Three very recent publications in student affairs literature discuss technology:
- I have a brief article in the current issue of Leadership Exchange, NASPA’s quarterly magazine for senior student affairs officers. The article is entitled “The Offline Challenges of Online Video” (which is a much better title than the one I had for it) and it’s in the Technology Center section. NASPA members can access entire volumes of Leadership Exchange via the NASPA website after logging in. For those who are not NASPA members, here is the article as it was submitted to the editor; it was substantially shortened and the references removed as befitting the type of publication and audience. We were hoping the article would serve as a small promotional or awareness piece for the NASPA Technology Knowledge Community but I think that link got lost in the editorial process. It’s also worth noting that the article was written before the University of Florida “Don’t taze me bro!” incident that was captured and spread via YouTube.
- M. Leslie Sadle discusses Facebook in a NASPA NetResults article entitled “Freedom and Responsibility: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Facebook Users.” The article is available to NASPA member. If enough people express interest to the author, perhaps he or she will release it in a publicly-available location (when I last published a NetResults article, I was not asked to sign over copyright to NASPA).
- David M. Eberhardt also discusses Facebook in “Facing up to Facebook” in the current issue of AboutCampus. It’s an ACPA publication that is mailed to all ACPA members and I don’t know if it’s available online.
The problem I have with all three of these articles, including mine, is that they are descriptive and theoretical. We’ve been spending way too much time making predictions and theorizing and far too little time conducting the necessary research to see if our predictions and theories hold water. That’s the primary reason I quit my full-time job to return to school full-time and earn a PhD: to stop guessing and waving my hands in the air and start conducting research so I can start saying something with some level of assuredness. I acknowledge and embrace the necessary role played by these and similar articles but I have a burning desire and need to move beyond them to formal experimentation and observation. Now I just need to make the time, money, and patience to follow through…