Higher Education, Reflections, StudentAffairs

A Kinder Campus to Collaborate

Be KindThere are a  number of students, staff, and faculty in my life who I have gotten to know along my academic and professional journey – as colleagues and as friends. I have been fortunate enough to experience college/university life as a student, professional, and instructor  at various types of institutions and in more than one country.  Each new experience has afforded me to work with insightful colleagues, learn about effective practices, understand a variety of student populations, and consider innovative ways to  support students, staff, and faculty.

In a recent Inside Higher Ed article I shared my thoughts on why our divisions in higher education need to think beyond their own areas. Some of the challenges ahead in higher education will require our departments/divisions to step our of their silos to collaborate and reach shared goals for our institutions. It does require some risk; however I think there are larger rewards for reaching out and conversing with others. In considering some of the opportunities and challenges in higher education – such as financial, legislative, staffing, and more – perhaps it is just the right time to sit down to chat and connect to others on campus. Institutional units will need to put their heads together to think creatively and collectively about some of these issues – if they are not doing so already. 

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about what a “kinder campus” means in higher education. I am currently participating in a Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) at UNT that brings students, staff, and faculty together to work towards a shared solution to a problem/challenge at our institution [more to be shared on this later]. Since we have diverse representation on this CLC, as the co-chair with another faculty member we have been considering the following needs to keep our group moving forward:

  • introductions are important – find out what everyone “does” on campus
  • use common language and define terms
  • establish purpose and goals for the CLC
  • share and distribute information/facts that are not known
  • establish a meeting time/day of the week
  • create agendas to guide, not limit the conversation/sharing
  • record meeting minutes for those who might be absent
  • online space for resource sharing 
  • flexibility and understanding for attendance is a must
  • define roles to guide actionable items & project initiatives
  • bringing food/treats is never a bad thing

Although cross-departmental meetings can be challenging, as it requires stepping outside our own domains and sharing across disciplinary boundaries, I have had some of the most productive conversations and ideas to emerge from these gatherings.

 

Are you part of a collaborative working group at your higher ed institution? What tips do you have to “be kind” and connect with colleagues outside your division/department?

Reflections, Social Media, StudentAffairs

#Dalton13 – Google + Interview & Keynote Teaser

Thanks so much to the Dalton Institute (@DaltonInsitute) coordinators, Jessica Dean (@j_deanSAys) & Emily Fox (@EmilyFox526), for hosting my Google + Interview on Tuesday (1/9). I appreciate the great questions from the both of them, and the #Dalton13 backchannel. Everyone really made me reflect and ponder my own technology and student development path – so thanks!


In watching the video recording (which I rarely do), it helped me think more about my talk and how to best shape the focus. Here’s a sneak peak at my #dalton13 keynote title and abstract, for those of you who will be attending the session on February 2nd:

Here is my 2013 Dalton Institute Character Clearinghouse Interview and a preview to my keynote next week:

Title: 

Student Development 2.0: Optimizing Social Media to Connect Your Campus

Abstract: Today’s college student operates in a world that is informal, networked, and filled with technology. Digital interactions are influencing both our students’ characters and values, with increasing access to information and continual contentedness  With the emergence of social web resources, student development professionals and faculty have the ability to engage in experiential and applied learning objectives for their campus environments. Social media creates a space where “everybody and anybody can share anything anywhere anytime” (Joosten, 2012, p.6). Educational paradigms are shifting to include new modes of online and collaborative learning and student-centered, active learning to challenge our students to connect curriculum with real life issues (Johnson, Adams & Cummins, 2012). As new generations of students create and share content on campus, college educators need to realize the potential social media has to construct a culture of participatory, open learning. Emerging technology platforms and devices are beginning to disrupt higher education as we know it. To co-evolve and positively impact our learners’ success, it is critical that we consider the influence and impact social media has on our student populations. This keynote plenary will share ideas and suggested practices to develop a richer learning experience to help students thrive in the changing digital frontier.

References

Johnson, L., Adams, S. & Cummins, M. (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium.

Joosten, T. (2012) Social media for educators. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

AcAdv, Learning Technologies, NACADA Tech

Going Mobile for Academic Advising: Tablets, iPads & Protocols on Campus

Mobile computing is all around us. You don’t just have to read the EDUCAUSE Mobile IT in Higher Education 2011 report or glance over the Cell Internet Use 2012 from the Pew Internet & American Life Project to see the rise of mobile technology on campus. More of students, faculty, and staff in higher education are plugged into smartphones, using tablets, and access more online through their mobile device.

Like other entities in higher education, our advising office is considering what it would be like to use a tablet (iPad or Nexus 7 seem to be the front runners) in our daily working lives. I was charged with the task to identify potential uses and reasons why a tablet would be helpful for supporting students and our professional lives on campus – and also things to consider when implementing mobile technologies.

Image c/o EdTechMag

With the quick response from the fantastic NACADA Technology in Advising Commission Facebook Group, we crowdsourced helpful resources and ideas around using mobile technology. Here are few* potential uses of mobile technology for academic advising – the WHY & HOW we would use tablets :

  • Navigation of Online Campus Resources – share for students & others at appointments, events, for recruitment, resources fairs & more!
  • Increased Web Resources – more of our advising resources & job aids (systems, notes, etc) have moved online. The access to information and systems is critical for our daily work environments in higher ed.
  • Sustainability – Increasingly our advising materials are moving online and our campus is moving to a paperless environment. Instead of printing an agenda, file or document – you can view it on your tablet.
  • Improvement to Advising Process – Currently using a PDF advising document – to transition to an online web form that can be completed and emailed to the student & tracking
  • New Student Orientation – providing current information when advising, catalog, etc. as you are on the go and at different events & happenings on campus during the summer
  • Instruction & Presentation Needs – able to plug & play notes, PPT, web resources, & applications during a class, conference session or training
  • Ease of Registration – sometimes the process for online registration and class search needs some show & tell – advisors could help students waiting for appointments or reach out to students to enroll during peak times in other spaces on campus
  • Collaborative Communication – shared notes, capturing information  from meetings & reporting back on events, webinars, or training on/off campus
  • Getting Social [Media]: ability to capture events on video, record audio for podcasts, get others connected to these social spaces (show them) &  the ability to post, archive, save & share with the campus community in real time. Have you thought about your social media management lately?
  • Assessment – surveys, evaluations, on-the-spot feedback, or other ideas for review to collect student information and campus data.
  • Marketing & Promotion – create magazine style brochures, design better promotional materials & share presentations which are all electronic => ability for direct marketing at events/fairs/appointments that can be sent to other mobile devices or email accounts. [Here’s a video with a few examples from our Career Services friends as well & a great NACE article on the topic from @garyalanmiller.]
  • There’s An App for That – web applications can be used from the current Apple or Android market OR you can create your own app that shares helpful resources.
  • Creativity – inspires staff to consider other means, methods, and practices for better serving our students, getting their administrative tasks accomplished, and then some!

*This list is not extensive or all-inclusive. I appreciate and welcome any and all ideas for other uses for tablets for academic advising or other higher education functions on campus.

For those of you who are already using a mobile device, here are some “procedure/protocols” for iPads in Office shared by the current NACADA President, Jennifer Joslin [Thanks!!]:

iPad Procedures and Things to Know

How to set up your iPad:

There are instructions inside the box; open the iPad box and get everything out.

You will need an iTunes account. And you’ll need to make sure iTunes is installed with the latest version on your computer. {Insert Your Office Supply Purchaser’s Name Here} can help with the approvals you need for this. (If you already have an iTunes account for personal use, you can just use that. You do not need a separate account unless you want one.)

Follow the on-screen instructions. Do register your account under your name, but use the {Insert Your University E-mail Address} in the contact information. Do not download the “Find my iPad” app.

You can now sync your apps, music, etc., as desired.

Please set up the passcode security feature (in Settings > General > Passcode). For extra security turn off the Simple Passcode option on this page, which permits the use of longer (i.e. more secure) passcodes. It is also recommended to turn on the Auto-Lock feature on this page. This makes it so you will need to enter the passcode after the iPad is idle for a preset period of time. Shorter times are more secure.

{Insert Your IT Support Area Here} can help you sync your {Insert Your Preferred Client’s name} email, calendar and contacts to your iPad.

Important things to keep in mind:

The iPads are intended for work purposes. Please use them appropriately. There are many apps you can use for work that are free. Some good examples of this are iBooks, Evernote, Dropbox, Big Calc Free, the Oregon App, Facebook or Flipboard for Facebook, and either Twitter or Hootsuite for Twitter. If you would like additional apps on your iPad, it is your responsibility to pay for your own apps.

It’s important that we are careful about use of data. Sometimes you will use the VPN to access {Insert CRM/CMS, degree tracking, campus portal, and/or advising notes software of your campus here} to access a student’s record. It’s important to delete those screens when you finish for the day. Since accessing the web is very easy on the iPad (and there is no further security), it’s important not to leave student data readily available.

To set up the VPN follow this link: {Insert Your VPN URL Here}

{Insert Your Office Supply Purchaser’s Name Here} will assist us with labeling each iPad for inventory and tracking purposes. We have ordered cases and clear protective screen covers for daily use. We have also ordered a few of the attachments that will allow us to use the iPad for presentations.

If you have an iPad 3G (Directors), you must purchase your own data plan.

Do you have tips for using mobile technology on campus? Suggestions for protocol and use in the office for your staff/faculty? Ideas on how to use tablets for your work area in higher education? Please share your ideas and how you use your mobile technology on your college/university campus.

AcAdv, Career, UGST1000

Open Options: Choosing a Major With Road Trip Nation

With first year students, there are many new, exciting and scary things about starting college or university. Higher education offers a place to be intellectually challenged, develop socially, discover your interests, and engage with a variety of opportunities on campus and beyond. The road and journey are both wide open. The open road and the growing number of academic/career possibilities seems to be a bigger challenge to our student population. Besides the confusion of campus jargon and the navigation of a larger than high school institution, there seems to be more students and family members at orientation who are anxious about making the “right decisions now” for later. Many higher ed students have an idea or inkling of what they want to do, but most are not sure about their academic options, career path planning, and helpful resources to support their decision-making process.

For UNT students who enter into the undecided/undeclared program at UNT, the Office for Exploring Majors [where I work] utilizes the Roadtrip Nation (RTN) resources and has a  RTN project as part of the UGST 1000 – First Year Seminar class.

The Open Road for #UGST1000 Course Design The RTN project helps students explore their personal, academic, and career path. More importantly, it allows them to learn that there is more than one path to obtain their goals and dreams. In picking up  Roadtrip Nation: A Guide to Discovering Your Path in Life and Finding the Open Road: A Guide to Self-Construction Rather Than Mass Production – I was reminded about my own academic/career journey and questions I had in undergrad and after. There are a number of different professional journeys and narratives that provide readers a “path” of how to get to where you want to go.

Overall, I will be using Finding the Open Road stories and interviews (posted online) to help expose the pre-Journalism (News, Advertising, Strategic Communication & PR) and pre-Business (Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management) students in UGST 1000 figure out how to navigate their own experience. I do like the strategies and ideas in the “Do It Yourself” section of the Roadtrip Nation book to help guide our students learning. The plan is to take the follow chapters and make them into easy-to-use guides for both the UGST 1000 instructors and students that follows the Roadtrip Nation Manifesto:

  1. First, Find Your Red Rubber Ball – What inspires you? What is your passion? Identifying interests, values, and likes.
  2. Whom Should You Meet? – tips on how to find people, being resourceful, using your personal network, how to reach out to new people
  3. Getting the Meeting – cold calls, the pitch, being persistent, communication strategies
  4. Preparing for the Interview – researching the person, their company, their work experience
  5. In the Meeting – what to talk about, suggested questions, informational interview samples, interview/meeting etiquette
  6. Closing – ending a meeting, sending thanks, developing a mentoring relationship

RTN asks....

References:

Marriner, M. & Gebhard, N. (2006). Roadtrip Nation: A guide to discovering your path in life. New York: Ballentine Books.

Marriner, M., McAllister, B. & Gebhard, N. (2005). Finding the open road: A guide to self-construction rather than mass production. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.