it up at the "Glamour Bar" at "M on the Bund", Shanghai

Rosemary Clancy, Siobhan Buckley, Sean Donnelly and Rob Elliffe glam it up at the "Glamour Bar" at "M on the Bund", Shanghai

More photos on flickr. Day Six to follow….

Irish Blogs

Ireland National Day at World Expo 2010, Shanghai – Day Four of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Uncategorized, World Expo 2010 on July 18, 2010 at 9:00 am
The Irish Flag flies high at the entrance to the World Expo 2010, Shanghai on the Irish Pavilion Day, 17 June 2010.

The Irish Flag flies high at the entrance to the World Expo 2010, Shanghai on the Irish Pavilion Day, 17 June 2010.

World Expo 2010 is a huge event; more than 190 countries and more than 50 international organisations have registered to participate in the Shanghai World Expo, the largest ever. Over 70m people are expected to attend World Expo and while we were there over 500,000 people attended in one day. Each country has a pavilion day – Ireland’s National Day at World Expo 2010 took place on 17 June 2010 and I believe that DCU Business School was the only group of Irish students present.  Not that Ireland wasn’t represented, the good and great of the Irish diaspora in Ireland were joined by President Mary McAleese and her husband, Martin (both DCU honorary graduates), the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurs of the Year and many others. While our paths crossed, our day was made special by the efforts of our International students and their home country pavilions – an experience that the Irish delegation would have done well to experience.

We organised our World Expo tickets through ChinaGreen, which were promptly waiting at the hotel on our arrival. We kicked off at 7.30am in the lobby of the hotel to go native and take the metro to the World Expo.  Today was the first day we experienced a working day in Shanghai and we were not let down – the trains were packed!

Sean Donnelly and Brian Connolly struggle to stay upright in the throngs on the Shanghai metro

Sean Donnelly and Brian Connolly struggle to stay upright in the throngs on the Shanghai metro

Our group included students from 8 countries including Ireland and our goal was to visit each country’s pavilion. As part of our advance preparation, we contacted many of the pavilions and the response was overwhelmingly positive. As well as visiting the Irish pavilion, we  were being hosted by the Lithuanian, Maltese and Romanian pavilions. On Saturday, we would visit the German, Russian, USA and Saudi Arabian pavilions.

Tanya McNamara and Niamh NicClamha show off their coveted World Expo 2010 VIP passes.

Tanya McNamara and Niamh NicClamha show off their coveted World Expo 2010 VIP passes.

As we got off at Gate 8 at World Expo, Indrė Kumpikevičiūtė from the Lithuanian Pavilion greeted us and provided us with VIP passes for our stays – this was not insignificant, it meant we could skip the huge queues to the actual Expo and use VIP accesses to many pavilions.

Brian Connolly and Andrew Bonello discuss the queues to get in to World Expo as we proceeded to skip them via the VIP entrance.

Brian Connolly and Andrew Bonello discuss the queues to get in to World Expo as we proceeded to skip them via the VIP entrance. Note the Irish flag aloft for our National Pavilion Day.

As the week unfolded, we only had praise for Laurynas Binderis (one of DCU Business School’s Lithuanian students on the MSc in E-commerce (Business)) and assistance provided by the Lithuanian pavilion organisers. They not only provided us with passes but valuable guidance on the Expo and introductions to the German Pavilion, in particular.

DCU Business School Students pose with the Lithuanian Pavilion Representatives outside of the Lithuanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

DCU Business School Students pose with Indrė Kumpikevičiūtė outside of the Lithuanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Fresh with our new-found knowledge of the Balts, Andrew and I did a quick dash to the Irish Pavilion to pick up our tickets for the Irish Chamber Orchestra to the President later in the day. We were delighted to find that they expected us and we were let through the VIP entrance to collect our tickets and Irish fans (fans, not people) and rush back to meet the rest of the group at the Maltese Pavilion.

Our Lithuanian friends played an important part in the success of our World Expo 2010 visit.

Our Lithuanian friends played an important part in the success of our World Expo 2010 visit. Indrė Kumpikevičiūtė (Lithuanian Pavilion) and Laurynas Binderis (DCU Business School MSc in E-commerce (Business))

The Maltese Pavilion was an important stop for our group. Andrew Bonello, my Research Assistant, a DCU MSc in E-commerce (Business) graduate, and someone I have spent a lot of time with, has spoken to me many times about Malta, their culture and I guess I have benefitted, through Andrew, from their education system.

Just in case you didn't know. Andrew loves Malta. Andrew Bonello at the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Just in case you didn't know. Andrew loves Malta. Andrew Bonello at the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Once again, the Maltese welcome was excellent and Alexia Stafrace and Oliver Xuereb (Asst. Maltese Commissioner) organised a special presentation on Malta for us. Our visit started with a video on Malta followed by a special personal presentation by Alexia in front of each exhibit giving us a taste of Malta’s history, culture and industrial heritage. Malta is also a small island nation in the EU and we have more in common than different; indeed in a particular piece of Irishness, Alexia knew Andrew where she was his cub scout leader!

It really is a small world. Andrew Bonello meets his childhood Maltese cub scout leader at the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

It really is a small world. Andrew Bonello meets Alexia Stafrace, his childhood Maltese cub scout leader at the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Like Lithuania, the Maltese included a traditional Maltese bar, Cafe Jubilee, in their Pavilion offering rest and respite to Expo visitors but also showcasing the Maltese drinks industry. It was surprisingly like an Irish bar and Andrew, Micheal and I had a very entertaining conversation with Alexia over a couple of pints of Cisk and Kinnie (Alexia and I, at least, were on duty), the former a Maltese beer brand and the latter a Maltese soft drink made of bitter lemons and herbs (an acquired taste which I duly acquired!).

Laureen Morrissette and Dan Higgins enjoy a Cisk beer in the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai

Laureen Morrissette and Dan Higgins enjoy a Cisk beer in the Maltese Pavilion, World Expo 2010, Shanghai

After a quick bite to eat in the Canadian Pavilion (Burgers and Poutine, of course!), we assembled outside the Expo Auditorium for the Presidential performance by the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

Irish and proud. The DCU Business School group outside the Expo Auditorium, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Irish and proud. The DCU Business School group outside the Expo Auditorium, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The Expo Auditorium is a fabulous performance space and we were grateful to Jim Blighe and Niall McCrory from the Irish Pavilion for organising our invites.

The Irish Chamber Orchestra with President Mary McAleese

The Irish Chamber Orchestra with President Mary McAleese

After the performance, we headed for a visit to the Irish Pavilion where we met Neven Maguire on his way in to visit the Pavilion too. After bribing the two Chinese security guards with DCU pins, we progressed through the Irish Pavilion. The Irish Pavilion is located well, near to the very popular German Pavilion, and has a strong exterior presence with a grass covering. Of course being the Irish Pavilion Day, as soon as we got to the Irish Pavilion, it bucketed rain!
Irish Pavilion Entrance, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Irish Pavilion Entrance, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

After establishing the location of Ireland relative to China on the map, the Exhibit brings visitors through Irish history, geography, and culture (with a somewhat odd exhibit of Irish kitchens throughout the ages) and a video of Irish dancing. It is difficult to be objective about the Irish Pavilion as it is aimed at educating the native Chinese on Ireland and clearly we weren’t this. Notwithstanding this, it lacked some piece of groundbreaking technology or multimedia pieces to attract the throngs of Chinese queuing up for the Japanese, German and Saudi Arabian pavilions and for my taste, lacked insights in to the Ireland has a hub for high technology. After our discussions with the Chinese Agents and Xiaoxia, I think the latter is incredibly important if we are to establish Ireland in the minds of prospective students and their parents. Surprisingly, no Irish pub?
The DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 Group pose outside the Irish Pavilion on Irish Pavilion Day, 17 June 2010, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

The DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 Group pose outside the Irish Pavilion on Irish Pavilion Day, 17 June 2010, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

After a quick stop to sample the Austrian Pavilion (who also facilitated VIP access – Thank you Lynn Wang!) and their many augmented reality applications, we proceeded over to the Romanian Pavilion where Nick Opris (one of DCU Business School‘s Romanian students on the MSc in E-commerce (Business) programme) organised for VIP access and a tour of the Pavilion.
Nick Opris and one of the Romanian Pavilion Team at World Expo 2010 who looked after us so well. The view from the top of the Romanian Pavilion looks over Happy Street, the Dutch Pavilion.

Nick Opris (DCU Business School MSc in E-Commerce (Business)) and Gheorghe Dinu from the Romanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010 who looked after us so well. The view from the top of the Romanian Pavilion looks over Happy Street, the Dutch Pavilion.

The Romanian Pavilion was great, much bigger than the Irish one, and we were lucky to reach it just in time for a 20-minute concert full of drums and brass. Following the concert, the Romanian Pavilion team invited us to view the World Expo site from their VIP lounge and balcony. This was a great honour and much appreciated and it is a pleasure to thank and include Gheorghe Dinu and Nicolae Mitu as our new friends from the trip. Again we learnt much of Romania, not least the quality of their exceptional wine!
The Concert at the Romanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010 rested our feet and lifted us for the rest of the evening.
The Concert at the Romanian Pavilion at World Expo 2010 rested our feet and lifted us for the rest of the evening.
Our final official stop at World Expo 2010 for the day was dinner at The Porterhouse. The Porterhouse Brewing Company have set up a traditional Irish pub and restaurant on site at World Expo and played an important role in our trip. Frank Ennis, one of the Directors, told us of his plans for World Expo in November 2009 and this partly inspired us for our trip. Unfortunately, The Porterhouse isn’t based in the Irish Pavilion, probably due to spatial reasons – I think this was a missed opportunity for both sides. We had a “traditional” carvery dinner which to be honest was a bit expensive but we didn’t really care – after a long day around the Expo everyone was both tired and famished and some familiar food hit the spot!
Niamh NicClamha, Ciara Dolan, Laurynas Binderis, Sean Cullivan, Joe Cullinan, Tanya McNamara and Rob Elliffe toasting the Irish Pavilion Day at The Porterhouse, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Niamh NicClamha, Ciara Dolan, Laurynas Binderis, Sean Cullivan, Joe Cullinan, Tanya McNamara and Rob Elliffe toasting the Irish Pavilion Day at The Porterhouse, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

We weren’t the only group booked in for dinner – the Ireland-China Association was also present (with DCUBS‘s good friend, Deirdre Walsh of ChinaGreen) and we shared business cards and helped develop some guanxi with Irish and Chinese businesspeople alike. Afterward I believe a fight broke out between two pints, yes two pints not people but I know nothing about that!
Duelling pints outside The Porterhouse, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

Duelling pints outside The Porterhouse, World Expo 2010, Shanghai.

World Expo 2010 doesn’t close up until late and to be honest it is quite nice to wander around when the crowds have left. Our various new friends at pavilions gave us some great behind-the-scenes insights. Every night there were 3 or 4 parties at different pavilions and when we were leaving, the Argentinians were getting going as their World Cup match played out. While some of the group checked out the Expo, many headed back to the hotel by cab or train (both were easy to catch) to get some sleep or a few drinks in the “Man Club”.
No Irish night should end without taking a ride on a sheep. World Expo 2010 was no different. Laurynas Binderis, NIamh NIcClamha, Ciara Dolan and some plastic sheep at World Expo 2010, Shanghai

No Irish night should end without taking a ride on a sheep. World Expo 2010 was no different. Laurynas Binderis, NIamh NIcClamha, Ciara Dolan and some plastic sheep at World Expo 2010, Shanghai

More photos on flickr. Day Five to follow….

Irish Blogs

From Shanghai markets to Shanghai banquets – Day Three of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In Business Education, Chinese Restaurants in Shanghai, DCU Alumni in China, DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Shanghai, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Uncategorized on July 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm
Dr. Theo Lynn poses with some purchases - traditional Chinese umbrella (no respecting Irish tour guide can go without one) and "Swiss Army" luggage...

Dr. Theo Lynn poses outside the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum with some purchases from the "market"- traditional Chinese umbrella (no respecting Irish tour guide can go without one) and "Swiss Army" luggage...

Day Three of our trip to Shanghai started with a visit to the market underneath the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. Literally underneath this very official tourist attraction is located a very unofficial one….a huge shopping centre of hundreds of microshops selling every kind of Chinese merchandise imaginable….if you can accept the somewhat questionable provenance! Shoes, polo shirts, dresses, luggage, jewellery (including sunglasses, watches and pearls), sports equipment, toys, tourist mementos and all kinds of electronics.

As Siobhan Buckley fans herself next to Rosemary Clancy, Micheal O'Leary sums up the day of shopping at Shanghai's markets - Deal Well Done!

As Siobhan Buckley fans herself next to Rosemary Clancy, Micheal O'Leary sums up the day of shopping at Shanghai's markets - Deal Well Done!

The discerning eye will notice the small mistakes e.g.

  • Hollister polo shirts in Abercrombie bags
  • iPads with Android OS
  • Todd’s shoes with one ‘d’
  • 500GB usb sticks with 500MB stickers on back of packaging

Despite these small ethical questions, value was to be had provided you were willing to negotiate. ‘Ugg’ boots, ‘Gant’ and ‘Paul Smith’ polo shirts, ‘Breitling’ watches and “Ray ban’ sunglasses seem to have been the popular selections. The adage that ‘all good things come to he who waits’ really is true – some overeager members of the group delighted with a 20% discount found later that they were literally ripped off while the more patient and tenacious got whopping 90%+ discounts on the original offer.

DCU Business School students trade market information at the markets under the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

DCU Business School students trade market information at the markets under the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

Despite this, the key consideration was whether you felt happy with your purchase and whether you could live with the deal you made (although I note history was revised on a number of occasions and deals just seemed to get better and better as time passed).

Laureen Morrissette, Keith Lawless, Rosemary Clancy, Lorna NiMhuiri and Niamh Downey get ready to do some shopping in the market below the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

Laureen Morrissette, Keith Lawless, Rosemary Clancy, Lorna NiMhuiri and Niamh Downey get ready to do some shopping in the market below the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

If shopping didn’t float your boat, the haggling was entertaining. I took a more pragmatic approach which I called “negotiating by walking away” – literally after 1-2 offers, I would walk away. This seemed to work but I was also the focus of some  serious verbal abuse by some indignant hawkers who regularly questioned my manhood! My other strategy was based on my experience in Russia in the eighties which was to identify things everyone in the group would eventually want to buy and negotiate bulk deals; ebony chopstick sets, fans and polo shirts all provided popular with the rest of the group while garnering me both discounts and some free gifts. Unlike Russia, don’t flash hard currency – lamb and slaughter come to mind! Other advice – watch the sizes of clothing – remember large in China is pretty small in Ireland –  and be prepared to live with the knowledge that what you buy will probably fall apart or not work the way you expect. Bag straps break, kinetic watches lose 15 minutes in the hour and iPhones that just make phone calls are just phones. Any regrets? The handmade fitted suits and shirts were good value and some of the guys bought them however even these were not without problems – in one instance, the professional grey suit turned in to a Bono-a-la-zoo-tv shiny silver one but in fairness, they made another suit within 24 hours. I should note that we didn’t see any pirated dvds or music (apparently as a result of recent World Expo-related crackdown).

While the tailor-made suits were good value, the storenames were sometimes lost in translation

While the tailor-made suits were good value, the storenames were sometimes lost in translation

After 3 hours we eventually emerged from our shopping tunnels (can I coin a new word – ‘shunnel’?) to blinding sun, scorching heat and unbelievable humidity….time to do some work. Our first official meeting today was with Xiaoxia Wang, the DCU China Representative. Xiaoxia is based in Beijing and is a graduate of the MBS in Marketing programme in DCU Business School. Some members of our team, Rob Elliffe, Niamh NicClamha and Zara Walsh are doing group practicums on international student recruitment for DCU and DCU Language Services and so wanted to interview Xiaoxia to understand her perspective in the market. With Andrew and I, the six of us met at our hotel and walked to a traditional Chinese hot pot restaurant for lunch before meetings that Xiaoxia organised with some of the DCU recruitment agents in Shanghai.

Niamh NicClamha, Xiaoxia Wang, Rob Elliffe, Dr. Theo Lynn, Andrew Bonello and Zara Walsh enjoy a traditional Chinese hot pot lunch

Chinese hot pot is not as straightforward as it looks nor is it as complicated as it could be. What initially was beginning to look like a series of cultural faux pas ended up being an incredibly entertaining meal and one of the most memorable. For those as uninitiated as me:

1. Don’t make a little pallette of the different sauces, herbs and spices on the table – you are meant to mix them together as a sauce

2. The big pot is not stew, it’s for cooking your food – don’t start spooning it out no matter how hungry you are

3. It really only takes 5-10 seconds to cook your food – don’t overdo it

4. If you can’t use chopsticks, ask for a cutlery and a ladel – the Chinese do it too

Basically, don’t be so Irish!

Rob Elliffe, Zara Walsh, Niamh NicClamha, Andrew Bonello and Dr. Theo Lynn pose with DCU Agents in China and Xiaoxia Wang, DCU China Rep

Rob Elliffe, Zara Walsh, Niamh NicClamha, Andrew Bonello and Dr. Theo Lynn pose with DCU Agents in China, Julia Wang (Shanghai Oriental Overseas Studying Service) and Kenny Wang (IESC), and Xiaoxia Wang, DCU China Rep

Our lunch was followed by a meeting with two of DCU’s Chinese Agents, Julia Wang (Shanghai Oriental Overseas Studying Service) and Kenny Wang (IESC). Between Xiaoxia, Julia and Kenny, a lot of valuable data was both derived and teased out – the difference in undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment, the importance of ranking, the influence of parents (particularly at undergraduate level) and the key role agents play. This was all subordinate to one key factor – Ireland simply isn’t on the radar as an international study destination for the overwhelming majority of Chinese students. Educating the Chinese public, and not only prospective student but parents, on Ireland is essential. While the Irish agencies do a good job, the scale of investment needed is not insignificant if we are to make a genuine mark. Our agents were somewhat surprised (although happily) about DCU‘s increasing specialisms in biotechnology and e-commerce and associated links with industry, our postgraduate business conversion courses (MSc in Business Management), links with US universities and high ranking for our size and age (DCU although ranked 279 worldwide is the youngest college in the top 300 and is ranked extremely high within its class – G1). One of LINK‘s projects is focussed on best practice digital marketing for international student recruitment for the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance under SIF II and the territory is certainly different than the map. Our Chinese website needs a dramatic improvement and we need to start seriously looking at advertising in China using sites such as Baidu and Sino amongst others.

Beatrice Metzler and Niamh NicClamha with DCU Chinese Alumni

Beatrice Metzler and Niamh NicClamha with DCU Business School Chinese Alumni at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店)

The day ended with dinner at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店), a restaurant frequented by Chinese rather than tourists for a Chinese banquet. These restaurants are much louder and brightly lit than one would expect. We had an all-in price – all the food (some 30 dishes), soft drinks and beer for c. 25 euros per person. We were joined by some the DCU alumni, including Xiaoxia, which added to the evening and provided us with insights in to living and working in China but not necessarily what we were eating!

Ekaterina Zavershinskaya, Xiaoxia Wang and Nick Opris discussing living and working in China at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店), Shanghai.

We sampled a variety of local dishes including various seafood (cooked and uncooked), lotus (quite nice), chicken (slightly raw for my taste), snake (surprisingly nice) and a warm fruit soup, peculiar due to the blue fruit (?) included within.

The snake at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店) was surprisingly tasty

The snake at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店) was surprisingly tasty

I think most people enjoyed the experience, if not the food. I have to say being able to see the live food you are about to eat in aquariums etc behind you is probably not to everybody’s taste and in particular the snakes were somewhat disconcerting.

Live snakes displayed before being cooked

Live snakes displayed before being cooked at the Shanghai Yue Lai Great Restaurant (上海悦来大酒店)

While Julio Herrero, one of our alumni, tried to convince us to support Spain in the World Cup and join him to watch the Spanish match, most people headed back to the hotel late bar, the bizarrely named “Man Club”, although I did see a number of the group tracking down Happy Meals! What would we do without the American fast food invasion of the Far East!

DCU Business School Students discussing the deals of the day in "The Man Bar" at the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai

DCU Business School Students discussing the deals of the day in "The Man Bar" at the Ya Fan Longmen Hotel, Shanghai

More photos on flickr. Day Four to follow….

Shanghai 2010: Day One of the DCU Business School Trip to Shanghai 2010

In DCU Business School, Doing Business in China, Dublin City University, Ireland, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, World Expo 2010 on July 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm

DCU Business School Next Generation Management Students Travelling to Shanghai with Dr. Claire Bohan (DCU International Office), Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski (DCU President) and Dr. Theo Lynn (Director, DCU LINK Research Centre)

First there was three, then 12, then 21, then 29 and today (14 June 2010) there are only 28 – yes, I am leading a group of 24 postgraduate students, one research assistant and two teaching assistants (excluding Monkey, our trip mascot) to Shanghai for a week – am I mad? Quite possibly.

Monkey and Me

Monkey and Me

So why Shanghai? Actually, the origins of the trip came from a Next Generation Management workshop organised in November 2009 on doing business in China. At that seminar, Deirdre Walsh (ChinaGreen) and Frank Ennis (The Porterhouse) inspired us on their plans for World Expo 2010 which was to be held in Shanghai…..7 months later, we’re on our way!

Zara Walsh, Carolann O'Sullivan, Niamh NiClamha and Rob Eliffe at Dublin Airport before departing to Shanghai (Other Group Members in Background)

Bleary-eyed,we kicked off the trip at 7am on Monday, June 14th at Terminal One of Dublin Airport with one man down – Neil Bruton, one of the trip organisers lost his passport the day before. The Shanghai 2010 group is a diverse one with representatives from all three Next Generation Management programmes – MSc in E-commerce (Business), MBS in Marketing and the MSc in Business Management – and eight countries – Germany, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the USA and of course, Ireland. The full group were:

DCU Business School Shanghai 2010 Group at Dublin Airport

Surprisingly everyone turned up on time and the trip was officially started with Professor Darach Turley of DCU Business School popping along to the airport to wish us all well.

Professor Darach Turley (DCU Business School) wishing us well on our trip at Dublin Airport

The first leg of our flight involved flying Dublin to London Heathrow via Aer Lingus and then transferring via Heathrow Express to Terminal 5. Our major concern was losing people in transit but we had no major problems.Once we got to Terminal 5, however, we had to have our tickets reissued by BA which took up valuable time and unfortunately lunch at Huxleys had to be curtailed as we had to pay our bills early without any food and rush to make our connection to Shanghai Pudong Airport on British Airways.

Rosemary Clancy and Rob Elliffe in London Heathrow, Terminal 5

The flight to Shanghai takes c. 12 hours i.e. most of Day One but it, excuse the the turn of phrase, flew by.

Lorna NiMhuiri, Keith Lawless and Beatrice Metzler on BA Flight to Shanghai

Although the main body of the group flew economy class, BA do have pretty good personal entertainment systems and while Rob Elliffe used some Irish charm to entertain the cabin crew (one of which was from Malahide in Co. Dublin), most students took the time to read up on Shanghai, watch some films, and….sleep! I, unfortunately, had to write this blog and catch up on long overdue work and so flew premium economy so I could plug in my laptop…at least, that’s my excuse!

Rob Elliffe contemplates on which wine to try next...

More photos on flickr. Day Two to follow….

Teaching the Net Generation – Reflections from the Frontline

In Business Education, DCU Business School, Learning Technologies, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management, Uncategorized on November 19, 2009 at 7:11 pm
Grown Up Digital, Don Tapscott

Grown Up Digital, Don Tapscott

In Don Tapscott’s latest book, Grown Up Digital, he revisits the key themes discussed in his 1998 book, Growing Up Digital. Tapscott‘s book is timely for me. Our first research reports on ‘NetGeners’ will be released in the new year and Grown Up Digital is a good yardstick for our LINK research team on whether we are on track.

The ‘Net Generation (Tapscott, 1998), ‘digital natives’ (Prensky, 2001) or ‘Millennials’ (Howe & Strauss, 2000; Oblinger, 2003), are claimed as unique and historically unprecedented in terms of their (i) sophisticated knowledge and skills with ICT, and (ii) their particular learning preferences or styles which differentiate them from earlier generation of students such as ‘Gen-Xers’, ‘Baby Boomers’ or as ‘digital immigrants’ (Prensky, 2001) [for a more detailed discussion read our IAM paper on SSRN].  Various commentators place this start of this generation between 1977 to 1982….this doesn’t matter too much; what matters is that they’ve arrived and are in my classroom!

After spending $4m in private research funding, Tapscott provides us with many insights; some are obvious, some are anecdotal and some are questionable but mostly intriguing. He goes as far as recommending seven tips for educators:

  1. Focus on changes in pedagogy, not the technology
  2. Cut back on lecturing
  3. Empower students to collaborate
  4. Focus on lifelong learning, not teaching to the test
  5. Use technology to get to know each student
  6. Design educational programmes to include choice, customization, transparency, integrity, collaboration, fun, speed and innovation
  7. Reinvent yourself as an educator

While “Grown Up Digital” has only hit the bookshelves recently in Ireland, I would like to think our own research in LINK has lead us to a similar conclusion in the design that has been invested in to DCU Business School’s Next Generation Management initiative.

  • While we still provide the option of lectures, students can sourcing learning in a variety of ways and through different sources and we recognise these in assessment.
  • Team building and collaboration is essential and makes up over 50% of all coursework.
  • We have a heavy emphasis on life skills including reflective learning, research, presentation, communication and collaboration skills.
  • There is no test – it is 100% continuous assessment; 50% of which is determined by the student and presented in a portfolio.
  • We make heavy use of learning platforms, social media tools and have online lecture options for certain subjects.
  • Students have a minimum quantity of work to complete however can decide how to get there. Allowing for a timelag for correcting, students have a good idea of where they are relative to an overall grade on a bi-monthly basis.
  • It has meant for me, as an educator and part of a team, redefining my workload, how I teach, how I assess, the amount of time  I spend with students on a one-to-one or small group basis outside formal class times, how I communicate and how I collaborate.

In fact, in some instances we may have gone further. I agree that technology may provide the potential for flexible delivery of learning however care needs to be taken to avoid focusing on technology for technology’s sake at the expense of a deeper understanding of the potential of technology for learning (Collis and Moonen, 2001). But, lifelong learning requires a rethink. While pedagogy focuses on the teacher as the learning decision-maker and this may be appropriate in the earlier stages of the education system, as the learner progresses to adulthood and independent learning, andragogic paradigms may be more appropriate (Knowles, 1984). Whether the chosen model is pedagogy, andragogy, heutagogy (see Hase and Kenyon, 2000) or some other educational methodology, the technologies to support education need to be prepared for different educational methodologies and be capable of co-evolving with both the educators and learners while being flexible to their needs.   Equally, educators, and those responsible for training educators, must develop, continually, the skills and knowledge to support new education methodologies and new technologies in not only themselves but also their learners. In this respect, Tapscott, is somewhat naive – reinventing yourself as an educator, empowering students, lifelong learning and adapting to the eight norms may, in fact, mean doing away with pedagogy and embracing other -ogogies.

However, in his rush to embrace all things ‘Net Gen’, Tapscott misses, plays down or chooses to overlook, a vital insight from the frontline: maybe the students aren’t ready for a NetGen-enabled educational experience? Maybe the faculty aren’t either.  Maybe undergraduate and graduate students who have been conditioned over 12-15 years to learn and be taught in a specific way find such a sudden change in educational practice deeply un-nerving?  Maybe some of the norms Tapscott cites can be negatives too – the need for speed can also manifest as a lack of patience….and patience is a virtue! Despite this, I am not convinced that this jolt in to uncertain territory is necessarily a bad thing for students or faculty. I realise all change comes with pain and battles but the post-growth world is very different. Students, particularly business school students, need to be prepared to think differently and cope with this complexity and uncertainty. We are failing them if we don’t.

What is Next Generation Management?

In Business Education, DCU Business School, E-commerce, Entrepreneurship, MBS in Marketing, MSc in Business Management, MSc in E-commerce, Next Generation Management on November 7, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Over the coming months, and one hopes years, DCU Business School students from the MBS in Marketing, MSc in E-commerce (Business) and MSc in Business Management will participate a new initiative in DCU Business School called Next Generation Management.

The Next Generation Management (NGM) initiative is more than just another module postgraduate students attend while at DCU Business School. Starting with a weeklong Immersion Course, it is our attempt at instilling in our students the management qualities that DCU Business School believe essential for the success of our graduates, the organisations that will employ them, and the communities that they will serve. Our students will enter the jobs market in difficult times. We need to prepare them to be individuals ready for a career in management, who are adaptive and flexible, innovative and both socially responsible and accountable. They need to be ready to make a significant contribution to crafting and delivering organisational purpose in these uncertain times, regardless of geography and to be prepared for both the routine and the novel.

DCU Winners of the Accenture Leaders of Tommorow Competition 2009

DCU Winners of the Accenture Leaders of Tommorow Competition 2009

The NGM initiative is designed to deliver on this vision. Particular emphasis is placed on reflexive and critical thinking, collaborating with people, creating, sharing and applying knowledge and dealing with complexity. The module is structured around the major personal, organisational and contextual challenges in modern management and and specifically in a post-growth economy. NGM focuses on four key themes:

  • Personal and career development;
  • Leadership, teamwork and corporate accountability;
  • Global and societal awareness;
  • Research, media and communication.

Over the course of their programme at DCU Business School, students will collate evidence of their NGM experiences and how they have met the NGM requirements. Students attend learning events and participate in activities throughout the year, provide evidence of participation, reflection on learning and where necessary, complete assigned activities or coursework. Many of these will be chronicled in this blog and in the students blog (http://ngmdcu.wordpress.com).

At the core of the initiative is for students to take accountability for their own learning. As such, they can propose events and activities which they feel meet the NGM objectives. Events include:

In the eighties, NIHE/DCU played a critical role in preparing the first generation of professional Irish management for the Celtic Tiger Era. Hopefully, DCU‘s next generation of graduates will be equally successful in delivering the next generation of the Irish economy.

what a difference a “c” makes

In Learning Technologies on May 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm

In the beginning there was the word and then it was quickly copyrighted with a  ©. In 2001, we attempted to free the content and added another “c” and called this “Creative Commons”. Whereas © indicated that rights were restricted, the CC symbol explained what rights the user could have. However, both © and CC assume that (A) the user audience understands these symbols and their implications and (B) will abide by them.

In the education sector, policymakers are embracing open content, typically referred to as “open educational resources” or “OERs”, often licensed under Creative Commons or similar schemes. This makes absolute sense – why pay for content when the education community are developing resources already “for free”? Some of these OERs are of high quality and educators often prefer using content created by other educators. This perspective is fine however someone is paying for the development of OERs (their use may be free but there is a cost of development). The budget for MIT OCW was/is apparently over €2million per annum. How does it cost so much? Actually, I can understand this type of cost – you need professional staff, technology and other support services. Who pays for it? There are a variety of models including endowments, membership fees, sponsorship, donations, research grants etc. And governments. So although the outcome is OERs, there is still an investment – its just not by “commercial publishers”. Giving content away for free doesn’t solve the fundamental problem that commercial publishers also face – many, if not most, educators do not have the capabilities required to engage with digital content to get the signficant outcomes we all believe can be achieved. 

So, does the content sector need more “c”s? Absolutely. At least three more – Content Capability Capacity-building. Ok, there’s a “b” in there but let’s not quibble. The open content and commercial content publishers have to put aside their intellectual property debates to focus on developing educator capabilities related to content. What are they?

  • How to discover content?
  • How to evaluate content?
  • How to license/procure content?
  • How to download/install content?
  • How to modify content?
  • How to use content?
  • How to (re)package content?
  • How to describe content?
  • How to apply licenses to content?
  • How to expose content?
  • How to retract content? 
Educators need to be able to answer these questions regardless of content source and license type. Building content capacity benefits all. Educators, at all levels, will be able to find education resources and select the best ones for their needs, whether open or commercial. More importantly, they can build and adapt content. They can contribute to the wider education community under an open content model or if they want to, sell it. They will know what © means but also what CC means. Everyone wins. The open content movement gets more informed users and contributors but so does the commercial publishing industry.

It’s easy to criticise but I am, as they say, in the tent. Recently, DCU LINK and Cambridge University Press started a new project as part of the Global Grid for Learning initiative with partial funding from the Nominet Trust.  The aim of the project is to create a series of learning opportunities to kickstart content capacity building. Our approach is to use a synchronous learning platform, like Adobe Connect or Wimba, and make this platform available to volunteers to deliver pre-approved modules on topics such as those listed above. Participation in the online sessions will be free and all sessions will be recorded and made available for free as learning objects through the Global Grid for Learning project and other partners. Please email me if you would be interested in giving up some time to prepare and deliver a module – theo.lynn@dcu.ie. We welcome commercial publishers, content-related software vendors, trainers, teachers, lecturers from both worlds, the commercial and open content.

Oh yes, the license for these learning objects?  Creative Commons-Attribiution-Noncommercial-Share Alike.

 

 

how can we prioritise ICT investment in education in a “recession”?

In Learning Technologies on May 20, 2009 at 10:03 am

On Monday (18 May 2009), we, LINK, organised our first free seminar on technology for education with the Irish Computer Society. About 35 people attended, primarily from K12, to hear myself, Dr. David Whyley (Wolverhampton Local Authority and Learning2Go), Ed Collins (Cambridge University Press & Global Grid for Learning) and via the Internet, Mark Nichols, Dr. Sam DiGangi and Angel Jannasch-Pennell (ASU alt^I and IDEAL) talk about our experiences with learning platforms. What became apparent from our experiences in Ireland, the UK, Saudi Arabia and the US was that the technology in itself need not be that expensive. In fact, it is managing people and their capacity for change that can be costly (although not necessarily so). From talking to attendees, there is clearly increasing frustration that despite a strategy for a SMART Economy, the Irish government is failing civic society through lack of investment in educational ICT. Although this lack of investment in educational ICT is an ongoing bugbear in Ireland (one commentator compares ICT investment of €75m in Northern Ireland vs €14m in the Republic), the mandarins are now reciting a familar refrain…how can we prioritise {INSERT ANY RANDOM INITIATIVE TITLE (in this case – ICT investment in education)} during a Recession? There are apparently so many other initiatives that need to be funded with limited resources.

Rather than focus on why we shouldn’t invest in educational ICT, maybe we need to unask the question and look at reasons why we should be investing in ICT:

1.   It’s about the information society – how can we expect people to function adequately in a society permeated by technology without embedding this in our schools and colleges

2. It’s about jobs – how we expect people to function adequately as professional workers in businesses permeated by technology without embedding this in our schools and colleges

3. It’s about learning – technology can increase learning time by extending it beyond the classroom and in to the home and weekend. It can improve the instructional process and learning outcomes and may provide advantages to students with learning disabilities. It may act as a catalyst and accelerate other educational innovations like problem based learning, collaboration and informaton handling – all skills required for advanced knowledge based economies.

4. It’s about industrial development procuring and buying technology may further stimulate the national technology industry and stimulate innovation. It may also attract foreign direct investment. This all results in more jobs, more income etc etc 

5. Its about cost technology can reduce the cost of educational materials, staffing, training as well as make academic staff more productive. There was an interesting interview on either Newstalk or Today FM with the owner of www.schoolbookexchange.ie that illustrates this well. If you take books alone – there are some 10 million books in circulation in Irish education. In K12, these books are updated regularly (as they should) but this results in an additional cost burden to parents as the books can no longer be recycled. Similarly, publisher-generated workbooks are replacing copybooks for homework and class exercises. A technology-based initiative for school texts alone could reduce the cost for parents dramatically: ebooks are much less costly to reproduce and update and workbooks could be either interactive or printed from the Internet.

6. It’s about student numbers – technology usage could allow students that cannot attend educational institutions to participate more fully in formal education. At third level (and may be even secondary), technology may attract more students to a particular institution thereby increasing revenues at a much lower cost of delivery.

7. It’s about the environment – this is a stretch but using ICT in education and in particular online resources and delivery may reduce carbon footprint etc

8. It’s about global competitiveness – technology readiness, education, and innovation are all a key metrics in global competitiveness which impacts market confidence etc.

9. It’s about feeling good – the feelgood factor is a major thing. Failing Irish success in sports (and I have to admit we ain’t doing badly), we need as much to feel good about as possible. I have met teachers and parents whose schools have scraped the money together to buy a SmartBoard or some other equipment for their school and they REALLY feel good. Why? Their kids are excited about going to school – excited about learning – isn’t that justification enough?

10. It’s about investing in the future.