Have you checked out this cool new site?  A colleague of mine turned me on to it and it’s awesome! It is hundreds of stories from amazing women!

Women telling their stories
You’ll find politician, human rights advocates, celebrities, TV personnel and the list goes on!  Some faces you’ll recognizes, and other you’ll come to love!
Take a step in and let me know which video is most inspiring to you!

Open Thread: Abandoning the Digital?

By Brenda Bethman

Last week, George Williams at ProfHacker “confessed” that he dislikes electronic grading, preferring to grade by hand. A lively discussion ensued in the comments, with folks weighing in on the pros and cons of grading electronically or by hand. At one point, George tried to redirect the comments towards discussing other ways folks used analog over the digital, but for the most part the discussion stayed focused on grading.

I find the question fascinating, though, and thus decided to shamelessly borrow it for our open thread this week as I’m curious to know what things our readers do by hand instead of digitally. For me, it’s three main things: grading, to-do lists, and newspapers. As I mentioned in the comments, I never warmed up to electronic grading (why, I’m not sure), much preferring to scrawl my comments across paper. Similarly, despite having tried (and abandoned) any number to to-do apps, I always end up coming back to this:

as I seem to find it both easier to keep my to-do list by hand and more satisfying (something about crossing things out with a pen versus a digital checkbox makes me feel as I’ve accomplished something).

Finally, I still have a hard copy of the local paper delivered five days per week — and the New York Times on Sundays. I could read both on my iPad, but I dislike the apps for both and again, for me, there’s something about having the paper around that I like. Breakfast without the paper just feels wrong. Maybe I’m just old?

So readers, tell us, what digital ways have you tried and abandoned? What are your analog confessions? Let us know in the comments!

Open Thread: Abandoning the Digital?

Linkage Love: Recycling Technology

By Anitra Cottledge

In a world where new(er) technology debuts five minutes after you’ve just bought what you thought was the latest, I often wonder what to do with the old(er) technology if and when I decide to upgrade. Here are some things to think about:

  • Think about the shelf life of your technology. This is a personal decision more than anything else. I love my iPhone, but I don’t upgrade right when new versions of it come out. I like waiting a couple of years while all of the major kinks are worked out, and sometimes I choose not to upgrade at all. I never upgraded from a 4 to a 4S because I really didn’t see the point, in relation to what I needed from my phone. And even though the iPhone 5 is out, it’s not on my radar (it’s also just too expensive for me right now). In other words, the shelf life of my phone is just fine at the moment.
  • Consider repurposing your tech. Are there creative uses for your old tech and electronics that you haven’t considered? Devices like the Kindle (and presumably other e-readers) can be used for things other than reading e-books, and there’s a whole host of other repurposing ideas from sites like Mashable.
  • Give your technology away. There’s always an option to give away (or sell, if that’s your preference) your old(er) technology to a friend, family member or colleague who needs it. You can also donate your tech to charities and non-profits, e.g., your old cell phone to domestic violence shelters, etc.
  • Recycle your technology. I’m starting to see most cities have mechanisms for recyling technology, and of course, there’s always Best Buy.

These are just a few ways to think about recycling technology. What are some of your own tips and best practices in this area?

Linkage Love: Recycling Technology

Teaching Current Students to Think Critically

by Kathryn Magura

As a more “seasoned” student affairs professional, I have had a lot of time over the course of my career to witness changing trends in student demographics. While I discourage anyone from categorizing everyone within a generation of students as having the same traits, I will say that I have seen trends develop over time that apply to a high percentage of traditionally-aged students at that time. Finding ways to understand the students with whom we work and serve will help us understand their needs better. Also, when we employ them for various positions throughout the university, we can assist with their learning by providing development opportunities along the way.

One characteristic I have noticed with the traditionally-aged students I currently serve is that they generally lack critical thinking skills. I have experienced this as a hiring manager when I hire students who seem to be incapable of thinking through various scenarios to find a solution to a problem. Often times they will call me, and by asking a few guiding questions, I am able to help them figure out a solution.

To address the lack of critical thinking skills, I am working on creating a brief scenario to have students work through during my interview process. While I am not expecting them to come up with a perfect solution (especially when they don’t know our procedures or policies very well), I want to see how they approach thinking through a solution. If the answer is simply “ask my supervisor”, that will be a clear indication that they don’t have strong critical thinking skills.

Another way I have seen the lack of critical thinking skills is when students seem to have no understanding that their actions have consequences. I’ve witnessed this a lot when students use social media to say horrible things about their roommate or hall staff. Do they really think that even if they may not be friends with the person about whom they are saying things, the words won’t come back to the person they’re about? Furthermore, students seem to genuinely be surprised when they get in trouble for saying these things. Why is that? Where is the disconnect?

One answer that sort of came to me this summer was that most of our traditionally-aged students have never actually suffered a true consequence for their actions. While there may be many reasons why this is the case, I think a lot of it has to do with parents protecting them from consequences. I was thinking about this question last week during our Fall Student Affairs Division Meeting, and tweeted it out to the #sachat community to see what thoughts others had about the matter. Below is the conversation that followed:

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So what are your thoughts on the matter? How do we teach students to think critically?

Teaching Current Students to Think Critically

LinkedIn Best Practices: Making Your Profile Stand Out

By Lauren Creamer

Like many graduate students studying higher education or college student development, I need to complete a 300-hour practicum.  I chose to complete my 300-hours in a career resource center at a small institution in Cambridge, MA. Though I have only completed somewhere around 60 hours, I already know that I have made the absolute, far-and-away, best choice. Why, you ask? Aside from the fact that I believe career counseling is my calling and I want nothing more than to work at a small, private institution; it is also because one of the first projects I was given was to create an assessment tool for student and alumni LinkedIn profiles.

Um… hello. Social media? Assessment? Possibly in the form of a comprehensive check list??? Sign. Me. Up.

So, for the past few weeks I have been endlessly scouring the web for LinkedIn best practices, general advice, dos and don’ts, and ways to make profiles stand out among the sea of half finished pages and inappropriate headline photos. The following is a short summary of the most valuable tips I encountered.

(For those of you unfamiliar with LinkedIn, it is a social networking site that allows professionals to post their relevant work experience, career goals and achievements, and make connections with those in/out of their field.)

1. Your headline is your brand slogan – look sharp.

  • Highlight your current position or career aspirations. Highlight unique skills and competencies. Keep a high-quality, professional photo.

2. Professionally and personally position yourself with your summary.

  • Outline your professional niche and highlight your unique skills and specialties. Provide examples and use key words.

3. Experience should be relevant.

  • Though it may be tempting to highlight all the awesome work experience you have (I fell victim to this, too), list only the relevant positions. Be sure you are listing paid and unpaid experience.

4. Layer key words – headline, summary, experience – that is how employers will search for someone with your skills.

  • Put your most important key words in your headline. Don’t be afraid to repeat them through out your profile.

5. Make your profile stand out – add a video, link to your blog, upload a presentation, share your reading list – what makes you different from other candidates or service providers?

  • This may seem like a lot of maintenance for your LinkedIn profile, but showing others the personal side of your professional life will help them think of you as a human, not a resume. It’s also really, really cool.

6. Your jobs and goals are not stagnant – update every three months.

  • I seem to forget that I even have a LinkedIn profile some days, but if you’re going to do it, do it right. Continually update your profile with relevant information. You never know when someone might come searching for you.

7. General tips – can’t forget these bad boys.

  • Education is most important for young professionals and those in career transitions. Make sure this information is accurate.
  • Groups and associations are where you can do all that networking we’ve been talking about!
  • Strip unnecessary clutter. You don’t think it belongs on your profile? Get it outta there.
  • Get recommendations, but give them first!
  • Check your spelling. Twice.

Useful Sites

General LinkedIn tips and advice.

Add that video.

Visual (actual profile with edits shown).

LinkedIn Best Practices: Making Your Profile Stand Out

Linkage Love

by Kristen Abell

As we get closer to the elections, some of the information that is being bandied about is, well, maybe a bit less than true. And as a woman, I can’t tell you how tired I’ve gotten listening to men debate about my reproductive rights, my right to pay, my rights as a woman. It can be down right depressing to listen to any of it at this point.

But I bring you hope – there are still a bunch of folks out there doing good things as women and for women. Today’s Linkage Love is dedicated to them. Here are a few of my favorite places to visit to remember that it’s good to be a woman…

There are few organizations more important for women in education than the AAUW (American Association of University Women). Whether it’s highlighting the differences in education of girls and boys, or providing grants and research to support women in S.T.E.M. fields, the AAUW has long been an organization that promotes the equal education for our girls and women.

Ms. 40th Anniversary Cover

Regardless of your political leanings, I think it’s safe to say that Planned Parenthood does some extremely amazing (and extremely needed) work for women. Before voting for anyone that might strike funding for Planned Parenthood, I hope you’ll take a few moments to read what they’re really about at their website. Especially for those of us working with students who may not have insurance or deep pockets, Planned Parenthood’s services can be vital.

Finally, if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, please do take a look at the White House’s “1 is 2 Many” campaign. I can’t even begin to tell you how emotional it makes me to see this campaign coming from our nation’s leaders, especially considering the lack of support that has generally come from that direction in the past. For the first time in a long time, I feel like some of the work I have done in the past to support women in abusive relationships isn’t for naught.

What are your favorite sites to visit when learning about women’s issues? Where do you go to remind yourself that there’s still a lot of good happening for us?

Linkage Love

For the Love of Typography, a fresh approach to advertising

by Jess Faulk

When done right, advertising can be understated and elegant. When the designer is purposeful in the design elements, the advertisement can be both beautiful and meaningful to the intended audience. It will capture the attention of someone walking on the street and also stand out to someone who is looking for details about the event. It can serve many purposes to many audiences. The visual language of an advertisement has the power to deliver the personality of the brand, the tone of the event, and create an emotional impact with the viewer.

The Boston Book Festival (BBF) poster immediately caught my eye when I saw it hanging on a student’s residence hall door. Many companies choose to use beautiful photography or bright colors to draw in its audience, yet the BBF did neither of these things. The simple color scheme and complete dependence on typography to deliver its message are both bold choices. In some ways it is not a surprising choice, given the focus of the event and the type of person they are seeking to draw in. A person who would go to the Boston Book Festival is draw to the written word. They appreciate reading for the sake of knowledge and don’t need images to enjoy a book. Images can even be seen as distracting because it doesn’t allow the reader to use their imagination. The words on this poster are the highlight because it is words themselves that are being promoted.

The most striking element of the design is it’s crisscross lines of text, all lining up in the design with another piece of the poster text. The “2012” perfectly fits across the height of the B in BBF. The “Boson Book Festival” perfectly fits along the bottom width of the same B. These alternating text lines are very organized in their layout, helping the eye move in a V from the top right of the design down to the bottom right.

The blocks of text are an important design feature. The types of activities at the festival are grouped together, and the date and time, and the featured artists are all grouped separately. By breaking up these elements into distinct areas on the poster it makes it easier for the reader to find the information they want really quickly. The larger text is the most important pieces of the poster: the title, the “free” admission and the sponsor. The variation in font size or hierarchy is also important in being able to easily take in the information. If all of the fonts were the same size, the eye wouldn’t know what to focus on.

Overall, the BBF poster is one of the most visually interesting pieces of design I have seen in a while. Everything from its simple text focused design to its choice of an uncomplicated two-color theme draws me into the design. This week I had picked up one of the BBF posters to bring home and marvel over (perhaps even frame in my apartment). It has inspired me to think about how I can use this style of design in my own work events. All to often we find ourselves finding one or two images online and pairing it with horizontal text. With a little effort, you can make your event posters stand out as much as this BBF poster. Do it all with text! The best part is that you don’t even need to download anything to do it.  You’ve got everything you need to make it work – a blank page and helvetica.

Want more typography inspiration? Check out these design websites:
Design Shard: Inspiring Grunge Style Big Typography Posters
40+ Killer Typographic Posters, Photoshop Effects and Tutorials

For the Love of Typography, a fresh approach to advertising