When I was in school, checking my Facebook page (or MySpace when it was cool) would easily get you detention. In fact, I’m pretty sure the site was blocked on school computers. Recently, however, I thought since technology and social media communication permeates the modern world, why is it not part of the education system? Although most social media sites were created primarily for personal communication, now we are seeing how they can be assets in the professional sphere. In my opinion, students should be learning how to manage these sites responsibly and use them to their advantage.
I asked my younger sisters who are in high school and middle school if they had updated the computer class curriculum since I had been there, and I was shocked to learn they are still spending the class period learning to type!
Kids these days are basically born knowing how to type and manage electronic devices so why are we wasting time teaching them how to type? With all the instant messaging, texting, and computer usage by children and young adults, they are probably typing more wpm than their teachers.
That being said, it’s about time Facebook is introduced to the classroom because it can greatly benefit the younger generation to learn how to use social media sites correctly and in a way that can potentially enhance their future professional lives. One of the reasons social media sites are so shunned in school is because of the trouble kids find themselves in by misusing them – bullying, jealousy, illegal activities, etc. can all be attributed to irresponsible posts made by individuals. If children were taught social media etiquette from the beginning, and informed of the potential consequences of abusing Facebook, I think a lot of the stigma of social media could be erased.
Also, with computer technology being such a vital part of the workplace, I think students should learn more in-depth computer skills than typing. If students learned basic programming skills and how to operate more advanced programs than Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, we would be seeing incredible technological advances in our society.
If I were to re-write computer classroom curriculum, this is what I, Kimberly, would include:
1. Classroom blog (All students would take turns posting. This can enhance those typing skills while also including creative writing, social interaction, and expanded knowledge on a certain topic)
2. Social media etiquette
- Privacy settings
- How to present yourself in a positive manner (none of those self-pictures in your bathroom mirror of you making a duck face while giving a peace sign)
- Social media in professional setting (FB business page, marketing, etc.)
3. Basic computer programming (It is such a needed skill now! Imagine if it became second nature for the young generation)
4. Website construction (Using a basic site like Word Press or Google sites, students can make their own personal site or be creative by making a site for an imaginary business)
I have no background in education, so I have no idea how this would actually play out, but I think technology education needs a kick in the pants in some schools!
Does anyone know of schools that are taking this initiative to amp up computer classes? What else would you include in these classes?
The NAFSA Annual Conference is just around the corner. I have been asked by many newbies to the conference if I have any tips and tricks to help them get through a very intense and exhausting week of activities. Below are my top tips and tricks for surviving the NAFSA Annual Conference. They are in no particular order and feel free to chime in if you have others.
1. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Ladies leave the high heels at home. You will regret wearing them at the end of the first day. One reason I say this is that the convention center tends to be huge and you could have to walk about a half a mile or more just to get from one meeting room to another. Additionally, the hotels are not all located right next door and neither are the restaurants for the receptions. So you will be doing a lot of walking and in many cases will need to do so quickly. You will notice most people are in their sneakers by Thursday or Friday.
2. Leave time between meetings. This one has gotten me many times. I book meetings back to back and forget that it will take me at least 10-15 minutes to get from the meeting spot to the exhibit hall (and find the booth I need) or vice versa. You need to leave time between meetings so you can transport yourself across vast distances.
3. A few money saving tips. Use the receptions for your dinners and other meals. Many of us get invited to multiple receptions every night. They normally don't have dinner but they usually have enough snacks that you can make a meal if you attend 2-3. This goes the same for breakfast meetings and luncheons. Plus, let's be honest, you will not have time to sit down for a real dinner or meal all week so you need to eat when you can.
4. Buy a power pack to charge your devices. If you are anything like me and are connected all the time via social media, email, etc., you will need an extra battery pack to charge your devices during the day because they will not survive from the beginning of the day to the end without a little help. I just purchased one and wish I had it several conferences ago. Click here to view the one I purchased. It seems to work pretty well.
5. Drink lots of water! I say this not only because it is good for your body in general but for several others reasons. One you will be doing a lot of talking and you don't want to lose your voice. Many of my friends lose their voice by the end of the conference. This may still happen but at least you can prolong it from happening possibly. Also, the convention center and the hotel rooms tend to be really dry and dry everything out including your throat. I always carry a bottle of water around with me and fill it up often during the day. They generally have either drinking fountains or portable water to fill up with around the convention center for everyone.
6. Have a plan of attack for the expo hall. The Expo Hall is huge. There are literally hundreds of booths throughout this massive space. This means if you are planning on gleaning any information from this expo hall you need to know who you want to visit and which booths you definitely want to stop by. If you don't, you will get lost in this massive space. Believe it or not I have gotten lost in there at least once every year. The booths all look alike after awhile. I suggest creating a list of those exhibitors you want to visit and then organize them by their booth number. Then start at one end of the Expo Hall and work your way to the other. You will need to do this over the course of several days since unless you are planning on spending 3-4 hours or more in the Expo Hall at one time, you will not be able to make it to all the exhibitors on your list at one time.
7. If you are presenting, do not count on the internet working. Make sure you include screen shots in your presentation in case the internet doesn't work. I have given too many presentations and been in too many rooms where the internet doesn't work or is so slow you can't do what you want. This also includes embedding videos into your presentation vs. counting on the internet to play them. If the internet works great but, if not you still can show what you want people to see.
These are some of my favorite tips and tricks for newbies to the NAFSA conference as well as a refresher for the veterans. If you have any great tips please let feel free to add them here.
Hi everyone! My name is Kimberly Wilson, and I am the new Mandy’s Mashups social media intern. My role here will be updating the blog, website, and Facebook page, as well as brainstorming other ways to branch out with new projects.
I am currently on track to graduate in May from Clemson University with a degree in Spanish & International Health, so the International Education aspect of Mandy’s Mashups really appealed to me. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Spain to study and intern. Thanks to these experiences, I have developed a passion for travel, studying abroad, and all things international, so I am incredibly excited to merge this interest with social media.
I will be very honest and admit that I have ZERO experience using social media in a professional setting. I, like all college students these days however, have plenty
of personal experience using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, among other social media sites. What else are we supposed to do during a 90 min lecture when the next exam is weeks away??
It has been enlightening to see, however, that social media can actually be something productive and useful, not just a time-waster when putting off that ten page paper or final chemistry exam (or cheMISERY as I liked to call it).
By working as an intern with Mandy’s Mashups, I hope to continue expanding my knowledge of social media’s professional functions as well as its relation to international education. What are your first experiences with social media? Did you jump on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagon from the start or did you hold out until it was only completely necessary to have an account?
Please feel free to write me with any suggestions for the website and social media channels below as a comment or through the contact
This is my first post related to social media in quite a while. My lapse is due to my hectic travel schedule this summer. In a 4.5 week period I traveled to The Gambia (in West Africa), Senegal, Sri Lanka, and India. I definitely raked up the mileage. I am also leaving again this weekend for another 3.5 week stint overseas. Never a dull moment. (If you want to read about my adventures abroad check out my travel blog).That brings me to the topic of this blog. The basic question I am discussing in this blog is - Do you find it difficult to keep up with all the different social media tools, apps, etc. out there?I will freely admit that I find it extremely difficult to keep up with all the changes with social media. Sometimes it changes by the minute. I think of myself as somewhat savvy when it comes to social media
and even I find it difficult to stay abreast of best practices as it relates to social media and especially, international education. (For more on the topic of being a social media expert see my colleague's, @ericstoller
, blog on this topic
.) I do not think of myself as a social media expert, even though many refer to me as that. For me social media is a hobby. I fell into and enjoy learning about it. However, right now it seems that every day there is a new form of social media being published and everyone is expected to jump on board and start using it. I don't feel the need to do this. I know that sounds strange for someone who enjoys social media but I think there is a finite amount of time in my day (I do have a full-time job not related to social media) and I need to spend that time wisely.In addition, my philosophy as it relates to social media (not necessarily everything in my life) is that I would rather fully understand and be good at only a few of the more well-used technologies than no a little bit about many social media tools but not be able to effectively use any of them. Your thoughts on this?Jumping on the social media bandwagon does not mean you have to know everything about every social media tool. To me it means being willing to understand how to use it, having a goal for using social media, and being consistent with its use. People have and do make a full time job out of social media. However, for most of us, we just want and need to know how to use it effectively and efficiently
and will never fully understand, or want to understand, all the social media tools out there.In the end, my advice for those using or thinking about using social media is to have a goal for wanting to learn how to use it, have an open mind, and be both patient and consistent with its use. Remember you get out of social media what you put it. With that being said what are your favorite social media tools? What are your favorite uses for various social media tools? Also, are there any new social media tools that you have found to be particularly useful?More later!
Check out this inexpensive but highly informative workshops offered by my colleague at MelibeeU! This is a great way to start your professional development for the year!MelibeeU has LAUNCHED with TWO new workshops!
The first, “International Educators – Striking a Balance”
is $12. Yes, you heard me correctly – it is only $12. We’d like to help you celebrate 2012 in affordable style!
The second, “Global Service Learning:Design/Connection/Reflection”
is an outstanding three part workshop with Dr. Eric Hartman, an educator with much to share about the subject of GSL and Global Citizenship.
As promised, Melibee will be offering this second workshop at a more affordable fee than other online professional development opportunities.
High quality, lower fees! There is no better way to kick off 2012. Actually THERE IS!
This exciting 4.5 hour workshop will be offered at an even MORE discounted rate if you register by Wednesday at 11:59 PM EST
. Here are the coupon codes to receive the special rates for Dr. Hartman’s workshop: Organizations/Individuals (who are NOT Full Time Students):
Use discount code “Thirty” (no quotes) to receive a rate of only $247 for nearly 5 hours of training! And you don’t even have to leave your desk! If you’re a Full Time Student, enter discount code:
”FTStuEarly” (no quotes.) The rate will decrease to only $97. (If you’re a Full Time Student attempting to register after Wednesday at 11:59 PM, you can use the discount code “FTStudent” (no quotes) and the rate will decrease to $127.)
And don’t forget to check out two other trainings that were offered this fall in conjunction with Small Planet Studio. Click here for Melibee U’s main page.
You’ll find all the information and links you need to get you started.
Happy New Year and thanks for your support and many good wishes!
Make sure you register by today to receive your discount.Enjoy!
International Careers Consortium is hosting its 2012 annual conference at Wellesley College on Thursday, April 12, 2012. This year’s theme is: “Building Global Communities on Campus”. Our goal is to provide a variety of programming that focuses on resources and tools for creating inclusive and welcoming campus communities. Participants are professionals working in career services, education abroad and international student services.Presentations will provide resources and tools for creating inclusive and welcoming campus communities. Up to date information about the conference is located on our website: http://www.intlcareers.org/annual-conference.htmlIf you are in the area I encourage you to think about attending!
I will be a featured speaker at the following conference in April. I will speaking on how Career Services and International Education can utilize social media to reach alumni.
Today I had the honor and the privilege to present an all day workshop on social media with 3 other colleagues from around Europe at the EAIE (European Association of International Educators) Annual Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. It seemed to be a huge success and I think we converted several international educators to social media users.
Below is our presentation from today's session so you too can be a part of the experience. Feel free to comment if you like. We covered quite a few topics in this one day session and I hope we get to repeat it next year.
Here is guest blog post from a colleague in the field who was one of the early adopters of social media. Sarah, or @srah, was one of the first people to really start actively using Twitter for both personal as well as International Education purposes.Here is what she had to say about how social media.How does social media influence your international education job? I use social media to communicate with students and with colleagues on campus and around the world. Social media is the type of web technology that fosters interaction and conversation, which is helpful in a lot of different aspects of my work: getting information about study abroad programs, sharing it with students, answering students’ questions and collaborating with colleagues on projects. How did you get into social media? My master’s degree is in Information, with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction (this has to do with making websites and other information systems user-friendly so that people have straightforward access to the information they’re seeking). In my graduate school environment, I was surrounded by early adopters, testing out and evaluating the latest social media trends. I decided to follow a different career path than any of my graduate school classmates did, but many of them are working in the Internet/social media industry and continue to be a great resource to find out about the latest hot gadgets, widgets, apps and platforms. It was from these friends that I first learned about Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and most of the other social media systems that I use today. What is one thing you wish you knew about social media that would have made getting involved with it easier? For people who are hesitant about trying out social media, I think the most valuable thing to know is that it’s okay to participate passively, or “lurk” for as long as you want before jumping in yourself. You can start a Twitter account, for example, and follow other Twitter feeds to see what other people are saying. Click on some things and see what they do! A lot of social media (and new technology in general) is best learned by trying and tinkering. You’ll probably feel more involved and more interested in continuing this once there’s a two-way conversation going on, but it’s fine to just hang around and observe until there’s something you want to contribute. If you’re looking for people to follow or things to learn, check out the #studyabroad or #nafsa11 hashtags to see what people are saying on those topics. What is one social media tool you cannot live without now? Twitter is great and Facebook is pretty darn essential, but in the past month or so, I’ve also gotten hooked on the microblogging platform Tumblr. If I had to describe Tumblr, it would be a cross between LiveJournal and Twitter. It can be used for keeping a blog, or just for sharing short thoughts, images and videos. It also has a “reblogging” feature analogous to a “retweet” so that you can share interesting things you find, and posts have an opportunity to go viral. The Tumblr community has a pretty young demographic, so I’ve found a lot of posts from students who are preparing to study abroad, currently abroad, or dealing with re-entry issues. I’ve been doing my own Tumblr about study abroad and international travel, including series on famous people and fictional characters who studied abroad. Why do you continue to use social media? Using social media is about meeting students where they are. Young people are very likely to try out and use new media. And increasingly, it is about meeting our colleagues where they are, too. I’ve made all kinds of connections and discovered new things by communicating with study abroad colleagues through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s also a way to get quick updates on things happening around the world. I’ve found that I’m likely to get important breaking news updates through Twitter or Facebook before I get them through any traditional news sources. It’s not just useful for sharing professional information or promoting study abroad to students, but – as we’ve seen in various emergency and protest situations around the world - could be useful for individuals’ and organizations’ health, safety and well-being. What do you think social media's biggest impact has been on international education? I think tools like Twitter and LinkedIn have been very useful for meeting and collaborating with my colleagues in international education around the world. Social media is, of course, useful for communicating with students, but I think that what I enjoy most is the camaraderie of the online NAFSA communities. There are many people in this field that I’ve gotten to know quite well before even meeting them face-to-face. Conferences come once a year (or twice or three or four times…) but these are tools we can use year-round. Sarah McNitt is a study abroad advisor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She enjoys guiding students through international opportunities, fiddling with new technology, watching musical theatre, drinking tea and collecting trivia. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with her via: Twitter | LinkedIn | Tumblr | Email | Website
If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is the first post in hopefully a continuous series and revolves around students who have or are studying abroad and have or are using social media while abroad.I am starting this series because many people have asked me - "How do you know if students are actually using these various forms of social media?" I figured rather than me tell you about it I would get the story straight from the users themselves. So I will be asking several current and former study abroad students who I know have used some form of social media while abroad how social media affected their time abroad as well as how they used social media while abroad.Here is what one student has to say: This spring semester, I’ve been studying abroad in southern Spain to improve my Spanish and to live in and understand another culture. Before coming here, I had a blog that I used for my experience in technical theater at my college and beyond, since that is my chosen career track; and I decided to upkeep the blog while abroad despite the fact that I knew I wouldn’t have a lot to do with theater here. Working on my blog while abroad has been a great experience. I know my family, even my grandma, can keep up with my traveling and enjoy my pictures. It’s better than a personal journal because while I write small things in that journal, on my blog I write about the big things and details about traveling. It’s a perfect record that I can look back on later, and since it’s in the public domain I know the things I included were things I felt were worth reading and sharing. Facebook and Skype have also been a big part of my time here. I don’t know how I would have made it without being able to talk to my boyfriend, friends, and family at home. Studying abroad is a roller coaster every day, and when you have strong relationships you want to share every little new experience with someone you love. With Facebook, I can post fun facts about Spain that no one really knows to my friends’ walls; I can watch videos of the theater events and other fun things that happen at school; I can get the personal news from home; and I’ve kept in touch with people that I would have regretted losing. I was worried at first that spending too much time online, even if it was to update my blog, would cut into my experience here. My parents didn’t even want me to bring my computer, but I knew I’d need it for schoolwork and brought it along. And the truth is I do spend some time online almost every day…but it’s all a balancing act. I don’t think I will look back on my time here and have regrets, because I took every opportunity to go hiking, to take pictures in the city, to go on excursions even when no other Americans were there, and to try new things. In fact, keeping up with social media has really made my experience here even better because I can share these adventures with the people I’m close to and allow them to enjoy Spain with me. Keelia Liptak is a junior theater major at Saint Michael's College. She has worked extensively in the central Vermont area in various theaters. She is currently studying abroad with Academic Programs International in Granada, Spain. This summer Keelia will be working as an electrics intern at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, NY, on Long Island. For more information, please visit http://backstageatsmc.blogspot.com/
If you studied abroad and used social media and are interested in being a guest blogger, please email me at email@example.com
Here is Part Two of Frank Merendino's Guest Blog post on how he uses social media within international education.Let's find out why Frank continues to use Social Media today!What is one social media tool you cannot live without now? This is a tough choice because I have an equal affinity for Twitter and LinkedIn—but if I have to pick, I would say LinkedIn. Mainly because it provides more robust features like networking, marketing yourself, seeing what colleagues are up to, and the forums act as an information aggregator (I suppose most of what I just said could be applied to Twitter as well). What is one thing you wish you knew about social media that would have made getting involved with it easier? Prepare to be overwhelmed at first—especially with Twitter. When I stated using Twitter, I felt like I had to read every tweet and every article that the people I followed were posting. I was on information overload. It was a good thing because I felt like I was made aware of so much more information…but it was also a bad thing because I was made aware of so much more information! There is a lot to process at first, but after a while you get the hang of it. Tools like tweetdeck and hootsuite are great for creating filters. Learning how to quickly skim your Twitter feed and only read what interests you is something that will develop over time.
What do you think social media's biggest impact has been on international education? Quickly spreading information and ideas—but I think that’s what’s great about social media regardless of your field. Why do you continue to use social media?I’m hooked! In all seriousness, using social media has made me feel more connected and informed. It allows me to access a huge pool of information that is catered towards my interests in international education. I can’t even describe how much I have been exposed to via Twitter that I wouldn’t have found on my own. The best part is that the info is all peer-reviewed. I have come to trust the opinions of many of the international educators I follow based on the info they tweet about. Frank Merendino is the Sr. Admissions Officer for International Partnerships at the University of Cincinnati. He has presented or volunteered at NAFSA: Association of International Educators since 2007. He currently serves as the Region VI State Rep for Ohio and nationally as a member of the Leadership Development Committee. Frank holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron. You can follow him on Twitter at @Frankie_James.
If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org