Linkage Love: The Internet is for Entertainment!

By Kathryn Magura

Over the years, I have found a number of sites on the great interwebs that have either kept me informed or entertained (or both). Today I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you:

  1. Feedly: When I heard Google Reader was going away, I went into a sort of panic as to how on earth I’d keep all the sites I follow tracked. Thankfully, Feedly seems to be doing the trick. What’s nice is that they use cloud technology, so you can pick up where you leave off on mobile devices, laptops, and tablets.
  2. Buzzfeed: I’m sure you’ve seen some the various posts on Facebook like, “20 reasons you know you’re an 80s kid” or “best of goat duets with artists.” All those posts come from the brilliant minds over at Buzzfeed. I frequently get lost in the nostalgic trap that is one of those lists. Be careful going down that rabbit hole though, because you’re guaranteed to lose a few hours!
  3. Greatist: Looking for ways to improve your health, fitness, or happiness? Want to find a healthy and creative recipe? Then I recommend signing up for a free account at Greatist.
  4. Bonus Link: Leave it to Reddit to have a page devoted to all things sloths. 🙂

Those are just a few sites that keep me occupied on the internet. What are some of your favorites?

 

Linkage Love: The Internet is for Entertainment!

Leading With Technology: Can We Afford Not To?

By Anitra Cottledge and Brenda Bethman

At the 2012 National Women’s Studies Association conference, at a session entitled “Reclaiming Our Staff: Structures, Competencies and Feminist Practices” (which Anitra co-presented and Brenda attended), we discussed competencies for women’s center staff. Brenda suggested that we include technological literacy and marketing/communications in that list of competencies.

Of course, to say that technology is an area that women’s center staff (and beyond that, staff and faculty in student affairs, and in higher education, in general) should have some knowledge of and even develop leadership in, raises some questions: what exactly does that knowledge consist of? How do we add the use of technology to already-full days? How do we, as leaders, find the time to role model the feminist use of technology? How do we provide services both online and F2F with shrinking budgets and staffs?

The two of us will address these questions, but considering the potential length of the response to each question, we will do this in a series of posts. This first post introduces the series. Our next post will provide an answer to our first question: “What constitutes ‘knowledge’ of technology?” To help us get there, we want to hear from you! Please let us know in the comments what you think someone needs to know in order to claim “knowledge of technology.” We’ll synthesize those along with our own thoughts and previous work on this question for our next post.

Leading With Technology: Can We Afford Not To?

Review: Pebble Smartwatch

by Kristen Abell

Over a year ago, the tech world was set afire with news of a Kickstarter campaign for a smartwatch that would do…well, just about everything, but mainly it would sync with your phone and the apps on it. The Pebble smartwatch Kickstarter campaign took off like no other before it, and I was fortunate enough to be one of the contributors who got in fairly early on it. Actually, my partner was, as he ordered it for me as a late Mother’s Day gift. It was supposed to arrive in September of that year.

Fast forward to March, when I FINALLY got my Pebble, due to the overwhelming response and multiple delays in manufacturing. I was excited to play with it and see what all it could do. But I was one of the lucky ones – several folks have never gotten their watches, and there are now plans to market it through Best Buy before fulfilling those orders. So Pebble was not off to an auspicious beginning.

After getting the watch, the initial sync process wasn’t too difficult – download the Pebble app, sync up your phone, voila! Smartwatch. But after that initial process, nothing about the watch has been terribly user-friendly or intuitive. I get my texts through it, and I can see when I get a phone call. I can also start my iPhone playing music if I want to, so it serves as a bit of a remote. But supposedly I’m also able to get tweets from most Twitter apps and Facebook updates, and I have yet to figure out how to sync my watch to make that happen, despite researching it. RunKeeper has recently been implemented as a paired app with the watch, as well, and though I haven’t gotten to use it yet, it took me a little research to figure out exactly how it worked.

So thus far, I essentially have a remote for my phone as a watch, with the potential for a fitness app, should I want to use it. Should you need a remote for your phone, I’d highly recommend the Pebble – it’s sleek, and the various watchface options make it a fun watch. If you’re looking for a smartwatch, however, you might hold off on this one until they iron out a few more glitches.

Has anyone else tried the Pebble? What are your thoughts?

Review: Pebble Smartwatch

Linkage Love: Vacation Reentry

By Brenda Bethman

This week’s links do not really relate to technology per se, but as you know from my previous posts, I’ve been traveling a bit this summer and just returned from vacation. So reentry is on my mind:

One thing I’ve started doing for the past couple of years is scheduling a “transition day” for my last day of vacation — we come home the day before that day so that I have a day off between getting home and going back to work. I use that day to unpack, do laundry, catch up on snail and e-mail (don’t answer much email that day, but I do go into my inbox and delete like crazy). I find it really helpful in terms of making that first day back in the office feel a bit less stressful. How do you deal with vacation reentry? Share your tips in the comments!

Linkage Love: Vacation Reentry

Blogger’s Choice: Networking IRL and F2F

by Valerie Heruska

I don’t think it comes to anyone as a surprise when they hear that social media and technology changed the way that we interact with one another.  Of course, it bolsters relationship building to a whole new level. I think that networking online is great, but what about when you take the networking offline and network in person?

I’ve been to receptions and  social gatherings where the phrase “Oh hey, I follow you on Twitter” has been said. In fact, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I could probably afford to renovate my residence hall and then name the building after myself. I’m not sure if there are best practices to taking the networking from online to offline, but here are a few of  my practices:

1. Do not stalk someone from Twitter. Seriously.. I’ve seen this happen. I’ve heard people say: Oh I must find (insert twitter handle here)… let’s go look for them. Holy stalkeratzi, Batman. Why not set up a time to meet. You can begin by sending them a DM and asking if they have time to meet for coffee. Don’t creep on them at a conference and hover… that’s just weird.

2. When you’re getting coffee with said person do no… I REPEAT DO NOT say… remember that thing you said on twitter. Really? Why just not tweet at them. Talk about something other than Twitter. You’re there to meet the person who could be a potential mentor or supervisor or professor. There needs to be a reason to meet with them and to not just boost their ego.. though… I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a little ego-stroking every now and then. I digress. Have a reason for meeting with someone. Don’t waste their time, be insightful, and don’t mention twitter.

3. Keep the networking going. Don’t just stop at people who are on social media – meet people whom you’ve never met before. Have your colleagues introduce you to someone new. Go in, be bold, and talk to someone new. Additionally, after any conference, social, gathering is over: keep in contact and keep building that relationship. Just because you are separated geographically, doesn’t mean you can’t talk. Ask them to Skype lunch (Skyping while eating lunch) or something along the same lines.

What are your tips for talking networking offline? Share them here!

Blogger’s Choice: Networking IRL and F2F

Follow Friday: Tech and Student Affairs

by Kristen Abell

There are a few different hashtags I follow on a regular basis for good material in my Twitter stream (I’m still working on the whole hashtag thing in Facebook – let me know if you’ve figured out a good way to utilize it). The first of these is probably one many of you already follow, or maybe you just join it for the weekly chats, but it’s definitely worth following all the time for good, up-to-date tech info for higher ed. That’s the #satech hashtag. There is a weekly chat on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. CST, but people have been using this hashtag for awhile to denote any info they’re sharing that is worthy of student affairs technology interest. Or sometimes just tech interest. In any case, it’s well worth the follow if you’re trying to learn more about technology, stay up on your tech, or just love to talk about technology.

In addition to #satech, there are a couple more recent hashtags that I’ve enjoyed learning from. One of these is the #sambti hashtag that has some great info about Meyers Briggs types in student affairs. In addition, folks occasionally post more info about introversion and extroversion on this hashtag, and it’s almost always fairly interesting. In addition, if you’re lucky, you’ll chance upon some of Debra Sanborn’s posts, and we all know she rocks it when it comes to the MBTI.

Finally, a new and still somewhat seldom used hashtag that I’ve been learning from is the #salean hashtag. This was originally designated for discussions around Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, but it has generated some additional discussion around women, work, and leadership that has been fairly interesting. I hope that you’ll consider not just following it, but contributing to it, whether you’ve read the book or not.

What hashtags do you follow for news and discussion?

Follow Friday: Tech and Student Affairs

Highlighting a Woman in Tech and Student Affairs: Debra Sanborn

By Jennifer Keegin

This week I’ve decided to highlight Debra Sanborn, Program Director in the Dean of Students Office at Iowa State University. Debra Sanborn has a Ph.D in Education from Iowa State University and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication studies from the University of Northern Iowa. Developer of student programming, first-year experience, retention initiatives, admissions and marketing, Debra is also a facilitator of student community collaboration for collegiate success. She directs selection and enrollment of 100 new students to scholarship programs annually and provides first-year to graduation learning, academic advising, and programs blending resources and networking to enhance student success.

Current research is focused on factors of psychological type pertaining to student success which is what I wanted to highlight today. I first met Debra in real life at the very first #NASPAtech in Newport, RI a few years ago. I had been following her online and it was great to meet her for real. She has a great sense of humor and is a fun person.

In April, this tweet started a whole strand of discussion on Twitter:

After many retweets and replies and etc. Debra decided to poll the Student Affairs folks on Twitter about their MTBI identities.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is the most common instrument for determining psychological type preferences utilized in business, personal coaching and higher education. It asks a series of self-report forced-choice questions to define opposing preferences for personal energy, acquiring information, making decisions, and organizing one’s world.

The survey produced the type preferences of 129 student affairs colleagues. More than half of those responding were female. Residence Life was the most common area of employment in student affairs. The most frequent type preferences were ENFJ (n = 21), INFJ (n = 16) and ENTJ (n = 14).

Utilizing social media, Debra was able to find a connecting point for many professionals in the field. If you’d like to read her entire blog post, please check it out here. Make sure to read the comments for more discussion that followed.

If you’d like to follow Debra on Twitter her handle is @DebraSanborn.

 

 

Highlighting a Woman in Tech and Student Affairs: Debra Sanborn

Linkage Love: Personal Wellness Applications

By Kathryn Magura

Despite my best efforts to remain sloth-like, 2013 has become the year of personal wellness for me. I did not set out with some overly ambitious goal to get “fit” or lose weight in 2013. What I did do is set some personal goals for how I wanted to live my life, and what I needed to do to feel healthy. Along the way, and through great advice from many of you, I found some applications that have helped me live a life more well:

  1. Couch-to-5K: I am not a runner. In fact, for most of my life, I would say I have been an anti-runner. “What if you’re being chased?”  I would give up, obviously. “What if there is a zombie apocalypse?” Team zombie. These are a few of my standard responses to convey my disdain for running. Then why on earth would I start running? Basically, I wanted to see if I could do it. Could my stubborn determination outweigh my staunch dislike for running? I have seen many other friends who wanted to run try out the Couch-to-5K app in the past with great success. How does it work? Well, the program is 9 weeks long broken up into 3-30 minute routines each week. You start by alternating walking with a smidge of running, and by the end you are running with a smidge of walking. Basically, they trick you into becoming a runner. Works for me! I started the program early in the spring and saw almost immediate results. I got sidelined by bronchitis, but have since restarted the program. Would I describe myself as a runner? Not yet, but at least I’m trying!
  2. Lose it!: The year before I turned 30 I noticed I was starting to gain weight at a rate with which I was not comfortable. I decided I would lose 30 lbs by the time I turned 30 and joined Weight Watchers online. I ended up losing over 35 lbs in just over 3 months, and it seemed annoyingly easy to do. I didn’t really work out much, just started eating better and drinking more water. I have kept that weight off for a few years, but then about 6 months ago I noticed I was starting to add the pounds again. I heard some friends talking about the Lose it! app, and how it helped them shed weight. I decided to download the free version and give it a shot. I appreciate how easy it is to add your foods and exercise, and how that all combines to healthy calorie intake goals. This program has helped me lose some of those extra pounds, and keep track of what I eat and how that impacts my daily routine.
  3. Sleep Cycle: I am a terrible sleeper. Awful, in fact. I have tried various techniques to try and improve my sleep, with little success. I have toyed with going to a doctor to assess my sleep patterns to see if there is a problem that could be isolated and therefore worked on to improve my sleeping. This past winter, I was introduced to the Sleep Cycle application, and thought it would be a great way to have a pre-assessment of my sleeping to see if there was a discernible pattern to my terrible sleeping. The way Sleep Cycle works is it measures your sleeping patterns over a duration of nights, and provides you an assessment of the best and worst times for sleep during the night. Tracking when you are at your deepest and lightest sleeping hours could help determine if something simple, like going to bed an hour earlier or later, could help you have better sleep. You can also track things like foods eaten or other things to see if there is a specific cause of a bad night’s sleep.

These are 3 applications I have had success with over the last few months. Which ones would you recommend to facilitate personal wellness?

Linkage Love: Personal Wellness Applications

Considering the Classroom Technology Policy

By Anitra Cottledge

Somehow mid-July has creeped up on us, and I am beginning to think about teaching in the fall, and useful ways to integrate technology into my course curriculum. This is a conversation that I’ve been having with a number of people; I even had one conversation recently where a group of people contemplated the feasibility of building an entire curriculum around TED talks. (What do you think? Do you think that could work?)

TED talks and their ubiquitous awesomeness aside, I am wondering about the utility of having some sort of technology policy in an age of smartphones, iPads and tablets. I have a faculty acquaintance who is real serious about the use of technology during class. For them, the act of Student A texting during class is both rude and akin to that student flushing their discussion/participation points for that day down the toilet. How can one participate in a class discussion if they’re playing Candy Crush Saga on their iPad?

I get that approach and am in favor of stating expectations around technology usage upfront and in the syllabus. The sticky wicket is, how do you formulate a tech policy that allows for some use of technology that may help students engage with a topic or idea? What if you want the whole class to experiment with Twitter during class time? What if you have a great idea for students using Facebook as a means of sociopolitical engagement?

Of course, engaging in some of these experiments during class time comes with an assumption that every student has access to the tools (i.e., phone, laptop, etc.) that will enable them to participate and/or that you have access to the resources that will allow you to provide those tools to everyone. There’s ways around this, of course, and possibilities that take into consideration both accessibility and creativity.

So, to those of us who teach, how do you manage all of these issues? Do you have a technology policy? I would love to hear your ideas and reflections in the comments.

Considering the Classroom Technology Policy