If you're still building your schedule for this year's NASPA Annual Conference, please take a look at some of the sessions that are definitely going to be packed with technology, social media, digital identity and/or futurist convos:
Monday, March 17:
- 8:30AM -- Virtual Advising: No Parking? No Problem. How Technology can take the hassle out of getting a tassel: Looks like this is the go-to session for "virtual" advising information, strategy, and tactics(however, can we just call it "advising" from now on?).
- 10:00AM -- Development and Creation of a Virtual Student Success Team: A nice follow-up to the advising session...again, let's remove "virtual" and just start serving all students with equal amounts of awesome.
- 10:00AM -- Engagement 3.0: Providing online support for a culture of 24/7: If the Student Success Team doesn't meet your needs, it looks like this session might be a great fit. As an added interactive bonus, participants will get to engage via the web with students from Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania.
- 10:00AM -- Student Affairs, MOOCs and an Era of Education Disruption- The changing ed landscape and how it ultimately benefits Student Affairs: There are always too many amazing sessions at NASPA. I may need to teleport from room to room.
- 10:00AM -- Teaching and Training with Social Media and Technology: Paul Gordon Brown is a great presenter. If you're interested in teaching/training with social media, you should definitely attend this session.
- 11:05AM -- #CivicEngagement: Social Media and College Student Activism: I'm hoping for a massive dose of current events from this session. It's not often that the chance to infuse the present gets slipped into a session. Plus, we rarely hear enough about radical activism at our conferences.
- 11:05AM -- Blogging Bravely: I wish they had titled this session: Having an Opinion in Student Affairs and Posting it on a Blog Requires Bravery. Blogging doesn't really require a lot of courage. However, doing what these folks do on a regular basis - crafting thoughtful posts that challenge and support people - requires a good amount of boldness.
- 11:05AM -- Student Affairs: A Profession or Just Professionals?: While it's not really a technology-focused session, the title is catchy and it looks like there will be an opportunity to discuss the future (cough - technology competency - cough) of the field.
- 1:15PM -- A featured talk by George Siemens: He's kind of a big deal when it comes to technology and education. I highly recommend attending this session.
- 1:15PM -- Identifying, Centralizing, and Simplifying: Using Student Performance and Behavior Data to Maximize Outreach Efforts: It's a long title and it has a colon...Plus, it sounds like a nifty session on using data and analytics to create dashboards for academic advisors. High tech, high touch? Count me in.
- 3:40PM -- How to Lose a Follower in 10 Days: Strategies for (not) Building a Successful Social Media Presence: I tend to lose followers within an hour or two...However, I'm always up for a social media strategy session.
- 3:40PM -- On-line and Transparent: Defining Current Issues for Women in Student Affairs Through Social Media: "Come find out what we learned via an analysis of association-sponsored social media platforms, and from women themselves, about issues important to student affairs women today." This will be a great session...Julie Payne-Kirchmeier and Amber Garrison Duncan will provide useful information, humor, and wisdom.
Tuesday, March 18:
- 8:30AM -- Challenges and Opportunities for Student Affairs Work in a Web 2.0 World: Sounds like this session will feature an intriguing look at "cyber antagonism." If only this session wasn't during the same time as the featured session on the Future of Student Affairs Graduate Preparation Programs (8:40AM). I may need to flip a coin...
- 9:00AM -- #HashtagNYU Poster Session: The folks at NYU have done a phenomenal job with using social media to build community. It's a poster session. Go over and say hello. You have the chance to learn a lot from these fine folks.
- 10:00AM -- Enhancing Student Success in Online Higher Education: Findings for the NASPA-UPCEA-InsideTrack Study: There are a wide variety of sessions this year for folks who want to learn more about the future of student affairs and online education. Take your pick!
- 10:00AM -- Supporting at-risk students online: If you're interested in supporting all of the students who attend your campus, then this session looks promising. There are scores of online-only students out there who need student affairs practitioners to provide tremendous amounts of support (with a dash of challenge).
- 11:05AM -- A Way Forward for the University in a Digital Age: Another selection from Paul Gordon Brown. He's a thought-leader and he typically does a great job with his slide decks. If you can't attend his other session, definitely try to make it to this one.
- 11:05AM -- Orientation for Online Students: A Graduate and Professional School Perspective: In the near future, I'm hopeful that, similar to responsive design for webpages, our orientation programs will be nimble enough to support on-campus, blended, and online-only learners.
- 1:15PM -- Captain of the Canoe: Leading a One Man Office with FREE Digital Resources: While I'm not entirely a fan of nautical pursuits, this session is intriguing due to its focus on being efficient and competent with relevant technologies.
- 1:15PM -- Civility in Cyberspace: Educating Students on Social Media Responsibility: I'm always hopeful that this type of discussion will focus on behaviors and not platforms. Social media didn't create cyberbullying, it merely amplifies and sometimes anonymizes it.
- 1:15PM -- Creating a Mobile App for Student Engagement: Sounds fairly straightforward - if you want to learn more about mobile app creation and strategy - attend this session.
- 1:15PM -- Social Media Use During the Transition Into and Through the First Year of College: First year students, social media, some research, and a sense of belonging. Why are so many awesome sessions at the same time?!?!
- 1:15PM -- The Student Engagement Puzzle: Piecing Together Divisional Student Involvement Data using Technology: Looks like a great session for those of us who want to learn more about doing big things with our data.
- 2:20PM -- Student Success: Actively Engaging and Retaining the Virtual Student: Engaging online-only students (let's not call them virtual..after all, they are quite real) in "community-based programs." One of the best aspects about most of the sessions that focus on online-only learners is that the same tactics/strategies can be used for on-campus students. Coming soon to a division near you: Blended Student Affairs.
- 2:20PM -- Supporting students in virtual academic communities: Student Affairs Online: "With more than 6 million students taking courses online, student affairs professionals need to know how to serve this virtual community." I think that's a compelling reason to attend this session.
- 3:25PM -- Revealing Reflections: There’s No Battery in This Tree: I love spending time unplugged and in a yurt as much as the next person. Note, that isn't sarcasm. However, do we have to polarize things like this? With this session, I have questions...and that's usually a great reason to attend. Also, is it okay if I live-tweet this one?
- 3:25PM -- Utilizing Data at Every Level: I've never heard of a student affairs division that was doing too much assessment. Data-driven decision-making is crucial to the future of the student affairs profession.
Wednesday, March 19:
- 8:40AM -- There is an APP for that! Engaging Students in the Virginia Tech Aspirations for Student Learning Curriculum: A different kind of app from a forward-thinking student affairs division. Wake up folks, it's early, but there's still a wide array of sessions to attend.
- 8:40AM -- The Digital Native Debate: Exploring the role generational characteristics and other factors play in the digital literacy of college students: The winner for the longest session title goes to... Any way, I love the premise of this session because it debunks the notion that all students are savvy with technology. We need to have more conversations about digital literacy in higher education / student affairs.
- 8:40AM -- Parallel Universes Online and Off: Meeting Students Where They Are When Social Media and Identity Development Collide: "[I]mplications for the future role of student affairs in technology rich learning contexts." Where do I sign up? This session sounds great!
- 8:40AM -- Connecting with the virtual student #makingitwork: A session that talks about an online orientation program and a strategic social media presence...another gem in a sea of technology-related awesomeness.
I'm fairly certain that this year's NASPA Annual Conference has the largest number of technology-oriented sessions in the history of the association. It's no longer about scarcity...this is the year of #SAtech-abundance!
This year, I am extremely fortunate to be able to co-present with Evan Baum from Starfish Retention Solutions. Our session at 3:40PM on Monday is all about deconstructing and analyzing organizational change / a re-thinking of best practices in student affairs.
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