Current Student Affairs Technology Events: Twitter & NASPA

From my vantage point as someone who is deeply interested in student affairs and technology but not currently immersed in them (my classwork, research, and assistantship keep me quite busy!), here are some “current events” that are on my radar:

  1. The Twitter group using the #sachat hashtag continues to grow in size and popularity.  What began as a once-weekly discussion among a few dozen folks has now expanded to two weekly discussions among over a hundred folks and significant activity outside of the scheduled hours.  They’re a very friendly and resourceful group and even if you don’t actively participate you should check in on them periodically to learn from them.  I am not participating in these discussions as I am formally analyzing the group’s discussions and I don’t want to “contaminate” the data by actively participating.  But you should jump in and join the discussions!  The group has even provided an introduction and instructions if you’re new to Twitter.
  2. NASPA’s Technology Knowledge Community has put together a list of all of the technology-related programs at the upcoming NASPA Annual Conference.  There are many interesting sessions on the program and it’s unfortunate that so many are scheduled at the same time forcing us to choose between them.  I’ll be at many of the programs so please say hello if you see me!
  3. On Sunday, March 9, NASPA’s Technology Knowledge Community and Administrators in Graduate and Professional Student Services Knowledge Community are presenting a pre-conference session entitled “Tweet: Point-Click-Connect to Graduate Student and Adult Learners.”  The program description:

    This full day workshop at Northwestern University will focus on the ways student affairs professionals can communicate with graduate students and adult learners using technology.Workshop attendees will review the various social networking sites students are utilizing, learn more about the impact of these communication tools on adult learners, and discuss ways to maintain a personal connection in light of automation.Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss hot topics and share best practices from their own campuses.

    Not only does the content sound exciting but the format is also exciting as this program will be offered simultaneously online.  I think this is the first time that NASPA has done this and it’s wonderful to see their willingness to try something new that will give non-attendees a chance to participate and learn.  More information, including the costs and registration instructions, are on the Technology KC’s website.

I wish that:

  1. There were a listing of technology-related sessions at ACPA.  (I really wish we would get this unification started and over with so I could stop splitting my attention and money between two nearly-identical organizations but that’s off-topic.)  I know, I know – I could put together such a listing myself.  But I’m not going to ACPA this year and I’m not terribly keen on diving that deeply into the program of a conference I’m not attending.  It would be very depressing to read about all of the really cool things that will occur that I can not attend. :)
  2. NASPA’s Technology Knowledge Community and the #sachat folks would link up.  It would give them both some excellent resources and energy.  It would give #sachat an immediate formal link to NASPA and access to some its resources.  And it would give the Technology KC access to a group of very excited, experienced, and knowledgeable student affairs professionals who are actively using technology in an exciting and innovative way.  This seems like a very obvious and easy connection to make and I am a bit confused why it hasn’t already occurred.
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  • Cindy

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m one of the #sachat people… thanks so much for the shout outs! I agree that it’s a logical connection with NASPA, but I’ll venture a guess to say that the reasons the connections haven’t been made are varied:
    – Not all of us are NASPA members
    – Not all of us are even aware of the Technology KC
    – Not all of us are even “experienced” as you reference above and may have our professional ties to other associations that are more tied to our areas of focus on campus. (i.e. ACUI, NACA, ACUHO-I, etc.)

    The folks using the @NASPATweets account have recently been active in participating and that has been great to see. I’m confident that this will expand into some great new directions over the course of the coming year now that more folks are getting more familiar with Twitter and what it can offer. I was a Twitter newbie and very reluctant myself to get involved and now thanks to #sachat I can’t imagine not using it!

    Good luck with your research and see you around Twitter!

    Cindy Kane
    (@cindykane)

  • http://edcabellon.com Ed Cabellon

    Kevin, I’ve stumbled upon your site and really like it! I agree with Cindy’s points above and think that a natural connection would be with the student affairs technology KC. It seems that each major association has a group of these folks (passionate technology practitioners of technology in student affairs), but all are not connected.

    Perhaps this could be something we could do cross associations? Frankly, it already is being done now over #SAchat.

    Thanks so much, best wishes in your research and hope to connect on Twitter!

    Best,
    Ed Cabellon
    @EdCabellon