Just Published: “College Student Development in Digital Spaces” in “Engaging the Digital Generation”

I'm pleased to share that the new volume of New Directions for Student Services that I've been collaborating on for the past year is finally available online!  Engaging the Digital Generation, edited by Josie Ahlquist and Ed Cabellon, focuses on issues confronting college students and higher education professionals related to technology.  The chapters in this volume... Continue Reading →

DOWNLOAD MY DISSERTATION: College Students, Social Media, Digital Identities, and the Digitized Self

I am happy to finally make my entire final dissertation available for all to download and read.  This document represents some of the first qualitative research into how traditionally aged college students use social media and its impact on their development and how they construct identities online.  If you want a more detailed description, I've included the... Continue Reading →

Creating Digital College Student Citizens Versus Leaders

I recently came across this graphic posted on TeachThought which comes from the minds of Sylvia Duckworth and Jennifer Casa-Todd (blog).  The graphic highlights the distinction between two concepts: Digital Citizenship: Being a good neighbor and responsible ethical partner on the internet and Digital Leadership: Using the internet and social media tools to influence change and improve society Both concepts... Continue Reading →

We All Have One. What Is Your Digital Stamp?

We all have one whether we want to or not.  One's digital stamp, a term coined by Erik Qualman, is the sum total of everything about you in the digital domain.  One's digital stamp, sometimes referred to as one's digital identity, is a key concept that we all must be aware of when we interact online.... Continue Reading →

What Does Digitized College Student Development Look Like?

A good friend and colleague, David Kasch, presented a paper at the ASHE conference back in 2011 where he attempted to analyze/categorize developmental theories by their narrative patterns.  Some theories represent linear patterns, whereas others are continua, and still others follow intersectional or vector patterns.  The above graphic is a modification of David's original concept, but should... Continue Reading →

Adding ‘Digital Identity’ to your Student ‘Development’ Syllabus [REBLOG]

Once a month I reblog a post from a colleague that I think deserves to be shared more widely.  This month’s comes from Dr. Paul Eaton, who is researching similar topics as myself: the impact of social media and digital technology on the college student developmental process (or as Paul would describe it, “becoming”).  Take a look at this great post from Paul on how one may integrate concepts of “digital identity” into traditional college student development courses.  Some great resources here.

Paul William Eaton

It is the start of spring semester here at Louisiana State University.  I am fortunate, blessed, and honored to once again be co-teaching our Master’s Level Student Development Theory course, alongside Dr. Danielle Alsandor and Kristin Satterlee (pedagogically, team-teaching is an incredible opportunity to add diverse perspectives to a classroom).

We have decided to add discussions of ‘digital identity’ to our syllabus.  This is an ethical responsibility, necessary and important for future leaders in our profession.  If you are teaching student development theory this spring, or in the near future, consider adding this important new component to your syllabus.

Many synoptic texts do not currently have chapters dedicated to this topic, so here is a list and brief overview of some readings we are including this spring.

Becoming and Belonging

This chapter, by Rob Cover (2014), is part of an excellent edited text from the University of Wisconsin Press entitled 

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The Student Development Transit System Map

  I had a lot of fun putting this together!  You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get the poster visually right while trying to make sure it makes sense conceptually and theoretically.  Too reductionist?  Maybe.  Areas for improvement?  I'm sure.  Let me know how you'd try arranging it in the comments below. BUY... Continue Reading →

Introducing My Dissertation Topic: College Students, Social Media and the Self

This Thursday, I will (finally) have my dissertation proposal hearing.  This means I will present my proposed dissertation research to my committee and seek approval to move forward into the data collection and analysis phases.  Proposals  generally include the "first three chapters" of a dissertation.  These chapters are typically an introduction, a review of literature, and a research... Continue Reading →

The Difference Between a College Student’s DIGITAL and ONLINE Identity (And Why We’re Getting it Wrong)

As you probably know at this point, my research involves college students and how they construct a sense of self in digital and social media spaces.  In conducting this research, I've encountered the term "digital identity" frequently.  I've used it, and some of my doctoral student colleague friends have written about it (including Paul Eaton, Josie Ahlquist, and Ed... Continue Reading →

Applying Bronfenbrenner’s Student Development Theory to College Students & Social Media

Tweet http://youtu.be/fBLuzUk5NII (One of my colleagues and friends, Paul Eaton, wrote a great blog post about Bronfenbrenner's applicability to online/social media spaces.  I also wanted to have a go at the topic, so I purposely didn't re-read his post until after publishing this one... and there's agreement... but with a twist... read on...) Urie Bronfenbrenner's theory of... Continue Reading →

3 Insights on College Student Self Esteem from “Let me Take a #Selfie”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdemFfbS5H0 In the three months since it’s release, the video "#Selfie (Let Me Take a Selfie)" has been viewed nearly 100 million times on YouTube and has gone into heavy rotation.  Although tongue-in-cheek, the video reveals some surprising nuggets of wisdom regarding social media engagement, particularly around Instagram.  It also provides interesting insights into the underlying... Continue Reading →

Digital Identity Is NOT About (A Separate) Identity At All

My research passion is about college students and how social media and technology impacts the developmental process. Unfortunately, I’ve found a lot of the discourse in student affairs around this subject to be lacking. When you attend a conference session or read a thought piece centered around this topic, they often focus on marketing, technological tools, and... Continue Reading →

The Quarterlife Crisis and The Twenteysomething Identity

One 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... Continue Reading →

Is the Quarterlife Crisis still real? Or was it ever?

I teach three spring semester Advanced Practicum courses to students in Boston College and Merrimack College's Higher Education Masters programs.  One of the readings I like to assign for the first class is a selection from Robbin and Wilner's Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties.  Although the work has a few... Continue Reading →

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