3 Wishes for www.educause.edu

Speed, personality, and Kindle and app options for downloading and reading content.

September 28, 2014

In preparation for the EDUCAUSE 2014 conference I’ve been spending some time on www.educause.edu

My understanding from the 9/23 EDUCAUSE Business Meeting is that the site is up for an overhaul. This seems like a good time to start a dialogue about how we’d like to see educause.edu change.

Here are my top 3 wishes for an educause.edu redesign:

Wish #1 - Speed and Mobile:  

I always wonder if my speed problems with educause.edu are on my end. Somehow the site is always slow for me. Or at least it often feels slow. From campus and home, educause.edu seems to take a while to load. The search feels slow. The site just feels sluggish. Is this something that you experience as well?  

Looking at educause.edu on my iPhone is also something that confuses me. It looks like the site on my iPhone browser is the same as on my computer browser. It is very hard to navigate. Is there something that I’m missing here? Is there a mobile educause.edu site or an app or something? My guess is that both the mobile Educause site and site speed will be major priorities in the redesign.

Wish #2 - A Personality: 

Speed and mobile should be relatively straightforward redesign goals for educause.edu. These are technical challenges. The big challenges will be to make www.educause.edu a place where we want to go. A destination for more than content and professional development, but a part of our daily routine.

My recommendation is to leverage the amazing EDUCAUSE employees as content creators, aggregators, and guides. If every EDUCAUSE employee wrote 1 blog a week, and that blog was central on the homepage, then the site would have fresh content daily. The key would be to set a tone where EDUCAUSE writers felt free to speak their minds. To say critical things about our industry, and maybe even EDUCAUSE itself. Free to show their biases. Free to be wrong. Free to take some intellectual risks. Free to say things that would make the EDUCAUSE membership upset.  This space could also be a great place to highlight brief contributions from the EDUCAUSE community.  For instance, this post on wishes for educause.edu could appear on educuase.edu, instead of on IHE.

Wish #3 - Alternative Methods to Find, Access, and Download Content:

EDUCAUSE produces an incredible amount of extremely high quality and relevant content. That EDUCAUSE is one of the most efficient and productive research and publication engines on the planet. It also appears that EDUCAUSE is working hard to diversify the types of research and publications that are produced.  There are lots more concise briefing papers and infographics to complement the more thorough articles, papers and reports.  

My challenge with EDUCAUSE content is two-fold. I never quite know which of the research I should read, and it comes in a format that is hard for me to digest.  

I’m not quite sure how to solve the former problem, as all the content - from ECAR to EDUCAUSE Review, to articles in the EDUCAUSE Library are top-notch.   Maybe the answer would be to have EDUCAUSE people serve as guides to the content in the daily (opinionated) EDUCAUSE blogs that I hope to see.  The more I get to know the EDUCAUSE personalities the more likely I’ll follow to the EDUCAUSE content that they lead.  

In terms of reading all the EDUCAUSE content, my wish is that EDUCAUSE would publish everything in e-book format. Every other month I wish that I could download EDUCAUSE Review as a new Kindle book.  The Kindle is where I do my long-form reading nowadays, and even though it is possible to send documents PDF documents from the Review website to my Kindle, it is a pain.  Please make it easy. I’m also a little confused about the status of apps for EDUCAUSE content.  I would have put money on a bet that EDUCAUSE would have an app similar to the NYTimes app, one that lets me download content and view it offline.  Does that app exist?  I’d love to be clueless on this front.

Will there be opportunities to chat with EDUCAUSE folks about the website redesign project this week a the conference?

Is there a committee that can be joined or something?

What are your wishes for the new www.educause.edu?


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