2017: The Year of College Student Activism and Social Media Organizing

The 2016 U.S. presidential election was one of the most divisive in recent history. In a recent poll by CNN, 85% of Americans reported believing that the country is more divided than in previous years. As we head into 2017, this division is likely to remain steady and perhaps increase. As a result, college campuses in 2017 will likely see an increase in political activism and social unrest approaching levels not seen since the 1960s. Colleges and universities, long the epicenter of many of these movements, will again become the crucible for social… Read More

PRESENTATION VIDEO: What’s Going On “Behind the Screen” With College Students?

I had the honor of presenting, not once, but twice at the Online Learning Consortium’s Innovate Conference (co-hosted with Merlot) in New Orleans this year. The following are two videos from my presentations there. The first, immediately below, was a lightning-style talk. This presentation consisted of 20 slides, each set to advance automatically every 18 seconds, for a total presentation time of 5 minutes. In this lightning talk, I discuss one of the most compelling findings from my research: online motivation and “the Like.”

Where do dissertations go when they die?

It’s done. Congratulations! That dissertation you’ve stressed over for months… that you’ve labored over for years… It’s finally complete. You’ve uploaded it to a database, or submitted it to the library, and there it sits. New knowledge. Waiting for discovery. Put on that fancy new robe and stride across the stage. After you pick up your diploma, go ahead and drop your dissertation in the bottomless pit to the left. The sad fact is, your dissertation will likely never be read, remembered, or referenced. If you have a really supportive mom, she… Read More

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 abstract below. Interested in downloading it?  In addition to the dissertation now being available on the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database, I’ve also made it available as direct download here from my website.

Following College Students… Getting Up To Speed On Snapchat

  According to recent statistics from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 41% of U.S. teenagers are on Snapchat (April 8, 2015).  Alongside Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat rounds out the Top 3 of teen social media sites.  This was also consistent with the college students in my doctoral research who reported the same “top 3.”  But what about you as an educator? Do you use Snapchat?  Do you understand it?  I’ve found that higher education professionals are lagging behind in their knowledge of this important social network.