Oftentimes in academic advising, a student comes in who is not doing well in a major. Sometimes this is due to parental expectations. A student will choose a major not because they love it, but because their parents want them to for different reasons. Job and financial security are two main reasons. I found a podcast, “What on earth are you going to do with a major in (---)??!!” that could be used to help students have that discussion with their parents about changing their major to something that is more suited for them. This podcast could be posted on an advising website which would allow any student to see and listen and in hopes, use to model a conversation all their own.
TakingITGlobal and Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education were two websites that I checked out that allows global collaboration between students. The first site, TakingITGlobal was refreshing to explore. This site is a devoted social networking site for global issues such as technology and innovation, human rights and equity, as well as learning and education. It allows students to educate themselves on important global issues and interact and voice their opinions on these issues. As a graduate assistant in the Intercultural and Diversity Center (IDC), this website would be a great tool for the Diversity Advocates class that the center teaches which primarily focuses on promoting diversity and social justice. TakingITGlobal has two specific developments on their site labeled human rights and equity as well as culture and identity that would work great with the Diversity Advocates. Not only are there lists of books that are great resources for these topics but students in the class can interact by signing petitions, writing and replying to blogs, and/or joining different groups that support these causes.
The second site, Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education is great for undergraduate students who are taking courses in mathematics, science, educational technology, and/or language. What I liked most and found interesting was The Real World Learning Objects (RWLO) Resource Library. This library gives students the options to work out real world problems using the internet. For example, under the mathematics tab, the site gives plenty of real world situations that involve using math such as figuring out how much a house would cost through a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, with interest included, after 30 years.
Voxopop (formerly Chinswing) is a site that allows users to leave voice messages on discussion boards that deal with a variety of topics in which users all over the world have started. Not only is the ability for users to start their own topic great but this allows feedback and discussion from users across the globe! Referring back to the Diversity Advocates class, students can start their own discussion board on Voxopop during the beginning of the semester and then present on the discourse of the board at the end of the semester.
As a new intern in Student Advising Services (SAS), I am learning how the department uses technology to interact with the student popuation. Popular mediums such as Facebook and Twitter are used. The video “How to Write an Impressive and Stellar College Admissions Essay" could easily be linked as a tweet on Twitter or as a status update on Facebook. This would allow students who follow SAS to have this resource. Also, since academic advisors review a lot of admission essays (particularly for graduate schools), these advisors could send the link of this video to students before they meet with them. By doing so, this allows for advisors and the students they are meeting with to have a common understanding about what an admissions essay entails and what it does not, thereby maximizing opportunity and effectively managing time.
After following others (mostly educational), I still feel a little disconnected from the mircoblogging tool. I find myself going to Bloglines for the latest in news and updates in Higher Education and not Twitter. However, there is one member that I am following that routinely updates some interesting news in Higher Ed. I also noticed that the other members that I am following do not post as much. So, I think I might need some new followers! By doing so, this will not only give more of a range of posts on my Twitter page but also enable more responses once and if I ever have any questions, comments, or need feedback.
My first thoughts of Twitter was that of another social networking site such as Facebook but different in that you only update your status. After reading “CAN WE USE TWITTER FOR EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES?” I found that Twitter can in fact be used as an educational tool. For my purposes in Higher Education, I could use Twitter to find out the latest news at surrounding college campuses as well as those campuses located on the other side of the country. I could also use Twitter with other Higher Educational professionals to network and share ideas and receive opinions from one another. I really liked the idea about using Twitter at conferences. The authors state that at conferences, “Twitter can provide a simple way for attendees at a conference to share thoughts about particular sessions and activities with others at the event and those unable to attend.” Since conferences are a large component in Higher Education, Twitter is definitely a tool that could be useful to some.
I also found an interesting article from The Chronicle that discussed what college campuses are already doing with Twitter. In Forget E-Mail: New Messaging Service Has Students and Professors Atwitter, the author Jeffrey Young discusses how some college professors are using Twitter as a means to reflect on a class and receive instant feedback from students. Others have thought of using microblogging as a way to cancel class or send out emergency notifications. While still configuring the workings of a possible University wide system, Twitter seems to rest with individual usage. One instructor from Marietta College notes that “Twitter can be a much faster way to get help from colleagues than sending an e-mail message to a list or posting a question on a blog.” Instead of waiting for responses, many users go to Twitter to get instant answers and feedback.
With all the ideas that have been listed above, I think Twitter is a tool that all Higher Education professionals should look at and at least try. You never know how beneficial some “tweets” could be!
The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog posted an article about how John Hopkins University is dealing with today's economy. They are freezing hiring and salary increases AS WELL as cutting top administrators' pay by five percent! It is interesting in today's economy to see how higher education is dealing with the effects of the economy as many have started to dip into endowment funds. John Hopkins is taking the measures listed above after seeing a twenty percent loss to their own endowment and also to "to preserve the excellence of Johns Hopkins in teaching, research, and patient care, and to address, to the extent that resources allow, changing financial circumstances of returning students."
I would be interested to know how the top administrators (president, vice presidents, and divisional deans and directors) feel about their pay cut and to what extent the measures taken will go to student aid...
The social networking group that I am most interested in is called Weekly Innovation. This group is a "one stop shop for higher education news, collaboration and innovation." I have yet to sign up and explore all of its features, but what most attracted me to this group was the "Free On-Demand Trainings." I have never come across this from any website and how cool is it to get FREE training! This is definitely something that I could use to further my professional development and to stay current in the field.