Blog Prompt Monday

by Melissa L. Johnson

Welcome to your holiday edition of Blog Prompt Monday! Here’s our prompt for the week:

If you had all the money/staffing you needed, what would be the one service/item you’d give to students on your campus and why?

Here is my response. Feel free to comment here with links to your posts about the subject. If you tweet your response, please use the hashtag #sawomenblog.

Blog Prompt Monday

Traveling With Technology

By Brenda Bethman

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As I mentioned in Friday’s short post, I was on the road this past weekend in St. Louis, for a combination of business and personal travel. In general, May has been a busy travel month, with trips to St. Louis and New Hampshire earlier in the month.

All this traveling has given me the opportunity to realize just how extensive my use of technology while traveling has become. It’s been a slow evolution, but I am now at the point where I no longer print out anything other than my boarding pass when taking a trip. Given that I used to have huge folders full of printed out maps, hotel/car/restaurant/etc. reservations, this has been a very welcome development.

Now, instead of lugging around a bunch of papers that inevitably get out of order and/or lost, I simply carry my iPhone with me and use a variety of apps and websites to organize my travel. Here are some of my favorites:

  • TripIt: available via a web interface as well as apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry, TripIt organizes your travel plans in one place and can even auto import items from your email. In most cases, you can simply forward the confirmation email from the airline, hotel, etc., and TripIt will create an item in the correct itinerary. When that doesn’t work, you can manually add the information.
  • TripDeck: I recently discovered TripDeck, thanks to a ProfHacker post and used it for the first time during the St. Louis trip mentioned above. Designed to work with TripIt (although it also works without), TripDeck has an attractive interface, space for notes, and, via paid add-ons, access to flight tracking, etc. I enjoyed using it and will definitely use it instead of the TripIt when on the road. Unfortunately it’s only available for iOS at the moment.
  • Yelp and OpenTable: one thing I love to do while traveling is eat. Yelp and OpenTable help me find places to eat and reserve a table once I’ve found the perfect restaurant.
  • Southwest: with the Southwest app, I can check into my flight from anywhere, ensuring that I don’t end up in Group C.

I also use Google Maps on my phone to get directions, whether walking, driving, or taking public transportation, the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad for travel guides and pleasure reading, and, of course, Facebook and Twitter to keep friends and family updated on my adventures.

The only drawback to relying solely on my iPhone / iPad for my travel needs is the possibility of ending up in a location without a wifi or 3G connection. That’s becoming increasingly rare, however, and making sure one has at least a paper map will ensure that you at least don’t get lost.

What about you? What travel apps / websites do you use and recommend? Please share in the comments!

 

 

Traveling With Technology

Blog Post Coming Saturday

By Brenda Bethman

It’s my week to write the “Blogger’s Choice” Friday post, but I’m traveling with spotty (or overpriced) wireless access, so look for a post tomorrow. And in case you’re wondering, yes I know how to schedule posts and would normally have written this ahead if time, but I am still trying to figure out what happened to April, let alone May….

Blog Post Coming Saturday

Tech Etiquette

By Kristen Abell

What is tech etiquette (and why is that so darn hard to say? I tried to think of something catchier – techtiquette, maybe? – but that’s not any easier, and sounds like it could even be a bit dirty)? There are plenty of posts and articles out there on netiquette, cell phone etiquette, email etiquette, etc., but many of them were written pre-Twitter or other social media tools – or at least don’t reflect them. They were also probably written pre-tablets, too. So is it time to create some new etiquette rules for the emerging media and technology available?

Or, as is sometimes the case at my institution, is the only acceptable etiquette to not use it in meetings, talk about it as little as possible, and generally act like it doesn’t exist? I think this is also what faculty who ask students to not use laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc. in classes are doing – rather than finding ways to engage those students (whether with those tech tools or without) – they ban them so that even if they aren’t engaging, the students have no choice but to pay attention…or fall asleep.

How can we start encouraging faculty to use these tools in their classrooms if we can’t even figure out how they can be useful in our day-to-day meetings? This isn’t to say we have to use them for every single meeting, but I can guarantee you that there are some meetings in where me doodling on my notepad is infinitely more acceptable than my colleague typing up notes, sending work email, scheduling meetings, or doing 500 other tasks related to the meeting and/or work on their laptop. There are many times where before a meeting is done, I could have completed all the tasks set before me if just given access to my laptop or tablet, but since that’s frowned upon, instead I have spend that time writing out all my to-dos on a notepad, and then I will spend another half-hour to hour actually doing them outside of a meeting. When will we learn that just because we can work efficiently during meetings doesn’t mean we can’t pay attention?

On the other hand, how do you explain to the colleague that never looks up from their laptop/tablet/smartphone that they might as well not have come to the meeting if they’re not going to engage at all? Where do you draw the line?

Unfortunately, I believe that techtiquette, like netiquette before it, is determined mostly by those in power at the time. If the big boss says don’t get out your laptop, mine’s going to stay in my bag. But that doesn’t mean when I run meetings I’ll run them the same way.

What are the “techtiquette” rules at your institution? Do you have any hard and fast rules? More flexible rules? How can you make “techtiquette” work for you?

Tech Etiquette

Blog Prompt Monday

Here’s our blog prompt question for this week:

What are the things that most challenge you as a woman, man, or other gender working in student affairs?

Can’t wait to read your responses. Feel free to comment here with links to your posts about this subject, and if you tweet it out, be sure to use the hashtag #sawomenblog.

My response is posted here.

Blog Prompt Monday