Dear “SA Grad”:
Greetings! As many of you begin (or return) to your graduate experiences, I’ve been meaning to share something that I’ve talked about on Twitter before, but never really had a chance to flush out. I figured, why not do it today?
As you embark on this new academic year, I believe that your graduate training in technology will be inadequate. For most of us in Higher Ed, we’ve been playing catchup for years, and frankly, I don’t know how much longer we can do it. (Higher education, generally is the slowest to adapt to rapid change.) We need to shift this paradigm and move in a new direction, and it starts with you, our graduate students.
You need to find time to build your skill bases in emerging educational technology and social media integration into your Student Affairs work. It is imperative that our Student Affairs Graduate Programs begin to infuse this important pedagogy into its curriculum to keep you up to date and competitive with other job seekers out there. How can we, in good conscience, send you out into the workforce without these skills?
If I were a Student Affairs graduate student today (or frankly any type of Student Affairs professional), here are two things I would do to build my technology knowledge base:
1. Sign up for a Twitter account and attend the weekly #sachat each Thursday at 1pm or 7pm EST this fall.
If you still are not on Twitter, now is the time to sign up and use it. Not only is it the best free professional development tool out there, but if used properly, it can help land you a job! Read my “Teaching Twitter to Colleagues” post for a step-by-step guide on getting set up and using it for the first week. Put the #sachat in your calendar as a recurring appointment and join us for our weekly online student affairs conversation!
2. Blogs: Read Them and Start Your Own
There are so many great blogs out there, rich with information and perspective. Besides this SA Blog, some of the best technology information I have gotten has been from the following:
- Eric Stoller – Professional/Personal Blog | Inside Higher Ed Blog: Eric is one of the best Student Affairs & Technology bloggers out there. He’s been doing this since the mid 2000′s and is simply a great resource. (@EricStoller on Twitter)
- Dr. Rey Junco: Rey is a college professor (Lock Haven University, PA) and researcher who studies how social media use affects college students. (@ReyJunco on Twitter)
- General Technology and Social Media Blogs: Read Write Web | Mashable | EDUguru Add these to your RSS Readers if you haven’t already! (@rww @mashable @eduguru on Twitter)
- BreakDrink by Jeff Jackson: Jeff does some great work centralizing all the most current news and trends in student affairs! (@breakdrink on Twitter) He also does some great podcasting work!
- Kristendom Talks Tech: Thanks to a recommendation from Brenda Bethman, I’m a fan of Kristen Abell’s stuff as well.
- My blog is OK too “On the Go With Ed Cabellon” (@EdCabellon on Twitter)
I also would recommend starting your own blog, not only as a tool to share, but as a great way to reflect on your experiences! Once you create your blog, add it our growing directory of Student Affairs blogs!
I wish you all the best as you start the new academic year. I hope you will join our online community and be active and engaged with us! We are here to help in anyway we can.
Director, Rondileau Campus Center
Bridgwater State University (MA)
What advice would you give new and returning Student Affairs graduate students regarding their technology training? What sources of online information would you recommend? Any other tech blogs by women you would like to recommend?