The Case for Professional Development

The Higher Education Web Professionals Association has a mission, and it is

“To advance Web professionals, technologies and standards in higher education.”

As a group with its roots in New York, we’ve been holding conferences for 10 years. As we’ve grown, one item that has been added to the regular conference agenda is “Professional Development.” Under this title, such general topics as Giving Effective Presentations, Making the Case for Resources, Negotiation, Strategic Planning, Project Management and Student Employment have been presented in the past or will be presented this year.

Some might reasonably ask, “Why?”

It comes back to our mission. Part of that is to advance you, as a Web professional. Between an increase in responsibilities at work and ever-present challenges on the home front, going back to school for a formal degree isn’t always an option. But if you can, in one stop, meet new people that are facing the same challenges in similar jobs, bring back tips to help you at your current job, and learn new skills to help you at your next job, I think we all win.

We need more leaders in higher education who have come from Web backgrounds, who understand the medium and help colleges and universities meet the “perfect storm” of challenges that threaten their that existence. (This was recently discussed at Penn State’s Web Conference, and Mark Greenfield also addressed this at a past HighEdWeb conference.)

So I hope you, like me, aspire for that next step in your career, and that we’ll see you in some professional development sessions at HighEdWeb 2009.

Worth 1000 Words: Tech-heads

Welcome to our weekly feature, “Worth 1000 Words,” where  you can catch a glimpse of the wonder that is HighEdWeb.
A view of attendees -- and their sea of glowing laptops & other devices -- in a #heweb08 general conference session.
A view of attendees -- and their sea of glowing laptops -- in a #heweb08 general conference session.

We’re Web pros, and no matter in what part of the profession we work — from marketing to programming and everything in-between — we live and breathe technology, requiring that we be connected wherever we go.  This is never more apparent than at HighEdWeb, where you can always find a sea of the latest laptops, PDAs and cool devices galore.  With this in mind, we’re commmitted to providing a strong infrastructure at the conference venue: Hilton bandwidth will be increased from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps just for #heweb09, ensuring that when you come to HighEdWeb 2009: Open. Connected., connections of ALL sorts are guaranteed.

So grab your portable electronic device of choice and register today to join us October 4-7 in Milwaukee, WI, for HighEdWeb 2009: Open. Connected.

 

Worth 1000 Words: Behold the Backchannel

Welcome to our weekly feature, “Worth 1000 Words,” where  you can catch a glimpse of the wonder that is HighEdWeb.
#heweb09 co-chair Dan Frommelt at HighEdWeb 2008, as accompanied by the infamous & awesome #heweb backchannel. (photo by opacity)
#heweb09 co-chair Dan Frommelt at HighEdWeb 2008, accompanied by the infamous & awesome #heweb backchannel. (photo by opacity)
A funny thing happened on the way to “HighEdWeb 2008: Infinite Solutions”: the #heweb backchannel was born.  Oh sure, it had certainly existed before, but at the 2008 conference many of us saw anew the power — and value — of conference communications tools such as Ning and Twitter.  The conference Twitter feed was projected in common areas at meals and all-conference keynotes, and we were excited to be Twitter’s top trending topic for almost three days running. Heck, we even outranked the trend “#Palin,” and that was a BIG deal in the middle of the prime weeks directly preceding Election 2008!
So let’s do it again in 2009.  Get a jump on the #heweb09 backchannel, if you’re not there already:
And don’t forget to register today to join us October 4-7 in Milwaukee, WI, for HighEdWeb 2009: Open. Connected.

 

Worth 1000 Words: Open. Connected.

Welcome to our weekly feature, “Worth 1000 Words,” where  you can catch a glimpse of the wonder that is HighEdWeb.

Web pros have a meeting of the minds during the annual HighEdWeb poster session.
Web pros have a meeting of the minds during the annual HighEdWeb poster session.

OK, so “Open. Connected.” is the theme of #heweb09, and this picture is technically from 2008.  But hey, one of the perennially great things about HighEdWeb is the constant opportunity to meet and share knowledge with other higher ed Web pros. The conference workshops, presentations, keynotes and events are amazing, but so too are the informal conversations that crop up all week long at meals,  in the halls,  at social events — heck, even in the elevators and bathrooms!  It’s this chance to connect with colleagues and peers that helps to make HighEdWeb one of the most valuable professional development opportunities of the year.

So who will you connect at #heweb09? Join us in October to find out!

 

Worth 1000 Words: Heroic Competition

Welcome to our weekly feature, “Worth 1000 Words,” where  you can catch a glimpse of the wonder that is HighEdWeb.

Web Heroes? You decide.
Web Heroes? You decide.

You might be wondering what in the world is happening in this photo — we know we would be. Well, HighEdWeb pros work hard, and then they play hard, too. After a great, long day of workshops, networking, and presentations, it’s time to kick back and let off some steam. At #heweb08, we let out our inner heroes in a fierce Guitar Hero party and competition. There was some wackiness (purple fright wigs? Really?) and laughter, and a really good time for all. (Oh, and the guy on the right in the green striped shirt? Yup, he was the winning Guitar Hero to rule them all.)

So what wacky hijinks will we get up to at #heweb09? Join us in October to find out!

 

Worth 1000 Words: Hunka-Hunka-Burnin’ Web?

Welcome to our weekly feature, “Worth 1000 Words,” where  you can catch a glimpse of the wonder that is HighEdWeb.

Heweb08 keynote Jeffrey Veen makes some cultural connections for us.
Heweb08 keynote Jeffrey Veen makes some cultural connections for us. (picture by opacity: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opacity/sets/72157607786422882/)

 

Elvis.  Nixon. Jeffrey Veen. HighEdWeb 2008  Keynote.  You just never know how and where the learning is going to take place at #heweb.  What unexpected moments of insight might occur at #heweb09?  Join us in October to find out!
ps:  To learn exactly what Jeffrey was talking about in the above picture, check out the #heweb08 Veen keynote podcast.

 

Worth 1000 Words: Seeing Red

Welcome to our new weekly feature, “Worth 1000 Words,” where we will showcase different images from HighEdWebs throughout the years.

image72

One of our beloved #heweb traditions is the presentation of the Coveted Red Stapler Awardsto the Best in Track presenters.  Here we have our HighEdWeb 2008 award winners, posing for a dignified and somber group photo with their shiny new trophies.  Who will win this year’s most desired cool office supply in recognition of truly awesome #heweb09 presentations? Join us in October to find out!