Linkage Love

By Brenda Bethman

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Linkage Love”!

If you’re flying for the holiday weekend and have a Foursquare account, check in to get the Baggage Handler badge. (Side note: of course, they had to use a male figure on the badge. It could have just been a suitcase. Sigh….)

On a more serious note, Jezebel points out that for many women, being groped by the TSA is business as usual.

A teen uses Facebook to post evidence of her abuse.

Shopping this Black Friday? Take Amazon’s price check app with you.

Apple released iOS 4.2 this week, unifying the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Over at ProfHacker, learn how to archive your Facebook data.

A new social browser, RockMelt, hits the web. Mashable has a review.

Posting will be light (or non-existent) the rest of this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. We wish all who celebrate a happy Thanksgiving!

Linkage Love

Helpful Holiday Apps and Sites

By Brenda Bethman

With the holidays coming up soon, here’s a list of apps and websites that will help get you through whether you’re shopping, cooking, baking, traveling, hanging out, or just trying to survive the madness (I’ve always wondered who the evil genius was who thought having the end of the semester fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year’s was a good idea. Because it’s so not), one of these links should help you out. Happy holidays!

Finally, if you’re looking for a gift for the techie in your life, check out some of these holiday gift guides:

Do you have a favorite holiday website or app? Please leave your links in the comments.

[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user lordog.]

Helpful Holiday Apps and Sites

How Has Your Student Affairs Work Changed?

By Brenda Bethman

Over at ProfHacker (and no, they really aren’t paying me to promote them. I just truly love that blog), Amy Cavender has a post on how technology has changed the way she works as an academic. This was good timing for me as we had just been discussing this topic in class today — and I realized while we watched a video (Michael Wesch’s “Information R/evolution” embedded below for your viewing pleasure) that the way I currently do research is dramatically different from the way I did research as a college student. Stopping the video, I asked how many of them had ever used a microfilm/microfiche machine and only 2 out of 24 had used one. I remember when that was the “high-tech” research strategy.

Cavender’s post reinforced for me the way that my research work has changed (not to mention reminding me yet again that I really have to get busy figuring out how to use Zotero), but I’ve also recently been thinking about the ways technology has changed how we work in student affairs, particularly in regard to how we communicate with students. Here are a few examples from the UMKC Women’s Center:

  • Using technology to promote our programs and services to students. This is the basic and one just about everyone’s on board with. We have a Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr accounts, etc. which we use to let students know what we’re doing.
  • Building community and providing “safe space” for our students. We post a TON of content to our blog and Facebook page, which provides a forum for students to learn about women’s and gender issues and to discuss them in a safe online space.
  • Teaching students how to use social media productively. At the Women’s Center, it is our student staff who are primarily responsible for updating our social media sites and producing the content for the blog. They learn a TON about how to present themselves online as professionals, which I hope will serve them well in their future careers.

What about you? How has your work changed due to technology?

How Has Your Student Affairs Work Changed?

Greetings from your past.

By Jennifer Keegin

There in my inbox  was a message entitled “Setting After Katrina”. Immediately I was confused. Why would I be getting an email regarding Hurricane Katrina and “settling after” it? Katrina was five years ago. Yes, I lived in New Orleans before, during, and after Katrina – but was someone reaching out to poll me about my experiences?

Nope. It was actually something much more meaningful. It was an email to me – FROM ME – sent five years ago.

Greetings from your past. In the fall of 2005, you agreed to receive this
message, which has been preserved in the Forbes.com E-Mail Time Capsule.

I don’t remember writing this email message. I don’t remember how in world I would have seen something like this and decided to write myself a note. I’m glad I did. It’s just a simple, quickly written little note – but I’ll share it with you:

Here is the text of your message:Hello. It’s been 15 days since Joe and I moved back to New Orleans. We really like our apartment and we’ve ordered thousands of dollars worth of furniture but won’t see it until December.We still don’t have a land line phone and won’t for a least another week. Meanwhile I’ve run out of run-over minutes on my cell phone and so I’m incurring a large cell phone bill.

Gobi has done so well during this Hurricane situation and so we are happy that she’s OK and happy. She finally found the window in the bedroom. Windows make her happy.Joe and I are great and are still playmates. Two years in February.

Getting this email reminded me of how losing contact with the world after Katrina was unsettling and to a certain extent frightening. Cell phone towers down, friends scattered all over the country – it took us a week to get back on-line to figure out what was going on. After that, it was a constant battle to get somewhere where we had access to the internet. I didn’t have an iPhone or a laptop with wireless connectability. We had no computer, my brother didn’t even have cable! When we stayed with Grandma – she had dial up! We stayed in TN, KY, AL, and southern LA before we were allowed back in the city two months later.

We had a ruined apartment. All electronic items that we thought would be completely safe in the bathroom were ruined because the water heater was actually right above it in the roof. The roof had been ripped off in one chunk and everything we owned was left out to the elements for two months.

My husband, cat, and I found an apartment and start to put our lives back together. At the point this email was written, we had received money from renters insurance (which I always stress to students that they should have) and were trying to purchase furniture. Its a long story from beginning to end but needless to say that we didn’t even own a bed anymore, so buying furniture sounds fun, but it was also a necessity.

I am grateful for this message today. I am grateful for my life, my family, and my health. I am grateful that this simple project on-line has probably sparked all kinds of thoughts and feelings in those who have already received their messages and have yet to receive them.

Take care all.

Link to an article regarding this project.

Greetings from your past.

Linkage Love

By Brenda Bethman

This week’s links:

Over at ProfHacker, Jason B. Jones has a post on about.me, a new digital card service. Still in closed beta, but you can request an invite and reserve your URL. I signed up for mine and urge anyone with an out-of-control email signature file to do the same.

Eric Stoller writes today about #sagrow, the new mentoring program (started by Ed Cabellon) between the #sachat and #sagrad communities. Check it out and sign up to get or be a mentor!

Just in time for the holiday flying season, you can now report abusive screening behavior via the MyTSA app. Since it’s an official app, the reporting function is a bit buried, but there. You can also use the app to get other travel tips.

A fascinating piece on digital humanities over at the New York Times.

Our our Kristen Abell has a piece responding to Chris Brogan on how he’s able to write so much. I agree with her point that reading other blogs is part of the point and also take some issue with the unacknowledged privilege in his “I don’t do phone calls or meetings” point. It sure would be nice to be able to do that, but it’s just not true for vast majority of working folks who do not get to decide how to spend their time. What do you all think?

Oh, and Facebook made a little announcement this week. Mashable walks you through their new messaging system as well as the security implications of that system.

Do you have links to share? Please feel free to share some more linkage love in the comments below!

Linkage Love

The Evolution of the Student Affairs App

By Colleen Riggle

I sit on our Student Affairs Technology committee; it’s a great group of folks who coordinate the advancement of technology as it relates to Student Affairs.  Recently, we’ve been charged with conducting a Student Affairs iPhone app contest with our current students.

We’re slowly moving forward with access to institution functions via a mobile app.  Recently our institution introduced the first campus-wide app.  It’s got some kinks to work out like any other app, but overall serves the purpose and is functional.

Some schools with decent app are Duke, as does Penn State.

Within Student Affairs and the Women’s Center specifically we have an app that contains calendar information, program updates, important phone numbers and can also like you directly via email, phone to the office.  However, this contest is to see what students would like as far as an app within any office or department in student affairs.

Now lies the question, iPhone, Android or web-based apps? I’ll argue that a web-based app is just as functional as a specific platform app, but it’s all in what you want to get out of it.

Does your institution have any apps within your Student Affairs? Does your institution even have an app?  What do you want to see as far as an app goes? It’s challenging to think of, but as we move full speed ahead into what’s becoming a mobile world we’ll need to start thinking in this way.

The Evolution of the Student Affairs App

Linkage Love

By Kristen Abell

Here’s this week’s edition of Wednesday Linkage Love…enjoy!

Loving all the new research coming out from Reynol Junco about tweeting and engagement in class. For a couple of different reads, check out the coverage in Inside Higher Ed and Spotlight on Digital and Media Learning. (Here’s a spoiler – tweeting actually leads to greater engagement in class!).

I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed with NASPA’s idea to use scholarships to promote social media use by their members – check it out if you’re interested in attending!

You can now use open networks safely with the new Firefox add-on, BlackSheep. Specifically, this new add-on addresses the recent rise of a new hacking tool called Firesheep that allows users access to your web accounts when you’re on an open network. Surf safely again!

The National Labor Relations Board has declared that posts on Facebook about an employer should be considered as free speech, and therefore you should not be fired for them. (In other news, can Mashable PLEASE find a different creepy Facebook photo to use with their Facebook posts?)

Mockingbird, a pretty sweet wireframe tool for designing websites, has recently added real time collaboration – web designers rejoice! Seriously, though, I can already think of one or ten uses for this that would be helpful in my current position, and I’m not even a web designer.

Do you have links to share? Please feel free to share some more linkage love in the comments below!

Linkage Love

Too trendy to relate?

By Jennifer Keegin

Today I turn 35. I swear it feels like I’m turning 40 or something. This one is hitting me hard. But here’s the thing – at this point in my life with a toddler at home I should know more about Yo Gabba Gabba and Nick Jr. (which I do know alot about) than I do about Gowalla or Twitter. Or should I?

In the field of Student Affairs we have the curious task of noticing ourselves getting older while our students stay the same age. This obviously can lead to the phrase, “Well that’s why I work at a college. The students keep me young.” I’ve said that so many times. Usually that’s completely true. I hear about students and their interests and the shows and movies they grew up with that are “back in the day” for them. I learn slang from them, learn about hip things going on in “the city”, (If you live in NY State “The City” is NYC), and learn about their reality when it comes to dating, Facebook’ing and drinking.

Within the last few years, however, I’ve noticed that many times myself and my colleagues are far more advanced than the students when utilizing the newest trends on the internet. Facebook aside (everyone’s Mom is on Facebook, it’s not the newest hottest thing like it was when it first started and you had to have an official college email address to participate), most students on our campus are not using Twitter. They are definitely not using Foursquare (all mayors in town are over 26 years old here in Binghamton) and have no idea what Gowalla, Scvngr, Miso, or GetGlue are. Which leads me to this question – Why do I as a newly crowned 35 yr. old full time working mother know more about this stuff than a 19 year old?

Perhaps it some sort of old timey idea that I have that mothers can’t be connected and hip and know what’s going on in the world. That could be true. I know that this is simply not the case in general. These days women much older than me are blogging their brains out with craft blogs, cooking blogs. They are selling their jewelry and art on Etsy.com. They are running side businesses and creating, working, doing and being awesome.

Back to our students. I had a conversation just last night about Foursquare. I signed up our Late Nite program and the Undergrounds coffeehouse that houses the heart of the program up for an account. I’m the one who found it valuable. I’m the one who came up with the special giveaway for multiple check-ins, I’m the one who sent  away for the official sticker. I asked the students if anyone had checked in more than five times. They had no idea what I was talking about, and still don’t understand the concept of Foursquare and why it was useful and/or something they’d like to do around town. Why do I care about this if the students don’t? I also was speaking with a bunch of Greek students during their Leadership Retreat and out of three back to back sessions of approx. 25 students each – 2 people the entire time was using Foursquare.

We talk alot in Student Affairs at our University about utilizing Scvngr.com for Orientation, First Year Experience classes and Late Nite events. Do these plans work well when considering most students work with Facebook and Facebook only? Are we encouraging students to participate on-line in a manner they don’t want to? I think we all have the best intentions when it comes to their development and teaching them about the campus, safety, and attempting to create community – but are we forcing the issue? Are we talking to them in an advanced language that they can’t hear or process? We say “Watch yourselves on-line. Watch your privacy.” but then encourage them to use all sorts of sites that track their business on-line.

As an X’er I noticed a year or two ago that a co-worker of mine (a Millennial) was frustrated by the lack of interest her students were showing in advancing the presence of the office on the internet, using Google docs, and thinking outside the box when advertising via places other than Facebook. I think that this a trend that all of us will need to pay attention to. Just because those of us who are tech savvy see the benefit of multiple uses for social media and other cool nerdy internet widgets – doesn’t mean our students do and probably won’t without guidance on how to use it appropriately (once they get why they need to use it in the first place).

For now I will have to be content that I am staying on top of trends and will be ready for the next big “thing” that students get into- yet- am I on the other side of the trendy coin? Am I so trendy that the students can’t relate to my ideas?  Is this as bad as being too far behind?

(On a side note – I think I should be sooo trendy that I get back into MySpace before it’s even cool. How meta would that be?) 

Too trendy to relate?

Women and Foursquare

By Brenda Bethman

Salon’s Broadsheet blog had an interesting post the other day about why men are leading in adoption of Foursquare and other location-based social networks. Tracy Clark-Flory notes that:

Regardless of the actual threat of Foursquare and its ilk, it’s only natural that women would express greater reservations about broadcasting our whereabouts. You know the story: We’re taught to exercise greater caution than men and remain on-guard at all times. We’re supposed to notice when someone is following us, refrain from answering the door when we’re home alone, never walk down dark alleyways — and so on and so forth. Paranoia is a female rite of passage. There are other explanations, however: The Hill points out that “it is not unusual for men to lead women in adopting technology,” in part “because the female demographic has a higher concentration of seniors, as women tend to live longer than men.”

While I agree with her about women generally being more cautious than men, I’m a bit skeptical about the age difference argument. As we know, women are the majority on most other social networking sites (see this article from Mashable), so if they’re not on Foursquare, I think there must be another reason. Personally, I find the argument about women “expressing greater reservations about broadcasting our whereabouts” to be pretty persuasive. While I am on both Foursquare and Gowalla and pretty open about broadcasting my public location, I was bit freaked out to recently receive a tweet from a Twitter account called stalkmebot and I have noticed that my Foursquare/Gowalla friends tend to be male.

What about you? Are you on Foursquare, Gowalla, or another location-based service? Why or why not? Do you find differences in adoption-rates of these services among your female and male friends and colleagues?

Women and Foursquare

Quick Hit: iPhones and Daylight Saving Time

By Brenda Bethman

Here in the U.S. we turn our clocks back tonight to return to standard time. If you’re an iPhone user who sets recurring alarms, there’s a bug that could make you late to work on Monday morning. Until the bug is fixed, you should reset your alarms from recurring to single-use (see this article for more details). Regardless, enjoy the extra hour.

Quick Hit: iPhones and Daylight Saving Time