My MediaKron Experiment in E-Learning

This semester I am collaborating with one of the Boston College Higher Education faculty members, Ana Martinez Aleman, on a new technology e-learning project called “MediaKron” for her Higher Education in American Society course. MediaKron is an online multimedia platform that was developed at Boston College as a means of presenting and enhancing course content. The College received funding from the Davis Educational Foundation, and after an initial pilot of the program, it is now collaborating with other higher education institutions to develop their own projects off the platform.

What is MediaKron?
MediaKron is a multimedia platform that enables instructors to input their own “data” and connect it in unique ways. You might think of it as an updated version of the multimedia CD-ROM that was in vogue in the 1990s, but with all of the sophistication, internet-enabled enhancements, and social sharing of the Web 2.0 age. It is also similar to projects such as Ted-Ed (although far more sophisticated in what it can do). The MediaKron website itself describes the project as:
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How ACPA’s Standing Committees Got Their Name

I currently serve as the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA’s) Coordinator for Standing Committees.  Standing Committees are organizations in ACPA that represent some of the social identities present in the student affairs profession and in our work with students.   In my role, I represent, coordinate the work of, and advocate for the Standing Committees for/on Women, Men, Graduate Students and New Professionals, Disability, Multicultural Affairs, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness.

Although our mission is clear, the name “Standing Committee,” is often a source of confusion for new (and even experienced) members.  I often get asked:

  • Why are they called “Standing Committees?”
  • What are the “standing committees” of?

Here’s the answer…
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Good Evening Scholars: A Teaching Observation

I had the privilege of doing a teaching observation of a colleague this semester. I always love the opportunity to learn from other’s approaches to the learning process. I thought I would share some of my reflections and observations hoping it may help you too.

The instructor and I both share an approach to teaching where we attempt to reduce the barriers of authority in the teacher-student relationship. This instructor always greets her students at the start of class with a hearty “Good Evening Scholars!” Her stated reason for doing this is to establish mutual authority in approaching the subject matter and to begin the socialization of the students as scholars. It’s a wonderfully simple way of setting the stage for the classroom and for communicating a co-constructed student-teacher relationship. It’s one that I will likely “borrow” for the future.
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6 Uses of Poll Everywhere in Student Affairs Training, Teaching and Events

It’s that time of year! Time to train the staff, open the halls, and start welcome week. I wanted to share one of my favorite tools, Poll Everywhere, and give you some suggestions on how to use it in creative ways with your events, student staff trainings, educational sessions, and in the classroom.

Poll Everywhere is a great web service for running different types of live polls. Participants can answer via a simple text message or via a web browser on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. Question types can range from multiple choice to free-text response. As participants respond, results are shown in real time via a webpage (or a plug-in for Keynote or PowerPoint) that can be projected for all to see.  (You can view their “tour” here.)

There are many ways you can use Poll Everywhere to engage your audience. Here are my suggestions (and some reasons why Poll Everywhere may be a better solution than other options out there):
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Three Simple Rules to Ramp Up Your Student Affairs Department’s Social Media Presence

On occasion I’m asked to sit down with student affairs professionals and departments to consult on their social media presence. What always strikes me about these conversations is that many view social media as merely a new form of advertising. Social media is actually far more complex and possesses a different set of rules in order to be successful. Rather than just posting about your events and deadlines, departments need to think about social media as a program itself. You have to ENGAGE your users just as you would through a compelling program.

One of my trusted colleagues, Leah Kreimer, always used to advise her students groups that every program needed to have three elements:

1. Something to get them there
2. Something to keep them there
3. Something to take away

These simple rules are a great way of understanding how a department should approach their social media presence. To put them in social media terms, you could re-conceptualize these elements as:

1. Something to get them to follow you
2. Something to keep them coming back to check, read and engage with
3. Something that they can share with others to promote you further
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