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How to Find Blogs Using Google

June 6, 2010

For your blogging assignment for the week of June 7, you’ll find two or more blogs (not written by me or by students in this class) that are interesting to you and write a bit about what you found there. Your review is due no later than June 12.

As a reminder, here’s the description of what you’ll need to include in your post:

  • Blog review (review two or more blogs that are of interest to you).
  • Include hyperlinks to the blogs
  • Add at least one tag to the post
  • 250 words minimum
  • Deadline: June 12

Watch this short video I created for you to learn just how easy it is to find a blog by using Google.


Advisement Made Easy!

June 6, 2010

by Haley J. Higgs

When it is time for you to sign up for advisement you will receive an e-mail. If you have declared a major then the e-mail will come from that college’s advising center. If you haven’t, the e-mail will come from First Year Experience. Once you get it, follow the instructions. The e-mail will tell you where to go to sign up to meet with an advisor. Sign up fast or you may not get the time slot you want. Remember there are 18,000 students doing the same thing you are!

When you go meet your advisor remember to do these four things:

  1. Know the classes you are currently taking or have taken in your college career
  2. Have an idea of the classes you need/want to take (course catalogues are on the GSU website)
  3. Have a backup plan if the classes you want are unavailable
  4. Take your Academic Planning Assignment document (that that you are creating for this class, due next week) with you

If you have any more questions, check out the Georgia Southern Academic Advising Centers website.

Ten Ways NOT to Prepare for College Advising

June 5, 2010

[Reposted from my Listening Matters blog, March 2008]

For about a dozen hours during the last two weeks, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of advising undergraduate students who are in their first or second years of college. Though several of them came to their fifteen-minute advising appointment extremely well prepared, most did not.

Below, you will find a list of ten things NOT to do when you are being advised.

  1. Don’t show up. That’s right, several students were no shows for their appointments. (That wasn’t really a surprise, but it was disappointing.)
  2. Come in and say, “Okay, tell me what I need to take next semester.” Whatever happened to being responsible for your own learning?
  3. Make excuse after excuse why you have withdrawn from class after class — and still expect that a professor might give you an override to get into a full class. Yes, there are definitely some reasons to withdraw from classes, but when it becomes a habit, it begins to reflect poorly on your ability to manage your schedule. For every class from which you withdraw, there probably was another student who wanted to get in before the semester started, but could not because the class was full.
  4. Spend more time looking for ways to avoid taking your core classes than actually taking the classes. Everyone in the university needs to take a core of similar classes. Even you. And don’t expect that your advisor will tell you “which ones are the easy ones.”
  5. Don’t look in the college catalog to see what will be required for your major; expect your advisor to know all the details off the top of his or her head. It surprised me that several students “knew” they wanted to major in a certain subject, but did not have any idea what courses would be required for the major, or that a certain GPA was required.
  6. Don’t check out the online registration service from your college to see when your earliest registration date and time are. Find out when your registration time is, and make your advising appointment before this time, so that you can register at the earliest possible moment. Many classes fill quickly, and the earlier you can register, the more likely you can get in.
  7. Expect your advisor to be able to counsel you on which major you should choose AND help you choose classes for next semester, all during your allotted 15 minutes. Choosing a major is an important, perhaps life-changing, decision. Make an appointment with a professor or advisor in the majors you are interested in far ahead of the advisement period.
  8. Give your advisor a blank stare when he or she asks you, “So what steps are you taking to bring up your grade point average?” As the old saying goes, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Many majors have minimum GPAs required for admittance to their programs; make a plan to exceed that minimum by as much as you can. Utilize the many services your university has to offer for study skills, tutoring, etc.
  9. Respond to text messages while your advisor is talking. Come on, the appointment is only 15 minutes. Couldn’t that wait? And if it couldn’t, would it be so hard to say, “Please excuse me for just a moment. There’s something urgent I need to do”?
  10. Leave your iPod earbuds in your ears so you can continue to listen to your music (and use your pencil and pen as drumsticks on the desk) while the appointment is going on. Seriously. As a 20-year career educator and parent of four, I don’t shock easily, but the rudeness of this took me aback. And it happened not once, but twice, with two different students. At least neither of them hesitated at complying when I asked them to focus on our meeting rather than their iPods.

Now, it probably sounds like I don’t ever want to advise students again. Not quite. . .

During my “dream appointment,” and I did have one of these, this is what happened:

A young woman walked up to me confidently, put out her hand to shake mine, and said, “Good morning, my name is Katey. Thanks for meeting with me today.” She and I walked back to my office, chatting about where she is from and why she chose her major. Katey sat down, reached into her backpack, and took out her planner. She turned to a page where she had marked up the core requirements sheet with classes she’d already taken and highlighted those she was considering for the next semester. Katey turned serious when she noted, “I know I need to take the second English class in the series, but I looked online, and the classes are already full.” Hmmm. This was intriguing! She had done some significant preparation for this meeting. We worked together to come up with an alternate plan that took into account what to do when Plan A wasn’t going to work. We looked ahead to required courses to her major and selected two that are prerequisites for many other courses. We briefly discussed how she could get involved on one or two campus organizations related to her major. And the whole meeting took less than ten minutes.

If only there were more Kateys! Maybe there can be if students can know what to expect of the advising appointment.

For another “what NOT to do,” see How to Fail a Class Without Really Trying.

10 Tips To Succeeding At Southern

June 4, 2010

Check out these great tips from Haley Higgs, one of our peer leaders in FYE 1220 this semester.

13 Ways to Make Your Professor Love You

June 4, 2010

Last fall, a colleague shared with me a blog post she read called 13 Ways to Make Your Professor Love You by Lynn F. Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman. I couldn’t have written it better. We liked the post so much we posted it outside our department’s Peer Advising Center.

Here are a few of my favorite ones from the list:

2. Say hi to the professor when he or she enters the room. Seems obvious. But take a look sometime at how few students do it.

4. Put in your two cents worth. Another way professors break up the class is by asking questions. At times, running a class discussion can be like pulling teeth, especially for those professors who think they should not make a move until the student has moved first (like a game of chess, with the professors playing “black”). So, perk up with a question when the professor comes in asking, “Does anyone have any questions?”

8. Ask the profs what theyre working on. Most professors have spent many years working on a research project. And there’s almost nothing professors like to talk about more than their research. But it’s a rare student who thinks to ask the professor about it. This is something that’ll surely set you off from the crowd, and hey, you might even learn something about Siberian poetry of the late 1820s.

Take a few minutes and read 13 Ways to Make Your Professor Love You by Jacobs and Hyman. Which of their suggestions have you tried? Were they successful? What other suggestions do you have? Please reply with a comment to this post.

One Week of Twitter :: #FYE1220

May 27, 2010

Our One Week of Twitter assignment begins on Monday, June 7, and will end at midnight on Sunday, June 13. Your blog post about this experience count as Blog Post #4 for this class.

First, Learn a Bit About Twitter

  1. Watch Twitter in Plain English.
  2. Listen to my Twitter: What’s in it for me? presentation.
  3. Read 10.5 Ways for PR Students to Get the Most Out of Twitter. (Though this is written with public relations students in mind, you will benefit from it, too.)
  4. Listen to Laura Fitton discuss Twitter for Business (optional).

Then, Set Up Your Twitter Account

  1. Go to Twitter. Click Get Started, and sign up. I prefer it if you use some version of your first and last name as your Twitter ID. (Avoid putting numbers in your Twitter ID, or you may appear like a spammer.)
  2. Upload a photo or avatar (under Settings / Profile).
  3. Write a brief (140-character or fewer) bio. It’s good to mention that you’re a GSU student.
  4. Send a tweet saying “I’m a student in @barbaranixon’s #FYE1220 class”. Be sure to include the #FYE1220 indicator, with no spaces between the hashtag (#), letters and numbers.
  5. If you haven’t already done so, complete my form that tells me your Twitter username before midnight on Monday, June 7.

Setting Up Your Following List

  1. Follow all of the people or organizations in my Twitter Starter Pack for FYE Students.
  2. Follow all of the people in our FYE 1220 class by visiting TweepML and clicking the Follow link at the bottom of the page.
  3. Follow as many other people as you choose.

Using Twitter

  1. Over the course of the next week, send at least twenty tweets (Twitter messages of 140 characters or less). Tip: Rather than tweeting that you’re having ramen for lunch, instead consider what might be of interest to your classmates and followers. Perhaps point others to something interesting or funny you read online. Share a fact you learned in a class. Maybe you could even pose a question that you’d like others to answer.
  2. In addition to the twenty tweets that you originate, respond to at least five of your classmates’ tweets. To respond, click on the arrow after a tweet. Or you can type the @ symbol followed immediately by a username (such as @barbaranixon).

Additional Information

  1. Review my tips on how college students can use Twitter to their advantage and Choosing Whom to Follow on Twitter: My Strategy.
  2. Review Prof. Sam Bradley’s College Student’s Guide: Twitter 101.
  3. I find using the web interface for Twitter to be clunky. I prefer using TweetDeck, a free Adobe Air app that works great on PCs and Macs.
  4. I’ll occasionally post information on Twitter and use the hashtag for your class (either #FYE1220). By using this hashtag, I’m indicating that I want students in this class to pay special attention to the tweet.
  5. OPTIONAL: If you’d like to publicize your blog posts via Twitter, you can it automatically in WordPress.

Blog About Your Experience

After the week is over, add a 250-word (minimum) post to your blog about the experience and what you got out of it. Include a link to your Twitter profile in the post (here’s mine). Be sure to include at least one way you might find value in continuing your account in Twitter. Your blog post about this experience count as Blog Post #4, and it’s due by 4:45 on June 18.

Questions? Just send me a DM (direct message) or an @ (reply) in Twitter!

NOTE: Many thanks to Kaye Sweetser and Karen Russell for their ideas prompting this assignment.

Your Social Media Starter Kit

May 27, 2010

Amber Naslund, of Altitude Branding, created a helpful Social Media Starter Kit. Though it’s designed for businesses, it’s helpful for college students as well.

View this document on Scribd