BreakDrink, CTCX, Social Media, web 2.0

Location: There’s No Place Like Home

Why check in with location for learning? Good question. In higher education these geographically social resources connect our students on campus, share information and encourage community participation. Location-based services provide a game-like challenges for students within higher education. These location applications provide interaction, establish online identities and create a “home” feeling for many higher education institutions.

Geosocial applications create an emerging online learning environment for our students. Gowalla offers programmed trips that include highlights, challenges and items to collect. Foursquare offers incentives, discounts and fun badges to its users. A variety of student affair departments are beginning to experiment and play with the location-based apps on campus – are you one of them? If so, please share.

Earlier this year the Campus Tech Connection chatted with a few people about location-based applications and how they impact our campus communities. I am not using location based applications for learning just yet, but I am interested in exploring the possibilities. These podcasts delve into a few ideas and examples of how location-based resources are being used on campus:

Here are just a few examples of universities and colleges who are utilizing location applications on campus:

Other Location-based applications to check out…

Facebook Places
Google Places with Hotpot

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!

AcAdv, blogs, Micro-Blogs, Photo Sharing, Social Media, web 2.0

Engaging & Communicating with Students Online – Advising 2.0

To be an effective Academic Advisor and Student Affair professional, it is important to engage with your students. Social media and web 2.0 are just a couple of ways to start to share, collaborate and connect with learners. Online communication with our college & university students is one of the first few ways they learn about our resources and services. What does YOUR digital identity (office, department or personal) say about YOU?

Here are a the slides & resources from today’s Innovative Educators webinar – Advising 2.0: Engaging & Communicating with Students Online. I was fortunate to be able to present with @oakvich from the UNLV Academic Success Center, who has some excellent expertise in social media & student success initiatives.

This is the first of 3 webinars for IE’s Advising Technology series. If you are interested in this, stay tuned for more resources for the following upcoming sessions:

PLE, Professional Development, web 2.0

In My Toolbox

Inspired by @timbuckteeth‘s blog post Tools of my trade, I decided to share my tech tools I can’t seem to live without.  I have to give kudos to these web 2.0 resources which have enhanced my learning networks & contribute to my professional career.

Photo from Flicker donna_makes_cakes

Here is a quick list of online tools that I frequent to inspire, engage & learn with on a regular basis, in no particular order:

  • Google Docs – Calendar, Gmail, G-Talk and MORE! All of these wonderful cloud computing applications from Google have made my life professionally, academically and personally very simple. These apps have helped me stay connected, engage in current communication and allow for an organization on a daily basis.
  • Flickr – By nature, I am a historian and I love documenting life as it happens. Flickr has allowed me to share my experiences with others, and participate in a phenomenal photography community. I have been inspired by my Groups and challenged by new image projects, like the Daily Shoot.
  • Networks that are Social – Facebook & LinkedIn are two of the main social networking sites I connect to my “peeps” with over the course of my travels. For someone who has relocated a few times in the past 10 years, it’s been a great way to connect with friends, family & colleagues old and new. Although I tend to use the cluttered Facebook more than LinkedIn, I have found great purpose in both as it has lead to conference connections, professional development, and career opportunities.
  • Delicious – has been the best way to store & save useful articles, publications, and websites for my research. It’s a helpful way to collect, tag & store my online bookmarks. I love that delicious is very accessible, and the social features make it easy to share resources in my network. I have started to play with Diigo application a bit, but I suppose you always stick with the one you use first.
  • Twitter – After a late introduction to the Twittersphere in Fall 2008, I learned how great Twitter can be for news, information and developing my personal learning network. Twitter has proven to be a helpful resource for conferences or discussion groups by the use of hashtags (e.g. #nacadatech or #sachat), and I have connected to other Ed Tech colleagues to enhance my resources and research.
  • Slideshare has been a fantastic place to archive & share presentations online. There is a unique community of learners and educators who share some phenomenal screencasts & slides from their work.
  • Wikis – Anyone who has been in a research group or worked with me, can attest to my love of the wikis for any group collaboration. Whether it is project management, a communication platform, online classroom, or a forum for research, I have found wikis to be a very useful online workspace. My preferred wiki platform is either PBworks or Wikispaces.
  • Skype – has kept me in touch with loved ones and allowed me to collaborate with colleagues across the nation & globe. Skype is a brilliant tool to connect when you cannot meet in person. Often it is used to instant message a colleague with a quick question, or it has the ability to let me attend a class when I’ve been traveling.  I have virtually presented at conferences with the screen share application (along with Ustream) and I think it is fantastic.
  • Blog(s) – I initially began blogging back in 2006 when I was working in France & the UK. I used Blogger to describe my adventures, post pictures and share experiences with friends and family. When I returned home to Canada, many of my blog readers asked if I would keep it going as they thought it was entertaining & a great way to stay in touch. I found blogging to be very reflective and a great tool to express ideas, share content and document personal experiences. As my professional work and academic learning required more reflection, I initiated TechKNOW Tools [WordPress] as a space to share resources and ideas that impacted my school/work life.
Collaboration, Learning Technologies, Virtual Communities, web 2.0

Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier

Last month PBS aired a Frontline special called Digital Nation [full streaming episode] which shared thoughts about how technology is transforming global culture and society. This episode was a review of life on the virtual frontier, and a follow up to a previous Frontline special called Growing Up Online.

Thoughts around digital distraction, connection and learning technology were some of the various topics around emerging technology trends. The last section introduced ideas for education in the digital age. This was a pretty good segment to spark some thoughts and continue to probe questions about how we utilize digital resources in our society.

Vodpod videos no longer available.