Student Affairs and Technology

News, tips, and practical insights about technology for student affairs practitioners by Eric Stoller.

News, tips, and practical insights about technology for student affairs practitioners by Eric Stoller.

November 20, 2012 - 7:22pm
My initial response to an invitation to review the new Livescribe Sky wifi smartpen began with a polite rejection: "Thanks for the email. I have to be honest, I'm just not that interested in this technology." The reason for my pushback was that I am already fairly entrenched in my note-taking habits. A classic Moleskine with a Uni-Ball Signo is my preferred method for jotting down ideas, notes, etc. When I'm sans paper and pen, I tend to use my iPad with a Bamboo stylus and either Paper (by FiftyThree) or the Bamboo Paper app. I outlined this to a very nice public relations rep. Undeterred, she informed me that the new smartpen allows notes to be automatically synced (via wifi) to Evernote which makes them readily available on tablets and smartphones.
November 15, 2012 - 8:02pm
When I was an undergraduate student at the University of Northern Iowa, I had my first experience with Adobe's creative solutions. Photoshop, Illustrator, Pagemaker (the predecessor to InDesign), and the now defunct web editors PageMill and GoLive, were wonderful creative tools that enabled me to engage in all sorts of artistic endeavors. The pricing for these applications was fairly high even in the late 90s. Academic pricing certainly helped, but the pathways to upgrades were costly. Thankfully, in 2012, Adobe has gone to the cloud.
November 4, 2012 - 8:12pm
The #SAchat hashtag is the longest running hashtag for Student Affairs professionals. It is our digital cafeteria for 140 character conversations, informational postings, and a weekly chat. Sometimes it is easy to forget just how many people are connected via the now 3-year-old hashtag. Last week when Hurricane Sandy was wreaking havoc in the Caribbean, and the East Coast of the United States, Twitter was a gathering place for questions, support, answers, and connection.
November 1, 2012 - 8:23pm
The greatest higher education technology conference in the universe takes place next week. The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is simply amazing. As the epicenter of higher education and technology, this event offers up something for anyone who works in higher education. Ok, I know that I sound like an extreme fanboy right now, but trust me, this is an outrageously fabulous event. On my meeting calendar I've scheduled conversations with representatives from Pearson, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, AT&T*, and Ellucian. The amount of information that will be disseminated at EDUCAUSE is staggering. Major product announcements, press embargoes, non-disclosure agreements, and an enormous exhibit hall…EDUCAUSE is the most jam-packed event of the year for the ed tech crowd.
October 23, 2012 - 8:38pm
Last year’s NASPA Technology Conference was a turning point in Student Affairs. In many ways, the event was an experiment. NASPA had never put on a conference that was dedicated to technology. We didn’t know who would attend. Would #NASPAtech be too techie? Would social media dominate most of our conversations? There were a lot of questions.
October 14, 2012 - 8:22pm
Question: How can our office utilize social media to build community and enhance connections with students?
October 8, 2012 - 9:13pm
Last week, Cardale Jones, a first-year student at Ohio State University, posted the following to Twitter: "Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS." A short time after Jones' post, that tweet (and his account on Twitter) were removed. Jones was also suspended for last weekend's game against Nebraska. According to the Ohio State student directory, he is currently in the University's Exploration Program with a major in Management and Industry Exploration. Like a lot of first-year students, Jones is still trying to figure out his academic major. It's a typical experience.
October 4, 2012 - 9:55pm
Last week was an audio/video adventure. Editing numerous interviews for a client, I became reacquainted with iMovie. In my pre-Mac days (translation: before I ate the metaphorical Apple), I would use whatever software I could find to edit videos. When I lived in St. Lucia in 2001, I used Adobe Premiere to edit/render videos. Oftentimes the power would go out, my laptop battery would run out of juice, and I would have to start over from scratch. It wasn't exactly a delightful editing process. However, I did learn quite a bit from those days of transferring clips from a tape-based camera to a computer and slogging my way through…I literally learned while on the go.
October 3, 2012 - 9:13pm
Posing questions on Twitter is a great way to discover things that you didn't know. For example, last week I tweeted out the following question: "Who are your favorite Deans of Students on Twitter?" In a short amount of time, I received a large number of responses. There will definitely be a post in the future that covers that particular question. However, for now, I wanted to share one of the responses that immediately caught my attention:
September 26, 2012 - 5:18pm
In December of 2010, I copied all of the text from every blog post that I had ever written for Inside Higher Ed into a text file. The document represented six months worth of entries and I recall that it took a fair amount of time to put it together. My goal in doing this exercise was to create a word cloud using Wordle.net that I could use as the header graphic for my "six month anniversary" post. The word cloud, with a few formatting tweaks (font, color, layout) in Wordle, turned out to be a nice summary of the most-used words in my posts. In fact, this particular word cloud has turned up all over the web as it seems to be a popular Student Affairs themed graphic.

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