Ever wonder if you share too much on Twitter? Andrew Careaga introduced me to a clever little application that creates a cloud of your Tweets. (He knows a lot about music too, you should follow his blog if you are not already.)

Reviewing the most frequent word of my last year in Twitter, student, has me pondering a career in student affairs. Any thoughts on that?

Happy New Year!

New socks. Two socks. Whose socks?

There are some days that throw us off balance. How we react to those days is how we define ourselves.

We are in the midst of a One Week of Twitter assignment in our first-year seminar class. This is my favorite tweet of the week (so far).

May you wear no socks in the shower today.

Happy Anniversary #SACHAT

We celebrate a year of #SACHAT this week, our regular water cooler gathering of student affairs colleagues. Each Thursday we take time to pause in our busy workday to share thoughts, ideas, best practices, gripes, and whatever else in 140 characters.

It has been transforming (and frequently laugh out loud funny!) to read the touching accounts of our community members reflecting on their #SACHAT experience. I recall the blank stare that I likely gave Tom Krieglstein when he pitched this brainstorm over a cup of coffee in late summer 2009. The path that we have traveled in such a short time is amazing.

I was certain that I would expound something about MBTI and Type here, but really, at #SACHAT, we are about sharing resources. We are about Challenge and Support (shout out to Nevitt Sanford). And most of all, we are about community. So it is easy to connect what we do to Ernest Boyer and his six principles of community.

The #SACHAT community is…

Purposeful: We share goals to develop our colleagues, our students and ourselves.

Open: Freedom of expression is uncompromisingly protected and civility is affirmed.

Just: Individuals are honored and our differences are what make us great.

Disciplined: Individuals accept their obligations to the group and guide behavior for the common good.

Caring: #SACHAT is a place where the well being of each member is supported and where service to others is encouraged.

Celebrative: We know why we ritually gather around computers, laptops and Smartphones each Thursday at Noon and 6:00 p.m. CST for this goat rodeowhich has become our student affairs tradition. It is why we celebrate this entire week. And it is why we don’t believe anyone who claims social networks have “weak ties”.

Lurk, Learn, Drink the Kool-Aid.

Love to you all,


Finding your Student Affairs compass

We speak a lot about the meteoric rise of student affairs professionals communicating on Twitter. Within #SACHAT, our participant numbers have grown 500% since our October 2009 debut. We have so many colleagues engaged that we had to add a second chat time three months into the venture. Our #SACHAT meet-ups are occurring around the spring professional conferences and organically as our student affairs family find themselves in similar locations.

I had an opportunity to meet several of our #SACHAT friends in conjunction with the ACUI conference and spent some time exploring New York City with one of those friends. We made a day of it, walking and sharing stories, stopping for lunch, shopping a bit, and before you knew it, found ourselves uncertain how to make our way back to the car. We stood at a busy street corner, attempting to get our bearings. We asked a passerby for directions and then headed off to find our way. After covering quite a few more blocks and not yet seeing any landmarks leading to the car, it dawned on me that I could use the map function on my phone to aid our quest. This handy little GPS tool is not essential for navigation in my small Midwest city, so I had forgotten that I had it.

We determined our present location, entered an address for the parking garage, and lo and behold, walking directions were magically provided. So, we started out again in the direction of our vehicle, enjoying the city scenery, chatting, and enjoying the day. Only to miss a turn and get off track, again. Ah, but this time we had the map and directions. We backtracked, paid more attention to our map, and finally made our way back to the car.

Early in my student affairs career, I found easy ways to network with colleagues. I joined professional organizations, served on committees, and chatted regularly with colleagues at other institutions as we planned trainings and conferences. As I advanced in my career, it seems that I lost some of those opportunities, as my own work required more of my time and focus. At some point along the way, I lost track of most of my network, also losing the community that helped me brainstorm and recharge with energy and new ideas.

Then along comes a social networking tool like Twitter and fun little communities such as the Student Affairs Blog and #SACHAT. Once again, I am linked with other professionals, sharing ideas, and learning new ways to do things. I am engaged in building a community that challenges and inspires me. It is a community that grew through social network technology and like a GPS, helped me find my way.

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.

Divine 2009…Zen 2010?

Reflecting on 2009, there is much to celebrate, but many more reasons to be excited for the year ahead.

Adventures in student success and the first-year seminar: I may have mentioned a time or two that I work with the best students in the world. They challenge and inspire me every day of the year. I love my job.
Road trip with 120 students
Digital Storytelling Project
Tom Krieglstein
Vernon Wall
Marshmallow Wars

Adventures in Student Affairs: With tight budgets and reduced funding, most of my professional development in 2009 did not cost a cent. I interact daily with wonderful student affairs professionals and treasure their connections.
Class with John Schuh

Adventures in Type: I made inspiring connections through MBTI and the Association for Psychological Type International (APTi) in 2009 and volunteered for some new professional duties.
APTi Conference
Vice President for Professional Development, APTi eChapter
Director of Communications, APTi
Collaboration with Dan Robinson

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland

Twitter me this…tools for campus

Found a great list of tools for utilizing Twitter in the classroom this week. Many of these applications would be fun for first-year seminar activities, but I think I may do some investigating for adding a dimension to our peer leadership course.

What is your experience with Twitter in the classroom? Any favorites on this list?

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?