Believe it or not, most of what I do as an academic advisor is quite social. Through various daily interactions my objective, as an advisor, is to empower students to gain knowledge, ideas and direction for their academic career. Beyond the advising appointment, I strongly believe that students need to stay connected and collaborate with their networks on campus to become effective learners. This means that social media and Web 2.0 resources definitely need to be introduced into the campus equation.
Many academic and student affairs offices in higher education continue to express skepticism and doubt for practical uses of social media with students. Like other academic advisors, I sometimes feel deflated by the minimal support and interest to utilize technology resources for advising and student support. Perhaps it is the lack of knowledge or few experiences that provides our profession with Web 2.0 ignorance? Or maybe a better list of technology competencies for professionals? Or a list of best practice and guidelines that we require to move forward with social media?
In thinking about last week’s webinar with the Higher Education Hero group, I am left pondering a a few ideas that involve social media and emerging technologies for academic advising on my own campus and with my department.
Many initiatives involving technology in academic advising stemmed from the following key factors:
- supportive administration
- collaborative efforts from staff, students & faculty
- interest in connecting students to resources
- enhancement of current services
- accessible and available advising content beyond the typical 9-5 office hours
- assessment of the technology needs
- an effective project plan & implementation process
- program evaluation & review
- on-going support & interest
Here’s to pondering, planning & possibilities ahead!