Futures of Education

There is no doubt that the future of education rests in the hands of technology and, as teachers and administrators, being able to embrace and adapt to these changes. The first thing that was presented in this week’s material was the use of thin clients and blade PCs. Being a student at Western Oregon University, this is something that I am very accustomed to because it is something that the university has incorporated into their system. Thin clients are hardware terminals without any software or hard drive and offer a centralized approach to using many computers. This can be seen on campus as a student can log onto any computer with their school issued username and password and access the same files. This approach is energy efficient, simple, and reliable. Out of all ideas that were presented this week, I think this is one that will be utilized the quickest. It is something that is already used by many universities and in a matter of a couple years I feel that high schools with also be included into the mix as well.

Due to the fact that I am not very “tech-savvy” the concept of virtualization was confusing to me. Basically it seemed to be a way for one to run multiple operating systems on one machine, which is not something that most people do. Benefits of virtualization include keeping the primary platform clean, saves money, is easier to manage, and is good for people who want to run a lot of programs at the same time. I am not sure where schools stand currently in terms of using virtualization but it seems that they would reap the same benefits as listed above.

Gesture-based learning using a Kinect seemed to be something new, innovative and fun. I can see this being something that is especially used in middle and elementary classrooms and for subjects such as geometry and physics. Although the idea of this is still very new, I can see it taking off within the next 3-5 years. As far as student advising and my career, I really do not think that this would be something that would be as useful as technologies such as virtualization and thin clients.

Lastly, I thought that the last video of Steve Schoettler had the most impact on me. It just reiterates that fact that like, he mentioned “education in the U.S. is not improving”. Working in education, this should be a huge red flag for every department. Aspects such as  family background, personality, multiple intelligences, understanding, and cognitive ability are all important to understand and measure in terms of analyzing the overall student yet we are not doing this, even though we have the technology for this already available. It seems to be a little disturbing that the same algorithms are used on the internet and in social networking to make recommendations to users, yet we are not applying them to one of the most important things in society, properly educating and analyzing our students to better meet their needs.

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Videoconferencing and Advising Article #2

E-advising Excellence: The New Frontier in Faculty Advising

Leora Waldner, Dayna McDaniel, and Murray Widener

MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(40)

December, 2011

With online learning becoming so popular, little is addressed in terms of online faculty advising and addressing advising issues with students who do not live close to the school they attend. This article is unique in the sense that it starts off with a very real world scenario of a student who would not be able to meet on campus with their advisor, someone who is fighting overseas yet still trying to receive an education in their off time. We often do not focus on these types of scenarios which are actually very real and at the same time, very important.

E-advising, like we have read many times, is intended to supplement rather than take place of face-to-face advising. It is this article’s attempt to move away from traditional advising and embrace technology and the use of online instruction tools to increase sufficiency and better meet students’ needs. It goes beyond using just video conferencing but explains other ways to enhance advising by using instant messaging (if the student does not have a webcam) and a web application share (appshare) that allows advisers to reflect what is on their computer screen to the student so they are able to view the same material while chatting.

This resource is useful and interesting because it gives more ideas that the average article in terms of ideas to help making advising more universal and accessible. Not only does it offer certain programs to use (Skype, Google Talk Online, etc) it addresses ideas that many other articles have left out such as instant messaging and appshare. I feel that next to video conferencing, appshare is something that would be very beneficial to the student especially when looking at degree plans and what the student has left to do in order to graduate and meet all requirements.

The NETS standards that this article addresses are (2) Design and develop digital are learning experiences and assessments, (3) Model digital age work and learning and (5) Engage in professional growth and leadership. Using innovative ideas such as implementing video conferencing and all it has to offer is something that shows leadership and growth and also doing whatever needs to be done to meet the needs of all students and not just the students who are available on campus.

Week 9 Resources

  1. http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/home
    1. Skype is the most widely used video chatting system among college students and possibly among people worldwide. It is free and accessible on all types of computers. This is something that advisers could use to set up appointments with advisees, especially those who do not live in the area. The NETS standard that this addresses is 2. Design and develop digital age learning and experiences and assessments and 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. Having video advising sessions would show the department taking initiative in further developing student services.
  2. http://prezi.com/k_ih-mkb3bhx/video-chat-academic-advising-project/
    1. This is an interesting and informative presentation on using video chat within academic advising. Using Prezi, the material is laid out through a counselors’ perspective and addresses areas such as goals and objectives, designated popular, methods, and ethical parameters. The NETS standard that this coincides with is 4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility. This presentation teaches safe, legal, and ethical uses of technology for advising purposes as well as prepares advisors on how to handle certain issues and meet students’ diverse needs.
  3. http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2011/12/skype-students/
    1. Another article from The Mentor, this one focuses specifically on using Skype to meet with students. It gives scenarios of students that would especially benefit from having online advising through video chat since it seems to be the closest thing to face-to-face interaction between student and adviser. Again, the NETS standard that seem to go along with this article and its ideas best are 4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility. Any information promoting growth and change with using technology is an example to other departments and future advisors.
  4. http://www.oakton.edu/studentservices/advisingcounseling/advising/skype.php
    1. Oakton Community College in Illinois is one school that is a front runner in video chatting appointments within academic advising. This is their advising page that explains their trademarked term Skype-Vising. It is available for students who are only taking online courses and are in good academic standing. This follows the NETS standard 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership. This college is exhibiting leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion and contributing to the effectiveness of the educational profession.
  5. http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/03/06/academic-advising-and-the-online-learner/
    1. Titled: Academic Advising and the Online learner, this is an article mentions why it is necessary and would be beneficial for advising to incorporate virtual advising meetings in the area of services for students. It mentions how technology is the gateway to getting online learners connected to faculty members which is a huge factor in retention rates for students. The NETS standard that this article addresses is 1. Facilitate and Inspire learning and creativity. It encourages one to think about this process and to be creative and innovative in the approach to advising students digitally.
  6. http://blog.grantham.edu/blog/bid/113832/7-Ways-to-Get-the-Most-out-of-Your-Student-Advisor
    1. This article is unique in the sense that it is geared towards students rather than advisers. Even though it is important for advisers to understand the needs of the students, it is also important for students to be educated on how they can most effectively utilize the use of their advisers. Student advisers are very valuable, especially when students understand how to make the most out of their availability. The NETS standard this addresses is 1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity. The seven steps in this article educates students and allows them tools to engage in real world issues.
  7. http://www.slideshare.net/LauraPasquini/collaborative-partnerships-the-benefits-of-merging-presentation#btnNext
    1. Here is another presentation done by the University of Toronto about getting different departments to work together and the benefits of merging different groups on campus. Within the presentation there is a section on counseling/advising and all the many aspects that are connected to it such as seminars/workshops, appointments, issues, learning assessments, etc.  The NETS standard that this presentation addresses most is 2. Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments by providing students and professionals with an outline of a way to better meet their needs and address the issues.
  8. http://uca.edu/athleticadvising/
    1. This is an example of Central Arkansas’s website detailing what athletic academic advising entails including their mission statement and what they do. They are also one of the schools that offers Skype appointments between the advisers and their student athletes. This addresses the NETS standard 3. Model digital age work and learning. They are one of the schools that offer video chatting with advisers in order to meet student’s needs and be there for them as much as possible.
  9. http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Publications/familyGuide.htm
    1. This is a little bit different of a resource as it is one that must be purchased but seems to be something that could be very valuable to advisers. It comes from the credited National Academy Advising Association (NACADA) website and is a book titled A Family Guide to Academic Advising.  It addresses issues such as first-generation college students, career counseling, and roadblocks that might arise. The NETS standard this book addresses is 5. Engage in professional growth and leadership.
  10. http://www.facebook.com/videocalling

A popular social networking site, Facebook now includes video calling as a feature that can be used to communicate between friends. Since many schools are starting to incorporate social networking sites into their teaching and advising, this is just one more feature that could help make communication between faculty and students more immediate and personal. The NETS standard this addresses is 2. Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments.

 

Videoconferencing and Academic Advising

Using Desktop Videoconferencing to Promote Collaboration and Graduate Student Success: A Virtual Advising System

Pamela Havice, William Havice, Tony Cawthon, & Guy Ilagan

The Mentor: An Academic Advising Journal

2009

NETS standards that are addressed

Teachers

  1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
  2. Model Digital Age Work and Learning
  3. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership

Students

  1. Communication and Collaboration
  2. Technology Operations and Concepts

This article was very interesting to me because it did not only focus on advising students, but it’s main concern was how to meet the demands of advising graduate students specifically since their lifestyles and needs tend to differ from those of undergraduate students.

From the few studies that have been done solely on graduate students, it has been found that academic advising is important in maintaining retention, student success, and student satisfaction. The four main areas that were seen as most important for graduate students in terms of  their adviser were:

“Gives me regular and constructive feedback on my research.”

“Available when I need help with my research.”

“Gives me regular and constructive feedback on my progress toward degree completion.”

“Available when I need to talk about my program and progress.”

The most common concern for graduate students who were not happy with the advising done at their university was that their advisers seem inaccessible and hard to track down.

Since most graduate students manage full time employment, the needs of children and family members, and community responsibility on top of their schooling, their needs are often different from most undergraduate students. It is also common for graduate students to commute to campus or take a majority of classes online. To accommodate for travel time and busy schedules, this study used videoconferencing to have one-on-one appointments between advisers and graduate students.

Students in this study who had an appointment with their adviser via videoconferencing had overwhelmingly positive responses to it. Student were given a simple Virtual Advising System (VAS) kit which they installed on their computer and included a webcam. They were able to have one-on-one time with their adviser without having to waste time traveling to campus. Although most of the students admitted to likely face-to-face interactions better, they stated that they were still satisfied with VAS.

In my experience as a student, it can be very frustrating when advisers are not in their office during office hours, or when they are hard to track down. Although I do not commute to school, I have found that many of my peers travel at least 15-20 miles at least for their on campus classes. I think that using software such as Skype or any other videoconferencing system is something that is extremely beneficial to commuting students and is hopefully something we will be seeing more of in the near future.

Week 7 Resources

  1. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/05/09/ncaa-academic-rules-frustrate-advisers-athletes#.T6qjUtaC-ak.twitter
    1. This resource is useful because the blogger talks specifically about issues when advising student athletes. She talks about things to look for and what problems you might encounter. It is a good blog to read before you get into the midst of things so you know the underlying problems you might have to deal with. The NETS standard that this addresses is #1 facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity. Ultimately being an advisor is doing what is best for the student and leading them in the right direction. You need to be ready for anything they might need and support them as well.
  2. http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/
    1. This is an online journal filled with scholarly articles related to academic advising. There is also a forum available for current advisors to share their thoughts on current topics and issues. This is a great site for current advisors from all over the country to stay connected and on top of what is going on in this realm of the education system. The NETS standard that this addresses is #5 engaging in professional growth and leadership. Advisors are able to participate in global learning communities to explore different applications to similar problems they maybe having. Not only are they able to look up scholarly information, they are able to collaborate with other professionals as well.
  3. https://www.facebook.com/groups/12976695105/
    1. This facebook page is part of NACADA’s attempt to help academic advisors “understand the impact that technologies such as web, e-mail, degree audits, online registration, and student information systems have on academic advising as well as using technology effectively in their work and appreciate the appropriate uses of technology in higher education. The NETS standard that this engages with is #3 modeling digital age work and learning. Advisors are using technology and social networking in order to better prepare for their career and learn as much as possible from others in the same position.
  4. http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2011/10/31/7-Ways-to-Streamline-Student-Services.aspx?Page=3
    1. This is an article focused on the broader application of student services and addresses ways that universities can streamline their student services. It mentions using technology to streamline areas such as parking, student refunds, and student ID cards. All different ways of using technology to better a university in other ways besides in the classroom.  By using these ideas to streamline your university and the services it provides the students you would be complying with the NETS standard  #3 model digital age work and learning. You are demonstrating the use of technology systems, as well as modeling effective use of current and emerging digital tools to help better facilitate accessibility and use.
  5. http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/academics/resources/eligibility
    1. The National Collegiate Athletic Association sets the standards and rules for student athletes in division I, II, III. This is useful for advisors specifically working in services for student athletes having to coincide with NCAA rules for compliance and eligibility. This is something very helpful since this is something unique to students who participate in athletics. Along with school rules, they must follow these as well. This goes along with the NETS standard #4 promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility. By being on top of the rules and regulations that your student athletes will have to abide by, you are showing initiative and responsibility in promoting ethical and legal behavior in the workplace.

      http://www.potsdam.edu/support/syep/upload/advisingathletes.pdf

    1. This is a simply layout of 15 tips on advising student athletes. It is organized and to the point and is helpful because it is put together by actual athletic advisors themselves from general student body advisors and athletes as well.  It covers possible encounters one might have such as minority groups, first generation students attending college, and staying within the NCAA guidelines. The NETS standard that applies to this list is #3 model digital age work and learning. Collaborating with peer advisors and colleagues about tips and tricks to advising student athletes is an important part of learning and staying current with rules and what seems to work and not work.
  1. http://www.oit.edu/faculty-staff/academic-advising-handbook/how-to-be-a-good-academic-advisor
    1. Oregon Tech has a section of their website listing advice on how to be a good advisor. Although some of the things are very basic, I feel that this would be a good list to overview before each school year or right before a new advisor started their job. It covers areas from schooling to relationships and gives you a sense of just about everything you could possibly encounter. This site addresses NETS standard #5 engage in professional growth and leadership. Refreshing ones knowledge and renewal of the profession shows growth and leadership to the community.
  2. http://nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Become-Advisor.htm
    1. This article from the NACADA (The National Academic Advising Association) goes over a long, long list about what to expect as well as how to remain organized and on top of the game when advising many students for many different majors and needs. The NETS standard this addresses is again #5 engaging in professional growth and leadership. It’s important to stay on top of current changes and issues within the NCAA and university as well as know the ins and outs of the university like the back of your hand.
  3. http://new.dixie.edu/advisement/File/Advising%20the%20Student-Athlete.pdf
    1. This is a very short and to the point presentation on advising NCAA accredited student athletes. It goes over certain things one might encounter and how the university rules might differ from NCAA rules for student athletes who must comply with both in order to be eligible to compete. Although it is specific to a university on semesters instead of quarters, the information is relevant to schools such as Western Oregon. I think this is especially beneficial to advisors who have no been student athletes themselves or gone through the all the rules and regulations set by the NCAA. The NETS standard this applies to is #5 engage in professional growth and leadership. This is a place for advisors just beginning their career to get a sense of what to expect and what requirements student athletes have that the general student body does not. Anytime one is obtaining more and more knowledge about their career or area of study, they are growing professionally and showing initiative.

      10. http://www.academic360.com/adminis/listings.cfm?DiscID=58

  1. This is a website showcasing different organizations and associations specifically for academic advising. It Includes organizations such as AACRAO (American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers) and NACA (National Association for College Admissions Counseling).  It coincides with NETS standard # 5 engage in professional growth and leadership. It offers making links to journals, organizations and information that allows one to enhance their skills while working in student services.

Internet and Advising (Article #2)

A Web-based Decision Support Tool for Academic Advising

Tony Feghali, Imad Zbib and Sophia Hallal

Educational Technology & Society

2011

 With technology and online learning taking off in the higher education world, it is important that student services and academic advising keep up with these changes and adaptations. Advising is an important part of the student’s relationship with the university and adding  technology to this process aims to handle repetitive tasks therefore leaving the student and advisor to dedicate more time to planning his/her academic future. “The purpose of this study was to evaluate the current advising process at the Olayan School of Business, introduce and evaluate the effectiveness of an easy-to-read web-based decision support tool that elevates the student (advisee) and professor (advisor) relationship from a prescriptive one to a more engaging one, and to assess the web usability of such a tool”, (Feghali, Zbib & Hallal, 2011).

 The Online Advisor includes aspects such as creating academic schedules term to term and year to year, organizing graduation requirements, classes, degree checklists, credits completed and still needed, grades for each course, etc. It is unique in the sense that students are able to select possible courses and see where they fit or where they count in their degree evaluation before enrolling in the class.

 The Online Advisor was used in a test group of both students and advisors to get opinions on how technology could help with advising. Surveys were administered to assess how both students and faculty felt about the system. Overall both parties favored the addition on the Online Advisor to the advising process. Overall a high majority of participants felt that the Online Advisor was effective, efficient, and useful. Their attitudes were positive, 75% of students and faculty rated the Online Advisor as extremely useful and helpful.

 The aim of this program is not to replace one-on-one advising, but to be used for basic tasks so that the one on one time spent between the student and advisor can be more productive in terms of counseling, mapping out their education, career advising, etc. Wanting to get into this side of education, this would be extremely use and beneficial. Technology can be used in to let students take a certain amount of responsibility for their plan and develop problem solving skills. As the use of technology becomes more and more prevalent, students won’t have to meet with their advisor and waste time asking simple questions and dealing with “busy work”. This is interesting to me because with the use of technology we can actually enhance our in person interactions with students and be more efficient in the process.

 The NETS standards that this incorporates are (2) design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments for teachers/advisors as well as (3) research and information fluency and (6) technology operations and concepts for students.  Not only does it help advisors be more available and effect, it also gives students a chance to work out their questions on their own first and operate different levels of technology and internet systems. Overall a very beneficial and helpful program for both sides.

Internet and Advising

Virtual Advising: Delivering Student Services

Linda Wagner

New Directions for Student Services

2001

 This resource is useful because it acknowledges the fact that as times change and things become more technical, it is important for not only classrooms to keep but also for student services to keep up as well. “Student support services such as advising more often than not have lagged behind the infusion of technology into the curriculum”, (Wagner, 2001). As more and more universities are utilizing online classes and distance education options, it is important to student advising adapt to that this change as well since more and more students aren’t near campus for traditional one on one advising sessions. Advisors are not only there to help select classes for the term, but should also promote learning and development both personally and intellectually. In order to do this correctly and effectively, it is key that universities and student services use the World Wide Web to do the following which have been seen as most helpful to students.

                A clear explanation of core classes and requirements.

                A frequently asked questions section

                Informational pages for special populations/self help assistance

                Links to other important sites

                One on One access to advisors through possible chat rooms, email, list services, etc.

 It is most effective that this plethora of information be easy to access from one main area. “As technological communications continue to advance, the quality of our personal interactions via the web will improve”, (Wagner, 2001).

 With wanting to work in services for student athletes as an advisor, this information is extremely helpful. Knowing what works best for students and having a way to lay it out an organize it on the internet is both very important and time saving for both the student and advisor in terms of quick general questions. As technology advances, so will the way we communicate with our students. Finding a user friendly approach to this should be top priority so students still feel nurtured, encourage and supported throughout their college years even if they are not on campus.

 The NETS-T standard that this most addresses would be number 5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership. This study shows a list of the top 6 schools that seem to have the most proactive and user friendly student services webpage and which schools have adapted to technological advances in terms of advising students. User friendly websites for student advising improves student engagement to advising and allows them to be more self-sufficient. Schools that are incorporating technology into all aspects of their campus will be looked at as front runners in growth and development, things that students look for when choosing colleges.