Archive for May, 2013
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Like many of my Millennial peers, I am often asked to serve as part-time technician to family, friends, and colleagues. It comes with being a “digital native,” I suppose. Shocking as it may be, however, I am not a walking compendium of quick fixes and antidotes to whatever malady their computer is currently suffering. Rather, I have much more valuable knowledge.
I know how to Google.
I realize that this sounds condescending; please don’t take it that way. Because while you may (and I hope you do) know how to use Google, do you really know how to utilize Google? For many people, the answer is a resounding: No.
Google has a lot of tools that you can use to increase your productivity, organize your life, and even find some entertainment. I personally use Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google+, and a few other products. I even own a Google tablet. I, for one, welcome our new benevolent electronic overlord.
But that’s not what this article is about.
Instead I want to provide three concrete tips on how you, as a higher education or student affairs professional, can best utilize Google to make your life easier.
1) Google can be your dictionary, calculator, and personal assistant.
Try Googling the following strings or phrases:
149 x 14
weather Columbia, MO
sunrise Hanover, NH
Each one of these queries will bring up a different card with specific information for you, without having to click on any links. You can find a full list of these nifty features here.
2) Google Scholar is a vastly underrated tool. Use it.
Many of you probably know that Google Scholar exists. If you can’t find it immediately, you can either search the phrase “Google Scholar” or go to the main page, click on “More” on the top of the page, click on “Even More,” and then scroll down until you see the Scholar link. Here’s a few things you can do with Google Scholar:
Sort by journal, even without a subscription. For instance, here’s the Journal of Higher Education, ranked by most-cited articles.
You can also figure out if your university or public library has access to the journals you’re looking for!
Curious who’s citing your research? Yeah, you can Google that.
Again, check out the Google Scholar support page for more information. For being a completely free service, there are a ton of awesome tools at your disposal.
3) Make your search more efficient with OPERATORS.
More than likely, your average google search looks like this:
ron swanson quotes
map of College Station, TX
taylor lautner llama
These will certainly get you the results you want (and, I promise, enough evidence to support the Taylor Lautner is a llama theory), but what about when things get more complicated? Say I want to search the website IMDB for movies that Kevin Costner has starred in except for Waterworld because, let’s be real, that movie was bad. I could try typing all of that into Google, or I could do this:
site:imdb.com movies + “kevin costner” -waterworld
Check out what that search looks like. How pretty is that? So I imagine you’re wondering what I just did and what those strange symbols are. Well, here’s a rundown of a few of the symbols and actions that Google calls operators.
This command lets you search a specific website. In the example above, we limited our results to IMDB.
Quotation marks will tell Google to only give you results with that entire phrase. So if I hadn’t used the quotations in the example, I might have accidentally gotten a Kevin Bacon movie.
The tilde will give you results Google thinks are related to your phrase. So if you type ~water, the first result is water but the second result, interestingly, is river. Neat.
The minus sign, as seen above, tells Google to get rid of any results with that phrase. So, again, Waterworld is iffy and I didn’t want any of that.
Placing two dots in between two years (e.g. 2001..2010) will give you results from only a certain year range. This is especially helpful when using Google Scholar.
Combine these, and other, operators together in a search, or query, and you can add a new level of precision to your results.
Now, this is only a small, small sample of what Google is capable of. Especially as you incorporate more and more services from Google into your life, things get more interconnected (we’re not here, though, to discuss whether this is good or bad).
The big takeaway, though, is this: technological literacy is, like anything else, a skill. The more you research, the more you practice, and the more you try new things, the better you’ll get. I didn’t learn these tricks overnight, it took dedicated trial and error and a bit of research on the side. It takes time and it takes being wrong, but these skills are too important to just remain stagnant. I hope that you found some helpful tips and new ideas in this post, and happy Googling!
“I Want to Work with More Women” http://blog.dwolla.com/i-want-to-work-with-more-women/ …
And for those of you who may have missed it, the SATech chat is on hiatus for a couple of weeks. Be sure to check back in June for more information!
#satech chat is on hiatus until June. Check back the first week of June to join us discussing tech in student affairs. Happy spring!
You may recognize Michael Wesch‘s name if you have been online within the past six years. If you are an educator, you SHOULD recognize the name Wesch. Besides being an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, Dr. Wesch has received numerous teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities. He has been dubbed “The Explainer” by Wired Magazine, in addition to receiving their Rave award. He was honored with the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology. He was named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also published videos on culture, technology, and education that have been viewed over 20 million times, translated in over 20 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide.
My first exposure to Dr. Wesch came around 2008, when a colleague turned me on to two of his most viewed YouTube creations: “The Machine is Us/ing Us” (1,588,676 views), about the effects of social media and digital technology on society, and “A Vision of Students Today” (4,829,666 views), about the most important characteristics of students today – how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, and the challenges they will experience in their lifetime. These videos made a tremendous impact on me — sure they are thoughtful and entertaining, but what really struck me was the means by which Dr. Wesch created these short masterpieces. “The Machine…” was created in his Kansas basement for a Digital Ethnography class and sent to ten colleagues for feedback and collaboration. According to his blog, four days after posting to YouTube, the video was the most blogged about in the blogosphere, eventually reaching over 11 million views. The short film touched on a sweet spot of our culture — short enough to be accessible to many, relevant enough to peek anyone’s curiosity, yet intellectual enough to stand up against both criticism and online trend-ism.
Michael Wesch’s next film sensation, “A Vision of Students Today” has inspired my own aspirations as an educator. Dr. Wesch quickly transitioned from the power of a short film story that inspires students through raising questions, to the creation of a short film that inspires students through directly involving them in the sort of questions that are raised. In “A Vision…”, Dr. Wesch collaborated with 200 students to produce the film in his Digital Ethnography course. The story is basically a summary of his incredibly designed learning process… a result that leaves us with even more questions that beg students and teachers to collaborate together toward exploring answers and raising more questions.
“Some have suggested that technology (alone) can save us…”
After addressing a number of the overwhelming social problems facing students today, “A Vision…” shares a quotation that technology may be the answer, ominously transitioning to a quotation that technology ALONE can save us, and finally, with good self-aware humor, raises the quotation from Josiah F. Bumstead “The inventor of the system deserves to be ranked among the best contributors to learning and science, if not the greatest benefactors of mankind.” …a quote made in 1841 on the benefits of the chalkboard. Therein lies the brilliance of Michael Wesch and the foundation for his firmly rooted place as my favorite “Tech Geek.” While he does not over-inflate technology as the key to our salvation in the realm of Higher Education, he appropriately identifies it’s power for inviting students in to a question and a story. He leverages the cultural relevance that using technology has to contribute, yet maintains his focus on it’s power as an educational tool lying in it’s ability to INVOLVE students in the process of learning, both receiving and creating new knowledge.
Two recent tweets from Dr. Wesch illuminate these aspects of his success as an educator. One outlining his slight tendency toward the radical, emotional, and interactive (as well as the power of short meme-oriented multimedia question-raising, in this case for a local school district). The second tweet demonstrating his mastery of involving students in the exploration of questions and experiences while maintaining a purposeful project-based intent that does not leave the student wandering, wondering what to make of their journey with no clear destination (the destination in this case being, of course, learning first, but more secondly and more tangibly recognizable for Undergraduate students, a video documentary).
*Another good article about Michael Wesch and his views on the use of technology in Higher Education is available in the Chronicle of Higher Ed: “A Tech-Happy Professor Reboots After Hearing His Teaching Advice Isn’t Working” (2/12/2012)
#satech } Now Google Wants To Kill The Mobile Web (Good Riddance) by @owenthomas http://readwrite.com/2013/05/15/now-google-wants-to-kill-the-mobile-web … via @RWW
The evolving role of a CIO – or any other IT leadership position. http://www.techjournal.org/2013/05/cio-role-evolving-more-influence-but-less-control/ …
Forget inbox zero. How close are you to notification zero? http://www.informationdiet.com/blog/read/notifications-are-evil …
And don’t forget about today’s #SAChat!
Wow. “Planning Intentional Collaboration with Faculty” wins in our topic poll in a close finish! Join us today at 12 Central for
I was recently doing a search on Higher Ed technology blogs, just to see who all is out there making waves in our world, and I have to say that I am really impressed with the pieces being published! Have you taken the time to peruse the web recently? Here are some of our favorite blogs (other than ours, of course) that you should not miss!
- Eric Stoller on Inside Higher Ed
- Eric Stoller (@ericstoller), a nationally known thought-leader, speaker, and consultant on using social media in higher education to create connections and enhance communication.
- Kristendom Talks Tech
- Kristen Abell (@kristendom), Director of Residential Life at the University of Missouri-Kansas City
- On the Go with Ed Cabellon
- Ed Cabellon (@EdCabellon), Director of the Campus Center at Bridgewater State University
- TechKNOW Tools
- Laura Pasquini (@laurapasquini), PhD Student and Higher Ed Professional at the University of North Texas
- Student Affairs & Technology Leadership
- Joe Sabado (@JoeSabado), Associate Director for Information Systems and Software Development in Student Information Systems and Technology (SIST) within the Division of Student Affairs at UC Santa Barbara
- Student Affairs Women Talk Tech
- Various Bloggers (@sawomentech)
Are there other tech blogs that you follow?
#satech #sachat } INFOGRAPHIC: Optimizing Images To Get Through Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm http://allfacebook.com/infographic-optimizing-images-to-get-through-facebooks-news-feed-algorithm_b116950 … (via @allfacebook)
Check out this
@Guidebook #whitepaper on the benefits of mobile apps for orientations & campus events: http://pages.guidebook.com/campus_event_white_paper … #satech