What’s in Your Travel Bag?

By Brenda Bethman

Recently Ive come across a couple of posts (here and here) discussing the pros and cons of traveling with only an iPad. As I have a heavy semester of travel ahead of me (Im currently at the beginning of the first of five (!!!) trips Ill be making this fall), Ive been intrigued by these posts — especially since I just lugged my 15 inch laptop, iPad, and assorted cables, headphones, etc. through the airport.

A tad excessive, perhaps?

Rereading that sentence, I realize how excessive it sounds, but I have not yet figured out to manage with just the iPad. Its great for checking email on the fly, taking conference notes, and keeping up with social media. But if I need to do anything for my classes (which is quite likely), the iPad lets me down: the Blackboard app is awful and the lack of a file system makes uploading files to Blackboard via Safari impossible. And while I can access MyGermanLab through Safari, its clunky. So, if I have teaching things to do while on the road, I have to bring the laptop. (A PS here: this post is being published today instead of yesterday because I was unable to get a properly formatted post to upload from my iPad. So I had to edit it on my laptop in order to get it published. Guess I do still need it).

I also carry my camera (Chicago is too photogenic to go without it), Mophie juice pack for long days at conferences, an Airport Express for those hotel rooms that span still dont have wireless, and, of course, my trusty iPhone (and maybe my Kindle if Im likely to be reading outside). Again, I realize this seems like a lot, but I find that I do use it — and, more importantly, that it allows me to just as (if not more) productive outside of the office as I am while back on campus. What about you? Whats in your travel bag? How do you stay productive while traveling?

What’s in Your Travel Bag?

August Anticipation

by Kristen Abell

It’s that time of year in student affairs – we’re all prepping buildings to open, working on advising and enrolling new students, finishing up last-minute summer projects, and generally getting ready for the onslaught: The Students Are Coming!

For many of us, this is a stressful time of year – we are working later hours and weekends to get ready. We may or may not get to see our families or friends during the next few weeks. While some folks still claim August is summer, most of us can’t remember the last time August was anything but the beginning of fall.

On the other hand, we also know that this is go time – this is everything we prepare for the rest of the year. Why else are we here if not for these students? We know that there may be trials ahead, but there are also likely to be triumphs, and this time that hangs in the balance is nothing if not full of possibilities for the coming year.

It is with all of this in mind that this blog goes into its third year of publication – with some of our original bloggers, but also some new faces. You’ll see a number of the same types of posts this fall, although we’re cutting back to four per week instead of five with fewer bloggers this time around. We’ll still be doing our weekly Linkage Love on Wednesdays, sharing the best of apps, women in technology and practices to make life easier on Thursdays, and whatever our bloggers come up with on Tuesdays. We continue to grow and change as we encounter new professionals and new technologies. We hope you’ll continue to join us on our journey.

Welcome back to SA Women Talk Tech – the Fall 2012 version!

August Anticipation

Blog-spiration

by Kristen Abell

So one of the fun things we do here at Student Affairs Women Talk Tech is create the occasional internal prompt to which our bloggers respond just to keep thing fresh and kinda crazy. My prompt for today (which I came up with, so not as crazy, I admit) is about where I go/what I do to blog/get inspired.

Well, dur, I go to the interwebs, of course! Not only is there a ridiculous amount of stimuli available for blog fodder, but there is the occasional online conversation that stirs up all sorts of ideas and blog posts (see the Kristen AbellJoe Ginese posts on our blogs lately for samples of this, or the #SATech chat I’ve gotten to co-found with Joe Sabado. Huh, apparently I like me some Joes). The Reverb Broads project I do with my fellow blogger Kassie Sands and whatever broads decide to join us also provides me with quite a bit of inspiration.

Beyond the sort of mental inspiration provided here, I’m thinking that when I wrote this prompt I actually meant where I go physically to blog. Frankly, once I got a MacBook Air, I go pretty much wherever I want (See how I got that little tech plug in there? I know, I know, impressive, really). Right now, I’m blogging at our dining room table. Last night I blogged from my bed – my most frequent blogging spot. Occasionally I use the office I painted last summer for my use (which now also serves as a storage room/physical therapy for Sean room). Mostly, I just need relative quiet or music, not too much physical stimulation (unless it’s good people watching), and my Air.

Where do you go to blog or get inspired?

Blog-spiration

Linkage Love

By Kristen Abell

Warning: This post is gonna be all over the place. If you can handle the random, proceed with caution.

I couldn’t decide on any single theme or thread that connects these links, so I’m just going to throw them all out there – maybe you’ll see something I didn’t. Hope you enjoy!

For a couple of history/random fact lessons about social networking and e-mail, check out the history of social media infographic at Mashable, as well as these ten facts about e-mail. It’s always interesting to take a bird’s-eye view of the whole progression for me.

This post on how the total number of Twitter users fell in 2010 just reminds us that a small number of people can create large amounts of content – it sometimes feels like there’s more of us on here because we’re producing so much more.

These are not necessarily new links, but because I saw several posts/comments about coming up with blog ideas and blogging in general over the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d include them. Chris Brogan (despite his over-marketing through his blog), has some decent ideas for blog posts, as well as some suggestions for helpful blog tools. Meanwhile, over at Prof Hacker, they share their thoughts on how to create a group blog (FYI, Prof, that would have been helpful several months ago :-). I also liked some of these suggestions for getting over writer’s block (sorry, another Mashable link – but dang, they’re hot this week!). And of course, we’re always happy to help with our Blog Prompt Mondays.

Prof Hacker also had a great post about using technology in the classroom, including why it’s important, what are some of the barriers, and then also how we can surmount those barriers. Meanwhile, Gizmodo makes some pretty decent points about why we’re not quite ready for iPads in the classroom yet.

So there you have it folks – another week of Linkage Love. What have you been checking out on the internets this week?

Linkage Love

Meet the Blogger: Kristendom

By Kristen Abell

So, who is Kristendom? Kristendom is the online alter ego for me – Kristen Abell. I started blogging for myself around four years ago on my blog Kristendom. At that time, I had grand visions of blogger stardom and wasn’t really sure about how much I wanted people to know about my “real” identity. As time went on, my online identity and my real identity merged in cyberspace, as they most often inevitably do, but I enjoyed the “Kristendom” title so much, I decided to keep it.

I’ve always been a bit of a computer geek. I like to think that I know more about computers and technology than your average person, but I’m still definitely not as savvy as I’d like to be. I find that the more I learn about technology, the more I realize I have to learn. But hey, at least I’m willing to make the effort – even if the time is hard to come by. So I’m still learning to speak geek, although I’d say I’ve passed Geek Speak 101.

I’ve been in student affairs for over ten years now (yikes! Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess), serving in a variety of roles – mostly housing with some women’s center work thrown in for good measure. I currently serve as the Associate Director for Residential Life at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The beauty of working at a slightly smaller school I’ve found is that I get to wear a number of hats. Tech guru extraordinaire for our Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Division is one of the hats I get to wear, and it’s allowed me a little license to explore some of my tech interests on work time. I have a very basic understanding of HTML and web design, a better-than-average knowledge of social networking, and a smattering of other skills/interests in various technologies.

Because of my interest in all things geek, I was lucky enough to get recruited to manage the website for Region IV-West of NASPA, as well as serve as the representative for the Technology Knowledge Community. Earlier this year, the same person that recruited me for NASPA mentioned that I should consider doing a blog on technology, and that was the beginning of Kristendom Talks Tech.

One of the things I love love love about the internets (by the way, this is how I frequently refer to the internet, mostly by way of mocking a certain former president when he spoke of it in the debates) is the creation of the blogosphere. I have long had aspirations of being a writer, and I believe that I’ve found my voice and preferred medium through blogging. I might never stop now! I’m extremely excited about this opportunity to work with some other women who have similar interests in technology and student affairs, and I hope that we can all share a little of our wisdom and promote women in technology at the same time.

Meet the Blogger: Kristendom