Higher Education, SAchat, StudentAffairs

Digesting the TECH Competency for Student Educators #SAtech

I have been thinking a lot about how we guide and support technology in higher education. Last year, ACPA/NASPA drafted a joint document sharing Professional Competency Areas for Student Educators [PDF], which included a new competency – Technology (TECH). As technology is woven into much the educational practices and student support field work, it is critical for student affairs educators to consider how this competency is guiding their work. Here are the basics about the TECH competency from the report:

TECH Competency Description: Focuses on the use of digital tools, resources, and technologies for the advancement of student learning, development, and success as well as the improved performance of student affairs professionals. Included within this area are knowledge, skills, and dispositions that lead to the generation of digital literacy and digital citizenship within communities of students, student affairs professionals, faculty members, and colleges and universities as a whole.

Professional Development: Professional growth in this competency area is marked by shifts from understanding to application as well as from application to facilitation and leadership. Intermediate and advanced level outcomes also involve a higher degree of innovativeness in the use of technology to engage students and others in learning processes.

TECH (page 33-35) The Technology competency area focuses on the use of digital tools, resources, and technologies for the advancement of student learning, development, and success as well as the improved performance of student affairs professionals. Included within this area are knowledge, skills, and dispositions that lead to the generation of digital literacy and digital citizenship within communities of students, student affairs professionals, faculty members, and colleges and universities.

With the 2016 ACPA Convention (#acpa16) just around the corner, I am looking forward to digging into the TECH competency further in a couple of weeks with Josie, Tony, Paul, Ed, and participants during our the Pre-Conference Workshop: Social and Digital Technology Competency Institute for College Student Educators (March 6th) in Montreal, Canada. I know that we each have some fantastic ideas and tools to share — and we are looking forward to learning from colleagues who will be joining us.

To prepare, I took another look at TECH as a competency earlier today. As a researcher, I naturally started to code these competencies into general themes, to further understand and digest the TECH competencies. Here are the categories I came up with based on themes:

  1. Trends, Research, and Knowledge Development
  2. Leadership, Governance, and Stewardship
  3. Assessment and Implementation for Education and Program Planning
  4. Information Literacy and Management
  5. Applied Skills for Using Technology
  6. Inclusion and Access
  7. Learning and Professional Development
  8. Communication and Collaboration

Many thanks to Brian Bourke for instigating this initial review of the ACPA/NASPA TECH competency last fall with the NASPA TKC Research Group (and kudos for crafting an #SAtech Research Agenda as well!). In returning to the TECH competency for the pre-conference workshop, I thought it would be a good idea to share these broad categories with participants and student affairs. Please take a gander and leave any thoughts/comments in this open google doc of what might need to be adjusted or reconsidered from this first analysis. I welcome comments here (on the blog) or directly in the document.  From this, I hope our student affairs community of inquiry, practitioners and scholars alike, can continue to work together to consider how these competencies can be applied our work with students in higher ed, and measured (as another ACPA/NASPA task force/working group is developing rubrics, etc.) to evaluate the work we do in the field. Google doc: http://bit.ly/SAcompTECH

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