@BreakDrink Podcast, Episode No. 2 with @JulissaArce

Today a number of folks stayed at home and/or were on the street for the Day Without Immigrants (#ADayWithoutImmigrants and #DayWithoutImmigrants) movement. A number of businesses were closed today and many immigrants refused to spend money. This event is about coming together to give respect to many people who have helped to build and continue to give back to this country. I stayed home and spent no money to stand with other immigrants in solidarity. From one immigrant to another, this is a day to recognize the contributions many of immigrants provide to the US of A. #Amen

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In a recent conversation on @BreakDrink Podcast, Episode no. 2, we spoke with Julissa Acre share her narrative and perspective on recent events in the US. Julissa was a Standout Student, A Star At Goldman Sachs — And Undocumented, who published a book on her story: My (Underground) American Dream. As a former UT student of Jeff’s, Julissa chatted with us about her experience growing up as an undocumented American. In recent events from President Trump’s executive order for an immigration ban, we had to talk about the impact this order could have on a college and university campuses in the US. Podcast no. 2 is jam-packed with information and resources on the topic and should be on your “must listen list.” I found this conversation and creation of the podcast show notes VERY informative. Listen to @BreakDrink Episode No. 2 NOW! [More show notes there!]

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This podcast just shares a part of her story. It’s a great read — I definitely recommend it for you and/or your students. If you currently work in higher ed, Julissa suggested we visit the Educators for Fair Consideration website for resources, scholarships, and more information: http://www.e4fc.org/ 

Here are a few general suggestions for working with undocumented students at your institution:

  • Be kind
  • Help/listen to your students’ issues/challenges
  • Ask further questions for understanding their needs
  • Ensure your Career Center is giving out the correct employment information
  • Identify where your students can ask questions and get further resources/help beyond you on and off campus

Julissa has also included RESOURCES for you to check out on her website. As educators, we need to be in the know and aware about how our institution supports and provides outreach for undocumented and DACA students on campus. And perhaps, Julissa Acre will (or could) be coming to a campus near youThanks so much for chatting with us Julissa — we learned so much from your story, and we hope others benefit from what you have shared in your book as well. Here are a few ways to stay connected to Julissa Acre:

 

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What Communities and Hashtags Connect You On Twitter?

Twitter is commonly used for learning & development. We know that hashtags are great ways to link conversations, trends, news, and happenings on this social network. In real time, you can follow a story, participate in a conversation, and contribute to a community by including a hashtag in your tweet. A hashtag community might be formed by an instructor for a specific educational course or program. Or maybe there is a hashtag you are following for a professional learning event or for a specific conference backchannel (I’ve been known to inquire about these before). Hashtags have the power to share learning/knowledge from a conference for participants who are on-site or at a distance.

GotHashtagFor example, Kimmons and Veletsianos (2016) examined the tweets shared during the 2014 and 2015 American Educational Research Associations (AERA) annual conferences by reviewing the #aera14 and #aera15 hashtag. They found that backchannels are a venue for both scholarly and non-scholarly communications. It’s used for more than just promotion — the conference backchannel offers a way to share work, engage in scholarly conversations, and discussion current events or issues relevant to education.  Want to learn more? Watch the Research Shorts video below:


Conference participants gave a nod to other educational communities online, such as #edchat or #edreform, who regularly dialog, share, and interact with one another on Twitter using their group hashtag.

Like a number of educators, I have an affinity to a few Twitter communities online based on the hashtags they share and use. Some of these groups have regular  Twitter chats, and a number of Twitter communities offer support, advice, and guidance within a field or discipline. I’ll give a hat-tip to (one of many) a hashtag that supported my own work as a doctoral researcher active on Twitter => #PhDchat. This informal, online network has been known to support many graduate students work through dissertation/thesis development, swap research methods, and learn about effective academic writing practices (to name a few). emergent, online community is an informal network. Learn more about the #phdchat community from Ford,  Veletsianos, and Resta’s (2014) as they share their examination of this emerging, online network:

As some of you might know, I am working with some stellar researchers to learn more about how these online, informal Twitter communities/hashtags impact professional development.  We are currently gathering hashtags that you connect to for conversation and community on Twitter. If you participate in a regular/semi-regular Twitter chat with other educations — tell us about it! Or is there just a hashtag you follow and use frequently in your tweets? Let us know! Share your hashtags & Twitter chats you have in your discipline, field, or occupation by ADDING  to this OPEN Google doc — SHARE your Twitter Community and/or Hashtag here: http://bit.ly/hashtagcommunity Thank you!

References:

Ford, K., Veletsianos, G., & Resta, P. (2014). The structure and characteristics of #phdchat, an emergent online social network. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 18(1).

Kimmons, R. & Veletsianos, G. (2016). Education Scholars’ Evolving Uses of Twitter as a Conference Backchannel and Social Commentary Platform. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(3), 445—464.

Want to see more visual research? I suggest you go take a look at Research Shorts on YouTube => Subscribe & Watch NOW: http://bit.ly/researchshorts

Podcasting, You’ve Changed… @BreakDrink Meanderings from Episode No. 1

Once upon a time, there was the original BreakDrink podcast. You might know them from the collaborative efforts of this podcast network from 2010 to 2013. Well… we’re back. Sort of. It’s not a comeback or the same @BreakDrink you know (and love?). This BreakDrink podcast will share the real conversation Jeff and I typically have … and perhaps a perspective from any guest who might be willing to join us for a bit of a chat. I have no doubt we will have random conversations. It could touch upon higher ed issues and possibly a bit of technology — but really, this podcast will dig into other relevant topics like tacos, coffee, travel, parenting, the NBA, rescue dogs, and more.  Why are we podcasting again? Apparently, we need a podcast to talk and record this banter on a regular basis — and, if you subscribe, then you can reap the benefits of these meanderings in our chats. 

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In our first episode of BreakDrink in January, Jeff and I reflected on how much podcasting has changed (or not changed) with the infusion of quality content productions and shared what’s in the podcasting realm we listen to these days. We both appreciate the storytelling meets investigation journalism, and love the audio format. For others on the podcasting bandwagon, I blame/thank Serial for the resurgence of this medium. 🙂  Since we’ve been out of the podcasting game, there are a few others podcasters who have emerged and this episode is a deep dive into just a few that sit on our podcast playlist that we enjoy. 

Here are a few recommended podcasts that Jeff & I have listened to … as of late:

    • Reply All hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman (from TDLR)
    • Crimetown
    • Homecoming starring Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, and David Schwimmer.
    • Wiretap (archived) by Jonathan Goldstein
    • Heavyweight with Jonathan Goldstein
    • We thank Serial for bringing back podcast love.
    • Startup chronicles the Gimlet Media podcast network startup (season 1)

And a  few, of MANY, higher ed podcasts to add to your listening cue:

You can listen directly below, or check out the notes from BreakDrink, Episode No. 1:

To share this podcast with friends, families, or foes, feel free to do so with the following links:

If you have comments, questions, or feedback about this podcast episode OR want to share your own input/resources, please feel free to post a comment below, or follow us on the following “BreakDrink” podcast channels:

Wine Forward with #3Wedu

This past weekend brought a number of women from around the world together for the Women’s March on Washington. I was inspired by local movements, shared messages, and photos curated from this global event. That being said, I hope that this is just the start of how we move forward in 2017. In the world of work, we know there is still much to do, such as, narrow the gender pay gap, place women into leadership/CEO positions in our organization, and change the perspective/reality of men who are disinterested in “jobs typically done by women.”
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Image c/o WineForward distributors. 

In order to “wine forward,” we should look in both directions. On the past #3Wedu episode, We reflected on 2016 and discussed our goals for a healthy 2017. Now it’s time to take action and wine/move forward with purpose!

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Fast forward button by Thomas Harmel

In the upcoming #3Wedu episode this Wednesday (1/25) at 3 pm PT/5 pm CT/6 pm ET we will discuss our experiences from the Women’s’ March on Washington, we’ll share some readings/books we’ve enjoyed over the past month, and we’ll talk about how we plan on moving forward from the ick factor of 2016 — specifically as we strive with purpose and power towards  our academic, professional, and personal goals.

Join us Wednesday, January 25th for wine, banter, and more here:

This blog post is cross-posted on The #3Wedu Podcast Blog. Read more there!

Social Scholarship: Being a Digital Academic #AcDigID

In thinking about scholarship today, I can certainly see how the web has influenced and impacted an academic’s professional life. Greenhow and Gleason (2014) outline the impacts of social scholarship using Boyer’s (1990) four dimensions of scholarship: discovery, integration, teaching, and application. In the social media age of academics, there are a couple of key questions that still need to be examined (Greenhow & Gleason, 2014, p. 1):

  • What is scholarship reconsidered in the age of social media?

  • How ought we to conceptualize social scholarship —a new set of practices being discussed in various disciplines?

Whether faculty are reluctant or embrace social media in their work life, it is apparent our institutions are not directing these online initiatives. Both policies and programs to support graduate students, researchers, and scholars have not met the needs of this growing social scholarship integration (Greenhow & Gleason, 2014). Social and digital spaces are thriving in academia. Academic social networks are on the rise and there are a number of reasons why scholars use social media and digital resources (Van Noorden, 2014). In thinking about how scholars interact and participate on social media, there are increasing considerations and questions faculty have about engaging/being online. Although I wish there was an “app for that” as an easy solution for an academic (see below), I think it takes some thought and intentionality for identifying and developing social/digital scholarship.

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Image: Handy Academic Apps by PhD Comics

In the upcoming, Developing Your Social Media and Digital Presence for Faculty, Researchers, and Scholars (#AcDigID) online workshop, I hope to dig into digital identity development, discuss open and shared practices on social media, and share challenges and affordance being a networked academic. Whether you are a faculty who teaches online, face-to-face, or in blended learning environments, an early career scholar, or seasoned researcher — this workshop might be for you if you are interested in crafting your digital identity and interested in being part of a networked community of academics online. [Note: Future iterations of this OLC online workshop in 2017 will be targeted towards practitioners and administrators in higher education.]

OVERVIEW OF THE WORKSHOP: What does your online identity look like today? Have you Googled yourself lately? In academia, it is becoming increasingly vital to publish and share your teaching, service, and research scholarship. Besides developing an online presence and utilizing social media for professional development, faculty, researchers, and early career scholars are actively utilizing open and digital channels to enhance their instruction, share research findings, and find support in a community of connected scholars. Scholars are using online networks to share syllabi, ask questions for research needs, solicit support for peer review, and be part of the sharing economy for research impacts. In this workshop, we will explore meaningful ways to craft an active, online persona that includes using social media and other digital resources for teaching, service, and research in academia.

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate social media and digital platforms for faculty development, connected scholarship, and to enhance research impact.
  • Establish effective strategies for developing an online digital identity within the open, networked community online.
  • Outline the benefits and challenges of open and digital scholarship, specifically with regards to social media and other networked platforms.

This is an asynchronous, week-long online workshop which will begin on a Monday (1/23) and end on the following Sunday (1/29).  If you want a look at the #AcDigID workshop agenda, here is the outline for short-course:

  • Why Does Social & Digital Identity Matter in Academia?
    • Getting started, digital identity development, and state of scholars online
  • The Tools of the Digital Academic Trade: Social Media
    • Twitter, hashtags, blogging, podcasting, LinkedIn, and more!
  • Being a Connected and Digital Scholar
    • Digital research impact and influence: ORCID iD, Academia.edu, ResearchGate, etc.
  • Openness in Academia: Benefits & Challenges
    • Working “in the open”  and the tension between benefits & challenges of online
  • Building Your Social and Digital Presence Online
    • Creating your own space and place for scholarship
  • Developing Your Digital Academic Identity
    • Bonus: Ways to aggregate and showcase your digital academic self

Dates Offered: January 23-29, 2017; Registration Page (to sign up)

To prepare for the workshop ahead, I am adding articles, resources, and suggestions. If you are an academic who is/was on social media, academic networking sites, or just online – please consider sharing your #AcDigID ADVICE and KNOWLEGE below:

  • ADD TO THE TWITTER LIST: Are you on the“Academics Who Tweet” Twitter list? I would like to get a variety of scholars from all disciplines and areas in higher education. Let me know if YOU or someone else should be added.
  • USE the #AcDigID Workshop HASHTAG this week to introduce yourself, say hello, share resources, or offer advice. I am encouraging learners to follow, read, and use this same hashtag during the week of January 23-29, 2017.
  • TELL YOUR #AcDigID STORY: Interested in coming to talk about your #AcDigID development? How did you become a networked academic? Why do you participate in networked, online communities higher ed? Let me know – happy to have you join during our #AcDigID Online, Synchronous Meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 from 12-1 pm CST. [Drop me a DM on Twitter: @laurapasquini]
  • PARTICIPATE & TWEET during the #AcDigID Twitter Chat: Join us for the LIVE Twitter chat on Saturday, January 28, 2017  from 10-11 am CST.  Using the workshop hashtag, #AcDigID, I will moderate a Q&A 60-minute chat digging into the questions, challenges, and ideas/suggestions for being a networked scholar.

I look forward to seeing some of you in the OLC workshop, and others joining the #AcDigID online meeting (1/25), Twitter Chat (1/28) and contributing to the conversation using the #AcDigID workshop hashtag soon!

References:

Greenhow, C., & Gleason, B. (2014). Social scholarship: Reconsidering scholarly practices in the age of social media. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(3), 392-402.

Van Noorden, R. (2014). Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network. Nature, 512(7513), 126-129.

The Student Story in Open, Online Learning

In starting a new year and a new term, I am thinking more about student stories and learner experiences in my courses. From my teaching in K-12 and now in higher ed, I continually strive to be a “good teacher.” We know that quality education comes from instructors who are reaching students and by improving learning design, delivery, and engagement. There are multiple intervals during an academic term where I stop to reflect on the lessons learned in online education and to think about my own instructional practice.

Like a number other instructors in higher ed, I review learner comments from the course evaluations at the end of the term. Beyond the evaluative score of these instruments, I think it is critical for instructors, learning designers, researchers, and administrators to listen to the student story in our online (and open) learning environments. Additionally, I solicit student my own student feedback at the beginning and end of the term to learn more about their goals and individual experiences. I also take short notes about each course assignment, project, discussion board prompt, or journal entry reflection to remind myself of how students engaged with/learned from these activities. Much of my instructional reflection involves pedagogical considerations, rather than technological applications. I want to encourage my learners to persist, so I offer opportunities to improve with draft assignments and provide on-going feedback/follow-up. In thinking about my communication practices and technological tools, I want to ensure my online classroom is interactive and offers opportunities to meet both the learning outcomes and student needs.

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What do students really want from their online instructor? Here are a few things I have learned over the past few years of online teaching:

  • Provide a purpose of each course section connected to the learning goals
  • Easy to follow course design and navigation for online learning
  • Transparent expectations for requirements and how they will be evaluated/assessed
  • Clear directions for course assignments, projects, and activities
  • Meaningful online activities and projects that apply beyond the course or connected to their own career/academic goals – relevance!
  • Relatively quick responses to questions and/or communication standards as to when/how the instructor/TA for course support
  • A connection to the instructor via  “presence” or involvement in the course, e.g. video lectures, lecture/screencasting, audio files, course discussion participation, etc. to make it personal and meaningful

As I research online learning strategies to succeed, and continue to teach online each semester, I really want to know more about how my learners persist in online — so I can improve my own practice. In George Veletsianos‘ (2013) book, Learner Experiences with MOOCs and Open Online Learning, ten graduate students immerse themselves in open online learning experiences for two months and share their own narratives. This collection of peer-reviewed, learner essays offer further insight and reflection on the following questions:

  • What are learner experiences with open online courses, MOOCs, and other forms of open online learning?
  • What is it like to participate in open online learning?
  • What are learners’ perspectives of MOOCs?

Although I am not instructing a MOOC, this free e-book offered suggestions to improve learning delivery/design and identify ways to scaffold online environments for my own students.  This book may only a slice of online learning, as it shares learners’ reflections from MOOCs, it does indicate that distance education is a complex thing. Expectations, realities, and execution of this learning is quite varied.  I think these narratives provided by graduate students offer insight into distance education itself, and perhaps, how we even approach research in this arena. These student stories reminded me to involve my learners in the process of understanding their educational experience. When it comes to online learning, we should ensure the student voice is not crowded out by research ABOUT our students, that is, we need to think about research BY our students. I am thinking more about this key point as I contemplate how to best involve my sample population’s “voice” in my research and discover meaning further meaning that is often overlooked in scholarship.

Reference:

Veletsianos, G. (2013). Learner Experiences with MOOCs and Open Online Learning. Madison, WI: Hybrid Pedagogy Press.