The Best of eduWeb 2019: What We Learned and Who We Met

Tweets were sent, lessons were learned, and new friends were made at this year’s eduWeb conference at the Penn’s Landing Hilton in Philadelphia, PA. Here is a recap of the highlights in case you missed the event or just want to relive it.

By: Olivia Bortner
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eduWeb 2019 took place just a few blocks from the Volt headquarters, giving us an easy commute and a home field advantage. This was Volt’s first showing at eduWeb, so we wanted to join in on all the action. We got right to work setting up our booth, meeting with other attendees and vendors, and hammering some nails into pieces of fruit for our “shocking” experiment (if you know, you know). We came to eduWeb seeking contributors to Volt and we were not disappointed with the interest and positive responses we received. If you missed out on connecting with us about this opportunity, let us know! 

Volt table at eduWeb 2019

What We Learned 

Inclusion and Accessibility

Erika Boltz, the social media coordinator for The University of Florida Health, used her space to address the increasingly pressing issue of web accessibility. As people with disabilities continue to fight for inclusivity, Boltz challenged us to ensure that our content is able to suit the needs of a diverse community with different needs and skills. Some tangible ideas she gave us for doing this are adding captions to video content for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and alt-text to images for individuals with low vision or that are blind.  

TikTok is the Future

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social platforms, logging the most downloads in the Apple App Store for the first half of 2018 at 104 million.

It’s not a YouTube knockoff and it’s not the new Vine. TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social platforms, logging the most downloads in the Apple App Store for the first half of 2018 at 104 million. TikTok allows users to create 3 to 15-second music and lip-sync videos and 3 to 60-second looping videos to share with their network of followers. With the primary demographic of users being between the ages of 16 and 24, Andrew Cassel, social media content strategist from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, told us it’s imperative that schools add TikTok to their social media toolkits. He provided examples of some of the content users are creating on TikTok and TikTok videos that he has made on behalf of his school. 

Web Reigns Supreme

For Gen Z prospective students, websites are still the biggest deal. This was one of the key revelations to come from the general session with Stephanie Geyer of Ruffalo Noel Levitz and Lance Merker of OmniUpdate. In their presentation, the two higher ed experts discussed how this next crop of students interacts with web content and how their behavior differs from previous generations. For example, a study found that Gen Z wants to have important information like tuition costs front and center, and gets turned off by having to dig around for this information. Furthermore, they concluded that current high school juniors and sophomores are also more open to receiving text messages with general information from schools they are interested in.  

Who We Met 

Jon McBride

He is an eduWeb celebrity. When he wasn’t busy running a workshop on Instagram best practices or winning the 2019 Summit Award for Industry Excellence, Brigham Young University’s social media manager was live-tweeting all of the higher ed happenings and connecting with his peers. Find and follow him on Twitter at @jMcBee84.

Melissa Horvath-Plyman 

She’s got a newly minted Ph.D. in Educational Communication and Technology, so it’s safe to say, she knows her stuff. Her presentation on how social media affects college choice specifically focused on minority students and students from other underrepresented backgrounds, giving us a fuller, more diverse picture. Find her on Twitter at @HorvathPlyman.

Key Takeaways 

eduWeb 2019 was a blast. We made some great connections and learned how to be even better higher ed marketing practitioners. We are certainly looking forward to next time! If you want to keep up with Volt in the meantime, follow us on Twitter @voltedu

Olivia Bortner

Olivia Bortner

Content Marketing Associate

Olivia Bortner is a content marketing associate at eCity Interactive. At eCity, she writes a variety of content for both the agency and clients. When she’s not in the office, you can find her reading in a park and scoping out the best places to eat in Philadelphia. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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