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Threads and Spools - Where do we go from here?
December 9, 2010 - 12:00pm

This past July, I wrote a post titled "Technology needs to be more than a 'thread.'" The post generated a fair amount of discussion. I have read everyone’s comments, seen a few tweets, and even received a couple of emails. It would seem that technology in student affairs is an issue that we in the profession need to discuss at length.

In the “thread” post, I mentioned that technology cannot be a thread if the spool is empty. While I appreciate the concept that technology runs throughout all of the functional areas and competencies of student affairs, the technology threads have to come from somewhere.

When and where do student affairs professionals learn about technology? Is it in their graduate programs? Or perhaps at the occasional conference session? I know what you’re read this blog (and several other student affairs technology blogs) to stay abreast of student affairs technology issues that are relevant to the profession. While I appreciate my readers (I love it when you comment!), I feel that student affairs folks need more. We need more publications that feature articles on innovative uses of technology within student affairs. We need the CAS Standards to list Technology as a functional area (Yes, I think it needs its own area). NASPA has a technology knowledge community. Are you a member? ACPA members are talking about trying to form a technology commission. We are generating some momentum.

The student affairs technology community is unique in that while we may be small in number, we are very loud about #SAtech (this is our hashtag, roar!). Knowledge of technology does not just appear out of thin air.

Threads can be used to weave amazing tapestries. I want to take a critical look at the spool. How do we fill our technology spools with knowledgeable and vibrant threads? Does it matter if we don’t call it a competency? I have no issue with conceding the semantic front. Long live technology as a thread. Now, where do we go from here?

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