Tara Madden-Dent

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/

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.

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

Connecting the dots: Increasing competitiveness and leadership

Increasing competitiveness in today’s international market often depends on a professional’s ability to stand out from the crowd.  Being noteworthy and memorable, goes hand-in-hand with being different from other people in your line of work.  How does one become different?  A professional can become impressively different by connecting cultural dots, predicting future trends, and leading new trends.

Connecting cultural dots

Connecting cultural dots means to know the history and progression of your industry.  Can you see a pattern or evolution in your industry? How did it begin? What does the pattern look like now? What will the pattern look like in the next year, five years, or ten years? If we connect the cultural dots, we can predict what new trend, product, or concept will be introduced in the future. Then you can master and lead the change.

Predicting future trends

“I told you so”, “I knew it”, “You see, I was right”, “Hey, I thought of that a long time ago”, “Only if I had acted on my idea, that could have been me”. A little imagination goes a long way in today’s market; so follow through with your innovative ideas.  We live in a global culture where Creative Destruction allows us to discover and reinvent new products or concepts every day.  

For example, let's look at how you can professionally benefit from the effects of new legislation. If local, regional, or national legislation is going to change or impact your industry, what are all the cause and effect relationships that will eventually result?  Imagine as many possible outcomes and then prepare for them. Can you develop a new product or create a new business that will help others comply with the new legislative mandate?  If you are flexible, creative, and act promptly, you can increase your competitive edge and become a leader in an industry that doesn’t even exist yet.

Leading new trends

A forward thinking professional who provides a new service or product will be a memorable leader. To increase your competitiveness, try to be different from your competition by introducing a new product or trend that others will follow.  In today’s globalized market, it is essential to lead and be an industry expert.  But avoid doing something that’s already well-established and popular among your competitors.  Connect the cultural dots and predict what will be happening in the next few years. Then begin an appropriate short or longer-term plan including your vision, goals, methods, and project deadlines to accomplish specific objectives.

What if you found out about a new product to be released next year?  Image the ripple effect of introducing that product into the market.  That ability to identify macro and micro economic and social effects provides you with the time and vision needed to prepare for the product’s release.  This process allows you to capitalize by increasing your expertise within that industry before the majority of others catch on.  The product will most likely need accessories, marketing, and sales professionals.  Can you already predict future ways to improve that product? How could you use that product differently?  Lead the way and be branded an expert in the trend.


Let’s take a look into the performing arts industry; in particular, at major icons described as American “Bomb Shells” (attractive blonde female music artists who revolutionized their industry).  First in the 1950s and early 1960s, Marilyn Monroe presented a new signature style of sexual expression considered to be culturally risqué within her entertainment industry. Yes, the social shock did present some resistance but the extensive number of her followers made Marilyn a leader and top competitor of her trade.  Then in the 1980s and 1990s Madonna broke through Marilyn’s self-expressive boundaries and led the masses into even newer and more culturally progressive trends.  Next, in the early to mid-2000s, Britney Spears had expanded culturally tolerated sexual and musical ideologies and became a global leading performer with countless fans.  And currently, the envelope is being pushed by Lady Gaga, a musician who redefines new international phenomena.  My point is that these musical artists are not famous because they blended in with their competition.  They succeeded because they recognized the progression pattern of their industry, predicted new trends, and became leaders of those trends.  

A leader is a frontrunner and expert of a new concept or a new product (whatever that may be). To be a top competitor and leader, connect the dots of cultural or industry patterns, predict new trends, products, or concepts, and lead the trend with preparation and innovation in your respective field.

Image Source

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.

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.

But I Have A College Degree....

A student of mine approached me this week seeking advice on how to increase her professional competitiveness.  I asked her what skills she possessed and her response was simply, “Well, I’ll soon have a college degree”. Her response is quite common amongst students.  Why is a job expected or entitled after graduation?  It has been said that a college degree is now considered the new high school diploma.  This means that the majority of applicants out in the market already have a college degree, thus making a college graduate more generic.  It certainly doesn’t guarantee anyone a job after graduation.  Often times, employers complain that their “educated” new hires lack basic qualifications and struggle to keep up in today’s evolving business climate.  So what does it take to stand out from the hundreds of other applicants?

I recommend that students have an extra talent or skill before graduating to set them apart from their future competition.  There are a couple skills which do that.  The first skill is to learn a second language.  Globalization offers you great opportunity to succeed in many industries, presupposing you have the ability to communicate with different cultures.  If you want to be the most competitive and desired applicant or qualified employee, know a second language.

Another skill is customer service which should incorporate cultural competence.  As our planet blends into one big melting pot of nationalities, ethnicities, languages, religions, and beliefs, you’re ability to communicate and build relationships with people very different from yourself, will lead you to larger networks and therefore more opportunities for success.

Lastly, become technology savvy.  I know this skill can be scary and intimidating for many of you but it is necessary for most careers.  Even competence in basic computer programs will increase your worth as an employee.  In the next few years, our world will experience significant change due to technological advancements. For example, social business is a force moving at immeasurable speeds that everyone can benefit from.  Don’t fight it or avoid it, understand it and master it.  Only a small percentage of people use social media and social business in its most effective measure.

Within the next few weeks, I will invite industry leaders within Higher Education, Social Business, and Cross Cultural Education to join me via video blogs to contribute towards our conversations regarding how these skills can increase your competitive edge within our global market.

To Teach or Not to Teach

If qualified teachers are leaving the industry and college students change majors to abandon their goal of teaching, won’t the demand for qualified and experience educators significantly rise in the near future? Yes.  Schools, colleges, and universities will be searching for teachers and professors to fill future positions created by those who have left, opted out, or retired.  If the qualified applicant pool is shrinking, then aspiring teachers or experienced teachers who remain in the industry will soon be in demand.  Don’t be afraid of change. The teaching industry must evolve for it is dependent upon advances in research, technology, and the continuous changes of societal needs. The good news is, we will find that these changes will create new job positions, new programs, and new classes; thus requiring the employment of more qualified teachers and administrators. The supply and demand relationship will soon be in the favor of the professional who advanced their education and experience during this recession.

I encourage those working on becoming a public educator or higher education professor to stay the course.  This is the time to invest in yourself.  As the economy struggles to recover, pursue another academic degree or educational skill for that extra competitive edge.  I suggest becoming fluent in an educational IT application, learn a new language, enroll in Graduate School, or complete a new certificate.  With these skills, you will soon find a world desperately needing your services. 

Education has become a global industry, interconnected by a limitless and evolving curriculum, online education, study abroad programs, private and public schools, vocational institutions, and a domestic and international need for qualified educators. Be steadfast, market yourself, and we will once again embrace a thriving profession.

Welcome To My Blog

My purpose is to facilitate effective learning and preparation for you to thrive in a competitive global market. As a University instructor, researcher, published scholar, and lifelong learner I am fascinated with the most effective ways to prepare successful students, faculty, global business leaders, Expatriates, and Expatriate Families for international success. All realms of life are interconnected on the global scale.  Business, religion, environment, politics, education, and public health are industries which you have power to influence and manipulate.  My blogs are a continuous and interactive discussion on how you can be better prepared for professional success in today’s competitive global community. Let's expand my blogs to discuss how higher education, social business, cross-cultural training can synergize resources to accomplish a common goal. 

After years of experience in Higher Education, I investigate how the most effective instructional models can be applied in business to enhance the efficiency of professional development.  Regardless if you’re a college student or business professional, you will benefit greatly by expanding your capacity to learn, develop, and adapt in our evolving world market.  Break through the limitations which restrict your potential for achievement by joining me as I introduce strategies and concepts to improve your domestic and international success.  I look forward to getting to know who you are, your business strategies and ideas, and how we can work together to improve our professional standing.

"As a lifelong learner, I will be a better version of myself tomorrow than I am today.” Tara Madden-Dent