Quick back story: Over the past 18 months, I have been part of Bridgewater State University’s pilot mentoring program called Portfolio’s of Excellence (POE), serving as one of its five faculty/staff mentors. This program is being funded by a grant from the Nellie Mae Foundation and Project Compass. Last year, I earned a small stipend for my work, but this year, the grant is supporting my travel for two conferences: ACPA in Baltimore and SXSW Interactive in Austin. Both conferences feature educational sessions that support the work I do with the POE program and foster the development of educational technology tools and formal technology education for these student populations.
Armed with my Droid X, iPad, Laptop, various chargers, spare batteries, and a “Talk Nerdy to Me” T-Shirt (thanks Rey Junco), I am ready and excited to be headed to Austin on Friday for SXSW. It’s rare that I get an opportunity to attend a conference outside of the Higher Education ones I’ve typically attended. I will be surrounded by so many who share similar passions in all things technology and want to use this experience to provide new technology education for all of you. I will take advantage of each meeting, formal educational session, and networking opportunity to its fullest and have a three goals (or visions) I wanted to share with you all:
1. Share The Latest Technology and It’s Possible Higher Education Applications
SXSWi is where many new ideas, services, and products are shared and as I come across them, I will share them with you. I will do this via blog posts, impromptu Live Video Interviews, and Twitter via the #saSXSW backchannel. Since we know that Higher Education is slow to adopt some technology, let’s get a head start together on the new, emerging stuff. Who knows, maybe I will meet someone whose idea may have Student Affairs or Higher Education applications?
2. Grow My Connections Within the SXSW Community
There are so many fantastic communities within SXSW and my hope is to meet as many of the folks as possible. One of particular interest is the Boston SXSW community who I will get a chance to meet with ahead of time on Wednesday night this week and then again in Austin. From here, I plan on connecting them with all of you. Also, as I meet more Higher Education folks at SXSW, I will add them to my SXSW list. Stay tuned!
3. Have an BLAST
I’m glad that some members of the Student Affairs community will be there as SXSW participants (Rey Junco, Liz Gross) and locals (Jeff Jackson, Brad Popiolek, Laura Pasquini, Marlena Hensarling, Laura Lambeth, Steph Wintling) to meet and hang out with and have our own mini-tweetup. I am also excited to reconnect with my old Whuffaoke friends Tara Hunt, Karen Hartline, and finally get to meet Liza Sperling in person. I plan on having lots of FUN while in Austin, a place I have never visited before!
For those who have been to SXSWi before: Best piece of advice? What to wear in Austin?
For those who will be following us online: What are you interested in finding out more about?