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The Year of the Personal Computer: How Technology has Revolutionized Student Affairs

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  1. Baylor University Melissa Gruver J.T. Snipes Kathryn Wheatley The Year of the Personal Computer:How Technology has Revolutionized Student Affairs 2008 Case Study Competition

  2. Technology is Ever Changing… Retrieved from

  3. Welcome McApple College Student Affairs Staff! AGENDA • Icebreaker • A Day in the Life of a College Student • A Brief History of Information Technology • Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants • Student DevelopmentTheory • 5 Areas of Service Affected by Technology • The Future of Technology in Student Affairs

  4. Icebreaker Using only your cell phone, find the current weather conditions in Istanbul. You may work with one other person. When you find the answer, send it via text message to 555-555-5555. You have 3 minutes

  5. Icebreaker Debrief • And the winner is… 30 Degrees F, Snow • Ways of finding the answer: • Calling a friend and asking them to look up the answer online • Using the Media Mall to connect to your phone’s Internet browser • Texting “weather Istanbul” to GOOGLE (466453) • Using a weather application on your phone Can you think of other ways? Our students can! We asked 25 students to participate in this exercise and they found the answer in an average of 63 seconds

  6. A Day in the Life of a Typical College Student

  7. A Day in the Life of a Typical College Student • Wake up using a digital alarm clock • Utilize handheld-vibrating electric toothbrush • Check email, Instant Message, Facebook, News, Sports, Weather (all at same time!) • Play video games & watch digitally recorded television • Check Blackboard to get updated on all course assignments and information • Text message classmate about last night’s homework • Walk to class listening to MP3 player

  8. A Brief History of Information Technology (Komives & Woodward 2003)

  9. The Personal Computer…and Beyond The technology that was invented for the personal computer helped to pave the way for other technologies that have revolutionized students’ lives.

  10. College Students as Digital Natives • Digital natives are native speakers of the digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet (Prensky 2001). • College students today have grown up surrounded with technology. Due to their experiences with technology, students have different learning styles than previous generations. • “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach” (Presnky 2001).

  11. The College Student Mindset Most of the students entering College this fall, members of the Class of 2011, were born in 1989. Every year Beloit College identifies experiences of the typical 18 year old and here are some of the everyday things that they take for granted: • What Berlin wall? • Humvees, minus the artillery, have always been available to the public. • They never "rolled down" a car window. • They have grown up with bottled water. • Rap music has always been mainstream. • "Off the hook" has never had anything to do with a telephone. • Being a latchkey kid has never been a big deal. • Thanks to MySpace and Facebook, autobiography can happen in real time. • Most phone calls have never been private. • MTV has never featured music videos. • They will encounter roughly equal numbers of female and male professors in the classroom. • The World Wide Web has been an online tool since they were born.

  12. Faculty and Staff as Digital Immigrants • Digital immigrants were socialized differently than their students and must be intentional about learning technology, much like a second language(Prensky 2001). • This new “language” is learned later in life when the brain is less elastic and is processed in a different part of the brain (Berk 2007). • Digital Immigrants tend to retain an “accent”- evidence with past experiences with technology (Prensky). • Can you think of some examples of an “immigrant’s accent” in your own interactions with technology?

  13. Digital Natives Vs. Digital Immigrants

  14. Astin’s I-E-O Model • Astin’s I-E-O Model (Pascarella & Terenzini 2003) • Input, Environment, Output • We need to take into consideration what backgrounds and experiences, or input, the students are bringing to college. Each student is different, so we need to have a variety of programs to meet student needs. • Colleges are responsible for the environment-how we shape the student experience through programs, policies, technologies, cultures. • Are we speaking the same language? In this digital age, the “immigrants” need to learn the language in order to communicate with the “natives.” • Belong to the same culture? We are all from different cultures and it is important to recognize this fact instead of pretending that there is no disparity.

  15. Astin’s I-E-O Model (Cont.) • Having a wired and wireless campus is one way we reach out to students on our campus and make them feel more at home in their environment. • Are the programs offered by McApple connecting with the needs and wants of the students? • Getting student involvement requires being on their level: i.e. Facebook messaging, texting, E-mail, Blackboard announcements. • Astin states that student involvement leads to higher retention, so we are serving McApple by serving our students (1984). • With technology changing so quickly are the policies we set in place antiquated before they are even initiated? • Policies need to be constantly updated with new technology clauses as it affects students and university policies. • It is necessary to have an Information Technology staff member working with your departments to keep Websites and other technology current.

  16. Chickering’s 7 Vectors Applied to Technology Even though Chickering’s theory was designed to analyze the development of students in the last century, it still holds true for today’s technologically savvy student (Chickering & Reisser 1993). • Developing Competence • By engaging students more actively in the learning process, we can promote intellectual, physical, and interpersonal competence (1993). • One example of how McApple Student Affairs Division assists students in developing competence is the services offered to student with disabilities. These students are better able to navigate the physical campus and the intellectual world of college through technology throughout the campus and access to professors’ PowerPoint slides and digital recording of lectures. • Managing Emotions • Students bring a wide variety of emotional baggage to college and it is our responsibility to assist students in dealing with these issues (1993). • In order to accommodate to more techno-savvy students, counseling centers offer online brochures, pamphlets, & referral warning signs to allow for more information to be disseminated to our students.

  17. Chickering’s 7 Vectors Applied to Technology (cont.) • Moving through Autonomy towards Interdependence • Students can achieve emotional autonomy and still rely on one another for support (1993). • Social networking communities provide for individualism and affirmation from peer groups. • Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships • A critical function of the college experience is to promote acceptance of individual differences and a appreciation for cultural diversity (Pope et al., 2004), which can lead to a greater capacity for intimacy (Chickering & Reisser 1993). • In the past, students at McApple did not have a centralized way of finding out about cultural events on campus. Now we are able to utilize our E-announcements and Facebook events and flyers to guarantee maximum publicity for these events. • Establishing Identity • When a student has achieved a stable and realistic self-image, new challenges will be less threatening (Reisser 1995) • McApple students are encouraged by faculty & staff alike to utilize their own webspace to introduce their personal strengths and involvements to the campus community.

  18. Chickering’s 7 Vectors Applied to Technology (cont.) • Developing Purpose • This vector involves educational and vocational planning along with lifestyle choices and establishment of priorities (Reisser 1995). • Career services provides an online module to allow students to explore the many paths to future endeavors with just a few clicks of the mouse. • Developing Integrity • This vector is indicated by the presence of student humanizing values and personalizing values (1995). • It is important for us to communicate the university values to our students in an accessible way. This is why we post all judicial policy on the institutional website and email all updates and rationale to entire student body.

  19. Astin’s Theory of Student Involvement • “Student Involvement refers to the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student devotes to the academic experience” (1984). • As student affairs professionals, we are utilizing more technologies to draw students into the realm of involvement. • As co-educators, we are involving the mental aspects of learning as well as the physical or social experiences.

  20. A True Digital Immigrant

  21. Five Key Themes of Change in Student Affairs • Community • Communication • Security • Accessibility • Global Leadership

  22. Community • In the past the community was traditionally limited to a physical geography, today the internet helps communities transcend physical space (Sheir 2005). • Traditional Foundations for Community Building • Residence Halls • University Traditions • Social Organizations • Social Networking Sites are an increasingly popular medium through which students form community. There are several social networking mediums of interest to the Student Affairs Division.

  23. Current Examples of Community Initiatives • Residence Life • Resident Advisor Facebook group • Hall Director Blogs • Student Activities • Facebook invitations to on-campus events • Blackboard organization for student groups • Online Roster • Event Management Requests • Counseling Services • Facebook support groups for common college campus disorders (i.e. alcoholism, eating disorders, internet/gaming addictions) • Weekly online chat session hosted by a licensed counselor

  24. More Current Examples of Community Initiatives • Student Health • Fitness / Health center coordinator blogs • Email Newsletters “Healthy Habits” • Orientation Services • Instant Messaging • Facebook group created for incoming freshmen (McApple Class of 2011) • Websites including a wall to post comments, pictures and other media • Career services • McApple Connections – McApple students create online profiles with resumes. McApple alumni can browse profiles and encourage students to apply for internships or jobs at their companies • McApple Online Career Fair – a game in which students create avatars and compete against other students on campus for jobs

  25. What our Students are talking about

  26. Communication • Communication has many formal and informal embodiments, and its specific nature between the source and receiver has an impact on how the information will be adopted (Rogers 1995). • The rise of technology has dramatically changed the way higher education administrators must communicate to our students (Winston 2001).

  27. Current Examples of Communication Initiatives • All Student Affairs Division • Emailing students • RSS Feed subscriptions of university website • Orientation Services • Text Messaging Incoming Students • Student Testimonial Blogs • Career Services • University Information Network web portal • Emailing about upcoming Career Fairs or workshops

  28. More Examples of Communication Initiatives • Student Activities • E-announcements highlighting campus happenings • Online forms and applications for involvement • Counseling Center • Mailing students “stay stress-free” tips DVD • posting pamphlets or refferal forms on their webpage • Judicial Affairs • Policies posted online • Anonymous hazing report forms

  29. Safety & Security • Over the past decade security has become increasingly important. Students of the digital age witnessed the following events: • Students of this generation watched in horror as two Columbine High School students killed and wounded their classmates • The Millennium bug Y2K scare • The event that binds them as a generation is, of course, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 • As college students, the terror of the Virginia Tech shooting is a very real issue for them • When students are on campus they want to feel that this is a safe place to be (Komives 2003)

  30. Current Examples of Safety & Security Initiatives • Residence life • McApple Safety and Security officers patrol all residence halls. • Each Residential Building is protected by card swipe technology which only allows access to students who live in that particular building. • Counseling Services • Faculty and Staff Referral system for at risk students • Emergency plans in place for unexpected experiences (weather, assault, etc.) • Student health • Emergency Call boxes located around campus • Text Messaging students in case of emergency

  31. More Examples of Safety & Security Initiatives • Orientation services • Students issued ID cards that students are required to carry with them at all times. • Assigning student ID numbers instead of using Social Security numbers so that identities are protected at all times. • Disability services • All buildings are currently ADA compliant. • Residence halls have been built using the latest technology to aid both the visually and hearing impaired in case of emergencies. • Career services • Student online applications for potential employers are protected via advanced secure connections on campus

  32. Accessibility • Students strive for autonomy within access. We need to create automated systems with 24/7 availability that allow students to complete simple functions such as online registration for classes or paying student bills online (Moneta 2005). • More and more college administrators are utilizing mediums like blogs, Facebook, etc. to make themselves more accessible to students and other administrators. • Students are also very accessible to each other, and can be accessible to administration as well. As one writer adroitly observes, students are unplugged on campus but always connected (Guernsey 2000).

  33. Current Examples Accessibility Initiatives • Orientation • Create online “chat” night between orientation leaders and incoming students • Select three incoming students to blog their journey through orientation • Health, Disability and Counseling Services • 24 hour response line that links students to local authorities or on-call personnel (if available) • Giving on call personnel cellular phones or pagers so that they can be reached any time.

  34. A Little Humor

  35. More Examples Accessibility Initiatives • Residence Life • Faculty resident in all residence halls • All residence halls are completely wired with computer labs available for student use • Career Services • Provide all students free corporate accounts with and • Judicial Affairs • Created online notification for students

  36. Global Leadership • As a university, we strive to develop our students into global leaders in a world that continues to become more digital. • By providing services to our students that utilize current technology, our students are becoming more in pace with the society at large (Winston 2001). • For example, institution-wide student record applications can also track and record student involvement in various clubs and activities and may include modules for career portfolio design for individual student use (Winston 2001)

  37. Current Examples of Global Leadership Initiatives • Careers Services • Online Alumni Networking Portals • Opportunities for student service to the community or the world • Student Activities • Electronic leadership profiles outlining student participation in co-curricular activities • Posting opportunities for leadership development workshops or speakers • Residence Life • Language Immersion residence hall – students living in this hall live with native speakers of a foreign language and learn more about that specific culture • Living learning centers have a series of lectures about world issues

  38. Conclusion • Since the invention of the personal computer 25 years ago, higher education, and student affairs in particular have been revolutionized. We are more able to provide services that students need and want to make sure that their college careers are all that they wanted them to be and more. • Advancements in the areas of community, communication, safety and security, accessibility, and global leadership have made McApple College a place where students feel at home. • In the future we need to stay abreast of all forms of technology that affect our students and how we can best serve them. Also, we have to remember that our IT department is irreplaceable and we would be lost without them!

  39. Look How Far We Have Come

  40. References Astin, A. (1984). Student involvement: a developmental theory for highereducation. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25(4), 297-308. Beloit Mindset (2008). Retrieved February 17, 2008 from Berk, L.E. (2007) Development through the lifespan (4th Edition).Boston, Pearson. Chickering, A. W. & Reisser, L. (1993) Education and identity (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. EgoDust (Producer). (2008). Future Technology Now. Retrieved February 15, 2008 from Guernsey, L. (2000) Unplugged on campus, but always connected: When the goal is high-speed web access for students and faculty, wireles networks can cut costs and add mobility. Retrieved February 18, 2008 from,%20but%20Always%20Connected.htm. Komives, S.R., Woodard, D.B., & Associates. (2003). Student services: A handbook for the profession(4th Edition). San Francisco, JoseyBassMoneta, L. (2005). Technology and student affairs: Redux. New Directions for Student Services, 112, 3-14.

  41. References Moneta, L. (2005). Technology and student affairs: Redux. New Directions fro Student Services, 112, 3-14. Pascarella, E. T. & Terenzini, P. T. (1991). How college affects students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Pope, Raechele, Amy Reynolds, & John Mueller (2004). Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon,9, 1-6. Reisser, L. (1995). Revisiting the seven vectors. Journal of College Student Development, 36, 505-511. Roger B. Jr., Winston, Don G. Creamer, & Theodore K. Miller (2001). The Professional Student Affairs Administrator: Educator, Leader, and Manager. New York: Brunner-Routledge. Rogers, E. M. (1995). Diffusion Through Innovation. New York: Free Press. TheCake (Producer). (2006). Evolution. Retrieved February 17, 2008 from