virtually hyperconnected

North Coast TAFE & Virtual Enterprise Australia Project

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Recordings from Social Business Matters!

Cast your minds back to March…

It was early in our Virtually Hyperconnected project and we had the wonderful Meredith Collins come to Taree campus to talk to us about Social media in business and about measuring return on investment (ROI). We were joined virtually by other students and staff from north Coast TAFE and some of our industry contacts, including the Virtual Enterprise Australia team. After the presentation, Meredith joined the students (to whom she is the Business Mentor) to workshop the project, her needs, discuss how they could support her and how she could support them, true User Based Design! You can view the social media activity from the event on our storify page.

Click here for the complete set of recordings from this event.

Here are some of the key takeaways and questions

Social Business Matters – Key Takeaways and questions from NCTAFE on Vimeo

And here is some event feedback from participants.

Social Business Matters – Post event Feedback from NCTAFE on Vimeo


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Students up working and collaborating at 1:30am!

Well it’s finally here, tomorrow is our Virtual Trade Fair. North Coast TAFE business students have been busy preparing their booths for some virtual trading and visits from international visitors between 11:00 am and 13:30pm AEST, tomorrow (Monday May 27th). This event forms a major part of their assessment for their business studies and North Coast TAFE. If you haven’t contacted me for a guest avatar and pre-event training, then you’ll miss this amazing event. Luckily though, I shall be recording it, so stay tuned for the video.

What makes this event really special is not just the work that the teachers have put in, but the many, many hours that the students have spent collaborating and working with each other, the teachers, industry contacts and their business mentor, you only have to look at the classes private Facebook group (to which I am lucky to be privy), to see the high level of engagement with this project and its subject matter. It is also evident on our project Facebook page, and tweets (#virtualhype), many of which have been collated on storify (part 3 details the preparation for the Trade Fair).

I have seen this group of students in-world on several occasions late at night, weekends and more recently into the early hours of the morning. So, I am left with some questions that I hope you will add to in the comments below and that the students will respond to honestly (perhaps sometime after the main event).

Questions for the students

  • Why are you working in-world at such unusual hours?
  • Have you engaged in the social media side of your learning? If so, has it affected/ changed the way you learn?
  • Has the industry collaboration added value to your studies?
  • What have you learnt from this experience?
  • What aspect has been the most challenging?
  • How as the reduced number of students/ project participants affected your journey?

Looking forward to reading your questions and responses.

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Project Update 1 – Hyper-connected Learning

Things we need to focus on now

#virtualhype our project hashtag

#virtualhype our project hashtag

Social media for connecting, sharing learning, getting support

There are Twitter and Facebook boxes on the reception desks. We can use these to connect with others in social media spaces (as we all are on a daily basis these days) from the in-world environment. We can reach out to:

  • let others in the project, business connections, and mentors know that we are in-world if they want to join us
  • get help and support from other project members
  • share our learning and innovative ideas
  • promote the Virtual Trade Fair
  • ask our networks for ideas

What else can you think  of?

Do you think we could all make an effort to click those boxes every time we go in-world and post to the project Facebook page to say we are in-world? This will let project members know who is in-world and what they are up to and if they need any support. We really need to make use of these tools to promote the Trade Fair.

chillOUTlounge poster

chillOUTlounge poster

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It’s a wrap! Social Business Matters…

It’s a fact, Social Business Matters! Our wonderful speaker, digital and social media strategist, Meredith Collins from Video Social Marketing joined North Coast TAFE as part of our Virtually Hyperconnected project to share her expertise on just how much social media impacts business, how important it is to have a strategy and a plan and to measure the results. Meredith took us on an engaging and powerful journey into our past (highlighted by a purple Malvern Star bike), with a sneak peak at the future (which looks to be all mobile, mobile, mobile). You can view some images, tweets and the YouTube videos on our Storify page.

The event was held physically at Taree campus, North Coast Institute and online using Adobe Connect. The event was recorded and filmed and is currently being edited.

After the event, Meredith (the Business Mentor for Taree campus Business students) was invited into the classroom to workshop ideas for the project and to enable students to develop their relationship with her by discussing ways they could work together for the duration of their study. We caught lots of this user based design, planing and collaboration on film, along with feedback from the students. As we go through the footage, we will grab any significant bits to share with the project via this blog.

Here are some images from the event. You can find more here on Flickr


Digital minds and analogue hearts – teachers beware!

Over the weekend I have been doing some research on pros and cons of social media in education because I see the gap between some of the “digitised” thinking students versus “the analogue” thinking ones and generally because I am interested.

I have come across this article (right click to download). I tend to agree with Mark Connolly: Knowing when, where, and with whom to use social media, may be the most important learning outcome of all. I have viewed the YouTube clip on this blog and find that while it may be exiting to the already “digitised” person (for whom it is aimed – I get that) it may come across as a threat to the “analogue” person. Do it now or you will miss out!!

With regards to introducing social media in the learning environment I come from the point of view as a teacher (as opposed from a business point of view) and I think we should be aware of the pros AND the cons so that we can give students the best of both worlds. There are good examples of this in the video clip (linked below) e.g. how Apple does not solely rely on online sales but has kept the old-fashioned face-to-face point of contact also.

Click here for the video and full blog post –


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Do you like what they’re saying about your brand?

Social Media revolution 2

It’s true. We will no longer search for products and services, they will find us through social media.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it” – Erik Qualman

  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the US
  • Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the web
  • 80% of companies use social media for recruitment
  • 50% of mobile internet traffic in the UK is Facebook. Imagine what this means for bad customer experiences!
  • 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements

What a great video. Have you seen it yet?


Social Business Matters


Measuring your return on Social Media Investment

This exciting Social Media for business event presented by Meredith Collins (Social Media Strategist), is part of our Virtually Hyperconnected project. It is a fabulous opportunity to hyperconnect North Coast TAFE business students and teachers, with Virtual Enterprise Australia and business mentors in a virtual context.

Download the Social Business Matters Flyer

When: Monday March 18th , 12:00 – 13: 30

Where: Library seminar room Taree campus, North Coast TAFE
Attend online by clicking this link –

What you need to do

Download the flyer here

What will we be talking about?

At the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Outline the psychology of social media
  • Identify how social media can impact a business’s reputation online
  • Name the four main keys that Google looks for in a website and how social media contributes to the keys
  • Identify how social media can influence online visibility
  • Identify two ways to measure the success of social media

There will be a Q & A session, so bring your questions.

Don’t leave without your ‘free set of steak knives’ (we’ll give attendees access to a set of very useful, business focused social media checklists)

How do we join online?

You can attend online by clicking this link –

  1. You’ll need a headset plugged into your computer before entering the online session.
  2. Enter as a guest using your full name (it would help us if you put your organisation in brackets as well), or if you’re with DEC, then log in using your usual details (with @detnsw at the end).
  3. We recommend coming in at least ten minutes prior to the start of the session to test your audio.
  4. Run through the Audio setup wizard before you start (Meetings > Audio setup wizard)
  5. Make sure your mic is turned off unless it is your turn to speak

Note: This session will be recorded and a link placed here after the event.


Who is Meredith Collins?

Meredith Collins is a Social media Strategist.  Meredith’s passion for social media began in 2003 as one of TAFE NSW’s first teachers to begin to utilise and assess blogs, wikis, podcasting amongst other online technologies to support both students and teachers in distance and eLearning solutions.2009 saw her open her own consultancy, Video.Social. Marketing and having watched the progress of social media as a business tool and communication channel in a very short time. In line with this changing environment, she too evolved her service offering education for the business market – being a sought after and entertaining speaker – “Keeping it Real”.

Meredith delivers practical, engaging and easy to follow keynotes, breakfast seminars, workshops and mentoring programs in a dynamic way and she is committed to bringing her audience the very latest and most relevant content. More info

What you can expect from meredith

  • Entertaining, engaging and relevant content and delivery – start to finish
  • High interaction and multi-media content – an energised audience
  • High-quality information woven through with stories and humour
  • Well researched and prepared content specific to your needs
  • No death by PowerPoint!
  • Challenging, thought-provoking and memorable experiences
  • An audience who remembers your event for weeks afterwards!


“Social Media was a confusing and out there media that we didn’t think was for us…..Meredith changed all that. She made it easy to understand, showed how powerful a tool it actually was and proved that it was necessary for any company wanting to grow and be leading edge. Video.Social.Marketing did all that and we have now embraced this technology and are engaging new and potential customers each and every day. Meredith is highly recommended by us as both a consultant and mentor and she and her company will definitely make you better resourced and a leading edge market player. A powerful business to be associated with.” MD – NSW TAFE Institute

Virtual Enterprise Australia

Who are Virtual Enterprise Australia?

Virtual Enterprise Australia (VEA) is a not-for-profit company that manages the network of Virtual Enterprises (VEs).

The Virtual Enterprise program is an opportunity to get your students experienced in business without the risks of running a real business. Whilst the products and money are virtual everything else is real. This business program can support participants at school, TAFE, university and in business, and it is hands on, interactive and global. More info

What is the Virtually Hyper connected project?

North Coast TAFE and Virtual Enterprise Australia partner again in the Virtually Hyperconnected project, embedding learning and assessment opportunities in a virtual world environment with audio capability and social streams and developing a hyperconnected learning model. ‘In-world’ students can train, learn, perform assessment tasks and develop employability skills associated with running a business and the relevance (and in fact importance) of using on line social mediums in 2013. More info

This event will be hosted by North Coast TAFE. For further details contact:

Alex-Miller, Learning Resource Development Officer, North Coast TAFE
m: 0418 227 066