by Jess Faulk
As a techy woman, and curious student affairs professional, I am always looking for free or cheap technology focused professional development opportunities in my city. I am lucky enough to call Boston my home, a city with an abundance of conferences, tweetups, and socials. Over the course of the year, I have attended events such as PodCamp6, A11y Tech Accessibility Unconference, Educators & Entrepreneurs Summit: The Future of Education Technology, NY Internet Week, and MegaTweetup3. At each of these events I always have the opportunity to learn about a new piece of technology that sounds promising. I come home with a pocketful of business cards, file them, and forget about them. I am sure you’ve had a similar experience. It’s not like you meant to forget them, but life just keeps going and you don’t take the time to look into that new piece of tech.
This past weekend, in the process of cleaning up my apartment managed to unearth a stack of cards and notes from the year’s various events and wanted to share some of my favorites with you.
This start up was tabling at one of the conferences to give attendees a look at the future of technology competency. I believe that our students are not as tech savvy as we give them credit for. We often think that students have more experience with programs such as Excel, Photoshop, or Google applications just because they are younger than we are. I find however that our students have a ways to go when it comes to using computer applications in a way that is useful for their organizations and their jobs. This website, still in it’s infancy, has begun to create a platform for testing and sharing technology competency scores. One day we may be posting our Smarterer scores on our resume, but in the meantime, it is a fun site to visit, test yourself, and perhaps even create a test to challenge your student leaders to grow their tech knowledge.
This gem I just learned about tonight from @robbiesamuels while at the the#MegaTweetup. Robbie uses Rapportive to be able to pull in all of the information from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to help him make connections with all of the people he emails. When you are in your Gmail account and have the program installed, you can see all of a person’s latest tweets and their contact information just by hovering over their name. Once you connect the program with your LinkedIn contacts, you might also discover connections between your friends and co-workers that you didn’t even know existed! Gist is another program that does something very similar. If you are a Gmail user, I suggest you check them out.
myhappypost.com: A social experiment to spread happiness
This project was one that I was introduced to at a street fair. I was talking by a table and asked the question “What makes you happy?” What a great question to ask a stranger I thought. The team that created this project is spreading joy into the communities around the world by asking them to share of what they enjoy in life, making people smile, and passing along the sense of satisfaction from one person to another. On the brick wall across from the table was hundreds of post-it notes from people at the fair that wanted to share. Immediately I thought of what a great project this would be to bring back to my college. Check out the project, and see if the thought of bringing the happiness project to your institution makes you smile 🙂