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Blogging for Inside Higher Ed

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Student Affairs and Technology - IHE year 1

I’ve been blogging for Inside Higher Ed (IHE) for 6 months. The word cloud represents the most-used words in the 45 posts that I’ve written for my “Student Affairs and Technology” blog. Twitter has been one of my favorite topics to write about. It’s such a wonderfully versatile social media tool.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my ride as a blogger for IHE. I write at least 2 posts per week. As a seasoned blogger, having deadlines and a post quota has been incredibly motivating. My editor has a fantastic sense of humor. He has been a delightful boss. I can’t wait to see if I can crack 100 posts in 2011.

The only caveat of course has been that this blog has been a bit neglected. I’ve been much more active on Twitter in 2010. With a paid blogging gig and Twitter taking up more of my publishing time, I do try to put something up on this site from time to time. Stay tuned for significant site updates. I plan on incorporating more of my consulting endeavors on this blog as I continue to navigate the “Stoller Coaster.”

Banana Bread, The Broadmoor, and Social Media

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The Broadmoor is beautiful!

You may be asking yourself what banana bread has to do with social media and a 5 star hotel in Colorado. Let me give you a little bit of context:

I recently spent 5 days at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The hotel was the site of the NACAS Annual Conference. I conducted 16 separate social media consulting sessions with representatives from higher education campus auxiliary services units from the United States, Canada, and Lebanon. I also gave a keynote on how campus auxiliaries can use social media to create community and connections.

One of the main themes that emerged from the consultation sessions was how social media provides a platform for institutional units to connect with students. For example, a Facebook page can be a great place to build goodwill and engage with students in an online conversation. Here’s an example of how social media can be used to build goodwill — courtesy of the fine folks at The Broadmoor:

Before I left for Colorado, I visited and “liked” The Broadmoor’s Facebook page. During my stay at the hotel, I found myself eating an inordinate amount of banana bread. Aside from my mom’s homemade bread, this was amazingly good bread. I decided to ask, via their Facebook page, for the recipe. I had posted some of the of the photos that I took of The Broadmoor on their Facebook page and knew that they might engage with me. Within minutes of my request, I had received a Facebook message from a representative of the hotel. They were contacting the bakery chef for the recipe. A few moments later and the recipe was posted on The Broadmoor’s Facebook page as a response to my initial comment.

How amazing is that? I can’t be the only person who has so thoroughly enjoyed The Broadmoor’s banana bread. They shared the recipe with me and agreed to let me post it on my blog. The Broadmoor gained me as a lifelong fan at that moment. They used social media to connect and share. This was about building goodwill. They didn’t have to share the recipe with me. However, I hope this little social media snippet has shown you how a simple act of sharing via social media can have tremendous results!

Banana bread

The best banana bread you will ever eat…except for maybe my mom’s recipe ;-)

Thanks again to The Broadmoor and its amazing bakery chef!

Banana Bread Yield: 2 loaves

3 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
3 tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
Dash Salt
3 each Eggs
1 cup Oil
2 cups Banana, ripened, mashed
1 cup Walnuts (optional)

In large bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the flour mixture and add, well beaten eggs, oil, nuts, and banana. Mix thoroughly and divide evenly into two greased loaf pans. Bake in a pre-heated, 350 degree oven for approximately 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Written by Eric Stoller

November 16th, 2010 at 11:00 am

The Stoller Coaster

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Eric Stoller

My last day at Oregon State University is going to be September 30th. I’ve been an academic advisor and web coordinator for the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) since 2007. It’s been a transformative experience. The advising team, college and university leadership, peer advisors, and my advisees have taught me so much. It has been a terrific adventure!

Speaking of adventures, you may be wondering what I’m going to be doing or where I am going…

When the “Blogger hits the big time” profile came out, I had already been thinking about my career, my future, and what I wanted to do:

During the day, Eric Stoller is busy advising students in the College of Health and Human Sciences and working on web projects for the college. In the evenings and on weekends, he’s juggling everything from consulting projects to blogging to chatting with his 1,900+ Twitter followers.

“Downtime? What’s that?” he laughs.

And these days, he’s added another job to that list of tasks, as a paid blogger for the highly popular academic website, Inside Higher Ed. As one of 13 regular bloggers for the site, Stoller has begun writing at least two blog posts per week, focused on student affairs and technology.

Working as an academic advisor / web coordinator during the day and engaging in numerous consulting / speaking engagements in the evenings and/or during my vacations has made my life feel like a roller coaster — twists, turns, dips, spins, etc…hence, the “Stoller Coaster.”

I have decided that I am going to focus my energies on my consulting/writing/speaking projects.

My consulting efforts are going to be focused on student affairs/higher education and technology:

  • Social Media and Marketing
  • Web Site Statistics
  • Communication Plans
  • Branding
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Web Site Usability/Accessibility
  • Higher Education Association Technology Development and Strategy

I am thrilled to start this new adventure. It’s going to be epic!

Credit for the “Stoller Coaster” – Conzen, 2010.

Blogging Student Affairs and Technology

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Inside Higher Ed - blogging about student affairs and technology - Eric Stoller

I am thrilled to announce that I’m going to be blogging about Student Affairs and Technology for Inside Higher Ed (IHE). As an avid reader of IHE, I am very excited to join the IHE blogging team. I think that my posts on student affairs + technology will complement Joshua Kim’s blog on Technology and Learning.

Recently, I held a contest via Twitter to name my new blog. The incentive — a $100 Amazon gift card — courtesy of Inside Higher Ed. Several folks came up with interesting/creative blog names. I think the #SAChat Community provided the majority of ideas. Student Affairs folks are uber creative.

Here are my 3 favorite submissions:

  • Jeff Jackson: The Stoller Strikes Back, Return of the Blogosphere, Student Affairs….I am Your Blogger
  • Zack Ford: Challenge and Tech Support
  • ACUHO-I (sent via DM): Binary Code of Conduct

Choosing a winner from these 3 has been extremely challenging. Star Wars references, Sanford, and an entire Association…how cool is that?!! After more than a week of deliberate (intentional ;-) ) deliberating I have decided that the winner of the gift card is:

eric-stoller-challenge-and-tech-support

Zack Ford’s submission made me laugh. It’s subtle….and I love subtlety. The obvious nod / homage to Nevitt Sanford warms the heart. Challenge and Support is one of my all-time favorite, and oft-used, student development theories.

It should be noted that Julie Larsen was correct…the official name of my new blog is going to be: Student Affairs and Technology. The name needed to be something that would be simple enough that any IHE reader would know exactly what it was about. The blog also needed to be search engine friendly…”Students Affairs + Technology” is simple and searchable.

Stay tuned for my first official post on Inside Higher Ed!

Honorable mention:

Julie P-Kirchmeier: Stoller: Resistance is Futile

Niki Rudolph: Epic Stoller

Justine Carpenter: Tech Tips for SAPs

Christopher Conzen: The Stoller Coaster

Academic Advising & Social Media

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NACADA Tech in Advising Recommendations for Use of Online Social Communication in Academic Advising

The purpose of these recommendations is to provide guidance to Academic Advisors contemplating the inclusion of on-line social communication tools in their personal or programmatic advising design.

For the purposes of this discussion, Online Social Communications will be understood as externally hosted Web environments, sometimes referred to as Social Media Environments, in which information is aggregated, presented and shared. Further, where functionality exist, the environments allow you to document and filter connections between individuals, maintain profiles, support multimedia, and facilitate communication with a time shift supporting response at user-defined times. On-Line Social Communication environments include Facebook and other Online Social Networks, Twitter, YouTube, personal blogs and wiki pages. Since Facebook’s introduction in 2004, an ever-increasing number of advisors, student services specialists, academic units and universities have been leveraging the benefits of an on-line presence.

The expanding use of on-line social communication by advisors and advising offices, evidenced by numerous publications and presentations over the past five years, encouraged the NACADA Commission for Technology in Advising to proffer the following recommendations when considering inclusion of Social Communication tools in the delivery of advising information:

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Resources from our ACPA Social Media session

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About a week ago, I had the opportunity to co-present at the ACPA National Convention with Kenn Elmore, John Battaglino and Teri Bump. Fortunately for the four of us, we were able to secure a larger room as our session had about 60 people in attendance.

We didn’t give out handouts at our session. Our keynote slides had images on them and only a word or two. I’ve received emails from folks who attended, as well as from people who were following via the #ACPA10 Twitter backchannel, requesting a copy of our slides. While we were sans paper at our session, we were certainly not without a lot of bits of information.

Giving a presentation at ACPA in Boston

Our session was titled “Wise and Connected – Demystifying Social Media for SSAOs and Directors.” We had 2 screens/lcd projectors running simultaneously during the session. On one screen was our keynote slideshow…we combined our slides like Voltron just moments before our session. On the other screen was a live stream (via wifi) of everything that was being said via Twitter using the #ACPA10 and #ACPASSAO hashtags. (Note that the ACPASSAO hashtag provided ample fodder for attendees). We even used clickers from Turning Technologies (these were the same clickers that were used at the opening of the convention). Overall, it was a very high tech, high touch session.

We live streamed all of the Twitter commentary using Twitterfall. Twitterfall has an amazing “presentation mode” that is perfect for the live streaming of tweets. The streaming screen provided probably the funniest moment (for me at least) of our session when @ACPAConvention tried to distract me! It should be noted that I did not look down, not even once. However, one of us did use a 4 letter word at one point during our session.

A lot of people wanted the link for the “Leadership Video.” I’ve dubbed said video as “Who wants to watch EDS dance on a hill?”. I wasn’t really the “lone nut” in this video, but I like to think that I could have been:

A terrific leader in Student Affairs who is utilizing social media is Kenn Elmore, Dean of Students at Boston University. If you have not yet visited the Dean of Students website at BU, please check it out. The site is a wonderful example of how social media can be integrated into a higher ed student affairs site. The folks at BU use Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Blogs.

Did you know that you can get a lot out of Twitter without ever posting? Twitter can be a great resource for news, events and general information.

Here’s a terrific primer on “Twitter 101″ from the makers of Twitter.

Once you become an avid Twitter user, you may find that the functionality at Twitter.com doesn’t give you enough options. For “power twittering,” I would recommend that you use TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a free application that will become a staple in your Twitter diet. They even make a version of TweetDeck for the iPhone. What’s that you say? Don’t have an iPhone? Never fear, if you are a Blackberry user, I would recommend trying UberTwitter. You can even use Twitter using standard text messages via any mobile phone.

When I started talking about RSS, I noticed that folks went into an acronym sleep. For more information on RSS, Social Media, Twitter and a host of other online things, please check out Common Craft. The Common Craft videos break down complicated concepts into easily digestible informational videos.

One of my favorite uses of social media that we did not have a chance to talk about is #SAChat:

We talked a little bit about Facebook too…we packed a lot of info, entertainment, and education in our hour and fifteen. I can’t wait to do it again.

ACPA wants us to Mingle

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ACPA wants us to use a MingleStick at the Annual Convention in Boston in 2010

Slightly hidden, due to a minuscule font size, within the recent ACPA eCommunity email update was an interesting question: “Are You Ready To Mingle?” Intrigued, I read the rest of the “mingle” text:

Are You Ready To Mingle?
Engage in real life social networking at the Boston 2010 Annual Convention. This new and innovative technology enables attendees to simply ‘click to connect’ at the event and then share their online profiles after the event.

With over 4,500 ACPA members expected to attend the Annual Convention in Boston, the MingleStick may provide an interesting means for folks to exchange contact information. Instead of business cards, attendees can use the MingleStick to exchange electronic profiles. This is slightly similar to the iPhone Bump app. I predict that there will be a lot of digital mingling at ACPA.

The MingleStick plugs in via USB to your computer, uploads its data to the MingleStick website and allows you to browse your recent connections. An individual’s profile information is dependent on what they have included in their public MingleStick profile.

MingleStick digital mingling at ACPA Annual Convention in Boston 2010

I’m co-presenting a session titled “Wise and Connected – Demystifying Social Media for SSAOs and Directors.” I have a feeling that we will end up polling the room to see who is using a MingleStick and whether or not they are including their Facebook and Twitter accounts on their public MingleStick profiles.

What do you think? Will you engage in digital mingling at ACPA via a MingleStick?

Google Wave

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Google has a new app called “Wave.” It’s billed as communication and collaboration tool. I would say that it’s probably going to be the tool of choice in the next 5 years for anyone who uses Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, WordPress, any IM Client, etc. If Google Wave catches on, Zuckerberg will wish that he’d sold Facebook when he had the chance.

Google Wave
Microsoft is the “new” IBM. They just don’t know it yet. Sorry Redmond.

Written by Eric Stoller

May 31st, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Oregon State University Social Media Directory

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Oregon State University has a new social media directory page. Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and WordPress are the primary communication mediums for OSU’s social media presence. I’m sure this list will continue to grow as more and more departments engage in social media implementations.

Facebook pages and groups

Flickr photo feeds

Twitter Feeds

YouTube

Other Social Media, Video and Audio Sites

OSU Bloggers

Wikis

via the OSU Dialog blog

Written by Eric Stoller

March 3rd, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Student Affairs Technology: To Boldly Go

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Student Affairs Technology: To Boldly Go

“They should have explained the basic concepts at the beginning (e.g.: podcasts, blogs, wikis, etc.).”

“Be less technical.”

“Helping me to boldly go where I’ve never been before.”

One of these statements is not like the other two. I’m sure you can guess which one gives me hope as a student affairs techie that we as a profession have not lost our willingness to learn, to explore and to stay positive about new technologies. This article represents a call to action for student affairs practitioners. The microblogging site, Twitter, has a feature that lets you “nudge” someone that you are following. This is me providing a gentle nudge to my fellow higher education administrators. I hope that you nudge me back. Let’s push the envelope. Let’s shift our professional paradigms. Let’s make technology (and learning about new technologies) a part of our daily practices.

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