Linkage Love: YouTube

By Stephanie Wintling

As I begin to think about preparations for my new Sterry residents, all I keep coming back to is how can I utilize YouTube? Other housing professionals may be shocked by this, because of course there is the preparing for my staff, prepping the building, and thinking through welcome week programs BUT my brain can not get off how unique and far reaching a YouTube channel could be for my hall. What’s the deal with the obsession of YouTube utilization? Because of that vast resource YouTube has become for this generation.

Here are the various ways our students utilize YouTube:

Try to become YouTube stars!Here’s an article where TubeMogul presents the Top 10 YouTube Stars and their rough estimates of income from their videos. It’s quite intriguing to me that Natalie Tran is only 24, the inventors of Smosh are 24, “Fred” is 17, Ryan Higa is only 21, Philip Defranco is 25, and Shane Dawson is only 22. All of them are making over $100,000 from YouTube videos. This is why our students enjoy YouTube and some even attempt to make their own channels. Every day they see another individual rise to fame because they made one hilarious post and it went viral.

A creative outlet! The decline of music programs in public schools because of lack of funding has led students to find another avenue. Just look at the top 100 all time played videos on YouTube, notice a pattern? Majority of the videos are music. Granted these videos are from music artists but occasionally you’ll stumble along a cover or someone playing their instrument so profoundly they receive attention. This video is #4 on the most liked music videos of all time on YouTube.

Learn new things! I shared at the NASPA Region 3 Summer Symposium that I actually learned how to curl my hair from YouTube. My mom was super busy growing up and I never thought to ask until I was in college. Embarrassed I did not already know this skill, I just YouTubed it.  This is one thing I LOVE about YouTube because in the privacy of our own homes we can learn things we are embarrassed to ask anyone else. College students can utilize YouTube in the same way. Like how to do laundry, how to fold your clothes, how to iron, and how to cook. There is also an Educational YouTube were you could learn about economics or any topic that suits your fancy.

Pure Entertainment! This is what majority perceive the use of YouTube as and with good reason because majority of the videos that end of going viral are entertaining. Here are some of my favorites in case you are in need of a good laugh: Fainting Goats, Bird Singing Let the Bodies Hit the Floor, David After Dentist, and Baby Laughing.

The options are really unlimited with the uses of YouTube and here are some examples of how Universities are utilizing YouTube. Admissions, Summer School, Athletics, Orientation, Class Assignments, and Housing Information.

This why my brain will not allow me to stop thinking about the wondrous amounts of information I could provide my residents on the channel. We could provide an introduction of our res. life staff, custodial staff, maintenance staff. Demonstrate how to check your mail , receive a package, throw your trash in the dumpster, resolve a roommate conflict, find out about programs, get involved with Hall Council, and respectively use the kitchens. We could also do a bi-weekly Q&A where students e-mail me question I answer in a YouTube video. Ever wonder how to reach the students that never come out of their room no matter what you and your staff try?? Well this might just work in reaching them.

Does your institution utilize YouTube? What are some of your favorite YouTube uses and/or videos?



Linkage Love: YouTube

A Not-So-Fine Balance

By Kristen Abell


When my partner, Sean, and I first got smart phones, we were a hot mess. We’d be in the middle of dinner and checking our work email, answering texts, and looking stuff up on the internets. After a short period of time, we both got fed up with the other person not being present enough and banned all work email during non-work hours. We don’t have a spoken rule about phones at the table, but we do tend to give each other nasty looks whenever the other one is playing on their phone instead of engaging.

This may sound like the start of a “technology is evil and has ruined my family” post, but just hang on to your hats – we’re gonna be turning this ship around in a second.

I hate, and I mean HATE talking on the phone. I don’t know what it is, but if there is any way I can get out of making a phone call, I will use it. I’m just not a phone-talker. Therefore, the evolution of email and texting seems like the coolest thing in the world to me. I have to admit, I probably text or email my friends and family more often than I would have ever called them on the phone (unless, like my mom and dad, they don’t text yet). Facebook, Twitter, and all those other good social media sites have also helped me to connect. What might have been a lengthy email away before is now a quick checking in on Facebook to say, “Hey, how are things going?”

It should come as no surprise that I adore my technology. But I really do feel as though it has given me a different kind of balance in my life – not just balance with my family, but with my friends and, possibly most importantly, with myself. When I was younger, I used to keep a journal on a regular basis. Then one day, I met my partner, and the need for a journal just didn’t seem to be there – if there was something I was thinking about, we were connected enough that I felt comfortable sharing it. But in not journaling, I was losing a creative output – one I wasn’t aware of until I began blogging on a regular basis. And now that I blog, I feel more connected with that creative side of me, the writer, the dreamer, and the storyteller. I can’t imagine my life without that blog now. So that’s just one kind of balance I get from technology.

I also think Sean and I communicate better in many ways because of Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. We may just joke through the different media, or sometimes share something more important, but we are in much more constant contact without suffocating each other because of this – hey, here’s something I felt was worth sharing, take a look when you have time.

And as I mentioned before, being able to share what’s going on in our lives (either through my blog or through Facebook/Twitter or even texting and email) with our extended families and friends has kept us connected in a way that we probably just simply wouldn’t be if that stuff didn’t exist. In the days before Facebook, Sean and I lived in Georgia for two years, and we were terribly isolated down there. Not that we didn’t meet great people, but neither of us are extreme extroverts, so it took us awhile to really build relationships – in fact, those seemed to culminate right about the time we were packing up and leaving town. I can only imagine how much more satisfying and enjoyable that experience might have been if we’d been better able to connect with people through online media.

This is not to say that all of this technology is the end-all be-all of relationship-making. There are still times we have to encourage each other to turn it off, to join in whatever is happening right in front of us. And that’s why you’ll never see me on Twitter or Facebook even close to as often as a lot of the other folks that seem to be on there day and night. It used to bother me that I was “missing out” on all this tweeting, especially when I felt like I had so much to offer – and then I realized I was offering it – just in other places and media.

So I feel pretty good about my balance with technology, but I will probably continue to overdo it sometimes, tweak it way back at other times, and every once in awhile get that perfect fit.

How about you? Do you feel like technology helps you achieve balance in your life? Or have you become imbalanced with the introduction of more and more technology? Don’t forget to post your responses to today’s blog prompt in the comments and use the #sawomenblog hashtag on Twitter to share!

A Not-So-Fine Balance

Blog Prompt Monday

It’s time for another blog prompt Monday here at Student Affairs Women Talk Tech! Later today, I’ll be posting my response to this prompt here. If you write your own response post, be sure to link to it in the comments below and use the #sawomenblog hashtag to let us know about it!

How has technology helped you to create balance in your career/life or caused you to become unbalanced?

Blog Prompt Monday

How to Communicate with Students

Lately at my university, there have been many conversations regarding how to communicate effectively with students. In an effort to reduce costs, we have moved predominantly to email-only communication with students regarding their educational process at the institution. The problem? Research continues to show us that students don’t really check their email.

My personal experience trying to communicate with students about the housing application/assignment process confirms that students don’t check email. Furthermore, I’m continually frustrated to see Joe Shmoe’s email addresses very clearly a parent or family account. Then, when Joe Shmoe doesn’t have all the information he needs to make informed decisions about his housing, he has the audacity to get mad at me for not giving him the information! It’s the epitome of a lose-lose situation.

So if you can’t get students to check their email (or provide you with one they actually use), how can you communicate with them? Many universities have moved to utilizing social media in creative ways to communicate with students. Creating a Facebook or Twitter account is an excellent start at providing general resources and information for students. This is great if you actually check those accounts, and open up a dialogue with students. Creating an account and then never posting anything or answering questions from students could end up as more of a detriment to your reputation than an asset.

There are even some universities that create an innovative social media platform for their students. The University of Florida, for example, created Gatorspace as a place for incoming and current Gators to connect and build relationships via the Social Text platform. Gatorspace is still relatively new, but has provided an innovative opportunity for University of Florida students to make connections with the university before they even attend their first class.

What other options are out there, especially if you don’t have the money to invest in your own social network?

Whatever you do, make sure to provide a number of outlets for students to receive important information from your university, so they are able to make informed and complete decisions about their educational experience. Don’t rely solely on one medium or another to connect with students. It’s important to provide a variety of avenues for students to connect with staff and student leaders from your university while they are making important decisions about where they will eventually attend college. It also never hurts to pick up the phone and give students a call every now and then, to see if they have any questions about the process. Taking that extra step to connect one-on-one with students may just help them choose your university over that other one that’s also courting them.

So what tips do you have for effectively communicating with college students?

How to Communicate with Students

Linkage Love :: Summer Tech

First off, it’s summer. HOPEFULLY you will have a chance to get out into the sun, possibly even go on a vacation. If so, here’s a summary of summer tech stuff to check out:

Cute gadget holders that are printed with old fashioned gadgets from the past. Make sure to check out the link for even more old fashioned goodness.

Spend your afternoons outside with these pool and beach-safe toys:  Summer Tech Gadgets – Gadgets For Outdoors – Harper’s BAZAAR


Most anticipated phones/tablets of the summer.

Summer is Nearing: Logitech Must-Have Summer Tech Accessories



“This summer, you could be lazily floating around the pool, getting a massage and listening to your favorite music, all at the same time, with the cool new iPod Stereo Pool Oasis. This high-tech floating pool lounger is no mere inflatable raft, it features a built-in waterproof compartment to connect your iPod or other MP3 player, two 2-watt stereo speakers and four motors that provide soothing, vibrating massage for the lower and upper back, thighs, and calves. Best of all, it has a built-in beer can holder!”

Well whatever you manage to do this summer, hopefully it will be restful and will help you to feel personally charged up to enter back into the rush of Student Affairs once more!

Linkage Love :: Summer Tech

A picture is worth a thousand words

by Jess Faulk

When given this blog prompt, I went searching through the 21,000+ photos I have saved in my iphoto.  Most of my shots, I have to admit,  are fairly straightforward.  I have long ago resigned myself to the historian in my department because I want to make sure that we capture each of our successes, and add to a cache of photos to always have plenty to pull from when making newsletters and slideshows. So I pushed through the thousands of photos of Student Life programs and found a few I think are a bit more interesting.
With the first photo I am going to share is of my nephew. I took the shot after playing around with some of my camera settings. In particular, I set the camera to only pick up variations of the red in his boots.  You’ll see in he picture that there was a fair amount of redness in the wilderness around him, and even in his cheeks and hair.  This was an experiment on my part, so it was fun just to see how everything turned out.  I would love to say that trying to capture a little of the energy of discovery that you find in small kids, but to be honest, I can remember acutely how difficult he was being that day, so all I can see in this photo is his stubbornness 😉

red boots

This second is much more recent, and one of my favorites.  I took it at the Zombie March VII in downtown Boston on May 28, 2011. Seeing hundreds of people dressed in full zombie gear is pretty impressive.  While I was amazed by the sheer volume of participants, I was especially impressed with a few costumes that seemed to me professionally done.  Below are two of the most amazing I saw that day.  Not only because of the makeup, but also because of the way they were completely in character.  I was very fortune to have caught this shot right as we were exiting the Boston Common toward the Boston Garden.  Photo is aged with iphone app “Old Photo Pro.”


If I piqued your  interest in the Zombie Walk, feel free to check out these two inventive videos I found posted on the Zombie March Facebook page:
YouTube Video
by Alex Dainis
YouTube Video by CBC

A picture is worth a thousand words – Share a photo of yours and tell us about it!  Hope you enjoyed mine.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Blog Prompt Monday

by Jess Faulk

Hello Blog prompt Monday!  A picture is worth a thousand words – pick a photo, any photo, that you’ve taken, and describe what we’re seeing as if we don’t know you. What were you trying to take a picture of? How did you end up getting the picture? Did you use any editing effects on the picture? Why did you choose this perspective? etc.

Post your own response as a comment to this prompt! 🙂

Blog Prompt Monday