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.
It turned out that a variety of student affairs professionals attended last year. Social media was definitely a dominate topic. And, techies and Luddites journeyed side by side. Year one was a success. Those of us who had been dreaming of an event like #NASPAtech were practically giddy.
Sequels can be amazing. However, they can also sometimes struggle with matching the initial wonder of the “first time.” Indulge me for a sentence or two as I get quite nerdy. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was not a great movie. It was exciting to watch, especially for Trekkies. But, most critics agree that it was a bit of a letdown. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is generally regarded as a science fiction masterpiece. The identity of Star Trek was reestablished and #2 surpassed the first movie. I’m hoping that #NASPAtech can maintain the generative momentum of year one. However, we don't need to go around screaming "KHANNNNNN!!!"…okay, enough of my nerdiness.
As I travel to Indianapolis to speak, participate, and engage at #NASPAtech this week, I am excited for the next experience on this student affairs and technology journey. We may disagree on the topic of technology "threads" and "competencies," but it's nice to see that we're still coming together to chat about it. The connections that were created last year have grown quite a bit. It’s thrilling to know that a vibrant community of technology-minded student affairs practitioners is once again coming together to boldly go.
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