Showing posts with label #55HigherEd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #55HigherEd. Show all posts

Monday, October 12, 2015

FREE Training for Higher Education Faculty - Pearson's Speaking About...Webinar Week

Are your travel funds small this semester? Are you short on time, but eager to learn about new aspects and concepts focused on your academic discipline?

I am FAN of FREE online webinars and online conferences focused on teaching, learning, and research. Here's a neat opportunity from Pearson's Professional Development Online "Speaking About..." series focused on: Art, English, History, Music and Humanities, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and World Languages. This event takes place between October 12-16, 2015.

These sessions look spectacular - here's a sample:

How to Think About Masculinities
Professor Michael Kimmel - Stony Brook University

Increasing Economic Inequality: A Closer Look 
Dr. John Macionis - Kenyon College

Using Social Media to Teach Sociology
Nathan Palmer - Georgia Southern University

Make-Believe Play and Children's Self-Regulation
Dr. Laura Berk - Illinois State University

Generation Me: Teaching and Working with Today's Students
Dr. Jean Twenge - San Diego State University

Gamification Techniques ANY Instructor Can Use to Engage, Assess, and Energize Students
Dr. Amy Marin - Phoenix College

Open Science, Replication, and Teaching Psychology
Dr. Mark Krause - Southern Oregon University
Dr. Daniel Corts - Augustana College

Using Blogging in the Teaching of Psychology
Dr. Sam Sommers - Tufts University

Here's more information about the "Speaking About..." Series -

I am not sure if a hashtag will be utilized for the event, but utilize the #55HigherEd hashtag to share ideas! :)


Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
- Twitter/Instagram - @drjtedwards
- drjtedwards at

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tried and True Ways to Incorporate Social Media in Higher Education Classrooms

In August, I was invited to speak at the #LEAPTX annual meeting in Nacogdoches, TX. I was excited to take advantage of this opportunity as a #LEAPTX Fellow and presented a session on "Incorporating Social Media in Higher Education Classrooms (and High-Impact Educational Practices)".

Here are the slides from this session:

Also, to continue the conversation, the #55HigherEd Community was launched on Facebook. This community is for faculty to ask questions about the teaching, research, and/or service process and to also keep one another accountable on our journey towards tenure (or towards becoming a full-professor). Here's the community -


Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
- Twitter/Instagram - @drjtedwards
- drjtedwards at

Monday, September 21, 2015

When Academic Interests and Administrative Interests Positively Collide

As a mid-level higher education administrator, it is important realize how your academic field positively affects your administrative work. This has been especially evident for me during this past academic year when my academic interests and administrative interests collided in four beneficial ways.

Employing a Communication Intern (Social Media Coach) Who Works in Our Office (Social Media)
Our communication intern is absolutely wonderful and she has amazing ideas about how to reach students (from a student mindset). She is also learning about social media along the way: crafting effective posts, deciphering the analytics for the student success and multicultural initiatives social media channels, and blogging about student success from a student's perspective. Here's her blog for our area:

Crafting E-Mail Messages with the Current and Potential Readers in Mind (Target Audience Approach) (Fundamentals of Speech Communication)
When writing any e-mail message for students, faculty, or staff, I always strive to write the message for the audience and to avoid any potentially interesting responses by never utilizing the BCC line and sparsely utilizing the CC line. This is especially important when conversing about interesting issues in higher education. I always reply to the original sender and almost never include the individuals carbon copied on the e-mail, because your sender intended for this message to go to you, you do not have permission to reply to every cc'ed on the e-mail. Also, never send e-mails that you do not intend for others (in addition to the intended party) to read.

Creating Publications (and Videos) that Others Will Want to Read (Mass Media)
This semester, student success and multicultural initiatives created an infographic instead of a bulky (and potentially unread) annual report for the university's faculty, staff, and students. In this infographic, the data is presented in an engaging (and graphical) way and I think the intended parties are more likely to understand what we do in student success and multicultural initiatives instead of sending the data-based message in a report.

Forming Mentoring Groups for Mothers and Faculty of Color (and Other Underrepresented Populations) - Intercultural Communication
Last year, we formed a university mother's group and a group of diverse faculty members. Our membership for both groups ranges between 25 and 60 members. These groups serve as wonderful sounding boards for the mothers and diverse faculty and they also gain ideas and form research collaborations. Both of the aforementioned groups helped me through my journey as a new mother and I wish that I had the faculty of color group when I persisted through the tenure track.

Each of the aforementioned skills (and associated courses) continue to make an imprint on my life as a mid-level administrator on a daily basis. I am thankful for delightful and fulfilling experiences in the classroom as well as working with an amazing group of academic leaders at the university. Administrative experiences make academic experiences richer and academic experiences make administrative experiences richer. We become more because we teach, we reach more because we serve others through administrative duties in higher education.


Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
- Twitter/Instagram - @drjtedwards
- drjtedwards at

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Finding a Budget-Friendly College or University By Using the New College Scorecard by the U.S. Department of Education

Today, the new college scorecard from the U.S. Department of Education made it's debut on a new website - This scorecard is meant to help parents and students discover the best and more affordable higher education opportunities for their families.

Also, the new College Scorecard tool was featured on the White House Blog and the Department of Education blog today - Under the Hood: Building a New College Scorecard with Students.

In addition to the New College Scorecard (Comprehensive and Updated Data on Higher Education Institutions), there are several additional resources for families to find the more affordable college with the best features (majors, minors, etc.) for their students. These resources (as featured on the Department of Education Blog) include the following:

Additional Customized Tools for Students

- Scholarmatch

- StartClass

- College Abacus

- Payscale

- InsideTrack

As higher education administrators, faculty, and staff, it is important to know the information that exists about our institutions that is available on the internet. Did you find anything interesting about your institution (or aspirant institutions in the data available via any of the websites listed above)?

Let us know!


Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
- Twitter/Instagram - @drjtedwards
- drjtedwards at

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Vote for Our #SXSWEdu Session - Higher Education Hack Tech Tools for Completion - #55HigherEd

I am very excited to announce that we submitted a proposal to SXSWEdu for a third year! You can vote for our session here! and I am looking forward to (possibly) presenting at the South By Southwest Edu conference in Austin, TX! Here's are several tweets and audience member notes from last year's session:

This was an incredible experience last year and I connected with amazing people from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and also individuals from various educational organizations in Texas as beyond! I left the conference with a wealth of ideas for implementing best practices at our institution of higher education AND also neat research (and social media engagement ideas).

I am especially passionate about this year's #SXSWEdu proposal because it connects several of my professional interests in one proposal: technology, retention ideas, scalable solutions for higher education, and social media. Also, I like the continue the conversation after the conference and this year will definitely enable us to continue the conversation.

Here's our proposal video:

Here are the Learning Objectives for the session!
1 - To identify the MOST COMMON problems encountered by higher education administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
2 - To explore low-cost and higher-cost technological, programmatic, and service-based solutions for addressing the MOST common higher education problems.
3 - To connect with other participants to form two higher education learning communities: 1) teaching and learning and 2) higher education solutions.

Dr. Jennifer Edwards - Taking a selfie in the green room before the #55HigherEd Session
Higher education administrators, faculty, and staff encounter common problems that negatively impact student success at their early college high school, community college, or university. These common problems usually include: recruitment, developmental education, retention, on-time graduation rates (completion), increasing costs, changing demographics, workplace readiness (marketable skills), and budget constraints.

A picture of our name placards!
Through this session, participants will identify higher education problems, explore low-cost and higher-cost solutions, and connect with others through social media-based, higher education learning communities (on Facebook and Twitter). - 

When you have a chance, vote for our session on #SXSWEdu's panel picker. If you attended last year's conference, you know that we have a great time presenting and we LOVE engaging with our audience! :)

Thank you!

- Dr. Jennifer Edwards

Thursday, May 14, 2015

55 Higher Education and Social Media Ideas! #55HigherEd from the SxSWEdu Conference!

In March, I was very fortunate to attend the SxSWEdu conference in Austin, TX. I attended sessions hosted by the TAMU system, the Gates Foundation, and several university colleagues from other institutions. This year marks my second year of attendance and I have to tout that this is the best year so far!

This year, we presented a session titled, "#55HigherEd Ideas and Resources" and we had participants from high schools, community colleges, universities, foundations, and associations. The ideas presented in the session were recorded via Twitter and via a Google Document!

Here's our tagboard from the session (the tweets):

Here are my notes from the audience members attending the session!

1 - Reaching Current Undergraduate Students via Social Media

- Create a hashtag for recruiting students and engaging other departments to communicate with them.
- Place your twitter handle on your email signature line.
- Create professional groups for like-minded students on Facebook.

2 - Recruiting and Retaining Faculty and Staff on Social Media

- Create secondary social media posts of positions to recruit faculty and staff (without publishing on higher education.)
- Focus on faculty and staff members's secondary interests (what they like to do outside of the typical workday).
- Post a video about the staff environment and the benefits/ How they match 401Ks. Two weeks off during Christmas break.
- Utilize Flickr accounts, seeing the attire of the workplace.
- Focus on Faculty Student Success Stories - Faculty will have a different focus.

3 - Student Engagement and Social Media

- Post Lists Focused on Your Community (i.e. - Things to do in Alpine - Going out to the Sul Ross Campaign (students and their parents)).
- Form a Twitter Debate - Two teams. Limited numbers of tweets.Number of favorites within a certain time frame.

4 - University Recruitment and Social Media

- Create Buzzfeed-like videos focused on your university. For example, the top 10 reasons why you should join the teacher education program.
- Connect with Community Colleges via the University Account

5 - The University Classroom and Social Media

- Insert a Twitter Widget on Blackboard
- Creating Instagram account for your department.
- Remember to be more proactive with social media listening.
- Have a social media policy on your syllabus.
- Create expectations of social media posts. Twitter and instagram. Tagboard. Giving students a visual for students and other.
- Post student group projects to LinkedIn. Becoming references to one another.
- Have Pop-Up Sessions from One Class Session to the Next - Group work and generating ideas. Great for problem based learning. Ideas would come through and everyone would have everyone's idea. Other classes could add to that.

6 - University Marketing on Social Media

- Push for a social page on the website to list all of the university's social media accounts.
- Engage the internal departments.
- Ask students how they discovered your university.
- Practice social media listening. Create a search focused on your college or university's name.
- Find student social media ambassadors for your university. They will be the ambassadors to start the #besomebody

Next Year!

When the call for sessions is available, I will definitely submit another session (Vote for the @TSMRI Session)! This was one of the best conferences this year and I hope that I will continue to connect with my colleagues from other institutions and foundations throughout the year.

In June, we will start our #55HigherEd chat on Wednesdays in June at 8pm on Twitter! Join us! 

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU