Archive for August, 2013

#SATech Tweets of the Week!

NASPA Technology KC@NASPA_TKC 23h

World’s first synchronous massive online course (SMOC)  #satech

Lisa Endersby@lmendersby 27 Aug

Should social media etiquttte be discussed at first year Orientation? (cc: @ammamarfo)  #satech #sachat #GPharvard

Laura Pasquini@laurapasquini 26 Aug

Use This Site To Delete Old Accounts You Don’t Use Anymore : All Tech Considered : NPR  #satech #advtech

CB@cmbutler 26 Aug

Teens Actually Care About Their Mobile Privacy  #sachat #satech

Ed Cabellon@EdCabellon 19 Aug

{ Nice quotes from @ReyJunco, #SAtech } How to reach the many offline students #HigherEd …


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Why Accommodation will never get us where we need to go: Shared responsibility for ensuring usability is vital for technology in education

Technology is absolutely core to education today, but unfortunately, for a majority of student affairs professionals, the accessibility related aspects of that technology use remain an untapped potential. We are using technology…a lot…but we are also running the risk of missing the mark when we choose to use technology without recognizing the degree to which we can be creating or mitigating barriers in the process.

Our recent Survey of Technology Usage in Student Affairs, found that of the 315 individuals who responded, 99.5% reported no use of accessibility related tech tools. This is, or should be, shocking.  And clearly, from a scan of the guidance coming from the Department of Justice, it will need to change.

For those who haven’t seen it, take a look at exhibit 1 from the recent Louisiana Tech settlement which requires the school to ensure that “all technology, including websites, instructional materials and online courses, and other electronic and information technology for use by students or prospective students, is accessible.”  

Luckily, we don’t have to guess at what “accessible” means, because the Department of Education’s agreement with the South Carolina Technical College System in March 2013 already laid it out, stating  that “‘Accessible’ means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use.”

What’s interesting is that this isn’t actually a new requirement. We have been obligated to ensure our programs as a whole are accessible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It’s just that in the past, colleges and universities were able to designate Disability Services as the area responsible for handling accommodation, and business could proceed as usual.

Now, our educational delivery approaches have shifted substantially, such that many of us are providing access to critical services and learning opportunities through web based offerings that are available 24/7.  Given that accessible means equally effective and equally integrated, it becomes clear that we can no longer rely on the accommodation process alone. It simply won’t work. If we wait until users encounter barriers and report the problem, by the time Disability Services can come up with a retrofit, it is already too late. The truth is that if it is online, it needs to be built right to start.

The good news is that meeting this challenge can actually help us reach our institutional goals. The accessibility features that make tech work for people who experience disability also tend to make tech work better for all of us.  For example, when we add subtitle tracks to multimedia content, we are providing information that is needed by individuals who are Deaf, but it also becomes possible to translate the text into another language, or use the interactive transcript to search for a key word. Accessibility features aren’t just helpful for those with disabilities; they are helpful for a wide range of users, and the fact that so many of us in Student Affairs aren’t using them as part of standard business presents a tremendous opportunity.

Projects like GOALS – Gaining Online Accessible Learning through Self-Study can serve as really helpful frameworks for institutions that are ready to shift practice from a model in which Disability Services is expected to address all disability related student needs, to a model in which accessibility is understood to be a shared responsibility.

The exciting part is that as Student Affairs professionals we have the potential to help lead the way. We can advocate for the policies, training, and resource alignment necessary to truly meet student needs. When we choose to do so, when we choose to view accessibility as part of our business, not just the business of Disability Services, we help to ensure our institutions are better able to innovate with technology in ways that minimize the risk of creating barriers for the student we are intending to serve.

Kaela Parks is Disability Services Director at Portland Community College. She has developed and taught an accessible multimedia service learning course and can be reached at

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#SATech Tweets of the Week!

Teri Bump@tbump 21 Aug

#NASPA tech revamped! Ck it out!  #satech #sachat

Matthew Brinton@mcbrinton 21 Aug

My annual “man I am old” reminder. Thanks @Beloit_College.  #sachat #sadoc #sagrad #sapros #satech

NASPA@NASPAtweets 20 Aug

Have you registered for #NASPA8bit yet? The early-bird deadline is Sept. 6! Don’t miss this brand new event:  #SAtech

Josh Kohnert@JoshKohnert 19 Aug

Just started reading, “The Idea of the Digital University” and all I have to say is, “WOW” #satech #ReinventEDUKristen Abell@kristendom 19 Aug

Some great thoughts on digital identity management: Controlling Your Web Destiny | Inside Higher Ed  #satech


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Walls, Credentials, Balloons, Glasses, Digital Stories, ePortfolios, and Everything in between.

We need to look at the writing on the wall: the days of standing in front of a classroom full of students and delivering a lecture full of interesting, important, and useful information are coming to an end.

Don’t believe me?  Go in to a college classroom in which the instructor is delivering a lecture. Are the students listening intently? If you were to stand next to the instructor, how many eyes could you see focused on you?  Chances are, many of the students will be texting, posting, tweeting, reading updates, planning dates in a calendar… and if you’re lucky, maybe they are even typing notes in to their device. The point being: They are PLUGGED IN. Information is everywhere and students no longer need to rely on the college professor to obtain it.

So…what do students need now from college?  Besides the obvious answer of CREDENTIALS. What today’s students really need is PRACTICE.   Students need higher education to practice higher level skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, communicating and how to work together with an increasingly diverse group of others, not just passive listening.

Access to such an incredible body of information and diverse set of tools is going to continue to grow – as will our access to it. Online access increasingly is EVERYWHERE and ALL THE TIME.

Students no longer need to KNOW information, they need more tacit skills like how to FIND, SORT, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE, and CREATE.  Online technology tools can help us to bridge gaps between education, career, and community — if we use them effectively. Doing this takes practice and coaching.

So what do we, in higher education, need to do?

#1) We need to practice using the tools ourselves.

I’ve included a few fun online tools, apps, and info sources that I use to help you get started…

  • Zite: This is a news aggregator App for your phone/handheld device. It begins by asking you to identify some key-words that you are interested in. For example, “Educational Technology,” “Seattle,” “Productivity,” “Digital Storytelling,” and “Bible” were a few of mine — the terms do not necessarily need to be related to one another. The site then pulls together a list of news stories, online articles, blog posts, etc. related to those topics. You can then select any title from the list to read and then rate — thumbs up or thumbs down. The site takes into account your preferences as you choose to read and rate these news articles and becomes ‘smart’ — placing articles it believes you will enjoy most at the top of the list. The more that you read and rate, the ‘smarter’ the service becomes at finding articles that you would like. We have seen a similar phenomena on the Pandora music App.  This is a great way to focus your reading on areas in which you would like to grow your expertise while still maintaining some diversity in this sources you read from!
  • Pixlr: This is a website (though also has some Apps that I have not tried yet) for online photo editing. While there are many online photo editing sites out there, this one is currently in the lead. If you have ever used Adobe Photoshop (it has been the industry standard for editing photos for YEARS), then the “Advanced” section of Pixlr will come easy for you. It is basically a FREE and ONLINE version of the very pricey ($400 +/-) photoshop software. If you are not familiar with Photoshop, the “Efficient” or “Playful” sections may be more your style. Either way, this online tool has made sophisticated photo editing and manipulation sooo easy. Spice up a photo with some effects, do some basic cropping or add text, or get fancy and ‘photoshop’ your face in to a famous photograph. Learning this tool can do WONDERS for your website or blog that is currently so text-heavy and boring that you are the only one reading it.
  • Visual DNA: This website claims “Our technology helps people to understand themselves better and businesses to understand their customers.” I would not disagree with them. Try taking their visual personality test ( or assessing your strengths through images ( You may also want to read some of “The Understanding Blog” that frames some complex psychological research in to some easy-to-understand ideas.

#2) We need to share our best practices, our preferred tools (and how we use them), our favorite sources of information (articles, blogs, videos) in order to focus on quality time online without getting lost in the blackhole of quantity time online.

Here’s a tip: Make a list of what you intend to accomplish with your online time before you dive in – then refer back to your list frequently – are you on a tangent?

  • Michael Wesch: Everything that this Cultural Anthropology Professor at Kansas State University creates is GOLD. Dr. Wesch was dubbed “the explainer” by Wired magazine, has won MANY teaching awards, including the CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year, and was named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic (how cool is that?). His videos on culture, technology, and education have been viewed over 20 million times and translated in over 20 languages. Watch them on his YouTube page:
  • TED ED and Khan Academy: While this concept still has a lot of growing and refining to do before it reaches it’s potential, both TED Talks have been a HUGE hit and source of interesting, useful, contemporary, and relevant information for students and educators alike. Khan Academy also exploded when Bill Gates (the Microsoft one) told reporters that he used the site to teach his kids. These sites attempt to take videos or online lectures and associate them with assignments… “Flipping the Classroom” so to speak. The TED Radio Hour can help you understand concept this if you are not already familiar:
  • TED Talks, Pecha Kucha and other forms of Storytelling: Storytelling is the oldest form of education. There is a Native American Proverb that says “Tell me a fact and I’ll learn, tell me a truth and I’ll believe, tell me a story and I’ll remember it forever.” Here are a few of my favorite education-oriented talks and stories:
    Sugata Mitra: Unstoppable Learning
    Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action / the power of WHY / the Golden Circle
    Mike Busch: The Most Valuable Skill (Pecha Kucha Talk)

#3) We need to experiment.

#4) We need to attend events and activities outside of our bubbles.

#5) We need to have fun with all this.

Stay tuned… there is more to come! I have run out of time, but will be populating the final three “need to’s” on my list soon. Please help me! Add comments below with your favorite tools, talks, websites, apps, news sources, ways of finding community events to go to, experiments with online technology, and any generally fun links or sources of related information that you think our readers would enjoy!   LET’S COLLABORATE ON THIS FOLKS! We want our students to do it so let’s model the way!

Thanks for reading!
Matt Wojo

Matt Wojciakowski (Wojo) is a Student Engagement Coordinator with the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center in the Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity at the University of Washington and the NASPA Region V Technology KC Coordinator. Read more about him by visiting

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#SATech Tweets of the Week

Craig W. Beebe@craigbeebe 5m

#satech #TeamAndroid – Smartphones Finally Outsell Dumbphones, And Android’s Responsible | Cult of Android …

Ed Cabellon@EdCabellon 3h

{ For all my #HigherEd #SAchat colleagues using FB Fan Pages! #SAtech } Social Media Spec Guide  (via @visually)

Torry B-B@TorryBruce 7h

It’s the new pencil @VP_PDay RT @clconzen: 5 Reasons You Should Utilize Twitter for Student Services  #SATech

Josh Kohnert@JoshKohnert 9h

{Love This!!} 60 Inspiring Examples of Twitter in the Classroom: … #satech #edtech

Josie Ahlquist@josieahlquist 13 Aug

College Student Digital Identity Education Begins in High School  #satech #digitaleducation

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Grazing and Digging: Research in the Digital Library

While I could rant and wail about the seemingly drastic decline in visits to neighbourhood libraries and the waning interest in ‘real’ books (remember, the ones made of trees?), I wanted to focus this post on mining for information online. Whether for strictly academic purposes or to prove a point in a heated argument about who starred in that obscure movie only you and one other friend watched, search engines and keystrokes have begun replacing bookshelves and highlighters in our quest for knowledge. In an increasingly crowded digital library, where do you start?

The ‘drink through a firehose’ metaphor is an apt description of the use of many different online mediums, including Twitter and other social media platforms. A quick search for “student development theory” on Google can net close to 40,000 results almost instantaneously, evoking the same overwhelming feeling. Too often, we rely heavily on Google and other search engines to do the thinking for us. What’s at the top of the page can get clicked on first merely due to it’s proximity, and the short one or two line preview underneath the link can take the place of an article abstract in deciding relevance and interest. In the interest of avoiding the work of digging deeply into the bog of results, we can instead graze through a select field of results.

The Internet has provided an amazing opportunity for access to untold quantities of information, but can still hold ideas, opinions and data of questionable quality. Like sweeping a beach with a metal detector, we may occasionally get lucky in a random search for knowledge, but the real work begins when that information is dug up and appraised. When reviewing information from your digital treasure hunt, how you do you separate the gold from the lead?

Although it seems like a strange catch-22, doing good research on the web means doing good research … on the web (or elsewhere). Grazing through a list of search results should actually be one of the last steps in your research process rather than your first. As with the pursuit of personal development, knowing thyself (and they research topic) is essential preparation for your digital research journey.  This could include reading other papers on the same or similar topics, or even reaching out to colleagues to appreciate a broader perspective on your chosen research focus.

The same tenant to ‘start with why’ that we often subscribe to when discussing missions, visions and learning outcomes is equally applicable to the research process.  The reason why you chose the research topic may be because it was given to you, but the reasons why you choose particular search terms and articles to review rely on good judgment and critical thought. Research before research may sound tedious, but the ‘why’ is just as important here as it is in designing a program, event or activity.

Remember that every word matters. When we teach communication skills, we often say it’s not just what you say but how you say it. In the research process, it’s not just what you search for but where you search for it and what you choose to search for. We have a privileged and timely opportunity in our access to a near infinite amount of knowledge. In mining for gold or grazing through the digital fields, we look for information that, when pieced together in new ways, can create new knowledge that is fed back into the virtual library. Perhaps the rule here is just as Golden: in our own work, create and share information we ourselves would want. Give unto others as we would like to (digitally) receive.

Lisa Endersby is the Manager, Student and Campus Life at Seneca College in Ontario, Canada. She is also working to connect and engage NASPA technology friends and fans in her role supporting Community Engagement in the NASPA Technology Community.


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#SATech Tweets of the Week!

Thomas A. Kelley @ThomasAKelley 1h

Will the #smartphone eliminate the need for #tablets? I’m already considering trading mine in now that I have a #MacBookPro. #SAtech #iPad

SATechTalk@SATechTalk 23h

Check out today’s archive from the #satech chat on the @naspa_tkc survey on tech competencies for student affairs: …

Matt Bloomingdale@mbloomingdale 21h

Because some of you have asked, I wrote a quick write-up about changing and styling your blog’s fonts. … #satech

Kristen Abell@kristendom 23h

@ammamarfo @kevalliere Both surprising and not – if more of us had to use them, would accessibility be the issue it is? #satech

Ed Cabellon@EdCabellon 6 Aug

Facebook Announces ‘Story Bumping,’ And Other Small Changes To News Feed Algorithm … (via @allfacebook) #SAtech

Kristen Abell@kristendom 2 Aug

10 Apps for Freshman Year of College  #satech

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