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:
The main topic for today’s BreakDrink podcast was the potential unification of ACPA and NASPA. ACPA President, Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr. was on the podcast to talk about his thought’s regarding the unification process.
I had asked a question on the BreakDrink blog in preparation for today’s conversation. Jeff Jackson, host of the show, asked my question about how/if Dr. Jackson had plans for using Twitter at next month’s ACPA Annual Convention. I decided to call in to the show and was able to use the Skype link on Blog Talk Radio to call into the show.
The NACADA Technology Seminar at the NACADA Region 8 Conference resulted in a lot of Twitter activity. As the lead faculty at the technology seminar I was very pleased with the level of professional engagement that occurred on Twitter. Participants used Twitter hashtags (#NACADATech or #NACADAR8) to create a back channel of connectivity. It was inspiring to see so many of the technology seminar participants using their Twitter skills during the conference. Hundreds of NACADA-related tweets were generated!
Here are the top contributors:
PS: Thanks to Julie Meloni for providing me with the NACADA hashtag stats.
The Student Affairs Collaborative blog is a popular multi-author Student Affairs site. The SA Blog, as it’s popularly referred to on Twitter, contains a lot of relevant student affairs reflections, polls and information from a variety of student affairs professionals. Yesterday, I was invited to be a member of the Student Affairs Collaborative blog. From now on, all of my posts that are tagged with “sachat” (short for Student Affairs Chat) will be auto-aggregated via RSS into the SA blog. This will be similar to how my current “higher-education” tagged posts get auto-magically posted to the Blog High Ed site.
Note, content repurposing via RSS will be a featured topic at the NACADA Technology Seminar in Seattle on January 24th.
ACPA recently sent out an email announcement calling for applications for the ACPA Technology Advisory Committee:
The ACPA Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) is a member-driven advisory committee charged by the Executive Director of ACPA with developing the association’s long term Information Technology strategic plan and evaluating and recommending technology initiatives aimed at furthering the association’s strategic initiatives. In addition, the TAC is tasked with evaluating large-scale IT project requests to determine their applicability to long- and short-term association goals and, when necessary, to priority rank IT initiatives.
The TAC description made me feel quite hopeful about the state of student affairs technology…and then I read the following:
“You don’t have to be a technology expert to apply. We are looking for committed ACPA members with an interest in technology who are not afraid to voice their thoughts.”
Why, oh why, does membership in the TAC, which will drive the long term information technology strategic plan for ACPA, not require that someone be a technology expert? How can you evaluate IT projects, further strategic initiatives, and recommend technologies if you are not an expert? Is ACPA saying that there are not student affairs practitioners who are technology experts?
Not to be outdone by the ACPA Technology Advisory Committee notice, NASPA Tech Tools recently posted a word-for-word copy of a 2 month-old article about Google Wave from the Chronicle of Higher Education without really attributing the article. The NASPA Tech Tools site was created to “bridge the gap between student affairs and technology.” Unfortunately, it seems like a chasm at the moment…
I will be giving the keynote speech for the Oklahoma ACademic ADvising Association (OACADA) Fall Conference in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma next month. The conference theme is “Using Technology to Navigate Student Success” and I think that it provides a terrific continuation to the academic advising technology conversations that came out of the NACADA Technology Seminar. In addition to the keynote address, I will be facilitating a question and answer session in the afternoon.
One of the most successful components of the NACADA Technology Seminar was the use of Twitter amongst the seminar attendees. Every tweet for the event was tagged with this hashtag: #nacadatech09. The hashtag allowed us to aggregate all tagged tweets into the NACADA Tech website via a widget from monitter.com.
This year, due to a multitude of financial issues, a lot of NACADA members will most likely not be able to attend the NACADA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
The following hashtag has been “created” to enable non-attendees the opportunity to virtually follow the action in San Antonio: #nacada09
How can you participate as either a NACADA Annual Conference Tweeter or as a virtual follower?
- Step 1: Sign up for a Twitter account.
- Step 2: Take your laptop or web-ready cellphone to San Antonio and hope that WiFi is available.
- Step 3: Post updates on Twitter about the conference: session pointers, take-aways, best practices, key issues, etc.
- Step 4: In every 140 character post, include “#nacada09” (without quotes and a space in front of and after the tag)
- Step 1: Follow the virtual conference action via a Twitter search for #nacada09
- Step 2: Repeat step 1.
Tweet, tweet, tweet: Student Affairs is on Twitter
A microblogging phenomenon known as Twitter has recently rocketed into popular consciousness. In existence for 3 years, Twitter is not exactly the newest social networking site. However, it was in 2009 that Twitter’s mainstream notoriety occurred. Twitter users in Iran produced thousands of microblog posts informing the world of post-election protests. Ashton Kutcher and CNN held a contest to see which of their popular accounts could garner the most followers. Oprah and Ellen began tweeting this year. Even President Obama utilized Twitter as part of a successful election communications strategy. Twitter provides a content platform that can be used for personal tweets, organizing, event updates, networking, content syndication and research.
What does Twitter have to do with Student Affairs and its practitioners?
The answer to how Twitter is relevant to Student Affairs practitioners is stunningly simple: communication. Hundreds of higher education institutions, senior leaders within those organizations, and social media savvy faculty/staff/students are posting 140 character microblog updates to Twitter on a daily basis. Twitter provides a conduit for a wide variety of communication-based applications that Student Affairs professionals can utilize.
I’m one of 4 faculty members for the upcoming NACADA Technology Seminar in Clearwater, Florida. The seminar is geared toward academic advisors with varying technology skills. We’re expecting about 200 attendees at “NACADA Tech”. This should be a paradigm-changing event. We hope to have wi-fi access for all participants during our sessions. This sounds simple, but it turns out that free, in-session internet access is fairly rare in student affairs / academic affairs conferences. We want to ensure that participants have a hands-on experience with a lot of back channel conversations/connections.
I’ll be facilitating three sessions:
Continue reading NACADA Technology Seminar – sessions
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.