#SAtech and #EDtech Picks for the #ACPA14 Conference

PrintThis year the Convention team did a major overhaul of the schedule and session types to bring a fresh approach to our professional development.  Much of this innovation relates to technology, social media, and cutting edge practices.  Below you will find general sessions related to technology as well as the new “Genius Labs.”  In addition to these programs, check out the HEd Talk and keynote speakers (and Theorist HEdTalks, too).  Many address technology-related topics.

(And if I missed a session, please let me know!)
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University in the New Millennium: Threats, Opportunities and Change

I’m excited to be presenting on one of my research passions at the 2014 national conventions of both ACPA-College Student Educators International and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. My session on the future of higher education (see below) is something I’ve presented on before, but I’ve been able to update this presentation with about 50-60% new content as my understanding of the topic has evolved.

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Experiments in Teaching and Training With Social Media and Technology

Being an instructor in the Higher Education Master’s programs at Boston College and Merrimack College, and as former Res Lifer, I’ve always been interested in how to advance student learning outcomes through the use of technology and social media in classroom and training environments.  I’ll have the opportunity to present on both at the upcoming national conventions of ACPA and NASPA.  Below you will find the slide deck from my presentation as well as some resources for further reading.

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The Time JetBlue Gave Me A Special Valentine’s Day Gift

This is a story of one man’s love affair with an airline and how, on one special Valentine’s Day, they exchanged two special gifts.


I fly JetBlue a lot and often tweet them here or there to ask a question, express an opinion, or just share them in a mention to my followers.  Anyone who’s followed JetBlue knows that they are highly regarded for their social media engagement and they’ve never disappointed me.  Much like the movie, Her, some of my friends have begun to question if our relationship is “unhealthy.”  Others have just become jealous of our self-described “bromance:”

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The Quarterlife Crisis and The Twenteysomething Identity

Sylvia_plathOne of the most popular readings I assign in my spring semester Higher Education practicum courses is from The Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenge of Life in Your Twenties.  Although the cultural references within are somewhat dated, the concepts still resonate with their audience just as strongly.  It seems to uniquely capture some of the feelings that young college graduates face as they reach towards the next phase of their lives and the uncertainty that lies ahead.  You can see some of the students’ reactions to the reading from a previous semester, here.

Late last year, a new book, Twentysomething: Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck? was released that tackles some of these concepts.  Although I have not had the opportunity to fully read the book, I was struck by this passage it quoted from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar:

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

2013 is the 50th Anniversary of the publication of The Bell Jar and yet these words seem just as relevant today as they were in the 1960s.  In light of this, I wonder:

  • Is the “quarterlife crisis” new?  Or has it always existed?
  • Does it look different now then it did in the past?

What are your thoughts?