I watched the State of the Union (SotUA)) at whitehouse.gov last week and was left wondering why they didn’t seem to be striving for increased use of emerging technologies. Much of my perception is probably due to my expectations following last year’s SotUA.
Last year, the Whitehouse had just launched their Drupal based interactive website. A year subsequent, I found myself looking for more new technologies. Based on the recent announcement, maybe I should have been looking in the direction of existing Social Media tools instead of internally created technologies.
The President will be holding a Google+ Hangout today, as a follow up to last week’s Address. The hangout is set for Monday at 2:30 p.m. California time and is supposed to be broadcast on the White House.gov site and his YouTube channel.
The emerging trend seems to be towards social media use and not necessarily internally developed technology solutions. This trend fits with my chosen professional playground of higher education as well as the federal government.
I’ve noticed, in the various institutions I’ve work with, a commonly held belief that we must create the next great technology or mashup of technologies, when many times the best solutions for our current circumstances exists right in front of our digitalis probiscis. The Whitehouse might just be riding the leading edge of governmental use of social media tools.
The Executive Office pushed strongly into social media in May by appointing Jesse Lee as the director of progressive media and online response. Prior to Mr. Lee’s appointment, the White House had never had such a position. Does your educational organization have a similarly titled position? Drop a comment; I’d be curious to know.
In this world of Educational Technologies we find ourselves filling roles such as Instructional Designer, Director of Innovation, Information Systems Architect, and Knowledge Managers. In each of these roles we are tasked with a similar, but slightly modified, charge as Jesse Lee - to make the administration popular on the web.
In our case, it is typically to improve the web standing of an educational institution or program. We also share similar bureaucratic circumstances with the Executive Branch, impacting our ability to effectively employ progressive media tools to accomplish our objectives. Time will be a telling point and it will be interesting to see if higher education follows the Whitehouse in engaging through social media across an ever evolving virtual landscape.