AcAdv, BreakDrink, CTC, Learning Community, NACADA Tech

Who is Your Tech BFF?

Q: “How do you stay on top of all things technology and remain current with online trends?”

A: “My Technology B.F.F. (Best Friend Forever), of course!”

The term BFF is often used by “the kids” these these days, but after reflecting on where I learn and engage in technology, this became the best term I can use. Sure my Tech BFF is a mentor, guide, coach, instructor and instigator – but most of all this individual is a friend. My Tech BFF helps introduce me to useful ideas, connects me to other people, engages me in the social network to challenge me both personally and professionally.

Flickr Photo c/o Hoodlumpr

Okay. I am cheating. I have a few of these Tech BFF’s in my life. This collaborative helps to inform what I do and how I learn. I am able to connect, collaborate, question and play with online group on a regular basis. Today I will highlight one of the esteemed members from my personal learning network – let me introduce one of my Tech BFF’s: Mr. @EricStoller

I was fortunate to connect with Eric during our faculty stint at NACADA for the 1st EVER Technology Seminar at the end of 2008 with Karen Thurmond & George Steele. My initial interaction with Eric was via e-mail, Skype and on via the interwebs. This seems appropriate since he has been one of many to inspire me to further embrace the power of online connection for social justice and collaborative partnerships. Since this first meet up (where I discovered Eric was much taller than he appeared on webcam), I have been fortunate to be supported by this colleague as we transition in our careers and pursue our dreams.

I proudly present to you the latest & greatest Campus Tech Connection podcast #16 that features Eric Stoller and his recent happenings. In this podcast we discuss the following items:

Thanks for your support, ideas and friendship. May our tech connection live long and prosper.

The question is: Who’s your (tech) Jedi master?

AcAdv, EC&I831, Learning Community, NACADA Tech, nacada10, Social Media

Advising Is the Sum Of All Parts With Technology

I took a bit of a Tech-cation after returning from #nacada10 last week. There was so much social media involvement at the 2010 NACADA annual conference, that I thought it was very important to be social in real life (IRL) and get back to the daily grind at the office.

After over a week away from blogging, I thought I would share some of my ‘deep thoughts’ about NACADA10 and the brilliant advising community. It was a pretty fun experience to be part of the NACADA10 Social Media Dream Team.

My NACADA #SM accomplice, @bradpopiolek, helped to fuel the 1st Official NACADA 2010 blog and backchannel at the annual conference last week. This was a great opportunity for pictures, videos and tweets both as an archive to the conference, and it was an easy way to share the NACADA10 happenings with other Academic Advising folks near and far.

The opening keynote speaker, @reyjunco, brought some interesting ideas to the NACADA attendees during his talk about  student engagement, social media & change. This sparked many conversations and questions on how to best utilize these resources for our students in our advising profession, etc.

The 1st ever NACADA TweetUp was a success. I had a blast meeting all my academic advising friends from Twitter IRL. It was a great to connect & chat with everyone including: @vcuesposito, @bradpopiolek, @JPKirchmeier, @howardsj, @peacox, @Ahjim,@USMAccAdv, @adamduberstein, @amy0631, @reyjunco & @KellyJBailey.

For those fantastic #AcAdv tweeps on my NACADA-AdvAdv List who couldn’t attend the NACADA TweetUp that night at Rix, I was fortunate to meet you throughout the conference. Excellent discussions and introductions made with fellow tweeters like @UOAdvDir, @sally_garner, @jadana17, @jbarkemeyer & more! For those of you on “the list” I look forward to a tweetup sometime in the future. For now we will continue to learn & share on Twitter.

My NACADA10 takeaways:

  • learning is continuous & not a specific location – many #AcAdv joined the conversation from afar
  • advising peers sharing experiences/resources is always a good thing
  • my personal learning network (PLN) at NACADA continues to challenge & support me
  • academic advisors are a great group of #highered professionals
  • #nacada has a WEALTH of information & resources (we need to share these MORE effectively)
  • conversations at conferences are THE reason why you go to a conference
  • sometimes social media can make you less social IRL – balance is good

Being part of a great association and meeting at an annual conference is grand, but I truly value the resources and contributions my network of #nacada peers share online and always. Whether it’s an article posted on a blog, to a comment on twitter, my PLN best contributes to my educational and professional life. Thank you. Keep up the fine work.

I will leave you with a great quote from Dr. Rick Schwier (@schwier), an #edtech faculty from the University of Saskatchewan, who shared these thoughts #during a recent #eci831 lecture about the history of learning networks:

“You can’t separate the network [from learning],

the network is learning.”

Hey #AcAdv PLN – let’s keep collaborating, connecting & learning together. See you in the social media-sphere.

AcAdv, NACADA Tech, nacada10, Social Media

Packing My Bags for NACADA10

It’s time to gear up for the annual 2010 NACADA Conference happening this coming weekend/week in Orlando, FL. Let’s pack our academic advising conference bags:

  1. Sunscreen & glasses – CHECK
  2. Booked my hotel & a FREE ride on The Magical Express Bus – CHECK
  3. Interactive Conference Scheduler – CHECK
  4. Posted on the Official NACADA2010 Conference Blog – CHECK
  5. Reviewed the Exhibitors list – CHECK
  6. Prepped my Pre-Conference Workshop (#16) Wiki – CHECK
  7. Read the Last Minute Tips – CHECK
  8. Packed my Social Media Toolkit & Gadgets —- YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

This year NACADA has decided to be more social & interactive (officially) online. This is excellent news for many Academic Advisors and Administrators who want to be part of the growing, collaborative network of advisors who already play in the virtual environment. The NACADA backchannel will allow conference attendees in Florida, and other professionals from afar to interact, converse, connect, and share the conference happenings.

Last year, Eric Stoller & I initiated an unofficial backchannel at the 2009 NACADA Conference on Twitter & Facebook. This idea developed out of the interest to participate in the conference even if we were not able to be there in person. Since Texas is my home state, I was able to drive down to San Antonio for part of the conference. Due to the economic down turn, many advising units have had to cut professional development and travel funding budgets – which limit the number of colleagues who can join the annual conference.

This year, I am fortunate to be part of a team who will be helping to support the NACADA Backchannel. Brad Popiolek and Rey Junco are part of the collaborative group who will help support the online presence of #NACADA10. Here’s a bit more information about what to expect & my NACADA 2010 Social Media Guide blog post.

For those not interested in creating accounts to stay connected to the NACADA 2010 Backchannel, you are welcome to just follow along. I will do my best to share some updates, but most of mine will be through one of the NACADA online platforms:

For those of you who WILL be at #NACADA10, please be sure to join us for the very first NACADA TweetUp after the Common Reading on Monday night. This social gathering should be fun! We will meet at a location (to be announced SOON) on Monday, October 4th at 7 pm. Stay tuned to blog/Twitter for updates & safe travels to all. See you there!

AcAdv, nacada, NACADA Tech, Training

Emerging Digital Resources for Advisors

I am pleased to share with my academic advising colleagues and educators a recent publication for the 2nd Edition of the NACADA Training Monograph – Comprehensive Advisor Training and Development: Practices That Deliver.

This chapter introduces engagement in staff development with simple, online resources to enhance any training program.

I was fortunate to share resources and ideas for advisor development and training in Chapter 9 – Emerging Digital Resources: Easy and Accessible Online Tools (final proof):

What are your best practices for digital training? Please share any thoughts or strategies.

AcAdv, NACADA Tech, Social Media, web 2.0

Academic Advising IS Social

Believe it or not, most of what I do as an academic advisor is quite social. Through various daily interactions my objective, as an advisor, is to empower students to gain knowledge, ideas and direction for their academic career. Beyond the advising appointment, I strongly believe that students need to stay connected and collaborate with their networks on campus to become effective learners. This means that social media and Web 2.0 resources definitely need to be introduced into the campus equation.

Many academic and student affairs offices in higher education continue to express skepticism and doubt for practical uses of social media with students. Like other academic advisors, I sometimes feel deflated  by the minimal support and interest to utilize technology resources for advising and student support.  Perhaps it is the lack of knowledge or few experiences that provides our profession with Web 2.0 ignorance? Or maybe a better list of technology competencies for professionals? Or a list of best practice and guidelines that we require to move forward with social media?

In thinking about last week’s webinar with the Higher Education Hero group, I am left pondering a a few ideas that involve social media and emerging technologies for academic advising on my own campus and with my department.

Many initiatives involving technology in academic advising stemmed from the following key factors:

  • supportive administration
  • collaborative efforts from staff, students & faculty
  • interest in connecting students to resources
  • enhancement of current services
  • accessible and available advising content beyond the typical 9-5 office hours
  • assessment of the technology needs
  • an effective project plan & implementation process
  • program evaluation & review
  • on-going support & interest

Here’s to pondering, planning & possibilities ahead!

Collaboration, Higher Education, nacada, NACADA Tech, Social Media

Presentations from #Region3Tech Seminar

Here are a couple of the sessions I presented via Skype during yesterday’s workshops at the NACADA Region 3 Technology seminar:

Tech Readings & Resources


Educause Quarterly

Educause Review

The Chronicle & Wired Campus

Inside Higher Ed

Twitter Friends & Lists:

Google FastFlip (News)

International Society for Technology in Education

The American Society for Training & Development

Other Resources:

nacada, NACADA Tech, Social Media

Hello NACADA Region 3 Tech Seminar!

I am looking forward to joining in (virtually) to the NACADA Region 3 Technology Seminar is this weekend at the University of Kentucky campus.

Karen Thurmond will be facilitating this hands on, interactive technology seminar that focuses on introducing web-based technologies to the field of academic advising. Participants will learn how to use these tools and begin brainstorming ideas and how to implement these online resources into academic advising practices. A few advising online tools include:

  • wikis
  • social bookmarking
  • social networking
  • online collaboration tools

Here is the action packed seminar schedule. I look forward to seeing a few of you tomorrow morning. 🙂

Saturday, May 15, 2010 (Eastern Time)

8:30 AM Meet in the hotel lobby if you need a ride to UK.

Hotel address is:  Marriott Griffin Gate, 1800 Newton Park, Lexington, KY

Campus site is: Gatton School of Business & Economics, room B&E 105

If you have a car, please help those who need transportation.

Continental Breakfast at the UK Campus (Coffee, Danish, Water)

9:30 AM. –10:45 AM What is it? Introduction-Karen
10:45 AM –11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM.–12:00 PM Wikis-Laura
12:00 AM –1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM.– 2:00 PM Social Bookmarks-Laura
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Online Advising Videos – YouTube
2:45 PM –3:00 PM Break (Soft Drinks, Cookies, Water)
3:00 PM.–5:00 PM Brainstorming, Practice, and Planning Session:
5:00 PM Return to hotel
6:30 PM Optional Dinner with the group Location TBA

Sunday, May 16

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Continental Breakfast (Coffee, Danish/Muffin, Juice, and Sliced Fruit)

Networking, Discussion of Action Plans

at the Marriott (location TBA)

9:30 AM Travel to the UK Campus

If you have a car, please help those who need transportation.

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Communication Plans-Steve
11:30 AM – 12 Noon Final Discussion
12  Noon Seminar concludes; return to the hotel

Hotel address is: Marriott Griffin Gate, 1800 Newton Park, Lexington, KY