What is your 5-year plan?

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 6.19.17 PMHappy 5th Anniversary to the eighteen and life blog! Thank you for popping in now and again to see what is on my mind and for offering words of encouragement. As I think back over the last half decade, I smile to think of the new friends in my life and the completion of major projects.

For your reading pleasure, I have gathered a few articles that you may have missed over the last week.

University of Kentucky using student data analytics to improve retention rates.

SMU created this video on why to consider a grad program in higher ed. 

Interesting piece on class-sourcing as a teaching strategy.

A study showing that college faculty are increasingly using social media.

Brutalist architecture style on college campuses.

Twitter becoming more popular with teenagers.

PS. Also, wishing Happy 1/2 Birthday to my dear daughter!

Just Say No to Saying No

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When I read yet another article minimizing the value of a college education I am challenged by thoughts of privilege.  Yes, Steve Jobs, an individual I greatly admire, was a college dropout, but at least he had the opportunity to give it a try. Mark Zuckerberg’s intelligence and initiative is without question, but how many students can realistically include Harvard on their college wish list? And then walk away from the opportunity?

I do not discount hard work, enterprise, and determination. But for those of us who are simply above-average, or first-generation, or of a marginalized population, college is the pathway to get a step ahead, a leg up, a move toward potential success. Yes, student loan debt and college costs demand answers, but denying the value of learning, but for an elite few, is not the answer. Just say Go. Go to college.

Transition to College

Jacques Steinberg shared gems of wisdom for soon-to-be first-year college students in The Choice column with Advice on the Transition From Applicant to College Student. It included a recommendation from my friend, W. Houston Dougharty, who advises students to live in the moment and less in their social media updates.

As frequently happens in columns such as this, the best words of counsel came from experienced students who remind first-years to treat college like a full time job and learn to do their own laundry.

Shined in 2009

Your favorite posts at eighteen and life in 2009 were on the friendly discussion that ensued when a training course for Facebook was offered at our university of science and technology. I wrote about my incredulousness of this topic requirement and then captured a similar Twitter conversation between an IT director and professor on our campus. Enjoy.

Media Wisdom of 15-year olds

Morgan Stanley’s European media folks asked their 15-year old intern, Matthew Robson, to share his perspective on the media consumption of his peers and published the resulting paper. Although not data driven or full of new insights, the report does confirm a lot about the listening, viewing, and reading habits of the teenage audience. Texting wins out over Twitter, Facebook is still tops, and no one ever picks up a newspaper. Ever.

Read about it here: How Teenagers Consumer Media

Facebook is not rocket science?

An interesting conversation unfolded on Twitter between two distinguished members of our university. It followed the announcement of a Facebook workshop for faculty and staff that seemed less than timely considering the declining trends of high school and college aged Facebook users, our primary market.

I captured this conversation between a director in the IT academic technology unit and a professor with expertise on K-12 school technology leadership, because it demonstrates the conflict many of us confront when introducing new media and technology in higher education.

[This was a ridiculous blog exercise and there must be an easier way to do this than with screenshots and I am now suffering from carpal tunnel from too much point and click, but I didn’t want to lose such great dialogue!]

What are your thoughts?

Use of abacus and slide rule encouraged

As a reminder that I work for a university of science and technology, the following workshop was announced in a faculty/staff newsletter delivered to campus email accounts this evening.

After piquing people’s curiosity about social networks in last month’s IT seminar, we received requests for a session on how to use Facebook, one of the largest social networking sites. If you’d like to get started on Facebook (or want to know more), this session is for you.

In addition to a Facebook tour, this seminar will present how to register, establish your profile, and find your way around Facebook as well as information on its many features (the wall, groups, fan clubs, settings, photo options, finding friends, third-party applications, etc.). As time permits, you’ll also learn about mobile use and its potential in an academic setting.

Attendees do not need to pre-register. Just bring yourself and your questions.

Dr. Scott McLeod, a professor in our Educational Administration program, summed up my response quite efficiently.

Bonfires of Vanities

Joined the rush to get my new Facebook vanity URL of http://www.facebook.com/DebraSanborn. Regretfully, I cannot set one up for my scholarship program or student exchange program groups as I do not have a fanbase of 1,000 or own trademarks on these names. Hope that Facebook will soon see the advantage of allowing all groups and pages to customize their URL.