Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

How working in reslife is like living in the STAR TREK universe

Any Trekkie working in Residence Life must have thought about it once or twice when watching their favorite Star Trek episode: “Why does this look so familiar?”  How many times have you seen Picard pulled out of his quarters or while relaxing the holodeck to come back up to the bridge to deal with some crisis?  Have you thought about how much living in a “fishbowl” like a starship might affect Riker’s dating life? Is some of this starting to feel familiar to you own life?  The following infographic makes it clear, we Reslifers are living in the Star Trek universe!   Now where is that transporter beam when you need it!? :)

StarTrek Infographic

StarTrek Infographic

Thank you to @Kmagura, @clconzen, @oconnorboston, and @JennaMagnuski for your fabulous contributions.  I couldn’t have done it without your inspiration.  For my fellow trekkies out there, feel free to post your own ideas in the comments below!

Originally posted on the Student Affairs Women Talk Tech Blog



When making this the #NASPA11 and #ACPA11, I received so many fabulous ideas, I couldn’t possibly incorporate them all.  I also wanted to make sure that I wasn’t counting anyone out who didn’t know the “inside lingo” of the #sachat or twitter community.  SO, I figured would go ahead and pull all of the twitteriftic ideas together into one fun geeky board. For those of you playing #SAbingo at the conference, feel free to pick your favorite board, the #ACPA11 general board, or the one I made especially for the #sachat community below.

My only hope is to make a few people smile (and possible even make a few connections with one another) by adding a “game layer” to the conference experience.  I’ll be enjoying the #ACPA11 backchannel from home, so keep tweeting!

Looking for #sachat presenters? Visit one of the the running lists: google doc #1 & google doc #2

Remember, tweet your bingo pics to me and I will post them on my blog, or tag them #sabingo for all to see!

SAChat Bingo

Thanks especially to @NikiRudolph, @MikeJHamilton, and @EricStoller for the Bingo ideas (plus anyone else I might have forgot!)


Do I get an #acpa11 bingo square for spotting 3 professionals in a row wearing argyle socks?Mon Mar 28 19:18:39 via Twitter for Android

Kathy Petras gets credit for her own minglestick of course!

Do light up “minglesticks” from 2010 count? (cc. @OberBecca @KARupert ) RT @jessfaulk: #ACPA11 BINGO Mar 25 03:51:29 via TweetDeck

Laura Pasquini gets bingo credit for herself. Anyone else need to know what a PLN is? Find Laura to ask, watch the Student Affairs Life Podcast, or flip through Laura’s presentation slides. For the geeks out there, you will know what I am talking about when I say ” </silos> now”

Wow. How cool! Great idea = gaming RT @jessfaulk: tweeting up 2night #acpa11 #sachat bingo SPECIAL EDITION Mar 28 00:37:32 via Seesmic for Android



When you can’t be at the conference with everyone else, the next best thing is following the #ACPA11 twitter back channel.  Thank you to everyone who participated in the #NASPA11 #SAbingo game. Feel free to visit the link and play that board too!

So the players might be different, but the game and rules are the same.  Tweet #SAbingo & #ACPA11 when you find a item on the bingo board, and if you have a camera phone, take a picture to send with your tweet.  I’ll post all of the tweets from our players on the blog.

Thank you to everyone who sent me suggestions and new ideas. I am working on a special #sachat board right now for all of the frequent twitter-ers out there, so stay tuned.

Below the board are a list of wonderful ideas I received  that didn’t make it this time around.  Often times they didn’t make it because they might be hard to capture on camera.  Thanks again for all who contributed :)

I’ve seen the error in my ways, and already updated the board. Thanks to Nikki Laird, @JennyDukes, @clconzen, & @ssandstr for insisting I include a hairspray reference.  Just needed to watch “Good Morning Baltimore” to be  won over! ;)

#ACPA11 board

Thanks Matt Petersons (@MattyP_654), @JennaMagnuski, Emily Harris, Sara Sandstrom (@ssandstr), Kevin Thompson, & the #NEACUHOma social for the squares used above.

Some of the other great ideas I received:

  • Detective Munch (from @ssandstr)
  • Someone who describes themselves as a “people person” (#NEACHOma social)
  • A exclusive invite to a special scholars or association dinner (#NEACHOma social)
  • School branded pen from Alaska (#NEACHOma social)
  • Bow tie (#NEACHOma social)
  • Crab Cakes (#NEACHOma social)
  • 15 free 512MB jump drives that you can only fit one powerpoint slide on (#BGSUcsp)
  • A presenter who references their own literature in a session (#NEACHOma social)
  • A presenter who uses wikipedia as a reference (#NEACHOma social)
  • Domino Sugar (@ssandstr)
  • Person ducking out of a session to go on Ace of Cakes tour (@ssandstr)
  • Interview tables with table cloths, an inflatable mascot, stuffed animals and full color brochures set up that would rival a Macy’s storefront during the holidays (#BGSUcsp)
  • A “best practice” suggested or presented that is already ubiquitous
  • Outdated Livestrong style event bracelet that matches outfit (#BGSUcsp)
  • Someone who claims to be “6 degrees away from Arthur Chickering”  (#NEACHOma social)
  • Someone going around and randomly shaking hands of people he/she doesn’t know (#NEACHOma social)
  • Someone charging their phone in the convention center hallway (@ssandstr)
  • Patty Perillo (@ssandstr)
  • A facebook photo that breaks the golden rules of “professionalism”
  • Candidate saying something inappropriate in a bathroom (#NEACHOma social)
  • ACPA green water bottle from 5 years ago (#BGSUcsp)
  • Calendars – 3-4 different ones detailing every offices campus events (#BGSUcsp)
  • Tattoos – Like “Chickering’s 8th vector” (#BGSUcsp)
  • 3 half sandwiches, pasta salad, 2 cookies, 1 pickle and a bag of chips balanced on a tiny plate or napkin with a drink in the other hand during a social where someone is trying to avoid buying a real meal (#BGSUcsp)
  • Late-night run in with a stumbling health or wellness educator who hasn’t practiced what they preach
  • @IrmaPelt, @LeahWescott, or @brodytruce from the CronkAnd the competition has started…tweet me your #sabingo finds!


@jessfaulk I just saw Forney at registration #acpabingo #acpa11Sun Mar 27 15:00:25 via TweetCaster



Things to pack for next year: Big Names in Higher Ed/Student Affairs Bingo cards. Dea Forney for the cover-all #ACPA11Mon Mar 28 20:13:33 via Twitter for Android


NEACUHO Reslife 2.0: TechSpeak

As college administrators we spend our days working alongside young techno savvy students.  We live and breathe education and innovation by working in a university environment.  Being in such an information rich workplace sometimes it is hard for us to acknowledge that we “just don’t get it.”   This is especially the case with new technology.  I’ll be the first to admit that the social media landscape is changing so quickly that it is hard to keep up with all of the terminology.

Let me give you an example that might feel familiar.   You hear two of your colleagues speaking about an upcoming conference. One says to the other, “What we really need to do is to set up a back channel during this presentation.” She responses, “Great idea, afterward let’s set up a wiki and crowdsource the problem.”  You are simply thinking, “huh?”  In your own situation the terms may be different, but the feeling is the same.  Let’s take a little time to demystify some of the terms you may be hearing in your office or from your students and next thing you know you’ll be the one throwing out the newest terminology!

In the spirit of social media sharing, definitions are taken from web sources cited at the bottom of this article (as labeled), commentary that follows each definition is my own.

  • Web 2.0 is a term coined by O’Reilly Media in 2004 to describe blogs, wikis, social networking sites and other Internet-based services that emphasize collaboration and sharing, rather than less interactive publishing (Web 1.0). It is associated with the idea of the Internet as platform. (A)For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will already be familiar with this term.  Your students will likely not know what this term means because this is the only kind of web they’ve known!  Ask yourself, is our own departmental website 1.0 or 2.0?  How have you tried to engage students on the web?
  • Back channel communications are private emails or other messages sent by the facilitator or between individuals during public conferencing. They can have a significant effect on the way that public conversations go. (A)This one is fairly new to me.  A couple of my techno-idols often use back channel communications to create more interactive presentations.  This type of communication can also be used in the classroom setting. Prof. Rey Junco has shown how using twitter in the classroom can assist in student engagement and raise student’s GPA!  Got your attention?  View a video on how his experiment worked.  Interested in creating a backchannel during your next presentation? (Lambert, 2010) Visit NEACUHO member, Mike Hamilton’s blog to see how and why you might try it.
  • A wiki is a web page – or set of pages – that can be edited collaboratively. The best known example is wikipedia, an encyclopedia created by thousands of contributors across the world. Once people have appropriate permissions – set by the wiki owner – they can create pages and/or add to and alter existing pages. Wikis are a good way for people to write a document together, instead of emailing files to and fro. You don’t have to use wikis for collaborative working – they can just be a quick and easy way of creating a web site.  (A)This is one of my favorite resources for work places and organizations.  If you are looking for a great way to organize front desk office information, or keep your RAs informed, wikis are the way to go.  My favorite is google’s sites, but there are plenty of free wiki creators out there and it’s easy to get started.
  • Crowdsourcing refers to harnessing the skills and enthusiasm of those outside an [organization] who are prepared to volunteer their time contributing content and solving problems. (A)According to Jeff Howe (2008), editor of Wired magazine “online communities are the building block of crowdsourcing.”  Places like facebook are allowing people to come together informally and share ideas.  When they come together around a topic of interest to you, they can help you solve problems in a very collaborative way.  You might consider crowdsourcing when creating your new office logo or simply to determine the dining menu during finals week.
  • Lurkers are people who read but don’t contribute or add comments to forums. The one per cent rule-of-thumb suggests about one per cent of people contribute new content to an online community, another nine percent comment, and the rest lurk. However, this may not be a passive role because content read on forums may spark interaction elsewhere. (A)Chances are that you are a lurker in at least one online community.  That community could even be, which provides many ways for its readers to contribute.  Don’t worry, lurking is okay! “Lurking is learning” as NEACUHO member @CindyKane tweeted (Ginese, 2010)
  • A tag cloud (or weighted list in visual design) is a visual depiction of user-generated tags, or simply the word content of a site, typically used to describe the content of web sites. Tags are usually single words and are normally listed alphabetically, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or color.[1]  (B)As a graphic design fan, tags clouds are a favorite of mine.  The typical tag list is generally not very interesting looking, but convey content information in an interesting way.  A tag cloud made by a site such as is beautiful AND interesting.  The wordle I created from entering the words in this article is shown at the top of this page.  Think about using a wordle next time you write a newsletter article, or to display the results of a write in survey!
  • is a free URL shortening service that provides statistics for the links users share online. is popularly used to condense long URLs to make them easier to share on social networks such as Twitter. (C)If you don’t use twitter this term might be a new one for you.  But its use does not have to be limited to twitter .  If you have a really long link to a survey or webpage, try a url shortener instead.  Shorteners also have the added benefit of tracking how many people click on that link.  Google’s shortener is
  • A meme is an idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.  A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation. (D)As someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time poking around YouTube, this term was new to me as well.  Whether you know what it is called or not, you’ve probably seen one.  Remember that “Leave Brittney Alone” YouTube video that came out in 2007?  According to “the video gained over 2 million views in the first two hours, eventually accruing 29 million views by January of 2010.”  The memes are the parodies and response videos that come out of a viral video or online post.

I hope you enjoyed the journey through a few tech terms and will feel a little more comfortable next time your colleagues are engaging in techspeak.  Feel like I missed a term that fellow Student Affairs practitioners should know?  Send me a message and I’ll cover it in a future article!

Jessica Faulk is the Director of Residence Life at Simmons College in Boston, MA.  She can be reached at or via twitter @jessfaulk

Definition Sources:
A.    Socialmedia – A-Z of social media
Wilcox, D. (2006-2011). Social Media. In Key terms in social media and social networking. Retrieved January 30, 2011, from
Multiple Authors. (January 29, 2011). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In Tag cloud. Retrieved January 30, 2011, from
C.    The Ultimate Glossary: 101 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained
Bodnar, K. (June 23, 2010). Inbound Internet Marketing Blog. In The Ultimate Glossary: 101 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained. Retrieved January 30, 2011, from

•    Ginese, J. (October 13, 2010). The Student Affairs Collaborative. In 5000 tweets….. Retrieved January 30, 2011, from
•    Howe, J. (July 2008). YouTube. In Jeff Howe – Crowdsourcing. Retrieved January 30, 2011, from
•    Lambert, A. (December 1, 2010). In Dr. Rey Junco finds Twitter, social media useful in the classroom. Retrieved January 30, 2011, from

NEACUHO Reslife 2.0: Join the Party…5 Years Late!

PodCastingFive years ago, in June of 2005 a major evolution in technology landed on many of our computer desktops.  The odd part is that majority of people reading this probably had no idea that it had even happened.  How could a technological advancement of that magnitude be missed by so many and why am I talking about it a whole 5 years later?

The first answer is simple, the evolution came with the release of iTunes 4.9 with built in support for podcasts (Wikipedia, 2010). Podcasting as a medium for receiving information was not new, but it was the integration with a tool used by millions, iTunes, that really made it accessible to the masses.

To answer the second question, I want to go back to my own summer of 2005.  I was spending my summer in Ohio, mourning the fact that all of my grad school friends were away at exciting internships abroad.  To pass the time I spent many hours on the web, reading about the coming trends in tech.  The moment I read about podcasting I thought, “This is going to be big!”  I even remember telling my professors and friends about the medium, and predicting that it would drastically change the way people received their news, listened to music, and learned.

Five years later, I can look back with clarity and see that it did not truly transform everything.  It opened the door to something for sure, but it didn’t capture the attention of mainstream America.  Podcasting is instead relegated to live in the world of news geeks and information junkies.  Fortunately for you, I am both, and I want to share with some of my own lessons on how you can tap into this wonderful world for yourself. Looking for cheap professional development, a way to catch up on the world, or an escape from the student affairs world? Then podcasting might be for you too!

Lessons learned in pursue of the best podcasts
1.    Explore areas of interest
As anyone who knows me will attest, I am an info geek. I suck up everything from random fact books to Modern Marvels.  So when I went looking for podcasts, I wanted ones that I felt would make me smarter and more informed.  I am subscribed to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, and NPR’s Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me (my favorite).  While I recognize that these three news sources won’t fill me in on everything happening in the world outside of my college, I feel like they give me a reality check that the latest roommate conflict or student petition isn’t as big of a deal as it feels in the moment.

2.        See what others are listening to
While I suggest that podcasting is still not yet very popular (in comparison to other aspects of poptech), that doesn’t stop thousands people from making new content.  The choice of podcasts can be overwhelming.  Stumped on where to start?  See what your colleagues, or favorite bloggers are listening to.  I had trouble finding any one resource with all the HiEd podcasts listed, so I will give you a few of my favorites. Visit and to subscribe to their podcasts covering the latest news in higher ed tech and beyond.  Check out The Chronicle of Higher Ed Tech Therapy.  The podcast is broad in it’s scope, talking about how tech reaches every aspect of the university, but approaches the topic in a way that is accessible for the non-geek.

3.    Check major news sources
Feel like you are always playing catch up when it comes to higher ed news?  Then subscribe to the big news sources for our field. Try Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle of Higher Ed Interviews, or EDUCAUSE to stay up to date on the latest college controversies or gain new insights.  Imagine talking to your boss about the latest exciting thing that you heard about in the Chronicle. Bonus points for being informed and double points for doing it with social media!

4.    Search well and Automate it
Start exploring the podcast world with the iTunes store.  Most podcasts are completely free, so there is no commitment for trying it.  Before you download you can also check out reviews, details on the episode, and length.  Freakonomics Radio is only 30 minutes, while many are as long as an hour.  Most important to making this work in your busy life is to automate the downloading to your computer and syncing to your Mp3 device.  I plug my iPhone into my computer and automatically get the latest episodes for my walk to work.

5. Try something new
While I definitely seek out podcasts on technology, higher ed, and Apple, I also have stumbled on podcasts on other interests such as crafting and politics.  You have an interest; they have a podcast on it.  The newer trend is video podcasts.  You can sync an entire cooking show to your iPod and bring it to your kitchen with you!

Not convinced yet?  The reason I was so enamored with this new medium of communication back in 2005 was that it was for people on the go.  It allows me to get my news while walking between meetings and catch up on my interests while exercising or cleaning the house.  It’s the perfect medium for student affairs pros on the go!  If you are already a fan of podcasting, message me with your favorite shows and I will share them with our readership.

To get started, watch podcasting in plain English on  For those of you who would rather explore than listen to instructions, go to the iTunes music store and click the podcasts link on the navigation bar, or start searching for a topic and see what pops up!

Jessica Faulk is the Director of Residence Life at Simmons.  She can be reached at or on twitter @jessfaulk

1 Wikipedia (06 November 2010) “Podcast”

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