Monday, August 25, 2014

#SAPros: Rethink Your Traditional Communication Methods

Student Affairs Professionals,

We are gearing up for a year academic year, the 2014-2015 academic year! Will your traditional, tried and true methods for communicating with students work this year? Probably not.

This year represents one year closer to the end of the millennial college population. Then, the next generation will be the "new silent generation".

Let's figure out HOW we CAN communicate with the incoming student populations, because traditional communication methods will not work!

Listen to this great session at SxSW about the importance of NON-TRADITIONAL communication methods!

What should student affairs professionals do differently?

,Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Convocation Ceremony Marks the End of Transition Week and the Beginning of Fall Classes!

Tonight was our final night of Transition Week and the night before our first day of class. This is always a magical experience for me because this event includes all of the FITC (first-time in college) freshmen at our university at one time in one place.

*I will blog about the Transition Week experience soon! Look forward to some great pictures!

This year, the event included speeches from the President, the Provost, and the VP for Student Services. EVERYONE (all faculty and staff attendees) is in their graduation regalia and all of the students have matching shirts. Truly an amazing ceremony.

I always anticipate the President and the Provost's speeches, because the speeches remind me of the actual graduation experience that many of these FTIC attendees will experience in four years.

The Provost always assigns the students their first homework task in our Academic Success Rally. This task requires the students to write five goals that they would like to achieve within the next four years. Then, the students are required to send an e-mail to the Provost. She categorizes the responses and highlights certain responses for all of the students to hear. The students' responses are never the same and I always sit in the ceremony in anticipation of her speech.

After the speeches are delivered, the students and other attendees always watch a sentimental video about the freshmen experience and the subsequent experiences the students will have until their senior year.

Then, the students walk in silence to the next aspect of the event, the candle lighting! Each student receives a candle (along with an explanation of the tradition) and then all attendees participate in a group photo for the incoming class that features their lit candles.

I am definitely fortunate to be part of the students's lives this year.

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to Launch a Student-Run Social Media Endeavor - TSMRI's Session at SxSWedu 2014!

The Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) was selected to present a session at last year's SxSWedu event in Austin! We were very excited (as you can tell on the sound cloud file below, we had a great session!

Remember to VOTE for us this year! Here's the link -

Thanks to Dr. Sarah Maben and Dr. Paul Stafford for all of their hard work on this session!

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Vote for @TSMRI's SxSWEdu Proposal - 55 Social Media Tips for #HigherEd Faculty and Staff!

This week, I am especially excited about the #SxSWedu proposal voting period! We are entering the second week and here is our proposal for the Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI):

Here are our "sharing stats"for the past week!

We definitely need more shares, please help us! Vote here -

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Monday, August 11, 2014

7 Easy Ways for Professors to Prepare for the Fall Semester

News flash! There are only a few more weeks until the first day of school and we have to prepare!

Yes, you have your research to complete, but now it is time to focus on your classes!

Here's my to do list, feel free to adapt one or more items from this list for your "to do" list.

1 - Finish your syllabus. Considering creating your syllabus on Google Documents to quickly provide real-time edits for your students. Embed or link this syllabus in any similar courses on Blackboard.
*I plan to write about this later.

2 - Practice the names of each of your students. It is important to potentially avoid mispronunciations on the first day of class.

3 - Import the names of your students to your grade book.

4 - Create your assignments on Blackboard.

5 - Write the "action item" list of the first week of school. The "action item" list for my students usually includes: a) completing surveys focused on their familiarity with the course material, b) their familiarity with Google Documents, and c) their goals for the course.

6 - Pick your best outfit/suit for the first day of school. This day marks your first impression on the students and it can either make or break your year.

7 - Most importantly, send an e-mail to to the students before the course begins! Let them know that you are excited to meet them. Also, make sure you tell them about the textbook and the ISBN information.

8 - Also, remember to familiarize yourself with the new material regarding the content in your course (new videos, check the YouTube links, etc.). :) This is always extra hard for me, but it has to be done!

Good luck this semester! It will be a great one for you and your students!

*What did I miss? What would you add? Do not forget to breathe!

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Thursday, August 7, 2014

An Innovative University Marketing Strategy Via Video - Texas A&M is Happy! :)

I am always on the lookout for an innovative college or university marketing video. Whether the video is internal or external, it definitely strikes a chord with the viewers. These viewers might come from the university itself to universities (and others) located across the world. 

Videos enable others to experience your campus without actually setting foot on the campus. Boundless possibilities!

Videos are great, but one items that people commonly forget about videos is the captioning. If videos are captioned, it makes this more accessible. One more step, but definitely well worth it!

I need to learn more about the captioning features on YouTube. Does anyone have any great resources?

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Monday, August 4, 2014

Goal Setting for the New Academic Year - From Balance to External Communication Strategies

Each year, I always set a new list of goals for the upcoming academic year. The first-year was focused on learning the new aspects of my job. Last year (the second year) was definitely focused on work-life balance and this year (the third year) will focus on continuing the message of the leadership and communication (the Texas Social Media Research Institute) aspects of my job both internally and externally. Here are my goals for the 2014-2015 academic year:

1 - Write at least three articles focused on student success, multicultural initiatives, and/or social media for the upcoming year.

2 - Create and sustain partnerships with others focused on my areas of interest (at other universities).
*I am a strong believer in the old saying, "If you continue to do the same old thing, you will get the same old result." Partnerships are definitely key!

3 - Continue to frequently post on social media outlets (including blogger, which is difficult to navigate sometimes).

4 - Provide innovative strategies for the leadership team in my area.

Here's a shameless plug - Follow me on Twitter - @drjtedwardsTSU

I know these are very ambitious goals, but I hope to achieve exceed each of the four goals listed above.

Please feel free to leave comments!

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU