As I type the first words of what I hope to be my initial post on my new blog I am already anticipating some technical malfunction (read: user error) that affects a smooth blogging experience. Despite this sense of impending doom, I continue to type, buoyed by the inspiration I gained after spending almost 3 days with Higher Education and Social Media Consultant, Eric Stoller. I am sure that everyone reading this post knows of Eric, however, if you don’t, you should immediately stop reading and click this link to his blog.
Eric spent two and a half days with our Central Office of Student Affairs (COSA) at the City University of New York (CUNY) which also included meetings with campus representatives from some of the 24 institutions that make up CUNY. He met with Senior Student Affairs Officers, Deans and Assistant Deans, Directors and staff at all levels as well as Assistive Technology experts, Social Media leaders and students. The feedback from every group was extremely positive.
I tried to spend as much time as possible in each of these meetings and at the end of the 3 days, I found myself thinking in new ways about social media and our approach to this important tool in our Student Affairs work.
First and foremost, I realized at a new and deeper level what many have said before, that it is essential to incorporate social media into all aspects of our work. I came to realize that this is similar to what we have been saying for a while about equity and inclusion. It is not enough to fold diversity issues as an option into our work when it is convenient. Creating successful multiculturally responsive and inclusive environments requires incorporating the components of social justice, equity and inclusion into every aspect of our work. Such is the case with social media. As Ed Cabellon mentions in his latest post, “In the digital age, social media communication with students, parents and community members is as critical as email messages and phone calls.” These skills are essential to our success as Student Affairs professionals and must be woven into the fabric of our work.
Secondly, I decided to create this blog, which I have done all on my own (no professional experts assisted in any way). I did utilize the guides within WordPress and sought advice from Ed Cabellon’s blog as well as other resources on the internet (There are over 5 million results to the google search: How to make a blog). I also surveyed many blogs for design ideas. This was definitely an exercise in keeping it simple, as the opportunity to complicate this process and spend endless hours in development is compelling.
In the end, I closed our time with Eric realizing that social media, in its essence, is about the sharing of ideas, building community, and inspiring creativity. The possibilities are endless.