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?