A digital story

With the fall 2013 semester finishing up, I have not had a chance to blog recently. But I have been working on major class projects and want to share one on my blog. This is a digital story layered in a theory for my CSAA multicultural practices class. In the spirit of being vulnerable and sharing more about myself on this blog, I hope this post gives you some insight into my experience and my development.

Digital story projects are an effective way to help students tell their story. Prompts can be tailored to the group so that people are able to tell their story. My graduate school cohort is very close, providing an opportunity for everyone to dig deep and share more personal information with their project. The assignment was challenging, because the video had to be short. It also reminded me how much I enjoy making and editing videos. If you are interested, learn more about digital stories from the Center for Digital Storytelling.

New Project: CSAA-D Blog

This semester I am working with colleagues (shout-out to Dr. Dunn, Carrie, Alex, and Evan!) on a project for the UGA College Student Affairs Administration Ph.D. program. We launched the new blog yesterday and will share more information via posts over the next few weeks. I hope that through this increased online presence we are able to make additional recommendations related to social media or technology for the UGA CSAA masters and doctoral programs.

As you can imagine I have many ideas about where this project goes next! Dr. Dunn and Carrie have done a great job keeping me focused on small steps. Read more about my thoughts on this project through this guest blog post.

All smiles after a successful presentation to the faculty!

All smiles after a successful presentation to the faculty “Creating an online presence for CSAA-D”!

Join our class discussions – on Twitter!

A few of my professors this semester decided to incorporate Twitter into their course design. I am excited about engaging with my cohort and faculty via a “new” (to our classroom) communication tool. I believe Twitter is an effective tool to encourage and facilitate faculty-student and student-student contact. Rey Junco’s research found that “Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role.” Twitter use is optional for one class but required for another. Here’s a brief overview of what we are doing so you can follow along if you are interested in our class discussions:

Dr. Linder and Phil Badaszweski included a class hashtag on our syllabus for Campus Ecology. Dr. Linder explained how she uses Twitter and informed us that they would share relevant tweets for the course via this hashtag. They also invited us to tweet relevant information with the hashtag.

Another class my cohort is enrolled in this semester is ECHD 7060 – Dimensions of Multicultural Practice in Student Affairs. Dr. Maddox and Ms. Hamilton created two subsections of participation and engagement requirements for the class. 1a is “Trending Social Justice” and 1b is a more traditional class participation format, In-Class Writing assignments. The Twitter hashtag for this course was created to provide a forum to engage our class but also our followers in discussions on social justice. A handout was provided with seven guidelines including: “tweet every week, minimum”, “find and follow people” and “make an effort to reply to the instructors and to other students to keep the conversations going.”

twitter-101One of the interesting aspects of the trending social justice assignment is that Dr. Maddox created her Twitter account the night before our first class, and is openly experimenting with a new communication tool at the same time it is a class requirement. How fun!

Is one of your student affairs graduate classes using a hashtag this semester? If so, please share it in the comments!  What do you think about tweets being a required part of class participation? Check out this infographic (posted on the right) for a visual representation of best practices in using Twitter in the classroom. I hope you’ll join in our conversations about campus ecology and multicultural practices if something interests you.

Residence Hall Change (is good)

“There’s a nasty rumor going around that someone let boys move into Brumby!” – Ralphel Smith, UGA Housing RA Training

Brumby Hall

Yesterday was official check in day at Brumby Hall. Hunker Down with Housing!

Brumby Hall was built in 1966 and was an all female residence hall for the last 47 years. But this year, it is co-ed for the first time ever! Working as a Graduate Resident in Brumby last year got me accustomed to an all female staff and an all female building. But… “Times they are a-changin” A few observations from the last week:

Change is hard.
I worked here one year and I’m still adjusting to seeing men walk around the building alone. Last year, escort policy violations were obvious when male guests were seen walking around without a female. Our staff was excellent about documenting those violations and we have to change their mindset to the new community.

Move-in craziness

Move-in craziness

Men are funny.
I truly believe our Male RAs (who have deemed themselves the “Brumby Bros”) add a sense of humor and lightheartedness that was missing from our all-female staff.

Different incidents.
Change brings new issues, and I’m not going to say that male residents are more difficult than female residents, but last night as I was dealing with a 4 hour duty incident I could not help but think what a great way for our inaugural male residents to kick off the school year. “Welcome to Brumby!”

Are you experiencing any major changes in your assistantship/position? It only took 47 years for Brumby to be co-ed and get raised shower heads. How can we help positive change occur quicker?