What Do You Want On Your Highlight Reel?

Who are we? Who am I? Who are our students? Who do our students think they are? These and other deeply philosophical questions have coloured many recent discussions around digital identity.  Social media and other tech tools have given us unprecedented access to others and have opened up new and faster channels for sharing our own thoughts, opinions, laments and ideas. We now share more and more often, and spend more time attempting to teach out students the dangers that can arise from sharing too much, too often or too soon. In discussing digital identity, we seem to spend more time on what we share and less on who we are.

A larger discussion about identity and identity development in the aptly named digital age is a subject for another blog post (or, at the very least, a PhD dissertation). Sharing of ourselves, however, has caught my attention as a topic worth exploring as student affairs professionals continue to search for ways to teach students how to responsibility, ethically and safely use social media and other tools. Seminars on personal branding, LinkedIn tipsheets and student conduct cases of cyber bullying have created a strange culture of fear and seclusion, built by individuals that fight to embrace open and authentic sharing. Lives are measured in likes and esteem is held against a yardstick of retweets and shares.

This confused culture of tentative yet overabundant sharing can play games with a malleable identity, still developing throughout the college years. We often compare and contrast what we see on the screen to what we see around us, putting on either rose-coloured glasses when we see images that confirm what we know or darker shades when we see ideals that seem breathtakingly out of reach. Our students, like we often do ourselves, take their cues from peers and seek out success stories to model their own ideal of ‘life’ around.

Discussions around digital identity and the repercussions of both sharing and consuming information always leads me back to one of my favourite quotes. Steven Furtick offers poignant advice for those growing up and finding themselves in the digital age (read: anyone currently living on this planet):

We struggle with insecurity because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

While this post offers important and eye-opening advice about living in a age where the sheer amount of information and the speed at which it Is delivered has us drinking in insecurity through a fire hose, the concept of a ‘highlight reel’ is important for teachings in creating and sharing one’s digital identity. Each post, picture, like, share and comment becomes our personal highlight reel. It is what we show to the world; what we choose as our best and brightest moments that demonstrate who we are. Perhaps, then, our discussions about the ‘dangers of social media’ and the lectures on appropriate posts should come not from a place of what others may perceive, but rather from a deeper and more thoughtful exploration of our own motives. What do we want our story to be?  As you build a life one post at a time, what do you want playing on your highlight reel?   – what will you story be? What do you want on your highlight reel?

– 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

Joseph Ginese@JoeGinese 1h

#satech MT @JuddLegum: “Fluency in socialmedia is becoming less of a speciality & more of an expectation job market” http://bit.ly/17SdWQO

Lisa Endersby@lmendersby 1h

#satech #sachat RT @CdnStdntSuccess Employer perspectives of online degrees – A topic worth a lot more investigation http://ow.ly/oNYlg

SATechTalk@SATechTalk 2h

Check out yesterday’s #satech chat archive on early adoption of technology! http://storify.com/kristendom/satech-archive-september-11-2013 …

Christopher Conzen@clconzen 11 Sep

So who’s going to create the #SATech MOOC? Google and edX Create a MOOC Site for the Rest of Us http://buff.ly/19GXWk4

Paul Schantz@paulschantz 8 Sep

New to Google Apps? Here are some simple & useful tips for getting the most out of Google Drive http://blog.synergyse.com/2013/09/best-practices-for-managing-your-files.html … #edtech #satech

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8-Bit is coming!

Have you heard about NASPA 8-bit yet?! This is a conference unlike any other!

8 bit

“Have you ever been inspired by a session only to wonder how you could apply what you learned to your campus? At NASPA 8-Bit we don’t want you to just have cool ideas and discussions, we want you to have cool solutions! Working with other attendees you’ll address the main issues facing student affairs and work together to understand how technology can help you solve them.

In 2013, 8-Bit will be exploring these two areas:

  • How can college campuses supercharge their fundraising and development with innovative new tools and exciting online campaigns?
  • How does your campus draft a cohesive “digital identity” across its internal and external communications?

Facilitated by leading thinkers with real world experience in these areas, you’ll leave the conference with actionable ideas that you can implement on your campus the very next day.

A Unique Format

NASPA 8-Bit is employing a unique new format to the usual conference experience. To better serve your needs we’re offering the same conference in four locations on two separate days. Connecting each pair throughout the entire conference, you’ll seamlessly communicate with someone sitting next right next to you as well as hundreds of miles away!” (naspa.org)

For more information, and to register, go here!



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#SATech Tweets of the Week!

NASPA Technology KC@NASPA_TKC 3h

The iPad Program That Watches You As You Learn Online http://onforb.es/19lvAeR  #satech #sachat


Craig W. Beebe@craigbeebe 4h

The End Of Email As We Know It http://www.buzzfeed.com/jwherrman/the-end-of-email-as-we-know-it … via @jwherrman #satech


Anne Manning@AManningMA 4 Sep

My best way to demonstrate Twitter to dean/SSAOs. I share a list of their peers and have them observe. https://twitter.com/AManningMA/lists/ssao-dean-of-students … #satech


Ed Cabellon@EdCabellon 3 Sep

Five Facebook Timeline Contest Ideas http://allfacebook.com/jim-belosic-timeline-contest-ideas_b124365 … (via @allfacebook) #SAchat #SAtech


Matthew Brinton@mcbrinton 29 Aug

Help me get more free space! Always have your stuff when you need it with @Dropbox. Sign up for free! http://db.tt/fPs8U5U  #satech #sachat

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So you think you can iPad?

Last year when I got my iPad for work, I was SO EXCITED to use it every way possible. I’m a pretty tech savvy individual, and I’d used iPad’s plenty, so I thought I knew all the tricks and tips for every day iPad use, even though I hadn’t owned one before. Well, I was wrong. There are a lot of ways that having an iPad has made me a more efficient administrator, and helped connect me with students, but I found out over time that I wasn’t taking advantage of all the quick shortcuts that can be used to make things even easier. Here are just a few of the helpful hints I’ve picked up.

Simple On Screen Keyboard Short Cuts:
– Instead of having to switch back and forth between the number keyboard and the letter keyboard
simply hold down on the number keyboard button, slide your finger to the number you want and
– By double tapping on the shift key (the upwards facing arrow) you go to caps lock
– Press and hold a letter to get additional symbols over letters (like a tilde, for example)
– To quickly add an apostrophe- flick up on comma key, or tap and hold the comma key
– To quickly add quotations- flick up on period key, or tap and hold period key
– Double tap space bar to get a period
– In emails and web applications, the keyboard changes- @ key appears, .com button appears, –
button appears

Other Time Saving Tips:
– When you are typing an email and are in the address field:
–  If you press and hold the period button you will see .edu, .com, .org, and .net appear. Slide
to the appropriate one for quicker email address typing!
– If you press and hold the dash button, several quick options appear as well
– When you are typing in a web address bar in a browser:  Tap and hold the period key  to get an

What is predictive typing?
-That little bubble that pops up with suggested words in it is called predictive typing. Using it
can help save you time, as well as check your spelling. Here are some quick tips for using it:
– Keep going when you make mistakes- the iPad will correct typing mistakes
– If you don’t like the suggestion, you can reject it by tapping the bubble. If you press the space
bar, the suggestion will automatically insert
– If you don’t like Predictive Typing, you can turn it off by going to Settings -> General ->
Keyboard -> then switching off auto-correction.

Copying and Pasting using the iPad:
– Tap and hold on word. A bubble will pop up that says “select/select all/replace”- choose which
you prefer. To copy, choose select or select all
– You will then see the word get highlighted in blue with two handle bars on either end- you can
drag these handle bars to encompass the appropriate amount of text. Tap again, select “copy”
– Tap where you want to paste the text, press “paste”

Other hints:

– Replace command gives other word options that are close to the word selected
– Can copy and paste into multiple applications (ex. From a web browser to a
– Can copy graphics and images as well

– You can also save an image by tapping and holding. It gets saved under photos -> albums -> camera

Are there any other tips you have picked up? How are you using iPads and other tablets in your work as a Student Affairs pro?

  Beth Poling is a Residence Hall Director at the University of New Hampshire, and the Publications Coordinator for the NASPA TKC

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#SATech Tweets of the Week!

NASPA Technology KC@NASPA_TKC 23h

World’s first synchronous massive online course (SMOC) http://bit.ly/190bVRB  #satech

Lisa Endersby@lmendersby 27 Aug

Should social media etiquttte be discussed at first year Orientation? (cc: @ammamarfo) http://bit.ly/145FttC  #satech #sachat #GPharvard

Laura Pasquini@laurapasquini 26 Aug

Use This Site To Delete Old Accounts You Don’t Use Anymore : All Tech Considered : NPR http://n.pr/1c9u3dB  #satech #advtech

CB@cmbutler 26 Aug

Teens Actually Care About Their Mobile Privacy http://flip.it/YF7pU  #sachat #satech

Ed Cabellon@EdCabellon 19 Aug

{ Nice quotes from @ReyJunco, #SAtech } How to reach the many offline students #HigherEd http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/how-to-reach-the-many-offline-students/2006433.article …

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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 kaela.parks@gmail.com

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