Showing posts with label MillennialMusings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MillennialMusings. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Bookless Library on a College Campus?


I thought this video about bookless libraries was very interesting given the fact that Borders Bookstore is closing its doors soon. Will all libraries adopt this approach in the future?
Bookless Library at Stanford University


J. Edwards

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Emerging from a LONG Break (Was It Really A Break)?


Whew! The break between the fall and summer semesters has been filled with reading textbooks, gardening, organizing my home, and preparing for summer courses. Usually I write one or two articles over the break, but scholarly activities did not fill my schedule over the break. :( 

Yesterday, was my first day back in the office and I was excited! Most people leave the office for a few weeks and come back to total chaos, which may include a plethora of voice mail messages, e-mail messages, mail in the department mail box, and post-its filled with handwritten notes about an upcoming meeting or concern. Since, I am never really "away" from the office, I felt like I never left. Here's why:

Everyone who calls my office line has the option to send a text message or to call my Google Voice account to contact me when I am away from the office. However, work/life balance is very important and I only accept these calls within a specified time frame during my Monday through Friday schedule. 

I receive and respond to e-mail messages via my iPad. In addition, all of my Blackboard e-mails are forwarded to my university exchange account and this is VERY handy when I am traveling and I do not have a chance to log in to blackboard.

I always check-in with my department head at least one time every two weeks to see if anything new is happening in our wonderful department when I am away.

That's it! Monday was an extremely busy day and I had a long committee meeting and a great conference call with one of my state organizations! If I could just fit a workout activity in my summer schedule, I would experience peace! Perhaps yoga? I need to try the morning yoga class, because it is STILL 88 degrees in Texas and it is 8:30 p.m.

This summer WILL be productive! I cannot wait to "meet" the students in my online courses. :)

Have a great week!


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Should the Workplace Adapt to the Millennial Generation?


Last semester, I wrote a paper focused on college students' perceptions of work-life balance in their future professions. In this paper, the students stated their opinions regarding work-life balance and many of the students felt that their lives outside of work were more important than their life inside of the workplace. Research indicates that past generations (baby boomers, etc.) feel that their lives inside of the workplace were more important than life outside of the workplace.

Since an increasing number of millennials are currently working and/or preparing to enter the workplace, employers are starting to adapt their human resource policies to this new generation. Last year, one of the most widely read authors on the millennial generation, Dr. Neil Howe, released a book titled, "Millennials in the Workplace".

Although I have not had the pleasure of reading this book (I just added this book to my summer reading list), I strongly believe that this book would help organizational leaders and professors who teach human resources, communication, and sociology courses. 

I understand that some people do not believe that workplace environments should change their policies and procedures to adapt to the new population, but some workplaces are adopting flex-time polices to meet the needs of their millennial employees.

What do you think? Should employers adapt to this new generation? Should the millennial generation adapt to the workplace? Should the process involve both parties adapting to each other?


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life After September 11, 2001 - A Millennial's Perspective...


On September 11, 2001, I was a sophomore at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. This day really changed the way that I have chosen to live my daily life. I love traveling and as a student from a small town, I dreamed of studying and traveling aboard. As a result of terrorism concerns and the invention of airport security levels, I have been very apprehensive in traveling beyond the borders of the United States. In fact, a few days ago, I tried to remember how airport travel functioned before September 11, 2001. I could not remember life without baggage scans, actually seeing loved ones upon walking through the airline gates of my destination, and taking large bottles of bottled water (and shampoo, etc.) in my rolling luggage.

One website that was launched slightly before the announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden is "Growing Up in the Shadow of 9/11" through the American University School of Communication. Professor Amy Eisman's Writing for Convergent Media class partners with Gannett's Content one to examine the millennial generation's perceptions of life after 9/11/2001. This would be a great research study! :)

Check out their website here -

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Going Green on Campus - A Professor's Personal Journey Towards a Green Lifestyle


Over the past few semesters, I adopted a green lifestyle to help myself (and my students) make a small attempt to save the planet. Here are some lifestyle changes that I adopted:

1 - I stopped my daily dates with the department copier and I placed all of my class handouts and activities online. The only item that I give my students is a six page syllabus (front and back).

2 - I converted my midterm and final examinations from paper to electronic format by coping and pasting the items to Blackboard, our university's content management system, Blackboard.

3 - I give students a "note card" mini-quiz, in which the students complete two questions related to the chapter. These note cards use less paper and consume less space in my briefcase, while also enabling me to "go green" at the same time.

4 - I recycle all my printed paper. This include materials received via mail, articles, and students' notes.

5 - I print on both sides of pieces of paper. 

6 - I do not print conference schedules and also I do not take home conference bags. As a result, I minimize the amount of materials in my luggage. :)

7 - I use a reusable water bottle.

8 - I decorate my office with professional, yet trendy items from Goodwill.

9 - I use florescent light bulbs in my office.

10 - I use Google Documents in class to help the students avoid printing costs. Through this process, I always have access to the students' papers and they do not have to print a final copy of their papers.

11 - I practice organic gardening and consume my own veggies!

12 - I use my iPad to read academic papers and books.

These are my SIMPLE, yet effective ways to go green. I would love to read your green practices as well! :)

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SSCA Conference Reflection - The Last Day...


Last week's conference went well. I enjoyed spending time with my students and answering their questions about the presentations. However, on the last day of the conference I experienced a splitting headache before my 11:00 a.m. paper session. This session was my one of my attempts to present quantitative research at a conference. My background is educational leadership (organizational communication) background and I was definitely out of my comfort zone. I learned from my respondent's comments and I will definitely use many of her suggestions in my next research paper. 

If you have a good respondent, you can gain a different insight into your research. If you have a bad respondent, this can make your 75 minute presentation one of the LONGEST periods of your life. The most important thing that I learned from this session is that the WAY people COMMUNICATE positive (or negative) information can GREATLY AFFECT how people receive and remember the information (and the person/people). The next time I function as a respondent for a paper session, I will definitely communicate my comments in a manner that is conducive to positive learning.

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break is Here! - Incorporating Spring Break Pictures in Class Lectures


We are preparing for spring break and I am very excited about traveling for non-conference purposes! Here's the interesting part of non-conference travel...I am always THINKING of examples for my courses: interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and intercultural communication. As I travel, I take pictures of artifacts (both cultural and organizational) to incorporate on my presentation slides.

Here are some pictures from my past travel adventures:


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh Happy Friday! - My Students Were Accepted to Present at a Regional Conference!!!


I am too excited to announce that SEVEN of our Communication Studies majors were selected to present their papers at the Southern States Communication Association Conference in Little Rock, AR. The students worked VERY hard on their papers and they are going to have the experience of a lifetime by presenting their research at the conference!

Now, this wonderful circumstance has caused me to operate in fundraising mode for the past two weeks. I contacted two associations in which I am a member to see if any funding exists for undergraduate student travel. I was so excited, because undergraduate research travel is something that the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) actually sponsors! We are waiting to hear back from this organization.

In addition, my department head and I plan to meet with the undergraduate students several times before the conference to tell the students what to expect, proper conference attire, professional behavior during the conference, and our expectations.

Their papers will focused on undergraduate students' perceptions: of interracial relationships, other students with sexually transmitted diseases, and body type and interpersonal relationships.

Wish us luck! We are excited!


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Four Days of Snow!!!


Texas is covered in a blanket of snow and my husband and I have been out of school for the past FOUR days! One of today's news stories focused on cabin fever. No, I will admit that we do not have cabin fever yet. Nor, do I think that I will ever get cabin fever on a snow day. :)

During our snow days, my daily schedule included: 

  1. updating blackboard
  2. responding to e-mail
  3. updating my students' help documents for their research papers
  4. conducting office hours
  5. researching protection motivation theory
  6. cleaning the house
  7. conducting research and dating the library databases again... (it is a love-hate relationship, because I love logging on to the databases, but I hate them because I end up spending hours upon hours on the databases finding interesting articles).
  8. AND keeping a cheerful attitude while being a great wife and mommy to my dog.

Snow days are fun, but I am almost caught up with my grading and I cannot wait to finally finish grading papers tomorrow (so I can finish my non-fiction book this week... I am very behind in my book club). :)

Take care & stay warm!


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My First Visit to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission


Good morning! I am having a great time in Austin, TX at the TACUSPA board meeting. Yesterday, we visited the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and we searched through over 85 years of TACUSPA history. We found some AMAZING items ranging from notepads created in the 1940s to conference books from the 1980s. Amazing information!

We were all responsible for a box (or two) of material and we had to write down information pertaining to past TACUSPA conferences. This information included the dates, location, themes, and keynote speakers. My TASK for the next few days will be to type all information we gathered pertaining to the conferences in a Google Document.

This was an amazing opportunity that I was glad to share with some amazing leaders from across the state of Texas!

Although this facility is about four hours away from my university, this would be a great opportunity for undergraduate students to discover Texas State History (or the history of your state). You would have to call the facility in advance, but they are very friendly and I think undergraduate students would benefit greatly from this experience!


J. Edwards

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Goals for 2011! - Five Simple Things to Make Me Happy!


I finally decided to write my New Year's goals for 2011 on my blog!

New Year's Goal #1 - To write at least one journal article every two months.

New Year's Goal #2 - To read at least one non-fiction book a week.

New Year's Goal #3 - To promote my blog and to gain at least 50 additional followers.
(I will need some help with this one).

New Year's Goal #4 - To promote my business and to gain at least 5 additional speaking engagements this year.

New Year's Goal #5 - To lose at least 10 pounds by next December (to accomplish this, I am giving up bread for Lent and beyond)...

That's it! Just five! We shall revisit this in December 2011! If you can help me accomplish ANY of my goals, please let me know! :) No bread please. :)


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ask a Millennial Professor Friday - Youtube and Classroom-Based Public Speaking


I received this question via e-mail this week:


How did you get your UTube account for your class? I want to use a flip camera and tape the student speeches in Public Speaking, then load them up to an account that the students can access. I will then have them do self-evaluations and peer-evaluations."

[Name of Sender]

Here's my reply:

Hello Sender!

Okay - Here's the skinny on Youtube. Anyone can create the account, but here's the scary part. I have the students upload their own speeches on Youtube and the students make their links private (only available to the people they add). As for the speech competition (last year), the students for which we uploaded videos had to give us written permission to do so. A lot of the students do not want to have their speeches available to the public. Just ask them... maybe they are a little different.

I think the self-evaluations are an awesome teaching tool, but there are some privacy issues as well. :( Let me know what you think!



Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Are You a Professor-On-The-Go? Well, Google Voice is for You!


I am one of those "very odd" people who does not like to give my personal cell phone number to my students. As a result, I started using Google Voice in June 2010. I created a Google Voice number (based in Waco) and I added the number to my syllabus and university voice mail.

Whenever a student calls the telephone number they also call my cell phone and office phone number (I can set the service to only ring during certain hours and/or on certain days - i.e. - not on weekends). When I do not have time to talk to them, I just send them a text message and the students usually appreciate this aspect of Google Voice.

In addition to the calling and text message feature, Google Voice also transcribes your voice messages to text AND saves the voice message in my e-mail. This is very helpful when you are attending a meeting and/or teaching class.

I use Google Talk to communicate with friends and colleagues via video chat (on Gmail) and I make free calls at work through the software (without even picking up the telephone)!

This is an essential resource for professors-on-the-go! I value this service and I hope that they continue to provide this FREE service for us!

If you would like some more TIPS for using Google Voice, read this great article from Life Hacker -

Ask questions about this wonderful program for Friday's "Ask a Millennial Professor" post! 

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My December Grading List - I see the finish line!

Happy December Everyone!

This is always crunch time for me! I am grading assignments like CRAZY this weekend!

Here's my grading list:
- Undergraduate Research Reflections (on Blackboard)
Undergraduate Research Reflections (on Chalk and Wire)
- Post-Research Reflection of Google Documents (EXCEPT Online Sections)
- "Make Your Own Test Question" Assignment (EXCEPT Online Sections)
- Upload Tests on Blackboard and Type Test Questions
- 10 Days of Twitter Extra Credit Assignment
- "Become a Researcher" Extra Credit Assignment
- Note Cards and Post-It Note Assignment (In-Class Mini Tests)
- Grade 45 COMS 101 Informative Speeches
- Virtual Office Hours Assessment (Added 12.7.2010)
- Cross Apply REAL Paper Grades from Blackboard
- AItem - Ch. 15 - MMS Critique DQ
- AItem - Ch. 15 - Persuasive Propositions
- AItem - Digital Dirt Presentation DQ
- AItem - Ch. 5 - Listening Apprehension
- AItem - Ch. 11 - Research Your/Business
- AItem - Ch. 12 - Main Points and Transitions
- AItem - Ch. 6 - The Relationship Stages
- AItem - Ch. 7 - Conflict Outcomes and Characters

I would LOVE to continue decorating and shopping for the holidays, but I LOVE to scratch items from my to do list.

Here's goes nothing! :)


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My 10 Year High School Reunion - The Class of 2000


I am finally realizing that I have been out of high school for 10 years! It is hard to believe, but our class reunion is coming up in a few days and it will be nice to see everyone.

So, in preparation for the Carthage HS Class of 2000 reunion, I give you our senior class "funny" picture:

I am the one in the middle of the picture by the principal (red shirt, khaki pants). 

Just think, 10 years ago, I was in my freshmen students' shoes. This reunion shall be interesting, more information to follow... 

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fall 2010 - Fourth Year Tenure Track (Let's Get Er Done!)


The semester will begin on Monday. I am thrilled! For some odd reason, I REALLY enjoy meeting my students on the first day of classes. However, this year will be slightly different. I am teaching two upper-level communication studies courses and two lower-level communication courses that meet the university core requirement. The lower-level courses will be 100% online and this is the first time that I will teach half of my courses virtually and the other half face-to-face (during a long semester).

This semester I will have a great time teaching my classes and serving on a university committees. The committees that I really enjoy are: college curriculum, faculty development fund, faculty development (training), and I hope that I will enjoy the library committee. <- I heart our university library! As for research, I was able to accomplish A LOT this summer! Submitting conference proposals, writing award submissions, administering a grant, writing articles, writing letters of recommendations for students, and teaching classes. <- All while learning to use the iPad. :) Now, I am down to crunch time... Here's my to do list before Monday's classes: 1. Finish my syllabi 2. Outline two textbook chapters for two courses (both are new textbooks) 3. Update my gradekeeper files (with the new students' names) 4. Update blackboard for four courses. That's it! Let's see how much I can accomplish! J. Edwards Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Class of 2014 - Benoit College College Freshman Mindset List (My Response)

Every year, I look forward to receiving the Benoit College Mindset list for college students!

However, as a millennial, I have to question some items. I experienced a similar skepticism as the author of the following article:

Do College Students Really Think Beethoven Is A Dog? : Monkey See : NPR

Here is the mindset list for my college graduating class (see if you can figure out the year). :)

"Spam" and "cookies" are not necessarily foods.
Uh - Both of these were foods in my life as a teenager! :)

The Osmonds are talk show hosts.
True - I had no idea who the Osmonds were until a few years ago.

They neither know who Billy Joe was, nor wondered what he was doing on the Talahatchee Bridge.
True - I still do not know who this is...

"Coming out" parties celebrate more than debutantes.
True :)

They have never heard a phone "ring."
False - Hey, I grew up in the country! My grandmother had a rotary phone!

Woodstock is a bird or a reunion, not a cultural touchstone.
False - I LOVE Woodstock and the 60s!

There has always been a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.
True - Yup!

We have always been able to receive television signals by direct broadcast satellite.
True - Yes, really HUGE ones!
False - I moved to the country and everyone had rabbit ears!

They have always bought telephones, rather than rent them from AT&T.
True - However, people had the option to rent. :) I knew some people who did rent telephones!

A "45" is a gun, not a record with a large hole in the center.
True - I agree. :)

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wii for Fitness? - Measure a Millennial's Progress (Getting Fit for the Fall Semester)!

Today, starts the first day of my fitness journey. In October, I have my 10th year class reunion and I need to lose 5 to 10 pounds. Over the summer, I gained five pounds from sitting in front of the computer grading papers and drinking coffee. Now, I am starting my own personal boot camp. I am going to use the Wii as a training tool and the local YMCA for group fitness.

Wii Games:
Dance Dance Revolution III
Just Dance - Original Version
Just Dance - Broadway Version
Wii Fit Plus

If I am going to survive the fall semester, I will have to develop good fitness habits now! Keep me accountable.

So, I will post the type of fitness exercises and the amount of time that I spend on each activity on a Google Spreadsheet (in millennial fashion). As a millennial, I have been raised in front of the television, so I might as well experience some benefit from my television fetish!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Admit It, I am a Binge Grader..

Millennial Professor Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.


This summer, I am teaching the second half of my online course and I am a few days behind in grading. Okay, maybe I assigned a little too much in my online course, but I did not want to make this online course any less rigorous than my face-to-face course.

Binge Grading Explained
As a result, I have a lot of assignments to grade. Between the Google Doc assignments and the blackboard assignments, my days are consumed with grading. Not only do I grade one assignment, but I tend to grade SEVERAL assignments at one time (BINGE GRADING). I do not like grading assignments at office when the door is open. Here are my favorite spots for grading student assignments AND writing scholarly papers:

Five of My Favorite Binge Grading Spots!
1. Starbucks or Hastings
2. Riding in the Car
3. Marriott Hotels (free breakfast and free coffee/tea at anytime)
4. My Backyard
5. The Home Office I share with my husband.

My favorite time to grade papers is REALLY early in the morning (6 am to 9 am) at my desk in my home office or in a Marriott hotel room from 9 pm to 2 am.

Grading Papers with a SIZEABLE Amount of Feedback...
When I grade my students' assignments, I strive to give them a wealth of feedback.
If they spent time writing a paper, I am going to read the paper and contribute at least 20 to 30 comments per paper.

Ironically, yesterday I discovered an article titled "Students Mostly Satisfied, But Welcome Faculty Feedback on Papers". This article focuses on my undergraduate experiences, where I received letter or numerical grades on my paper but I did not know how I earned the grade. There were red marks on the front page, but I am not sure if the professor read past the first couple of pages. Not surprisingly, I am one of those people who strives to read EVERY SINGLE page that a student submits. This is a very time consuming task, but I really want to READ what the students write in their papers!

Google Documents Spoils Me...The Feedback Monster!
I adopt new technologies like Google Docs to provide instant feedback on their process (even before the paper is due). I configure the document to send me updates via e-mail whenever the document is modified. Several students contributed comments on an informal survey on Google Docs that I dispersed in the spring.

Are YOU a BINGE GRADER? If so, contribute your FAVORITE grading spots!

Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
Millennial Professor

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Millennial Gardener - In Between Semesters!

Yay, the spring grading is over and gardening has begun! Here are some new pictures of the garden! No, I am not researching plants... :)

Millennial Professor 
Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.