Friday Five: On creativity, social 2.0, ‘Networked,’ higher ed’s future, ‘useless’ degrees

Posted on October 26, 2012

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Happy Friday! Enjoy these nuggets of knowledge gathered from some of the brightest people and organizations on Twitter:

  • For all you misunderstood creatives out there, take a couple minutes to watch this video on how creativity works (and if you’re a brave soul, share it with your favorite clients). Via @timsamoff.
  • An introduction to Networked: The New Social Operating System, the new book by Lee Rainie (of the Pew Internet Trust) and sociologist Barry Wellman. According to the Pew Internet Trust, Networked discusses how “the large, loosely knit social circles of networked individuals expand opportunities for learning, problem solving, decision making and personal interaction.” After skimming this excerpt and watching Rainie discuss its premise on video (embedded in the first link), I’m convinced this is an important resource for higher ed marketers. It is now on my ever-expanding to-read list.
  • Welcome to Social 2.0. This infographic (shared by @NealSchaffer) identifies four new market segments “most likely to look to customer communities when making purchasing decisions.” While none of the four groups is directly relevant to purchasing decisions related to higher education, their characteristics could offer insight into some of our more recent graduates or lifelong learners.
  • Five ideas for improving the future of postsecondary education, from Toronto’s Globe and Mail, may address specific challenges facing Canada’s institutions, but some of the ideas could transfer to institutions elsewhere that face similar situations. Thanks to Jake Pringle (@jdp2222) for sharing.
  • Finally, for a refreshing perspective on the oft-maligned liberal arts education, read The Importance of Being Useless, from Times Higher Education. In these days, when we try to measure and quantify every conceivable aspect of higher education in order to demonstrate the value of college to a jaded public, it’s comforting to know that, in Aristotle’s day, “a useless education was the highest and most noble form of education because it represented the genuinely free education of the genuinely free man.” This essay argues that looking at the history of liberal arts “creates the opportunity to consider what a modern liberal arts education might look like in relation to its ancient and medieval counterparts.”