BreakDrink, CTCX, Virtual Communities

Talking Social Justice with the @BreakDrink #CTCX Crew

The @BreakDrink Campus Tech Connection (#CTCX)podcast posse discussed our thoughts on social justice and technology today. If you missed the recent podcast you can take a listen HERE and/or read the show notes that have been Storify-ed. A few of the key themes we touched upon include:

I.  How Technology is Created & Used – the global impact & consumerism.

II.  BYOD & Social Economic Status for Students on Campus – no student left technologically behind.

III. How Technology Can Support Issues & Causes – how to engage our learners.

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We had many questions about what others in higher education and student affairs thought about social justice and technology:

  • Does technology provide our students with tools for revolution or activism?
  • What does our technology & consumption mean for our students and educators?
  • Who has access to technology on campus?
  • Are we really contributing and engaging in the global community with a RT or Like?
  • How can we have better collaborative and collective modes of technology paired with social justice actions at our institutions?

We just touched the tip of the talks for what it means for technology & social justice. 

What got me thinking further was an interesting presentation by @maymaym (Meitar Moscovitz) at the 8th Public Anthropology Conference titled “Dreaming of Compassion”. This talk discusses how the internet now affords social changes and issues to come together and be valued beyond cultural, geographical, economic, and political boundaries to the entire human race in our connected realities.

“In the network economy, the more plentiful things become, the more valuable they become.” Kevin Kelly 

This principle of “the more, the merrier” brings into question of how we value of different relationship types in the social network and how our objectives can be intertwined with others social pursuits and needs in the world. Similar social networks provide both connections and shared intelligence. There is a great amount of power that can be influenced and perpetuated in a collective organization. A few examples we discussed include:

Open Ideas


And I also think there are a few good resources shared by Dr. @courosa for education & action for social justice+technology.

Since social networks and viral activity have the ability to spreads news and information at an accelerated rate, it is possible that online action can start an actual reaction. The question we put back out there is to find out how other educators engage learners to move their connections of goodness  beyond a  RTs or Like, and put it into action? 

#phdchat, PhD, Professional Development, Reflections

Finding Thoughts and Ideas In [750] Words

After I finished my undergraduate degree from U of Guelph, I was ready to move forward and move fast. I had a few different options and I was accepted into a couple of professional /graduate schools; however I decided to take a break from academics to really sort out what I wanted to while living in an “unsemestered” world [too many options, and not sure where to go]. I spent some time in my quarter-century crisis (I think I was 22) learning more about my own interests through meeting new people, participating in the community, travelling to new places, learning new skills (visual design, reflexology, etc), and working some random odd jobs (sales/marketing, bartending, nanny, educational assistant, banquet serving, etc.).   Being an avid reader, I often picked up a book or two that even supported my self-exploration and career awareness, including such finds as  Do What You Are and  The Artist’s Way. [I think this is why I enjoy connecting with my undecided and exploring students in my current job.]

I suppose some of the self-help or self-awareness reads brought out some of my ideas and next steps. For example, The Artists Way provided a weekly approach to tapping into ones creativity and helped to establish personal/professional goals.  I appreciated the various exercises this text included; however the one that stood out was the morning pages. Each morning you were encourage to write 3 pages – not  to be creative but rather as a practice to clear your mind. Through the process of personal, stream-of-consciousnesses writing, you remove the “junk” in head which frees up some space for creative thoughts/ideas. I had left this practice behind and forgot all about it until I was reminded in @evalantsoght ‘s recent blog post –  The writer’s little helper. [Thanks!]

In thinking about all I want and need to accomplish this next year, I thought it might be wise to put some of this regular writing into practice. On campus I sometimes where all hats – student, staff and faculty – and sometimes I feel as though I loose focus between projects and deadlines. I think that daily writing will let me keep my stress levels in check and also allow me to process ideas and reading that I consume. Thanks to both #phdchat and Eva, I have welcomed the morning pages routine back into my life using the 750words. I have been using the 750words for just one week. So far, I have found this practice of personal, reflection quite calming. If you happen to connect with me on the social web, you will see that I am open and transparent learner/educator. This new space is an excellent, quiet location to place my private thoughts and meditate on my own.

In looking at my writing analytically (750words DOES provides stats), it is beneficial to learn what I am thinking about and understand my personal attitude each morning. Although I have not stumbled on any fantastic research gems or writing ideas just yet; I believe that this process will leave me with more space to connect the nodes. Overall, the 750words have left me feeling engaged and motivated to have a productive day.   Have you every wondered what your words/thoughts are saying? If so, you can try on these private,  online writing spaces:





Collaboration, Learning Community, PLE, PLN

Organizational Networks, Relationships & Sensemaking

In organizational life there are interpersonal networks, within and across organizations, and internationalizational networks, with exchanges of resources, alliances, and shared directors. Network thinking has a long history in sociology , such as the dynamics of triads and the “web of group affiliations.” New constructs such as resources dependence, institutional theory methodology, and computer power encouraged formal methods for network analysis, assessing relationships and structures, and testing new theories.


Networks provide a way to visualize and analyze patterns among relationships of the nodes (parts) and ties to determine distribution of information, resources, energy and authority. This type of network analysis has lead to further review of organization connectedness, including:

  • formal and informal networks among members and units
  • social network analysis to quantify position or importance of actors in the network
  • characterization of technology, industry and product space
  • types of ties among organizations
  • organizational alliances, partnerships & affiliations
  • review networks of organization distinct from functional, divisional or matrix form
  • hybrid of ties among organizational units
  • dynamic networks in industrial districts
  • networks structures and differences depending on economies and politics
  • cross-cultural comparisons of networks
 Practical applications for organizational networks and relationships include application of the following steps for both individuals and organizations:
  1. Setting up a personal learning network (PLN) – developing a PLN to meet your personal and professional goals
  2. Establishing a professional presence online –establishing you digital identity and presences online
  3. Selecting online networks & tools – where to start, tools, tips and social spaces
  4. Finding your voice – developing a sense of self in the community of practice and contributing to that shared community
  5. Network collaboration – being able to weave your online network to learn, grow, curate and contribute


Scott, R. W. & Davis, G. F. (2007). Networks in and around organizations. In Organizations and organizing: Rational, Natural and Open system perspectives, Chapter 11.

Further Readings

Borys, B. & Jemison, D. B. (1989) Hybrid arrangements as strategic alliances: theoretical issues in organizational combinations. Academy of Management Review, 14, 234-249.

Daft, R. & Weick, K. (1984).  Toward a model of organizations as interpretation systems.
Academy of Management Review, 284-295.

Granovetter, M. (1983). The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited
Sociological Theory, Vol. 1, (1983), pp. 201-233.

Levine, S. and White, P.E. (1961) Exchange as a conceptual framework for the study of interorganizational relations. Administrative Science Quarterly,5: 583-601.

Milliken, F. J. (1990). Perceiving and Interpreting Environmental Change: An Examination of College Administrators’ Interpretation of changing demographics. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 42-63

Park, S. H. (1996) Managing an Interorganizational Network: A Framework of the Institutional Mechanism for Network Control. Organization Studies, 17: 795-824.

Ring, P.S. & Van de Ven, A.H. (1994) Developmental process of cooperative interorganization relations. Academy of Management Review, 19, 90-118.

Salancik, G. R. (1995) Review: WANTED: A Good Network Theory of Organization
Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 345-349

Weick, K. ( 1993). The collapse of sensemaking in organizations: The Mann Gulch disaster. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38: 628-652

Weick, K., Sutcliffe, K., & Obstfeld, D. ( 2005). Organizing and the process of sensemaking. Organization Science, 16 (4): 409-421.