NACADA Technology Seminar – sessions

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:
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Blogger & Academic Advisor

Eric Stoller blogging the 2008 Iowa floods

Advisor Creates Blog About Flood

Damage from this summer’s flooding in Iowa extended all the way to Oregon State.

Eric Stoller, an academic advisor at OSU, is from Columbus Junction, Iowa; a town of about 2,000 people that was besieged by water in June when the Iowa and Cedar Rivers overran their banks.

“The only way I could do something to help was to put information up on my blog,” Stoller said.

The transplanted Iowan is quite tech savvy. In a previous job, he worked as a Web consultant and he also built the OSU Admissions department’s blog. He started his personal blog in 2004, mostly as a way to publish his academic work and social justice views. In June, Stoller began posting flood photos and links to Southeast Iowa flooding news stories.

Academic Advising

Academic Advising has fried my brain this week

My brain feels like the egg in that frying pan…it’s a bit cooked. I will have had over 60 appointments this week. Faces and names have blurred together into something that looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Frequent topics of discussion this week include: “fun” classes, study abroad, dual-enrollment, graduation, financial aid, class standing, course overrides, changing majors, the location of the Registrar’s Office, Spring term classes, bacc core, studying, transfer credit articulation, closed classes, waitlisting, Phase 1 and Phase 2 registration, the sauna-like temperature of my office, recitations, the OSU Luau, caffeinated beverages, social justice, the benefits of being a Mac user, the aesthetic limits of Poling Hall, course petitions, long term planning, transcripts, practicum/internship applications, and the height differential of my chair versus my guest chair.

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Technology and Student Affairs A social networking site for Student Affairs administrators. 661 people have already signed up. The site runs off of Ning. I’m not sure if I have the life space for another website, but the discussions on have been interesting.

Technology panel: I’ll be on a panel for Academic Advising + Web 2.0 at the regional NACADA conference in Vancouver in March. I guess I’ll be chiming in on anything to do with accessibility, blogging, wikis, web statistics, podcasting, rss, etc. I’m walking out if someone calls Facebook an “emerging technology.”

Academic Advising Wiki:
I have convinced my colleagues that an internal knowledge base a.k.a. a wiki, would be highly beneficial for our office. I demoed an installation of MediaWiki (similar to the Oregon State University wiki) and hope to get it up and running next month. For more information on higher education and wikis, check out these videos on “21 days of Wiki Adoption“:

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Seismic improvement

Milam Hall

It’s a bit disconcerting to read an article on the earthquake readiness of buildings at your place of employment. Especially when your office is in one of the five buildings “identified as the most in need of seismic improvements.” I’m guessing that being in a structure of “unreinforced masonry” is probably not the safest place to be when the ground starts shaking.

Academic Advising Abacus

academic advising with an abacus
I decided to purchase an abacus for my desk. Students need at least 180 credits to graduate and at least 60 of those credits need to be from upper division courses. I decided that it would be interesting to see the reaction from my students as I calmly ignored my computer screen (with their credit information) and flicked away at my new abacus.

I am ornery.