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Columbia University's Tech Evangelist Sree Sreenivasan on the future of it all

Technology has changed the face of education. So where does Columbia University’s first-ever appointed Chief Digital Officer, Sree Sreenivasan, see the role of online technology in the future of higher education? He chatted with braingainmag.com about this and what tech-tools undergraduate applicants should be utilizing to maximize their educational growth.
BY Braingain Staff Writer |   29-04-2013

Technology has changed the face of education. So where does Columbia University’s first-ever appointed Chief Digital Officer, Sree Sreenivasan, see the role of online technology in the future of higher education? He chatted with braingainmag.com about this and what tech-tools undergraduate applicants should be utilizing to maximize their educational growth.

How do you advise students applying for an undergraduate degree to harness the power of social media technology to their advantage?

I don’t think young people in the US or in India are harnessing social media in a positive way to help them – most of the time it’s hurting them. So let’s start with above all, do no harm, so don’t let it get you in trouble. But the positive side where you can use it is to help the university learn more about you, and how you can build your brand so that you can stand out from all the kids who are applying. That’s what they should be doing – they should be thinking about it.

They should be thinking about social media as an extension of the public version of who they are. So if they’re going to a job interview for a summer internship to work with a finance company, let’s say, then they need to show they’ve been reading a lot – they’ve been tweeting and Facebooking about the economy or about the banking sector – whatever they’re interested in. Use it as a way to highlight who you are and separate yourself from the mass crowd.
 
What tech-tools do you recommend students should start using before they leave school?

Learn to master Facebook and twitter – learning to use it as a means that extends who you are in a positive way.

Linkedin – even if you’re a high school student – it’s not just a job hunting tool – it’s a career management tool – you want to build it when you don’t need it.

You’ve got to read more about the news – and one of the most interesting ways to do this is with this app called Flipboard – which you can use on your tablet or phone – and it just puts across the social networks in a very compelling way.

On using technology

You should be an early tester, and a late adopter of technology – you don’t have to be the first person to sign up for everything – but you have to use them in a way which makes the most sense to you.

What role will we see online technology play in the future of higher education?

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