Starbucks and the SSAT: All with a Wave of Your Smartphone?

The Mashable Media Summit, geared towards journalists and advertising professionals, was trending on Twitter (#mediasummit) in the New York area before lunch. For those of us who are used to the basic instruction common at conferences catering to technology/social media/communications in education, you can understand how exciting this was.


The education conference landscape can be barren for those of us who dream of the next big thing. I’ve attributed this to the fact that there’s a need for basic instruction; in general, educational institutions tend to be late adopters. Below, you’ll find some thoughts from the Media Summit on what might be applicable to your school in the distant, but hopefully near, future.


Produce once, deliver many: This sentiment from Terry McDonell, Editor of Sports Illustrated Group, came from their use of WoodWing, a software for cross-media publishing. The use of this type of software would provide an easier way for schools to manage their many publications for their many constituencies, and a way to alleviate the burden of content creation and recreation for the many platforms that schools want to utilize. Less people to create content, wider reach!


The benefit of tablet learning: Josh Koppell, Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer of Scrollmotion, cited a California study that saw students increase test scores by 30 points just from using a textbook developed for a tablet. The future in this is translating how students will use tablet learning socially. Perhaps social media integration would let teachers integrate their tablet textbooks with Facebook groups who would be able to comment, see the work of their classmates, and encourage each other directly on their tablet textbook problem sets. The days of school policies banning faculty and student social connections are on their way out with the addition of more comprehensive ways to manage your Facebook friends.


The future of identification: Robyn Peterson, SVP of Product at Mashable; Tim Dierks, SVP of Engineering at the Huffington Post Media Group; and Andy Mitchell, Editor at Facebook, gave me an introduction to the future evolution of identification. If the government can issue an online identification, it may be connected to a social account, such as Google+ or Facebook. What are some of the reasons your school requires secure authorization? You could have prospective parents enroll their children using their social signature, which would roll into their engagement on your schoolâ’s social media accounts. What if students signed into the SSAT by waving their smartphone at a sensor, just like you’re paying for your Starbucks coffee?


The Social Media Manager: Meghan Peters, Community Manager at Mashable; Katie Rogers, Social Media Manager at The Washington Post; Anthony De Rosa, Social Media Editor at Reuters; and Drake Martinet, Social Media Editor at AllThingsD, discussed the future of the role, as all content becomes socialized and a tech savvy generation rises. Will this mean hacking the factory and redistributing the power of decision-making like Toyota? David Granger, Editor in Chief of Esquire, went the opposite direction. He said that he hired more content managers to protect the creators from the “filthy world of eCommerse.”


Currently, the education industry seems like a combination of these two ideas; I want to enforce our social media authenticity with faculty participation/engagement, but there’s a feeling that it taints the purely academic mission of faculty.

Danielle Henry

Danielle Henry

Director Of Marketing & Communications at Nashoba Brooks School