BreakDrink, Higher Education, Podcast

Committed To Talking About Mental Illness in Higher Ed: @BreakDrink No. 6 #HEdCommits

Are you hankering for more of the @BreakDrink podcast now that you’ve got a taste? No need to fear, Jeff & I are back! We recently caught up with our friends Sue Caulfield and Kristen Abell to discuss how mental illness impacts our colleagues who work in higher education and have them on the podcast to share about their work with The Committed Project  a.k.a.

Do you remember the @BreakDrink Daily Dose? It was a bi-weekly higher ed news podcast Sue produced/hosted with Sarah MaddoxShawn Brackett. Other updates since BD days: Sue got married, started drawing #suedle(s), started The Committed Project, and she podcasts with her #poopfriends on The Imposters podcast. Besides working as a kick-ass web developer and manager at her institution, Kristen has pushed all of us to think more about the impact mental illness has for colleagues in higher ed. If you haven’t seen her 2015 ACPA Convention PechaKucha Talk – Depression: A Love Story, you should — NOW!

Also, props to her work with Committed’s campaign for #StompingOutStigma and getting more of us talking about mental illness (I gave a shout out to this in my #SAspeaks talk last month in San Antonio, TX – hola!):

#StompingOutStigma

If you have not heard about the book, Committed: The Stories of Mental Illness in Student Affairs, it is created to share narratives from higher ed practitioners dealing with mental illness accompanied by #suedle visuals. From this book project, Sue and Kristen’s work with mental health awareness led to developing the blog series into The Committed Project, an organization that advocates for and supports higher ed professionals experiencing mental illness. For the past few years, they have been sharing stories – mostly firsthand accounts – from other professionals in higher ed who experience mental illness. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Please read and share the stories of your peers who struggle with mental health in higher ed on The Committed Project Blog.

As usual, I learn so much from these @BreakDrink discussions and there is a wealth of information/resources shared by The Committed Project on their website (thanks, y’all!):

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. While The Committed Project will be sharing one person’s story of mental illness through many voices on the blog this month, the group would also like to hear from YOU about how it feels to experience mental illness – your own or a loved one’s. If you are so inclined, please share a short video clip of you or someone you know talking about one aspect of your experience with mental illness – whether at work, at home, at school, or wherever to The Committed Project. You can submit videos at admin@thecommittedproject.org

Take a listen here to episode no. 6 #HEdCommits:

@BreakDrink Podcast Shout Outs:

@BreakDrink Recommended Reading:

If you are in need of support or need help, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) where you will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

If you have comments, questions, or feedback about this podcast episode, please feel free to post a comment below, or follow us on the following the “BreakDrink” podcast channels:

We welcome banter & comments there. If y’all listen to the podcast via iTunes, please consider leaving us a rating and review.

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Academia, AcAdv, Learning Community, Professional Development, Reflections, SAchat

Your Digital Self & Online Community: Let’s Twitter Chat About It #SAchat & #AcAdv

In my last blog post, I asked if you have thought about your digital self and what it means to be a “resident” in various spaces and places online.  This is a common question I pose and ponder with higher ed colleagues and friends I work with, connect with online, meet face-to-face, and now as I collaborate on research looking at Networked Communities of Practice. When it comes to digital participation there is no right or wrong. That being said, sometimes I think of this quote from the Sydney MCA as our lives continue to evolve online:

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Last year, the TED Radio Hour podcast featured TED speakers who dug into what it means to be digital and connected in its two-part episode, Screen Time, Part I and Part 2The segments dive into how the digital version of ourselves are impacting who we are. There is one quote, in particular, that resonated with me from Jon Ronson’s segment in Part 2:

“The way we are defined on social media, on the Internet, and on Google has become more important than who we actually are as people.”

Ronson’s TED talk presents ideas he writes about in his book So You’ve Been Publically Shamed. His segment “How can our real lives be ruined by our digital ones?” discusses how the online self is impacting our offline self. With the recent US election, there are no shortages of examples of tasteless social media shares and volatile toned posts displayed online. The election is not the cause of this behavior; however, these type of actions and interactions within the higher ed community online are disheartening. If you are presenting your actual self online (and not an anonymous profile/account) the expression “in real life” or “IRL” no longer applies. What we do inside the screen does impact our life beyond the screen. What happens digitally and on the Internet IS IN REAL LIFE (exit distance worker soapbox rant for now).

As Inger puts it very well, there are some “academic assholes in the circles of niceness.” If you are on the social web and in higher ed, there is no doubt that you have witnessed more cruelty than kindness from your colleagues and far less empathy or compassion from your fellow practitioners in online communities.  For many of us who live our working life online, I think “our second selves” are impacting who we are.

Maybe it is also time for some reflection and perhaps a candid discussion about our digital self and our online communities. Thanks to two online communities — #SAchat and #AcAdv — we’re going to get real and talk these issues in higher ed in these upcoming Twitter Chats:

#SAchat TOPIC:

Personal and Professional Identity on Social Media & Online

sachat_logo

Thursday, December 1, 2016 for the DAYTIME #SAchat from 12-1 pm CDT; Follow @The_SA_Blog on Twitter

Let’s discuss what it means to “grow up” professionally online and offline in higher education. What motivates you to interact, engage, and share? What social networks and hashtags do you connect with for your work in student affairs and higher ed? Has being online impacted what you do professionally or personally? Share with us about your own digital identity development, specifically how it influences who you are and your work on campus. 

  • MOD for the DAYTIME #SAchat (12/1/6); TOPIC: Personal and Professional Identity on #SocialMedia & Online [Chat Transcript ARCHIVE]

#AcAdv Chat TOPIC:

Learning Online With And From A Community of Peers

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016 for the #AcAdv Chat from 12-1 pm CDT; Follow @AcAdvChat on Twitter

Let’s have a conversation about how online networks and digital spaces support your professional and personal well-being. Where do you learn online? What communities contribute to your work and success in #higher ed? Tell us how these networked communities offer resources, share ideas, and offer care for you, your professional role, and your personal growth.

  • MOD for the #AcAdv Chat (12/6/16); TOPIC: Learning Online With & From A Community of Peers [Chat Transcript ARCHIVE]

If you work in higher education and care about these issues, please join in on one or both discussions on Thursday (12/1) and next Tuesday (12/6). We look forward to hearing what you have to say on the topics…Twitter Chat soon!

Do you have questions about this or our research team, please feel free to contact us or suggest a way you would like to collaborate!

Networked Community

#NetworkedCoP: Networked Communities of Practice [RESEARCH STUDY]

The Networked Communities of Practice (#NetworkedCoP) study is created to explore how student affairs and higher education professionals participate in online networked communities. We would like to learn HOW and WHY graduate students, professional staff, senior administrators, and scholar-practitioners in higher ed are engaged with blogging, Facebook group discussion, Twitter chats, creating podcasts, using hashtags and more.

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We see higher education staff using social media to not only network, but also support one another, provide learning opportunities, share knowledge, and contribute back to the field.


 Please consider participating in our study to share with more about your digital practices:

  • What communities you participate and interact with online?
  • Why do you contribute or interact with these networked communities?
  • How does your digital practice impact your professional identity and influence?
  • What type of professional development, networking, and learning have you experienced from these communities?
  • What benefits, challenges, and affordances occur within this networked practice?

To learn more about our study and participate by telling us about your networked community involvement [SURVEY] or more share more about your networked self [INTERVIEW], please visit our research website:

https://networkedcommunityofpractice.wordpress.com/

This research project is being conducted by Dr. Paul Eaton (Sam Houston State University) and Dr. Laura Pasquini (University of North Texas) and has been approved by the SHSU Institutional Review Board (#30423) and the UNT Institutional Review Board (#16-310).

ACPA, ACPAdigital, Conference

#ACPA16 CFP: Genius Labs and Pecha Kucha Powered By @ACPA

August brings us to a time of back-to-school fun, but it also means the deadline for the 2016 ACPA Convention (#ACPA16) program proposals is coming fast! There are plenty of program categories to choose from for your #ACPA16 proposal; however, on behalf of the Technology Programs Team, let me highlight two NEW additions to the CFP this year and how you can successfully submit your proposal(s) for Genius Labs and Pecha Kucha Powered By ACPA.

Genius Labs

The convention’s Genius Labs are 20-minute skill-building workshops highlighting a number of practical activities (primarily focused on technology, but not limited to) for participants to learn about, experiment with, and implement immediately.

InfoCourt

Genius Labs topics are up to you! We hope to provide a variety of engaging content areas with the intent of having meaningful instruction for all skill levels, offering attendees effective (and often free) new resources, and building confidence and competence in technical tools to help you work at your institution. Want to learn how to develop your proposal or ask about a potential Genius Labs topic, be sure to connect with Erica Thompson (by email or @EricaKThompson).

listofacpa16genlabs

Pecha Kucha Powered By ACPA

Pecha Kucha is an innovative presentation format during which the speaker’s 20 slides auto-advance every 20 seconds. It is the art of concise presentations. This event is guaranteed to challenge conventional presentation styles, while inspiring colleagues in 6 minutes and 40 seconds!

pecha-kucha-02Your Pecha Kucha Powered By ACPA talk can highlight issues from the field of higher education, student development, our professional competencies, and/or your own personal experiences. Want to see a few examples from past ACPA Conventions? Browse the Pecha Kucha Talks from previous years:

For more information about the origins of Pecha Kucha visit the official website, and for questions about your Pecha Kucha Powered By ACPA proposal please reach out to Laura Pasquini (by email or @laurapasquini).

For both the Genius Labs and Pecha Kucha Powered by ACPA talk proposals, we recommend sharing and showing your work. For Pecha Kucha Powered by ACPA program proposals, we want you to “audition” so we can “see” you in action to understand more about your potential talk. This proposal can include either a presentation lecture capture or screencast to showcase your talk or ideas. Here are a few free screencasting options to consider:

To help us select your Genius Labs demonstration, our team would love to see your examples, ideas, experiences, applicable resources, and concepts you will be share for either presentation. This might include the following item(s) for your Genius Labs program proposal submission: creating a screencast, posting a YouTube video, including a Google Doc tip sheet, linking to slide deck from SlideShare, or sharing a Dropbox file.

If you have a demonstration, handout, or “how to” presentation you want to share for the Genius Labs we would love to see examples of these in your proposal as well. For the Pecha Kucha program proposal sessions, we encourage you to submit a “rough draft” of your talk via a video or screencast shared on YouTube. This will video clip will give us a better idea of your content, presentation style, and we can offer suggestions/ideas if your proposal is selected for Montreal! All #ACPA16 program proposal submissions are due September 4, 2015. Have fun and good luck!

Submit your 2016 ACPA Convention program proposal today!

Online Learning, StudentAffairs

#SAchat Podcast: Online Student Services

Last month I joined Dustin from The Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast, to talk about the impact online learning will have on student support for our learners. Much of what is happening in distance education, which includes online learning, blended learning, hybrid courses, and more, will impact how to student affairs educators work.  As we discussed how online learning will be relevant to student affairs, I shared a few resources to get listeners stated and shared these resources in the show notes (below). Thanks for the invite Dustin, and happy listening:

SAC-Podcast

Link on Stitcher: http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/65465/38022983

Show notes:

This blog post is cross-posted at The Student Affairs Collaborative website. Read more about all things Student Affairs and Higher Education at https://studentaffairscollective.org/

Professional Development, SAchat, Training

Twitter for Professional Development… Make it Part of Your PD Plan. #SAchallenge

In the field of learning and performance, there are a number of ways to train and develop employees. A number of professional organizations and educational institutions are interested in supporting online learning communities to enhance learning and development for “the workforce of tomorrow.” This often results in going to where the communities are already active online, i.e. social media. A number of social spaces, including blogs, videos, microblogs, and photo sharing websites, have been repurposed for training and development by the community. One of the largest areas for professional development has been on Twitter with users aggregating around a hashtag to form a community. In higher education, a number of Twitter-based communities of practice are emerging as the “combination of improved facility and user flexibility has created an environment in which networks and communities, albeit of a restricted kind, can flourish (Lewis & Rush, 2013).

sachallenge

It is no wonder why we see The #SAChat January Twitter Challenge #SAchallenge appear with the start of the new year. Although I’ve been loosely off the social grid for the holidays, I tuned back in to find January #SAChallenge prompts posted to get connected and involved on Twitter:

During the month of January, we will be tweeting out various challenges and ideas of ways you can engage on Twitter – starting with basic how-tos and moving towards looking at different ways to engage through the medium. Each weekday will bring at least one “challenge” – something you can do to either learn more about using Twitter or to refresh yourself and make you think about using it differently, especially within the #SAChat community. We’ll be posting the challenges here if you miss one and want to catch up.

I applaud the @The_ SA_Blog community managers for facilitating the #sachallenge.  To best support learning and development, The SA Collective L-Team are actively supporting their online subscribers and cultivating the #SAchat hashtag, by utilizing these key community management skills:

  • Listen. It might be a great space to broadcast and disseminate content – but that’s not how you hold a conversation. What do people what to talk about, not just receive? What is the online community engaged in? What are the conversations about online? Take a minute to read and learn from others online.
  • Participate. You need to be a community member, too. Try to join conversations as a peer contributor, not a facilitator. Contribute useful ideas, articles, research, and more. Your online community will want you to be actively sharing online like others in their learning community.
  • Include. Let others help find and create content, guide conversation, start new discussions. It’s a change for many of us in the field who what to “lead” the professional development experience but will pay off in a more vibrant, sustainable community. Encourage members of the community to be the active voice.

I think Twitter is a key component of my own learning and development, and I often encourage others (i.e. students, professionals, faculty, etc) to set up their own Twitter handle [HOW TO: Set Up a Twitter Account], and/or follow along with the community hashtag. I am also more than happy to connect and chat with those of you who reach out to me on Twitter (a.k.a. @laurapasquini), or by any other means if you want to to talk about Twitter or professional development. Although the #SAchat hashtag focusses on the Student Affairs arena there are a number of other higher education and discipline-based Twitter communities to follow.   

Dubbed the Twitter Queen by @hglez9

Photo mashup credit goes out to @hglez9

That being said, I also caution using Twitter as the only means for learning and development. As an avid Twitter user, who has learned a great deal from tweeting over the past few years, I have a healthy skepticism that Twitter is the “best” platform for delivering professional development. Apparently, I am not alone. Audrey Watters recently asked this question in her blog post “Is Twitter the Best Option for Online Professional Development?” and identified both its benefits and challenges. Twitter has created opportunities for conversation, research, collaboration, and support; however I have also witnessed spam bots, self-promoting followers, bullying, disciplinary implications in academia, and other not-so-nice things.  I was reminded by Audrey that “there is a fragility to our ability to connect and share online. Some of that fragility comes when we opt to rely on for-profit companies to run the infrastructure. We do not own the conversations on Twitter. We have limited control over our data and the content we create and share there.” That is not to say you should not participate and engage – but don’t let Twitter be the ONLY only means for your PD.

In my opinion, I think Twitter can augment, not replace, learning and development. Let Twitter be one part of your professional development plan for 2015, and then ask yourself what do you want to learn? Think about what goals you are setting for yourself first, and then consider the spaces you want to engage in this year. Always put your PD goals ahead of the platform, and then go searching for where you want to engage this year. You might also consider searching out training and development opportunities at your institution, at your professional associations, with trade/professional journals, by reading new literature & books, through research projects, signing up for a course/seminar/webinar, by conducting an informational interview, by reaching out to others in your network, and always by discussing your goals with mentors and peers from the field. Perhaps you might even take the time to reflect on these training experiences when you return to/start some bloggery (Thanks for the term, Bryan) to process your learning and development. Good luck with your PD goals for 2015! Let me know if or how I can help.

References:

Lewis, B., & Rush, D.  (2013). Experience of developing Twitter-based communities of practice in higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 21. Retrieved from http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/18598 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v21i0.18598.

Watters, A. (2014, December 17). Is Twitter the best option for online professional development? Hack Education. Retrieved from http://hackeducation.com/2014/12/17/twitter-professional-development/.