Higher Education

Hackschooling Part II w/ Logan LaPlante

Back in January, my students and I discussed "Hackschooling", a topic introduced to us by Logan Laplante's TEDx speech in 2013 (see video here).   Tonight, Logan joined our University of Nevada classroom and provided his response to student follow-up questions regarding issues that impact Hackschooling (e.g. Common Core State Standards Initiative, international students/English second language learners, professional development/networking, parental involvement, etc.).  He also shared about his experiences with the NV educational system, home schooling, tailored education/learning styles, and how HackSchooling could be modified for a variety of learning environments. The following questions were created by UNR students' and Logan's responses are found in the students comments below: Logan’s Hackschooling Follow-up Questions

1. Common Core: How does the implementation of Common Core State Standards (standardized testing) affect your Hackschooled homeschooling experience?

2. Happy & Healthy: How can public schools “hack” their systems to teach being happy and healthy given their limitations?

3. Creative Resources: How can resources outside of Incline Village be implemented into Hackschooling?(Will you provide an example of how local resources could be used to hack public education (writing, reading, etc.) for another student who doesn’t ski in a different city?

4. Networking: Incline Village is a small town where networking and building relationships can be less intimidating. How would your Hackschooling method for networking, differ if it were done in a big city like L.A. or New York?

5. K12 TEDx: How can the TEDx presentation series contribute to the public K12 educational system?  (If elementary, junior highs, and high schools put on their own TEDx series- how could the benefits/experiences you’ve had help young students, parents, teachers, community, etc.)

6. Music Ed: How can your experience be applied to a student learning music at a low- resource school and low socioeconomic community?

7. International/English Leaners (Me): What benefits and challenges do you believe Hackschooling can provide to international students and English language learners?

Video: Transition Into A New Culture

Thank to my former UNR student, Alyce for her wonderful final project interviewing Young Park. The transition into a new culture can be very challenging. Young introduces us to his cross-cultural experience.  


Public School Church/State Discussion

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqzfIitfHjU] In June 2006, (Clark County, NV) Foothill High School Valedictorian Brittany McComb delivered a Christian-laced graduation speech.

Prior to graduation day, her speech was reviewed by school officials who required edits to avoid school-sponsored promotion of a religion.  Brittany agreed to the required changes but proceeded to use her original version anyway. School officials quickly cut off McComb’s microphone, to avoid anyone getting the idea their public school was preaching Christianity.

In relation to church/state regulations in public schools, what are your thoughts about this public school dilemma?  How does the Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause, student free speech and expression, limited-open forum/open-forum/closed forum, and preventative school policy relate to McComb’s speech?

In addition, here is a short article related to this topic: http://www.computernewbie.info/wheatdogg/2009/11/23/brittany-mccombs-legal-battle-ends-at-supreme-court/

How to Increase Faculty Publication Rates

In higher education, the “publish or perish” environment presupposes an academic’s ability to construct, submit, and defend written positions while expanding preexisting research and theory.  It’s very important that faculty who seek research and tenured positions, be active publishers in peer-reviewed journals.  Unfortunately, only a small percentage of academics are actively publishing.  Current publication rates also seem to be disproportionate with the value and pressure higher education places on faculty to publish.  The number of publications and the integrity of those publications can either help or hinder faculty professional development (employment, promotion, tenure), professional value within the system (institutional or national recognition), and the chances of earning professional incentives (grants and awards).  As important as publications have been made within higher education, how can educational administration more effectively support faculty to publish?  The following suggestions are helpful publication interventions that increase faculty publication rates:

  • Writing-for-publication professional development courses, retreats, workshops, or consultations.  These strategies provide structure, writing timelines, goals, and instruction.  Ideally, the PD publication intervention is also fun; hosted in a motivating environment amongst like-minded researchers and writers.
  • Writing-for-publication support groups, clubs, teams, and social media forums. These strategies strengthen writer motivation, decrease writing anxiety, provide a reward system for successful publications, offer accountability measures, and create structured time dedicated for writing.  Facebook, acadamia.edu, and academic blogs are just a few examples of how social media can increase communication amongst writing group members.
  • Writing-for-publication co-author partnerships.  This strategy unites two academic writers with a common writing goal.  The relationship helps keep each author accountable or on task.  Co-authors also share research and writing responsibilities as well as provide editing support.  Co-authors may choose their writing partner from within their same discipline or establish a cross-discipline partnership to complement their expertise.
  • Writing-for-publication coaches or mentors. These strategies provide structure, accountability, instruction, lessons on writing processes and politics, practical writing exercises, and editing support.
  • Submit papers to cross-discipline, peer-reviewed journals.  This can increase the exposure rate and therefore, the acceptance rate into journals with paralleling research interests.
  • Strengthen undergraduate and graduate writing-for-publication cultures on campuses.  Indoctrinated with the motivation, experience, and skills needed to publish, students seeking professorship and research positions will demonstrate more consistent publication rates after graduation.

The scholarly peer-reviewed journal article has been a key indicator of an academic’s value in higher education.  Without a strong record of publication, many academics will be denied rewards such as external funding, promotion, tenure, or even employment.  The suggestions mentioned above provide structured interventions to streamline publication processes and increase faculty publication output rates.

College = Employment

Groans and whining; that’s all I heard while listening to my previous student describe her experience at a student job fair:

“It was the same old, same old.  I pitched the same monologue over and over while shaking the hands of local employers in hopes that I land a job after graduation.  Why do I have to work so hard for only a few potential jobs?  It seems like someone should have invented a more efficient way for students to land a cool job by now… isn’t this the 21st century?”

Looking at her with amusement, I shook my head in agreement before replying, “Check out Presentfull.com”.

You see, until now, colleges and universities have used traditional, localized methods to introduce students to the workforce.  It has been a difficult task that requires significant time, staffing, and institutional resources.  Many postsecondary institutions cannot afford student employment resources which leave students to experiment with employment challenges alone.  Fortunately, higher education can now use social media to achieve our instiutional mission faster and more efficiently.

Presentfull.com offers a more effective approach to increase student employment rates.  If enrolled in college, a student can create a free profile to market themselves and apply for internships, part-time, and full-time jobs.  Presentfull’s international student employment website has officially launched this month in the United States. I suggest that students, higher education, and the business sector explore its usefulness.

Think about it…no more door-to-door, hope to get an interview, inefficient employment plans.  You now have the freedom to brand yourself as a qualified professional from the comfort of your own home.   Presentfull.com is a new resource for college students to introduce themselves, develop and promote their resume, network with local and international companies, and apply for jobs all on one website.  Did I mention it’s free?!

How can your business benefit from having a free profile on Presentfull.com?  How can college students benefit from marketing their skills and applying to jobs all around the world? How can professors use Presentfull to increase student engagement and learning? And lastly, how can higher education benefit from using Presentfull's resources?

  • Business Benefits- Open access to qualified college students interested in internships, part-time jobs, and full-time careers at your company.
  • College Student Benefits- Increase professional network of potential employers and business partners, apply for internships, part-time jobs, and full-time careers on a local level and international level, and engage with other students and college professors.
  • Professor Benefits- Familiarize yourself with students, create a free class discussion forum, introduce your students to open job opportunities that correspond with your course topic, and invite business professionals to speak to your class as guest experts.
  • Higher Education Benefits- Free and streamlined student career planning: resume/CV development, Video Resume development, Cover Letter/Letter of Interest development, application station, mentor and network center.

Check out Presentfull.com for yourself by creating a free profile. Let me know what you think.

Also, congratulations to all 2012 graduating college students and incoming fall senior college students. I hope the Presentfull.com resource helps you get the job/internship that makes you very happy and successful. Good luck. -Tara

I wish…

A young woman from Florida named Elise wrote me last week and asked, “Because I don’t have an overwhelming passion for only one thing and I don't have a personal brand, how can I become a more valued and important professional in my workplace?” Most likely, there are many opinions and recommendations for Elise about this subject but I will respond by answering, “listen for I WISH statements”.  “I WISH” statements are another way of saying, “here is a need and it is an opportunity for someone to create a solution”. Purpose and value are often determined by the ability to satisfy a need and "I WISH" statements can identify those needs.

Examples include: -“I WISH my child had a mentor”. Solution: Dean’s Future Scholars

-“I WISH teachers had it better, I’d become one”. Solution: To Teach or Not to Teach

-“I WISH I knew more about blogs and how blogging can help me become a better writer” Solution: 6 Ways Blogging helps writers

-“I WISH I was more nationally recognized in Higher Education”. Solution: The Social Network Equation  Social Business in Higher Education: Increasing Faculty Competitiveness  Connecting the dots: Increasing competitiveness and leadership

-“I WISH we could study abroad”. Solution: USAC Increases Student Competitiveness

-“I WISH I didn’t have to drive all the way to Carson City in order to attend a Nevada Legislature meeting” Solution: Knowing the Politics behind your Success

-“I WISH I had more publications to put on my curriculum vitae”. Solution: Cross-disciplinary student initiated collaboration  Publish or Perish

“I WISH my son or daughter could do something extra to be more successful in college” Solution: Sticky Campus

“I WISH I had someone to talk to about becoming more competitive” Dr Tara Madden-Dent

These I WISH statements came from people in my life.  I responded to them by addressing the need and creating a solution or recommendation.  If I can’t solve their I WISH statement, I introduce them to other resources that can.  Either way, I contributing to others and creating progress within my industry.

Listen for I WISH statements in your life. These are moments when you can be of value and satisfy a need; thus becoming more productive and essential in the workplace.  Being proactive and taking initiative reflects creative ambition and selflessness: two very respected and rare qualities in today's workforce.  If you can’t resolve a need by yourself, search for other resources or work in partnership with other professionals. You’re ability to contribute to society, create change, and see your efforts manifest into solutions will inspire your passion through feelings of being useful and productive.  Creating solutions for I WISH statements can add professional value to yourself and your business.

Please let me know Elise after you address an I WISH statement in the workplace and how it impacted your role as a professional. Thanks for the email; I wish you great success.

Knowing the Politics behind your Success

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbQDx3BSrQI&w=560&h=315] “Knowing the Politics behind your Success” is a PowerPoint tutorial that provides instructional steps to 1) conveniently access your Nevada Legislature’s meetings during a LIVE INTERNET BROADCAST and 2) easily contact your Legislative Representative and include them into your professional network.

Your Legislatures are voting on legal issues that directly impact your current and future professional success.  Become politically savvy to predict and prepare for future trends, needs, and business opportunities in your society and workplace.

This Screenr PowerPoint tutorial gives an example of how current legislation is impacting Higher Education for those working or studying at a college or university.

Try the two strategies presented in "Knowing the Politics behind your Success" and share your thoughts and/or experiences to this blog.  I appreciate the feedback about how you increase your professional competitiveness through political awareness.

Cross-disciplinary Student Initiated Collaboration

What happens when university undergraduate and graduate students from multiple disciplines organize a network of collaborative research and publication partners?  The outcome resembles the Publish or Perish Club at the University of Nevada.  Its mission is to increase student publications through a culture of research by means of workshops, peer collaboration, faculty advising, and co-authored publications. The intensive level of intrinsic motivation to publish in peer-reviewed scholarly journals empowers the student initiated club to produce many single author or co-author publications. The Publish or Perish Club (PPC) is a professional student organization that encourages undergraduate and graduate student scholarly research and publication in partnership with university faculty and administration.  Membership in the PPC is open to all University of Nevada, Reno students and faculty. The PPC provides opportunity for students of all grade levels and amongst all disciplines to collaborate on research and design articles for publication. At a research institution, it is mportant to prioritize valid research and publication throughout campus culture.  PPC collaborative student and faculty networks increase publication rates, increase professional competitiveness and experience, emphasize a culture of active publication, and synergize research efforts throughout university disciplines to provide robust perspective and expertise on relatable studies.  These cross-disciplinary, interactive co-author partnerships compliment research studies from multiple professional perspectives and encourage interdisciplinary research.

Monthly PPC meetings provide workshop platforms to design and edit publications while building co-author networks. During the academic year, the PPC hosts coffee socials to further encourage smaller group discussion around topics including, but not limited to research, publication, presentations, and professional competitiveness.  An end of semester awards ceremony provides students and faculty scholarships to support future research.

PPC members have increased their professional network to include more scholarly writers, have increased opportunity for co-author or editing support, and established new publication goals. Students are also learning how to prepare thier course assignments to be transformed into future publications and presentations.  The PPC student initiative is demonstrating creative ways to increase professional competiveness through cross-discipline collaboration, communication, and publication education.

6 Ways Blogging Can Make You a Better Scholarly Writer

We often hear that social media publications are less important and inferior to peer reviewed journal publications.  Faculty and researchers are discouraged from distractive activities such as blogging, tweeting, or social media communications. Many departments completely ignore social media application in order to focus on more traditional research and instructional methods.  Ironically, it turns out that in today’s digital society, researchers and writers actually improve scholarly publication skills through blogging. The following are six ways that blogging can make you a better scholarly writer:

1. Practice makes perfect:

The more experience a writer has, the faster he or she will develop advanced writing skills.  Original ideas organized and communicated effectively via blogging provide scholarly writers the platform to practice writing articles and to receive feedback.  Blogging is a metacognitive activity that encourages stronger and more creative writing abilities. Reading blogs will also introduce different viewpoints and organizational frames to consider including in future scholarly articles.  The more exposure and experience with disseminating data, the better.

2. Research feedback: 

Writers make their scholarly articles better by seeking peer reviewed feedback in order to build the strongest paper possible.  Traditionally, we ask faculty or friends for their opinions but now, with social media, it is possible to expand our peer reviewing network to include researchers, faculty, students, and nonacademic professionals from all around the world. Blogging is free, instantaneous, international, and informal.  Interactive blogging provides multiple perspectives and suggestions to incorporate into an article or support an original premise. Before submitting a finished article to a peer-reviewed journal, try breaking it up into one or more blogs and test it within a social discussion.  Blog writers will benefit from the interactive discussion and feedback.  These discussions often lead to future research and inspire new articles.

3. Collecting data:

Do you think you’re the only one contributing quality content on a particular topic?  There are over 160 million public blogs and over 180,000 blogs created every day.  Think about the amount of knowledge and experience circulating the web about your interests? To gain access to current data, writers need to go no further than their own computer. Books and journal articles take a long time to publish.  Blogging allows you to read about what other researching leaders are currently working on. This helps you to collect relevant data and maintain your leadership position within your field.

We are no longer limited to only peer-reviewed journal articles for valid data.  We can use blogs to find prestigious scholars, read about their work, and then link to the author’s published article.  Also, by reading blogs that contradict or challenge your own hypothesis, you can gain a better understanding about the topics you want to write about. By challenging other countering principles, and defending your own, you will become a stronger writer. Blogs will provide you with a more robust foundation of data while leading you to new authors, research, or scholarly articles.

4. Scholarly recognition:

Blog sites can be used to organize your data and clearly demonstrate your research line.  Because it chronologically records and displays your digital publications, you may build upon previous research.  Your blogs will be referenced by scholars of all skill levels who will then refer you to their colleagues and friends.  You will be considered a leader in your industry; actively publishing and searching for effective outcomes. Others interested in your field will be able to follow your research more easily. Blogging also provides potential collaborative partnerhships for future research with leaders from all over the world. The best part is, the international researchers will come to you.

5. Professional development:

Blogging sites allow you to publish your curriculum vitae or resume that potential employers, hiring committees, and journal review panels can refer to while considering your expertise. Blogging allows you to format your presentations and publications in a causal style using video blogs, PowerPoint, Screenr, or traditional articles. Grants and service can also be displayed on blog sites or hyperlinked to other sites displaying such committee work, scholarly awards, or other related achievements.  By producing a quality blog site, writers will practice their scholarly abilities while developing a professional image and brand as a writer.

6. From blog to book:

Once you have established a thorough line of valid blogs that complete a research hypothesis or provide substantial original content, it is to time consolidate the individual publications into a streamlined book. Many scholarly writers aim to design and write a book.  Blogging helps to structure the book one blog at a time.  If organized effectively, each blog could be a chapter of your next book. After addressing online responses, discussions, feedback, and revisions of your blog entries, you can consolidate a series of related blogs into one book for publication.

The residual ignorance, fear, and hesitation lingering amongst traditional scholars will inhibit not only their publication abilities but those of whom within their apprentise or mentoring relationship. In the past, it has been easier for faculty and scholars to simply overlook the importance of social media within Higher Education; but now, today’s publish or perish culture within a digital society demands that educational leaders embrace blog techniques amongst other strategies to enhance the industry.  Blogging will expand the scope of writers’ publishing abilities while increasing their influential reach across the web. Blogging can improve scholarly writing skills, increase publication rates, and expand professional networks.


Mentoring: Increasing Professional Competitiveness

Mentor: A person with more experience and knowledge who shares their wisdom with a person with less experience and knowledge. Research has shown that mentored relationships can encourage professional and personal success.  Regardless of your age, gender, socioeconomic status, or professional interests, seeking and receiving effective guidance and advice from a mentor can encourage faster development and increase professional competitiveness.  Yes, mentorships require time and effort but the outcome can often be more effective than most training or preparation programs.

For example, the University of Nevada hosts a college preparation program called Dean's Future Scholars which uses a relational approach to mentor students into college.  Since its foundation in 2000, DFS has established a homegrown, sustainable educational model resulting in a 90% high school graduation rate for first generation, low-income high school students.  This is significant especially because Nevada’s high school graduation rate is only 54%.  

The program traditionally recruits students during their sixth grade year and mentors them through high school and college.  DFS college student mentors meet with their high school students every week to review grades, establish goals, fulfill high school graduation requirements, and plan for college opportunities.    

DFS also hosts a six-week summer program at the University of Nevada to provide high school math credit courses, improve high school grade-point averages, and introduces students to college life while building sustainable academic networking skills.  Free tutoring, examination preparation, internship opportunities, student job opportunities, and an array of student resources such as computers, printers, and a writing stations are available through the program.  This long-term commitment allows first-generation, low-income students a greater chance for graduating from high school and entering college.

Dean’s Future Scholars, Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Mentoring Month, and Mentor are just some ways to enhance your personal and professional development.  Ask a respected professional within your industry who has more knowledge and/or experience than you do, to be your mentor today.  Just make sure that you are committed to work hard, listen to, and consider following your mentor’s suggestions.  Having a trusted ally in your corner whose goal is for you to succeed is an effective strategy to improve your professional competitiveness.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4baD1n6-qwA]

Interview with Dr. Marc Johnson, President of the University of Nevada

Increasing Professional Competitiveness: An Interview with Dr. Marc Johnson, the President of University of Nevada.  Discussion centers on increasing professional competitiveness for faculty and students. 1.      Question (Tara):

What are some key ways that college students, college graduates, and young professionals can better prepare themselves to stand out from the large applicant pool of professional competitors?

Response (Marc):

The first way for students to stand out is to be at the top of their classes.  By working hard from day one in their subject area, a student will gain the knowledge to be a leader in that field.  Internships, service learning, and building practical experience will also help develop a strong resume.  Building academic and professional relationships with faculty and administration will provide strong references.

2.      Question/Response Video:    

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CSGqQSUnbM]


As higher education’s capitalistic transformation continues to create challenges for economically struggling institutions to attract top faculty, how can Higher Education entice and retain nationally recognized faculty and administrators in times of limited resources?


It is important for any businesses to focus on their best product lines.  Keeping the size and quality of strong departments while strengthening specialized units or discipline areas that consistently attract student enrollment and produce research will keep universities competitive in a budget short environment.  The national reputation of institutional units or specific academic disciplines will attract top faculty.  They will want to build their professional success at your university.  Maintaining a national reputation in at least a few fields of study will draw in nationally recognized faculty to the institution.

 3.       Question:

What are the most helpful experiences, skills, strategies, degrees, or qualifications that helped you get to where you are today, that other professionals can practice for themselves?


After earning the necessary degrees, a variety of professional experiences can be very helpful to build leadership qualities.  I am a researcher, scholar, teacher, and administrator and that all took time, patience, commitment, and hard work.  It is good to pace yourself and work upwards through the ranks.  It is also important to be contributing and helping others.  By giving and helping, you improving your industry while you build professional skills.  Soon, others will begin to ask you to lead in positions of your specialty because of your commitment and service.

Interview with Dr. Christine Cheney

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYAOY7qCE6I]Interview with Dr. Christine Cheney: Encouraging aspiring faculty, administrators, and teachers to increase their professional competitiveness through education.

The following video discusses the relationship between professional competitiveness and a college degree in education.  The video blog is an interview with Dr. Christine Cheney, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Nevada.  She discusses what ways a College of Education degree can help aspiring educators become more professionally competitive.  She mentions top leadership qualities that Human Resources, hiring committees, and employers look for in an applicant within the educational industry. Dr. Cheney mentions some helpful professional experiences, skills, strategies, and qualifications for other educational professionals.

2012 State of the Union address: Educational Discussion/ Activity

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zgfi7wnGZlE] What educational issues were addressed in the 2012 State of the Union? Did you learn anything new from the speech? If so, share with us about the educational issue(s).

Suggestion: quickly research your specific issue online and then support your response with your researched findings. Make sure to reference the online resource and give credit to the author (include the web address where the reference is found). This strategy builds a larger reference about a topic in our blog discussion; allowing readers to learn more about what you know.

Also, include any concerns about the educational issues discussed in the address. What issues are you glad President Obama covered or what educational issues do you wish he had covered?

Do you have a suggestion to improve current or future educational issues that were talked about in the 2012 State of the Union address? We will learn more about the educational issues discussed in last night’s speech from each other’s opinions, experiences, research, and resources. Thank you for participating in the blog discussion/ activity.

USAC Increases Student Competitiveness

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9DDAAzdIWI] Interview with Monica Robertson about how USAC (University Studies Abroad Consortium) can help college and university student be more competitive in today's international market.

Monica is the Manager of USAC Publications and Marketing, based at University of Nevada.   Some benefits & skills that  USAC provides students with during a USAC college experience include, but are not limited to:

• Academic Credit

• International travel

• Cross-Cultural Communication skills

• Leadership skills

• Real world experience

• International internships and volunteering opportunities

• Problem Solving Skills

• Language proficiencies

Sticky Campus

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-en_prcq9k&w=560&h=315] Sticky Campus does not describe a college or university covered in gum or taffy.  It is a concept that college students and Student Affairs personnel should be aware of because it encourages student success. Sticky campus is a term referencing a college or university’s ability to engage and involve its students in curricular and extracurricular activities. Research suggests that students who are involved with campus study groups, clubs, sports, organizations, internships, part-time jobs, volunteering, etc have greater success in college.  If students get involved on campus they will meet other students, become familiar with campus resources, and practice leadership skills; thus developing into a more competitive professional.

Course Curriculum + Social Media = Social Curriculum

Some of the most interesting and beneficial college courses that I have instructed or have taken, included some form of interactive discussion using social media.  If fact, many colleges and universities host a campus web service providing classroom discussion forums and student chat rooms.  I believe this is an effective instructional tool but it is also limited. If classroom discussion was available on social media platforms, curriculum topics could include global perspectives and experiences.  Yes, some course material is more sensitive and should be held within the course web service, but other topics could simply contribute greater social benefit and a more robust learning experience. For example, I often invite guest speakers to visit my course and interact with my students.  Not only do my students gain from the guest speaker’s contributions, but through their interaction and discussion, the guest speaker benefits as well. Many times I have been told that the college student perspective has led to a change or update in the guest speaker’s profession.  For instance, during one of my law and ethics courses, our guest speaker who is a State Senator said that their engagement with my students was a good opportunity to interact with their local constituents and had gained from my student’s opinions, experiences, and perspectives about legislative issues.  In fact, the Senator was also inspired to try a new direction with a campaign strategy.

This got me thinking, if interaction between my guest speakers and my students was so beneficial for all involved, how could I promote these benefits on a larger scale?  How could I encourage a more effective partnership between my students and other resources outside of academia? What I have begun to practice and what I recommend other faculty to investigate is the use of Social Curriculum.  Social Curriculum is a web-based interactive learning environment used for course assignments. Twitter and blogging are two specific Social Curriculum tools that stimulate interactive discussion, build professional networks, and prepare our students as responsible digital citizens. One instructional tool that faculty can use includes a Twitter hashtab for a Tweetchat.  This application is free and provides a forum for real-time conversation that can connect guest speaker(s) to students.  It provides a forum for interactive, current, and ongoing discussions.

Another example of Social Curriculum includes the use of Blogging.  This social forum provides students an outlet to creatively express their responses to course topics either on their own blog website or on a course blog website.  This helps to engage student interest while making connections between course content and practical application. It also allows students to gain from other professionals and scholars in their discipline. In the very least, regardless of the course subject, faculty will be encouraging responsible social business skills.  As we develop Social Curriculum, faculty are preparing students to be responsible digital citizens in a social media culture.

The Social Network Equation

[tweetmeme source="drtaramdent"] In Higher Education, researchers like to measure everything. Quantitative or qualitative, we are interested in what works, why it works, how it works, and how it could work better.  As an educator, regardless of academic position, social business presents opportunity to promote accessible, quality education. There are almost infinite ways to use social business to achieve social benefit education.  Many of these ways will be discussed in proceeding blogs and video blogs.  But before we dive in, this discussion introduces the fundamental relationship of the what, why, and how of social business and Higher Education.

SP = I (R/V)

The Social Network Equation states, “Social Power is the amount of influence created by one’s reach and visibility” Tara Madden-Dent.

SP: (Social Power) the measurable influence an individual has within social business.

I: (Influence) the intended or unintended impact of an individual’s social business actions on others

R: (Reach) the sum of all social networking connections linked to an individual

V: (Visibility) the level of social media exposure and search engine rank of a social object.   [A social object is the searchable and sharable product or value in the form of a document, audio, video, pictures, presentations or link. (Simmons, 2011)]

I believe that a positive correlation is found between Social Power and social responsibility.  As Social Power increases, so does social responsibility.  As social business continues to redefine the world as we know it, we will see greater emphasis on social media regulation and accountability to structure social responsibility.  Measurement and analytics will be able to describe and infer relationships we never knew existed (probably because they didn’t) and predict how social media will be structured.  Social business analytics and measurement tools can quantifiably discern each variable within the Social Network Equation.  The breakdown of one’s Social Power (SP) will suggest how and what is effective (or not effective) in the reach (R) or visibility (V).

Student Affairs, Residential Life, Recreation, Faculty, Administration, and other campus networks can increase their impact to provide accessible quality education.  Remember, social business in Higher Education is for social benefit.  Identify what is working, why it’s working, and how to make it better by understanding that your Social Power presupposes high influence from network reach and content visibility.

Please use your Social Power responsibly.

Social Business in Higher Education: Increasing Faculty Competitiveness

[tweetmeme source="drtaramdent"]

A PhD is one thing, publications and grants are another, but what more can faculty do to increase their competitiveness in today’s international Higher Education market?  One effective strategy includes virtual marketing, networking, and publication known as Social Business. Social Business is a cyber market which provides an international platform to promote a product or business for social benefit (Simmons, 2011; Yunus, 2007).  Faculty can use Social Business practices to establish their value by marketing themselves as a personal brand while contributing new research (Evans, McKee, & Bratton, 2010).  An effective personal brand can be established through blogging, tweeting, a Google+ profile, a personal website, a professional Facebook profile, and other social media for business (Simmons, 2011). Social Business also allows faculty to publish and disseminate research faster, reach larger audiences, engage in worldwide educational dialog, and reinvent virtual delivery methods of classroom instruction while promoting their professional skills and achievements.

Higher Educational leaders should consider using Social Business strategies to become more competitive by increasing their rate of publication, curate data amongst other educational leaders, and build a personal brand.  Inbound marketing and blogging are metacognitive activities which contribute towards better publishing and instructional skills (Livingston, 2003). Employers, scholars, and students gain better access to faculty professionalism and academic contributions through the use of Social Business. The prevalence of Social Business will continue to demonstrate its usefulness within Higher Education’s faculty community and institutional practices (Kelm, 2011). I recommend that faculty learn responsible and professional Social Business skills in order to lead our digital citizenry within an international cyber culture.

Educational Leadership Administration has the responsibility to stay abreast to technological advances which influence our industry. We have the duty to master and lead effective educational Social Business strategies.  Higher Education’s increasingly capitalistic market suggests that faculty's effectiveness will be held more accountable and will be made more public via social media. We will continue to witness how faculty’s value will be considerably based on the impact, output, influence, and recognition of their overall personal brand.  Faculty can use Social Business to create a website portfolio showcasing their personal brand to increase their competitiveness and global recognition.

If you are faculty, Google yourself. What do you find? You have the power to construct an international image and personal brand to promote your research and professional status.  Social Business is a proactive technique enabling you to succeed in a cyber culture by competing in an international academic market.


Evans, D., McKee, J., & Bratton, S. (2010). Social media marketing: The next generation of business engagement. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Kelm, O. R. (2011). Social media: It's what students do. Business Communication Quarterly. 74(4), 505-520.

Livingston, J. A. (2003). Metacognition: An overview. Retrieved from http://1.usa.gov/zMT9ok

Simmons, B. L. (February, 2011). Social media for business. Retrieved at http://www.bretlsimmons.com/2011-02/social-media-for-business/

Yunas, M. (2007). Creating a world without poverty: Social business and the future of capitalism. Philadelphia, PA: Public Affairs.

Image: By cybernetikz.com retrieved from http://bit.ly/yPK8MO

Publish or Perish

Is it not the responsibility of educational leaders to foster and facilitate a prepared faculty workforce, equipped with the skills to thrive within Higher Education?  Competing for grants, promotion, and professional recognition through publication is a required skill for successful faculty.  So how can educational leaders more effectively prepare faculty to publish?  The answer is by promoting graduate student publication.  The “publish or perish” environment of Higher Education presupposes an academic’s ability to construct, submit, and defend written positions, expanding preexisting research and theory.  Significant pressure has been placed on faculty to regularly produce scholarly publication and yet, only a small percentage of academics are actively publishing.  Graduate students fluent in writing and publishing scholarly articles have the necessary skills to consistently publish as faculty.  Implementing publication workshops into Educational Leadership graduate programs will increase graduate student publication rates and thus foster a better prepared faculty workforce. Graduate Publication Workshops within Educational Leadership graduate programs are an effective strategy to increase publication rates.  I recommend including writing workshops, publication mentors, and peer co-author collaboration within the workshops to promote a culture of publication amongst all program stakeholders.  I also recommend that graduate students published online via social media.  Create a blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social networking account to share research and academic content. This will promote writing and research skills while increasing student competitiveness in today’s Higher Education market.

Research and publications are directly linked to grant and funding opportunities, promotion and tenure, and faculty property interests; therefore Educational Leadership Administration has the responsibility to prioritize frequent publication amidst its graduate students.  Establishing a structured publication preparation system within Educational Leadership graduate programs will better introduce novice authors to the publication process, increase student publication output, increase graduate student competitiveness, and ultimately generate a greater publishing faculty workforce.