Kerry Foxx, Cynthia Strowbridge, Mike Bowers, Mawine Diggs Clemson University Technology in Higher Education: Generations Divided
Overview: Challenges and Opportunities • Challenge: The Generational Disconnect • Challenge: Technological Dependency • Opportunity: Webinars • Opportunity: Blackboard • Opportunity: Our Program Proposal
20% of current students began using computers between the ages of 5 and 8 97% of current students own cell phones; 67% do not have land lines >63% current students read blogs compared with 27% of “adults” The Net Perspective
The Student Affairs P.O.V The Generational Disconnect can be defined as a lack of appreciation for the various forms of technology used or not used from one generation to the next. This disconnect translates into ineffective communication between and among the different generations. • 0-40% of S.A. professionals consider instant messaging important to job • 0-40% of S.A. professionals consider blogs/discussion boards and other online media important to job • 41-74% of S.A. professionals consider Blackboard important to job • 41-74% of S.A. professionals consider cell phones important to job
The interNet • Psychological dependence on internet • Positive & Negative effects on academics • 16.3 hours/wk on instant messenger • 62% of students study no more than 7 hours/wk NetGen students spend much more time communicating via IM than doing even the minimum recommended amount of school work. The internet provides access to a great amount of resources and can also be a distraction if students are not disciplined.
Webinars Opportunity for Advancement
Webinars • What is a webinar? • Presentation streamed via the internet • Becoming more popular in student affairs • ACPA, NASPA, ASJA all use them • Broad range of topics covered • Diversity, legal issues, risk management
Webinars: Advantages • People can participate from anywhere • As long as computer is present • Usually cost-effective • If cost is shared between offices • Information easily accessible • Viewers can click links and view documents
Webinars: Disadvantages • Standard technology issues • Servers go down, computers crash • Not always cheap • Can cost several-hundred dollars • Can be uncomfortable for some • Especially when staring at small screen • Limited interaction among participants
Webinars: Outlook • Several issues facing higher education • Rising transportation costs • Constant budget cuts • Can be good alternative to conferences • People can still get information while saving money As budget restraints are becoming more common, Webinars are becoming an alternative for Student Affairs professionals as they offer important information at a lower cost than attending conferences and workshops. They provide valuable opportunities for pre NetGen educators to find meaningful uses for the internet connecting them to their NetGencounteparts.
Blackboard Opportunity for Advancement
Blackboard • Blackboard is an e-Education platform designed to facilitate educational innovations by connecting people and technology • Blackboard is used by, organizations, communities, departments and campuses
Blackboard: Advantages • By using blackboard educators are able to: • post memos • department has sections within the system for announcements • forms and form submission • room schedules • course materials • external links • threaded discussions • Educators and students can access information on or off campus • Instant gratification for NetGen students • Can increase student:educator interaction
Blackboard: Disadvantages • Not always user friendly • Can be confusing due to the amount of options • Standard technology issues • Servers go down, computers crash • Difficult to grasp if not technology savvy • Generations that did not grow up with technology may become frustrated because they have no concept of “shared space”
Blackboard: Outlook • Blackboard is helping education leaders enhance every aspect of learning, academic life and the student experience • Universities are growing ever dependent on blackboard • Professional need to become proficient in order to keep up with their students Blackboard can be easily accessed and information can be easily shared, found, and updated. This accessibility provides the instant gratification expected by the NetGen, and it gives educators an opportunity to connect with students if embraced and used properly.
Bridging the Gap Our Program Proposal
The Overview • Dynamic semester long staff development program • Monthly presentations at division-wide meeting • Interactive demonstrations • Collaboration with IT Staff, Young Professionals, and NetGen students
The Learning • Participants will demonstrate knowledge of various forms of technology • Participants will develop skills to effectively integrate technology into interactions with NetGen students
The Topics Balancing Innovation with Tradition Social Networking Participants will get a snapshot of trends and issues associated with the NetGen and their interactions with other generations Participants will discuss effectively integrating technology while maintaining personal contact • Facebook • MySpace Workshops are designed to introduce participants to programs used to engage the NetGeneration as well as programs commonly used by the NegGeneration. Each workshop will challenge educators to think critically about the methods they use or do not use to engage the NetGen population.
Bringing it together The Net Connection
The Summary • Technological barrier exists between generations • Institutions are moving more services to the Internet, forcing professionals to adapt • Advancements can meet needs of professionals and connect with NetGen students Advancements in technology are forcing older generations to become more technologically savvy bridging the communication gap with the current generation of students while providing new and innovative ways to collaborate. The challenge for educators is to intentionally and purposefully integrate technology while maintaining the traditional and necessary educator:student interaction. Appropriate, intentional, and sustained training is required to meet this challenge.
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