Student Affairs and Technology

Student Affairs and Technology

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

August 9, 2012 - 7:55pm
When Cara Rousseau, social media manager for Duke University, emailed me about the new Duke University Admissions website, I was immediately intrigued. With a stated goal of wanting to "create a true-to-life Duke experience within the digital space" that focused on the "student voice and student-to-student interactions, the new site is mobile-ready and built upon quality storytelling.
August 5, 2012 - 8:12pm
Social media increases student engagement. How do I know this? Well, let's try an analogy. Let's say that you are a carpenter in the early 1900s. You have a certain toolkit that you use to go about your work. You build houses with said toolkit. Now, let's hop in a DeLorean to 2012. Carpentry is a totally different gig. The tools have changed…a lot. Big box stores provide ample selections of tools and all sorts of gadgets. Carpentry has evolved, in part, because the tools have made increases in efficiencies possible. In the sense that Student Affairs practitioners are like carpenters - instead of building houses - we build community, increase student engagement, and foster opportunities for student development.
July 30, 2012 - 6:28pm
2012 has been a confabulous year. Sure, that's a made up word, but you can get past that, right? Here's the deal, our "traditional" conference structures are bending. In between the usual annual conferences and regional events, some atypical meet-ups are taking place. Sometimes we call them "confabs" and/or "unconferences," but they are different…and I think that's a good thing.
July 29, 2012 - 5:30pm
Social media have been a frequent topic on this blog. With ample angles to cover, social media provide an endless supply of questions, ideas, and conversations. Recently, while consulting with a school about their Student Affairs social media strategy, I wrote down a list of words that popped up during our conversations.
July 18, 2012 - 8:55pm
There are moments with this blog that feel an awful lot like that scene in The Matrix where Neo experiences deja vu. While I can't do a proper "whoa" like Keanu Reeves, I should at least acknowledge the endless thread that I am always thinking about: "Where does Student Affairs learn about technology…at least from the formal sense?" Having been through a Student Affairs masters-level graduate program, and chatted with countless other SA grads, I am uncertain as to where our knowledge of technology springs forth.
July 17, 2012 - 7:54pm
During the extravaganza known as Blackboard World, I was asked to share "the best piece of advice that a teacher ever gave me." Pondering the question for a moment, my thoughts turned to someone who I've always thought of as my favorite teacher. To most people, his name was Clyde. For me, he'll always be known as Grandpa. My grandfather didn't go to a fancy college. His traditional education was limited in that he didn't graduate from high school. However, as the son of German immigrants who farmed land in Iowa, his learning was largely experiential. His financial acumen, knowledge of machinery, and wisdom were generated via decades of hands-on experience.
July 11, 2012 - 7:43pm
The big news (thanks Kayvon Beykpour!) from Wednesday's multi-speaker keynote at BbWorld (#BbW12) is that in September, students will have the capability of taking their mobile learning destiny into their own hands. Presently, mobile options for students who wish to use Mobile Learn exist at the institutional level.
July 10, 2012 - 8:18pm
When I first started chatting with David Marr at this year's Blackboard Education Technology Conference* (also known as Bb World or #BbW12 on Twitter) I was immediately intrigued by how much he sounded like someone who really "got" Student Affairs. Marr, the President of Blackboard's Transact platform, spoke to me about student engagement, financial aid, the admissions funnel, retention, auxiliary services, strategic enrollment management, campus cards, and Student Affairs advancement.
June 28, 2012 - 7:26pm
When this blog was conceived in the summer of 2010, it's purpose was fairly simple: fill a niche that needs filling. With that premise in mind, I've been blogging away on a variety of topics about innovation, accessibility, social media, video, and strategy. The narrative that I've constructed (something that started with my personal blog) is built upon a foundation of ideas, tool suggestions, and actively building structures that relate to Student Affairs and technology. It is rhetoric that focuses on the analogy of an empty building that is waiting to be populated. In that regard, I've been successful. However, the narrative of technology and Student Affairs is far more nuanced. Historically speaking, technology has always been part of the richness of discourse in Student Affairs. The "building" as it were, is not and has not been empty, it just hasn't been socialized into the core culture of the profession.
June 27, 2012 - 9:27pm
My backpack was heavier than usual as I strolled to my gate at Boston's Logan Airport this past Sunday. Included in my usual collection of travel items was my new iPad. During my meetings with a client on Monday and Tuesday a fascinating thing happened. My laptop, a tech tool that is almost always near me, was never removed from my bag.

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