On Vacation

Happy Holidays from Student Affairs Women Talk Tech! We are taking a break from publishing, beginning Monday, December 26, 2011 — we will resume posting on Monday, January 9, 2012. At that time, we’ll introduce some new bloggers and new posting formats, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, enjoy this video that was a viral hit during the 2010 holiday season:

On Vacation

An End of Semester Reflection

By now, the fall 2011 semester is “long” over and everyone should be a few days into a (hopefully) relaxing holiday break.  Therefore, I’ll keep this post short so you can get back to your holiday-related festivities like watching Elf (Come on. You know you watched it at least once this season.), drinking egg nog and eating way more cookies than you have consumed all year.

Whether you teach classes, work in student affairs or are involved with college life in  some other capacity, the end of a semester–and now an entire year–is a time to reflect.  If you’re like me, thoughts of what I did well, what I could improve upon and what I know I’ll never do again flood my mind.  This semester, the one thing I think I did well while teaching my public speaking class was deviate from the curriculum and teach my students proper interview skills.

As part of their final exam, I made my students submit a resume, create a LinkedIn profile and conduct a faux job interview with me and one of my colleagues from my full-time job.  At the end of the interview, I gave each student feedback on their resume and interview skills and told them why I would or would not hire them for the position I was applying for. When they were done interviewing and receiving my feedback, many of my students indicated that this was one of the most helpful things any of their teachers had done with them this semester.

For me, personally, I think it was the best assignment I’ve ever given my students.  Why? It taught them a real-world skill that they will be able to use long after they leave my classroom.  And for me, that was the biggest takeaway from this semester.  Whether I’m giving a lecture, homework assignment or test or helping a student one on one, I need to be able to articulate to them how that particular thing will help them in the future. People, not just college students, are more engaged with just about anything when they understand how a specific thing will benefit them.  And I don’t know about you, but I could use all the help with student engagement that I can get.

As for what I can improve upon for next semester, I think that I will make more of an effort to invest in the students who I think need some extra help or who I see potential in.  (Oh please, don’t act like you’re shocked that I don’t see potential in all my students.) I teach at a small community college in a low income area and I am constantly surprised at the great lengths some of my students have gone to, to be taking college courses.  Many of them didn’t have strong parental figures in their lives, let alone a mentor who they could rely on for career or even life advice.  Next semester, I’m going to make more of any effort to seek out the students who might need that extra nudge from someone who truly cares about helping them succeed outside the classroom.

How I’m going to that while working a full time job in addition to teaching a few classes, I am not so sure.  But I guess that’s one way I can spend my holiday break.

What about you? What did you like most or least about your semester? Are there things you will change or things you will do the same in the Spring? What are they?

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

An End of Semester Reflection

Linkage Love- Tech Wrap-Up

By Meghann Martinez

As the year wraps up, I dream of the 2012 technology to come and the 2011 technologies we’ve been embracing or are patiently awaiting. I’d like to share some links for the 2011 desirables and the 2012 mysteries.

What I loved in 2011 gadgets:

* Apple’s Siri

* Kindle Fire

* Beats by Dre headphones– obscenely priced for the average Jane but oh, so fun and a great product for those 1%-ers.

* Mass electric car production by major brands like Ford and Toyota restore my faith in humanity.

* Streaming music and videos: Thank you Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, TurntableFM and Spotify for entertaining me on my time wherever I may be.

What I loathed about 2011 gadgets:

* Saying goodbye to HP’s TouchPad and the future open sourced WebOS. Wish you would’ve stuck around…

* Windows based phones (specifically Nokia). Most were unattractive and the user experience resulted in a bulky awkward navigation.

* 3D TVs/Phones- Maybe it’s my “old eyes” but ouch!

What I look forward to in 2012:

More from Apple – Since we’ve said goodbye to Steve I remain optimistic that others will carry on his Apple vision. Keep product availability small, specific and current.  Current rumors as to release dates of the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 are already swarming.

More offerings to software and technology catered to the educational community and their support services.

More consumer driven products. The creation of products that are versatile and adaptable for the consumer are the future of technology. The idea that the club DJ, high school teacher and doctor all use the same tools.

Linkage Love- Tech Wrap-Up

Vacating the Tech Sphere

by Kristen Abell

Just in time for the winter break, our blog prompt today asks about “tech vacations:”

Do you take “tech vacations?” Why or why not?

Yeah, see, here’s the thing – I love my tech. Mainly in the form of my MacBook Air and blog, but I also love my iPad and my iPhone (I’m pretty sure I could add a few more i-somethings in there, but I’ll spare y’all). And more importantly, I love the connections I’ve made through this technology – especially through Facebook, Twitter and my blog. And on top of that, I’ll be participating in 7 Days later this week and next, so I’ll be adding my camera to the mix.

Plus, we’ve decided to send our seasonal cards through email this year for the most part, so we’ve added yet another piece of technology to our holiday festivities.

All that being said, though, I have to admit that I’m really looking forward to next weekend, when I plan to just put everything down for a little bit and step away from the computer. There are days where I feel like I’ve talked more to my friends that live far away than my friends and family who are here with me. And I want my family of all people to know that right now, they are the ones with whom I want to be spending time.

But enough about me – how many of you are taking “tech vacations” during this break? Or is your vacation when you get to play with tech more? How will you spend the break?

Vacating the Tech Sphere

Blog Prompt Monday

Well, it’s just about time for the winter break, and we’re all trying to decide whether to take a vacation from tech as well as work. Okay, maybe not all of us…

Do you take tech “vacations?” Why or why not?

Tell us about your vacations – what do you put down? Is it just email? Social media? All technology? We want to know – and you can tell us all about it by linking to your post in the comments below and tweeting it out using the #sawomenblog hashtag!

Blog Prompt Monday

Linkage Love: New Twitter & Facebook Timeline

By Brenda Bethman

This week’s Linkage Love is a day late thanks to sick bloggers and the insanity of finals week. Better late than never, though, right?

Last week, Twitter rolled out a bunch of updates (website, iPhone & Android apps, Tweetdeck, etc., etc.) so we are dedicating this Linkage Love post to #newtwitter. Enjoy!

And an extra link to a post on what Facebook timeline (which finally rolled out this morning) means for your privacy settings.

Linkage Love: New Twitter & Facebook Timeline