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Pondering the Fallacy of the Thread
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. At the moment, it would seem that technology competency is a random occurrence. It's literally a crapshoot.

Bear with me for a moment as I muddle through a thought that's been pinging through my head today… Within the professional competency areas document from ACPA/NASPA, technology is framed as a "thread" that runs throughout all of the 10 competency areas. So here's my question: Where are our student affairs graduate program faculty going for Student Affairs Technology resources? And, how are they weaving those resources throughout their programs? We have professional canon within Student Affairs that richly address the 10 competency areas. However, the "standard" Student Affairs texts are pretty light on technology information.

The source of our field's lack of technology wherewithal might stem from the pseudo-nepotistic nature of the profession. Generally speaking, Student Affairs faculty are a reflection of the profession. We're taught by those who have come up through our ranks. If our faculty were "forged" in professional spaces where technology wasn't heralded, the end result of where we are today isn't difficult to ascertain. If, on a consistent basis, our SA grad students aren't being adequately prepared with regards to their technology competency, then they too will join countless "tech-less" SA cadres. We have institutionalized a laissez-faire attitude towards technology within Student Affairs. In order for the profession to continue to thrive, we have to be intentional with regards to our practitioner technology development.

Technology competency / digital literacy within Student Affairs cannot simply be left to chance. It's not about age or position either. We're lifelong learners and just because someone is younger than you, that doesn't mean that they automatically "get tech."

A question for Student Affairs Graduate Students: What are you currently being taught about technology in your program? And, what would you like to know more about?

A question for Student Affairs Graduate Faculty: What are you currently teaching your SA grad students about technology? What resources are you using? Are you making technology more than a thread?


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