Monday, January 26, 2015

REGISTER NOW – FREE WEBINAR: Counseling and Advising Men of Color in the Community College (February 12, 2015)

I absolutely love free webinars (especially those that do not require a product endorsement). This webinar is from the Minority Male Community College Collaborative and it is focused on "Counseling and Advising Strategies" Advancing Success for Men of Color in the Community College". The webinar will be held on February 12th at 11am Pacific Time. I discovered this webinar around a month ago through a tweet.

Here's more information -

Why I Am Interested...
Yes, I work for a four-year institution in Texas, but I have community college roots. I attended Panola College for dual credit courses while in high school and I attended my first year at a community college before transferring to Stephen F. Austin State University. Amazing experience! Without my community college experience while in high school, I would not have been as successful in attaining my four-year degree. I am strong advocate of dual credit courses.

Benefits of the Webinar
I think this webinar will definitely benefit professionals who are in the trenches teaching and advising students who are from underrepresented populations (and who are male). Feel free to write comments here!

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Monday, January 19, 2015

Out-of-the-Box Ideas for Motivating College Students During Midterms and Finals

Two of my favorite times of the semester are midterms and finals. Odd, right? These are the two times students usually hear about their progress within a course (although I provide feedback more often).

To help students succeed during these key times, our area provides Midterm and Finals activities and programs for students to connect with their academic-sides! Everyone has one (or two) - perhaps a major and a minor).

While planning for the week, I have several Pinterest boards and an amazing committee. Also, we search for ideas on the web to gain insight into other university's approaches to these important time periods.

Binghamton University's Dean of Students's office connects with a wealth of offices across their campus to provide students with incentives for studying!

Here are some of their approaches:

- free group fitness classes

- therapy dogs

- chair massages

- donuts with the Dean (we have not tried this year, but sounds like a great idea)!

- one of the neatest aspects of the event is the REACH vehicle - a mobile approach to providing students with healthy tips and giveways. Here's some more information about the pink car - the mobile solution! Take a look -

- the sleep kits include sleep masks and other items you would need for a night of rest

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2014 Open Doors Report - Institute of International Education

One of the areas that I work with on a daily basis is the International Programs area. I am a strong advocate of study abroad programs and I am always looking for innovative ways to help all students experience a study abroad program. In addition, when students chose to study in the United States this experience enriches the international student's life and GREATLY IMPACTS the students located at the university.

One report that I continue to monitor is the Open Doors report. Here's the link to the latest report:

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Monday, January 5, 2015

10 Top Ways for Professors to Plan for the Spring Semester

The spring semesters are always filled with the promise of surpassing your goals for the fall semester. Will this spring be different for you? What do you plan to do differently?

Here are some tried and true items that I have to complete before I begin teaching classes.

1 - Look at the syllabus from last spring to see which aspects I would like to change for this semester.

2 - Update the dates on the syllabus.

3 - Figure out HOW I would like to communicate with the students this semester - Google Plus, Twitter, or Facebook (or all three)?

4 - Add the students's names to my Gradekeeper App for attendance and participation purposes.

5 - Update the Blackboard course structure to reflect the goals for this year's course. For example, if I would like for the students to achieve the learning outcomes for the course in a different way, I need to update the discussion questions, Twitter chat questions, etc.

6 - Contact individuals in the communication and social media industries for Twitter chat engagements to enable students to communicate with professionals working in the industry.

7 - Modify the syllabus on Google Documents. I always place my syllabus on Google documents to make sure it is easy to modify for the following semesters. Also, my students do not have to worry about purchasing and/or downloading any software to interact with different aspects of the course.

8 - Contact the students to introduce myself!

9 - Rest before the semester begins!

10 - Prep my office! I need a great ambiance before the semester starts!

Last, but not least... BREATHE!!! It will be a great semester!

Here's my post from the beginning of last semester!

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Friday, January 2, 2015

Making the Switch from Teaching Undergraduate Students to Teaching Graduate Students

During the past few years, this millennial's life has been filled with CHANGE! New baby, new job, and NOW a change in teaching. Starting this month, I will teach my first graduate course. In the past, I've taught independent study graduate courses, but I am looking forward to teaching my first full group of graduate students.

This spring, the course will focus on social media technology and how it can be utilized in the work context. I hope to have several guest speakers (bloggers and other individuals from the industry) and to engage with the students in various interactive experiences (it is an online course). I definitely plan to utilize Google Communities and a few Twitter chats.

I definitely think that I would like to incorporate an "applicable" research project to create a finished product (perhaps an e-book), but I am still thinking about the possibilities.

Ideas are much appreciated!

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

Thursday, January 1, 2015

3 Millennial Goals for the New Year: Writing, Dreaming Creatively, and Traveling with Family

Usually, I write long, drawn out New Year's Resolutions, but this year I resolve to only have THREE resolutions!

#1 - Write at least one blog post or at least one page of my manuscripts per day.

#2 - Think beyond the possible. Usually, I am an extremely linear thinker, but I need to think more creatively to solve everyday problems for work and home.

#3 - Travel with my family. My daughter is a toddler and I love to expose her to new and innovative things! Her daycare teaches her a wealth of skills, but I attempt to supplement on the weekends and during the evenings. Follow our adventures here:

Suggestions are appreciated and valued! Please keep me accountable!

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU