NAFSA 2017 Tech-Related Events

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NAFSA 2017 Logo

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM: NAFSA Pavilion: Insights and Outlook from Social Media Experts
Location: LACC, South Hall

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM: NAFSA Pavilion: Official NAFSA Tweet Up!
Location: LACC, South Hall

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: SEVIS Current Issues
Location: LACC, Room 151

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Successful Strategic Partnerships: Trends, Technology, and Outcomes Assessment
Location: LACC, Room 515A

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Using Social Media for Career Development
Location: LACC, Room 309

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: How to Successfully Recruit Internationally Without Name Recognition
Location: LACC, Room 408A

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Reach Around the Globe: Connecting Classrooms with Technology
Location: LACC, Room 502A

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM: Selecting Budget-Friendly, Best-Fit Marketing and Communication Tools
Location: LACC, Room 511


8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Taking Your Hybrid Orientation Program to the Next Level
Location: LACC, Room 403

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Technology MIG Meeting
Location: Westin, Los Cerritos

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM: Soundstage: New York Film Academy Presents: From Every Camera Angle, Storytelling in Virtual Reality
Location: LACC, Expo Hall Soundstage

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM: Redesigning First-Year Experience Curriculum for International Students: Blended Learning Approach
Location: LACC, Room 408B

1:15 PM – 2:15 PM: Tech-Enhanced Predeparture Orientations in Education Abroad
Location: LACC, Room 403

1:15 PM – 2:15 PM: Standing Out in a Crowded Digital World: Telling Stories via Social Media
Location: LACC, Room 411


8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Achieve Your International Enrollment Targets Through Strategically Scaled Operations
Location: LACC, Room 501

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Getting Decision Makers on Board with Your Social Media Strategy
Location: LACC, Room 515A

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Internationalizing the Curriculum Through COIL Virtual Exchange Partnerships
Location: LACC, Room 410

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Soundstage: Announcing UCLA Online
Location: LACC, Expo Hall Soundstage


8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Technology Hacks for the Busy Office
Location: LACC, Room 309

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Uses of Technology and Social Media in International Education
Location: LACC, South Hall, Poster Fair Area

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM: Expanding Your Digital Toolbox and Strengthening Virtual Connections with Students
Location: LACC, Room 408A

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM: Leveraging Cocurricular Learning Frameworks: Engaging Faculty, Students, and Technology
Location: LACC, Room 502A

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Build a Robust Digital Tracking System to Support Student Compliance and Retention
Location: LACC, Room 502B

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Using Social Media to Support Participant Learning Abroad
Location: LACC, Room 515A

Link to the full NAFSA 2017 Online Program and Planner



The TechMIG Needs You!

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techmig-needs-youAre you interested in getting more involved with the NAFSA and International Education Community as it relates to technology? If so, the Tech MIG would love to hear from you!

We are looking for a new Co-Chair to join our team, and be part of the Technology MIG and everything that we do. The full description of the Co-Chair position is available on our website at:

If you are interested, or would like to chat more about what the position involves – please send us an email at

Check out our Team page for other open positions.  We look forward to hearing from you!


2016 NAFSA Tech MIG Meeting

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nafsa2016We finally have the details of the 2016 NAFSA Tech MIG Meeting, due to take place during the NAFSA Annual Conference in Denver. The details of the meeting are:

  • Wednesday, 1st June 2016
  • 8:30am to 9:30am
  • Hyatt Regency, Room “Mineral F”

Thanks to our sponsors Envisage International, Global Experiences, Terra Dotta, and sunapsis, we are planning to provide some breakfast fare during the meeting, so if you can indicate if you will be attending that would help us immensely in planning this for you.  Please RSVP by Friday, May 27th.


Scott J HeadshotThis year, the format will be slightly different, as we wanted to make the meeting useful for the NAFSA Technology community. We have therefore asked Scott Jaschik, editor and one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed, to speak to us about:

“The Digital Higher Ed World and International Students: A look at how technology is changing the way colleges attract, interact with and educate students — and the new global competition for the online international student.”

Scott has a wealth of experience in both the fields of technology and international education. He leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

We hope you will join us this year, and look forward to seeing you all!

New times call for new methods: How Gamification can be used in Higher Education to enhance employability

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New times call for new methods: online course admission, blended learning and students using their smart phones in class are nowadays no longer considered ground-breaking new concepts, but Gamification in higher education still does sound a little revolutionary. Why? Maybe the word ‘game’ leads some of us to think we are talking fun and child’s play. But in fact, Gamification is just a relatively new word for a proven concept: It is about the use of game elements in a non-game environment, in which you engage people’s competitive drive and apply it to learning. In this blog post, Nannette Ripmeester will share her insights into how Gamification can be used in higher education to make your students more employable.

The use of Gamification has a natural advantage to it, which was mentioned already: the fun aspect. And we all know that enjoying what you do makes you more engaged in your task. That’s exactly what gamification does: it turns static material into an enjoyable interactive experience. Research from Jane McGonigal shows Gamification can make learners more involved and more motivated. And being more engaged is something education is lacking. Take the results of a Gallup report, which show that engagement drops  from 76% in elementary school to 61% middle school and down to 44% in high school. And it certainly does not get any better in higher education.

Gamification teaches us that we have to capture and hold the players’ attention in order to be relevant. The game industry in Silicon Valley is a leading example here: “If we build a game in which someone is demotivated or disengaged for 45 seconds, we know we need to improve.” Now picture this in a lecture hall and add to it that you have to explain to your students what the skills are that get them hired on the global labor market. The words “getting hired” will make them interested, but what’s next? How will you provide all your students with exactly that bit of careers advice that makes them tick?

Or think about explaining to students the importance of intercultural skills – yawn! – but when you add to it that employers value people with international skills, you will get their attention back. Once again, how do you ensure your information reaches your students and is actually internalized by them? – exactly, Gamification! Because apart from ‘speaking’ the language of modern students by using modern technologies and techniques, the advantage of Gamification is that it’s digital and offers endless opportunities to interact with large groups of users, regardless of time or location.

But there is more to Gamification. It is non-judgmental and your progress in a game provides you with more instant rewards than most lectures do. Gamification can help people constantly improve: you are not going for that one grade, but you are challenged to continuously try to become better. Gamification offers the thrill of a challenge, a possibility to immediately test the newly gained knowledge and to see your results.

In case you are keen to find out how Gamification can be used in an educational context with a particular focus on study abroad and careers advice, we invite you to join the NAFSA TechMIG webinar.

Your take-aways will include insights into:

  • What is gamification?
  • Why is it such an effective means for engaging with today’s generation of students?
  • How can we use it to enhance student employability and the careers/employment services we provide students?

Sources for those keen to explore gamification in higher education:



Nannette Ripmeester is director of Expertise in Labour Mobility ( She holds extensive knowledge on what makes graduates internationally employable by working with corporate clients and higher education institutions across the globe. With her double-sided knowledge on what makes people mobile, Nannette advises how to further increase the connection between recent graduates and their future job opportunities, in the form of workshops, lectures, publications and educational gaming. She is part of the team that developed, which closes the gap between education and the world of work using gamification.

NAFSA Tech Poster Fair 2016

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As many of your Tech MIG members will know, each year at the Annual Conference there is a Tech Post Fair, and submissions for that are due next week! It’s a great opportunity to show off your tech skills and profile some of the cool things you have been doing with technology in your office!

Here are some details:

  • At the Tech Fair, there is NO POSTER. No big old piece of paper that you have to lug around. You present from an ipad, a laptop, or tech of your choice. This is a chance to show your technology at work.
  • The deadline to submit proposals is next week, Monday, December 14, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST

If you would like more information be sure to check out the NAFSA website for more details, or our previous blog post from last year that covered the topic.

Why bother with a poster fair:

  • More intimate interactions with people that are already interested in your topic (thanks to poster fair themes)
  • A chance to practice presenting on a smaller scale at a large event
  • You get to meet a lot of great tech minded people

Don’t delay and submit your ideas today!

Getting to Groningen: Digital Student Data Portability Webinar

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data-portabilityIs “paperless” really possible? Why yes; yes it is.

Learn how the international education industry is “getting to Groningen” – the namesake of an ambitious initiative that empowers students to access and share their authentic educational data with whoever they want, whenever they want, wherever.

Given higher volumes of international applications and fewer resources, admissions colleagues are challenged to boost both the efficiency and integrity of the process. Get the latest info about fresh technological advancements and thoughtful global initiatives that address these issues that impact the entire International Enrollment Management cycle. Catch a glimpse into the future of “digital student data portability” – driven by a generation inspired by the opportunity to actively control their online footprint.

Register now to be part of this excellent webinar:

Thursday 19th November at 12pm EST/9am Pacific time

Hosted by: Cheryl DarrupBoychuck, CIEO of


How Video Communication Happens

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Anytime I think about communication, I like to look back to one of my favorite writers; John Dewey, the eminent American philosopher of education at Columbia University who wrote, among many things, that “culture is communication”.

The concept of culture is a wrought term often employed in study abroad and international education to center a lot about what is important about the work that we do. Communication is very much a work-a-day idea that we don’t give much thought to unless when it miss-happens, or maybe also when we marvel when collaboration produces something impressive.

When Dewey wrote this, he was getting at a point about schooling in America around the turn of the 20th century –another time when society was struggling to integrate many new people into America– that culture forms through a dynamic and complicated discourse between people that reverberates out into larger conversations and narratives that frame society. At the most basic level, Dewey wrote, culture is what happens when communication is carried out, and schooling was a way for an industrial society to promote ideas and discourse about how a citizen populace governs itself.

The history of culture and communication – from the days of Dewey and Sassuere to work now being done by Henry Jenkins and Mizuko Ito– gives us some idea to the deep background that frame what we are talking about today. In fact, going from a theoretical perspective to a discussion about webinar technologies may make heads spin, but… there is a thread that connects the two.

Why does it matter how we communicate? It mattered to Dewey how communication about democracy was taking place and it matters to us how we talk to partners, clients, students, and parents with video.

There are a variety of ways that we make communication happen using video and virtual reality. Some of these are well-known and accessible to almost anyone with an high-speed internet connection and a modern computer, where others require licenses, payment and additional, sometimes expensive, equipment.

At the cutting edge are virtual reality applications that many companies see as the next step in collaborative work tools for synchronous communication. Right now, these mostly exist in labs and high-tech companies, but moves such as Facebook’s 2014 acquisition of Oculus portend things to come. These tools simulate the experience of being in the same place as another person, and all the advantages of communicating face-to-face.

In wide-spread use today, are the a second class of technologies that afford HD video and high quality audio for communication. This technology is mature and diversified and there are multiple products and tools that afford variations on the theme of video conferencing with a computer. Despite the variation there are several abiding issues on how video-conferencing happens –video quality is impacted heavily by internet speed, audio quality is troublesome when communicating in a group, system setup is a challenge for people with lower technology competencies, and any number of idiosyncratic issues can occur with browsers, operating systems, and programs. There are often learned helplessness barriers when people start to communicate this way, but the technology is seamless enough and the advantages of synchronous communication are evident enough, that people decide to learn how to make it happen.

Finally, the work-horses of video-conferencing have not outlived their usefulness. It was five years ago that Microsoft shocked the tech world with a $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, essentially buying user brand loyalty. One of the great beneficiaries of the WorldCom bust of the late 1990s, Skype was able to utilize the cheap surplus of worldwide bandwidth, and continues as, probably, the most common way to do video-conferencing. Into this ecosystem Google has given many enterprises an ‘out-of-the box’ video-conference product in Hangouts, and a free video-conferencing tool for anyone who signs up for an email account. When the US Vice-President starts using Google Hangouts for communication, we have to take a minute to reflect that a technology is part of culture. Add to this LiveStream/Ustream technologies to broadcast live video online, and iPhone and Android Apps, like Periscope, to stream video to individuals or broadcast to anyone. We can confidently say that video-conferencing communication is here to stay, and get better.

To conclude, all the above technology lingo matters because video-conferencing happens to make it easier for us to communicate and get things done together. The culture of international education must lead the way in this area, after all, we produce specialized knowledge and services to connect geographically different areas. Video-conferencing is not a panacea for interpersonal communication, as the thesis of the movie Up In the Air tried to make clear. We must not minimize issues of cost, working with people in less industrialized societies, the value of travel and relationship building over coffee, among others. However, we suggest a good look at what we are doing today with video and how to get where we want to be tomorrow.