Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to Prepare for a Conference

By Eva Lantsoght

You’ve selected a great conference in your field, had your abstract and paper accepted, and are now wondering on what’s coming up next. Writing a paper takes a serious amount of time, but don’t underestimate the other parts of your preparation for the conference. If you’re interested in the amount of time every single step takes me as a PhD student in civil engineering, you’re most welcome to check out this post:

Here’s a list of steps you typically need to take before heading out to the conference.

1. Your presentation
I read that a minute of public speaking takes an hour of preparation. In fact, after giving a few similar presentations on my research topic, I still need enough time to compose a good presentation. Keep the following guidelines in your mind:

- Know your audience
Are you presenting to researchers or people from the industry? Are you presenting to people from your niche only, or is the audience broader? Determine this before you start making your presentation.

- Know all the requirements
Before you start making your slides, take a few moments to check the guidelines of the organizers. Check which material is available at the conference for your presentation. Check the requirements with regard to time.

- Slides
There’s plenty of information online on how to make clear slides. Don’t write entire sentences on your slides, make sure the font is large enough and make sure present your slides in a visually attractive way.

- Practice
Practice makes perfect. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to practice. If possible, practice your presentation before the conference with some colleagues or your advisor. Keep track of the time you need for your presentation, and if necessary, increase or reduce the amount of slides you have.

2. Networking
Your presentation is not your only chance to talk about your research during the conference. Make sure you can describe the topic of your research in less than five sentences and have your business cards ready.

Identify a few speakers or persons from the organizing or scientific committee with whom you’d like to talk. You can look at the abstracts or titles of the presentations to determine with whom you’d like to share thoughts. Alternatively, you can check the names of the organizing or scientific committee. If none of these names are familiar to you, you can try to find some papers by these scientists, so you have a starting point for your conversation.

However, avoid talking exclusively to people you planned to talk to. Let yourself be guided by surprise, you might end up having the most interesting conversation with the person who was standing in front of you in the line to the lunch buffet. Break out of your comfort zone, and avoid the safe option of only talking to fellow PhD students and young researchers. If you are traveling with colleagues, make sure you take the time to meet people.

3. Prepare for the sessions
Don’t wait until the conference has started to determine which session you would like to attend. Print out the schedule, and identify which talk you definitely want to attend. Highlight these, and then plan your conference. With planning your conference I mean the following:

- Look for a topic with which you are completely unfamiliar, and attend a session on it to broaden your perspective.

- Check when you will be taking the time to visit the exhibitors.

- When will you be checking out the posters, and will the same posters be available for the entire conference or will they change daily?

Make sure your planning is possible – you don’t want to be running from one building to another and get completely exhausted by lunch. Allow yourself and your brain time to process everything.

4. Prepare for traveling
To avoid getting stressed out right before catching your plane, make sure you have everything ready. This includes: train tickets, flight tickets, hotel reservation, confirmation of your registration at the conference. Definitely check on that last one – it happened to me this year that I arrived at a conference, finding out that I was not registered and had to spend the first morning of the conference filling out forms, rushing back and forth and trying to get in touch with the administration services of my university at 9 hours time zone difference away.

Don’t forget to check visa requirements if you’re traveling abroad, and check the expiration date of all your important documents. All this should make sure that traveling itself does not take up too much of your energy to avoid that you arrive at the conference exhausted from traveling.

How do you prepare for a conference? I’d love to read your stories in the comments section below.

Eva Lantsoght is a structural engineer currently pursuing a PhD at Delft University of Technology on the topic of shear in one-way reinforced concrete slabs. Originally from Lier, Belgium, she received an Engineering Degree from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a MS from Georgia Tech. At her blog PhD Talk, she blogs about her research, the process of doing a PhD, the non-scientific skills you need during your PhD, living abroad and her travels.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Don't Forget the Social part of Social Media

By Will Deyamport,III, MSEd

There are a lot of social media gurus, evangelists, experts, strategists, and savants on social media. Some really engage and interact with folks. Others just post and post and post and post without a single interaction with anyone else.

Their mission is to sell you something. But social media ain't a space for selling your trinkets or listening to customer complaints. It's about engagement, empowerment, networking, and collaboration. I, for one, find it annoying that anyone would get on Twitter and/or Facebook and just try to sell me their crap.

Those spaces are for posting good content - for sharing ideas, interests, and passions, for building relationships, and for discovering ways in which those ideas, interests, passions, and relationships can develop into future projects. Maybe I am just a simple educator. But I don't see the point in just sending out autotweets or bombarding your feed with spam - hoping and praying you'll drum up some business in the process.

The main idea and the greatness of social media is that it is social. Conversations and events happen in real-time. I can keep up with conferences or follow the president's address or hear about what's unfolding at the site of a natural disaster. Additionally, I can meet and develop relationships with people I would have never met without the opportunities afforded to me via social media. I can also interact with colleagues or experts across a multitude of fields. And if it fancies me, I say hello to @onlysarahshahi .

Whatever your reasons for being involved in social media, don't forget to be social. It's a dialogue - not a monologue!

Will Deyamport, III, MSEd is the founder of this blog. With over 11 years of experience in the field of education, he held the positions of Chief Social Strategist for StrengthsFactors and Campus Outreach Coordinator (intern) at Will has a B.A. in Film Production, a B.S. in Child and Family Studies, and an MSEd in Professional Studies in Education. Will is currently working on an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University. Will’s future plans include leading a center or institute at a university and teaching as an adjunct at an HBCU.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Technology is Not New

By Tammy Brown

Technology is not new. When I taught fourth grade I taught those nine years olds about the technological advances and new technology developed by the Archaic Indian culture. Throughout history humans have made their lives easier and, for the most part, better by thinking outside the box and developing tools to make those changes.

Now, flash forward to the 21st century. Today hundreds of new technologies are developed by the day. Each year when I teach my sixth graders about the industrial revolution of the United States and the time of the great inventors it is so very easy for them to grasp the idea of all the new advances that were developed because they live in such a time now. We as the adults in the classroom, in the front office, and up the street at the board offices are the ones that can’t quite grasp this idea of new technologies and just how it’s supposed to make our lives better.

We view these as nuisances, distractions, and “just another thing we can’t afford”. School systems are paying technology directors, technology integrations specialists, and technicians for their technology departments and I do applaud them for that effort. My question is, “why?” We’ve said we’re striving to make sure our students will be ready for the world that lies outside of high school, but are we? How can we be when we view new things in such negative ways? How can we prepare them for their world when we want them to conform to our current world and we can’t even grasp the current one?

Our technology departments have become nothing but a department that a lot of schools systems have given over to the operations department. Maintenance…we’re maintaining the status quo. If we truly believe it is our job to prepare our students we need to quit maintaining technology and embrace it, look for new ways to use what we have, expect more out of the lessons being taught, expect more out of the professional development opportunities offered to teachers. The adults in schools should look at technology like the Archaic Indians did; technology is a tool not a different subject matter. If we viewed technology for what it is instead of thinking “I don’t have time to teach it” then we could embrace it and use it to teach our lessons about the Archaic Indians.

The “digital natives” in our classrooms, all 30+ of them, see technology today just as the Archaic Indians viewed the atlatl. It’s a tool to be used to do every day activities, to make things easier, more efficient, faster, with more creativity and fun. We need to begin to embrace their future and speak their language and move from being “digital aliens” into the new world of “digital immigrants”.

I believe that if we truly care about our students’ future technology and all the tools will become part of our everyday life and we’ll learn to use these things to the fullest potential.

Tammy Brown is entering her 19th year of teaching in the Madison County School System where she teaches American History to the sixth graders at Central School. She began her career teaching first grade and has also taught fourth grade. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with a focus in Technology Integration. She is a Microsoft Master teacher, a certified SMART teacher, and the 2011 recipient of the Alabama State Department of Education’s Marbury Technology Innovation Award in the middle school division.

Friday, July 22, 2011

All Things Considered with Elisa Doucette

By Will Deyamport, III, MSEd

Elisa Doucette is a freelance writer and editor based out of Portland, ME. She writes kick-ass sassy and direct pieces about relationships, life lessons, activism, young professionals and women for magazines, websites and anyone looking for a little truth on Ophelia's Webb.

Her work has been featured on Brazen Careerist, iGrad, The Middle Finger Project, MaineToday, Portland Press Herald, The Boston Globe, Current Publishing, and many others. Additionally, she is a featured contributor at and Forbes Women, where she writes the blog Shattering Glass.

Listen to internet radio with peoplegogy on Blog Talk Radio

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Invitation to RSCON 3

By Shelly Terrell (SEO) and Will Deyamport, III, MSEd (Video)

In a few days, nearly 8000 educators from over 40 different countries are expected to attend a free 3 day virtual conference, The Reform Symposium, #RSCON3. This free award-nominated e-conference is going to take place on July 29-31st, 2011. Participants can attend this online conference from the comfort of their homes or anywhere that has Internet access. This amazing conference provides educators new or currently active on social networks the opportunity to connect with educators and professionals in the field of education worldwide. With over 12 Keynotes, 80 presenters, and 3 keynote panel discussions you are bound to be inspired!

- View the schedule to plan which presentations you will attend!
- Download the flyer to share with your school!
- Watch this Youtube video of January 2011's conference!
- See if your school will count this as continuing education credit!
- Consider hosting a viewing party!

We would like to thank the incredible organizers- Shelly Terrell, Kelly Tenkely, Chris Rogers, Lisa Dabbs, Melissa Tran, Clive Elsmore, Mark Barnes, Ian Chia, Cecilia Lemos, Jerry Blumengarten, and Kyle Pace- and Steve Hargadon of Classroom 2.0 and The Future of Education online communities for making this incredible conference possible.

We hope you can join us for this incredible professional development experience!

The Business of You with A. Lenise: Publisher and Editorial Director of Kouture Magazine

By Will Deyamport, III, MSEd

"Kouture magazine is the premier publication that exclusively showcases fashion and beauty by today’s top designers and brands. Kouture converts exclusive access enjoyed by celebrities and socialites into real time information that our readers can use for themselves– giving them the confidence to buy straight off the page.

A. Lenise is the Publisher and Editorial Director of Kouture Magazine.

Listen to internet radio with peoplegogy on Blog Talk Radio

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blogging Cafe with Noel Rozny

By Will Deyamport, III

Noel Rozny is the Web Editor and Content Manager at myFootpath, a career and education resource for students of all ages. Noël writes and edits the career and education blog, myPathfinder and is passionate about using these technologies to help students and job seekers find the degree program or career that’s right for them.

Find her on Twitter or on her personal blog at French Christmas.

Listen to internet radio with peoplegogy on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, July 18, 2011

Twitter Dinner Party: My Top 7 People on Twitter I want to Meet

By Will Deyamport, III, MSEd

Photo Credit:

For those who don't know me, I am a huge fan of dinner parties. I love everything about them - the food, the community, and the conversation. This blog post is inspired by my ultimate dinner party list, comprised of the people on Twitter I'd most like to meet in person.

The people on the list come from different fields, educational backgrounds, and are at different stages in their lives. Some are major players in their field, while others are a move away. They each represent what I like best in guests: ambition, intelligence, warmth, and a positive outlook on life.

Welcome to my ultimate Twitter dinner party.

1. Dr. Teesha is a highly trained and experienced Sex Therapist, based in Vancouver, BC. Her honesty, insight and academic background have helped to transform the lives of countless men and women who have struggled to overcome their personal issues and achieve the kind of sexual satisfaction they have always dreamed of. Her background is based in the psychological sciences – as she obtained a Bachelors of Science with a Major in Psychology, a Masters of Counselling specializing in Sex Therapy, an Associate in Sex Education and Clinical Sexology certificate, and a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. Dr. Teesha is one of the few Sex Therapists and Clinical Sexologists in Vancouver

2. @opheliaswebb - is Elisa Doucette. She is a freelance writer and editor based out of Portland, ME. Her writing is honest and real as she tackles an array of issues and topics related to relationships, life lessons, activism, young professionals and women. Elisa's work can be found on Brazen Careerist, iGrad, The Middle Finger Project, MaineToday, Portland Press Herald, The Boston Globe, Current Publishing, as well as her blog and the Shattering Glass at and Forbes Women.

3. @DianaAntholis is a Strategy Consultant for Performance Advantage Inc, a training and consulting firm dedicated to making people feel better about work and work smarter in the workplace. With an MA in Organizational Management, she focuses on researching organizational behavior and work/life management issues. Her career experience is in advertising and fashion marketing at top New York City and San Diego agencies. She is also the founder of Enter: Adulthood, a blog dedicated to young adults who are transitioning into the world. Her ebook: The Conquer Your Career. It covers developing yourself, enhancing your image, getting hired, managing your future... Use the code "peoplegogy" and receive $10 off (so the ebook will be $15 instead of $25).

4. @RobinRoffer is a reinvention and personal branding specialist. She is the author of Make A Name For Yourself: 8 Steps Every Woman Needs To Create A Personal Brand Strategy For Success and The Fearless Fish Out Of Water: How To Succeed When You’re The Only One Like You. She’s also CEO, Big Fish Marketing, Inc.

5. @ShellTerrell is a passionate educator and author of The 30 Goals Challenge. Shelly is also the VP of Educator Outreach for Parentella and the Social Media Community Manager for The Consultants-E, and she is the co-organizer and co-creator of the award winning educational projects, The Reform Symposium E-Conference, Edchat and the Virtual Round Table conference. You can find Shelly on her blog, Teacher Reboot Camp.

6. @amydbarnett is Editor-in-Chief of EBONY Magazine, former Editor-in-Chief of Honey Magazine. And she is the author of GET YOURS: How to Have Everything You Ever Wanted and More.

7. @noelrozny is Web Editor & Content Manager at myFootpath, a career and education resource for students of all ages. Noël writes and edits the career and education blog, myPathfinder and is passionate about using these technologies to help students and job seekers find the degree program or career that’s right for them.

For dinner I am thinking of Italian. Who would be on your top 7 Twitter dinner party?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Word Games: The Case for Big Words

By Chanelle Schneider

The use of big words should not be an indication of quality writing. Incessant use of multisyllabic terminology within the context of a narrative has the potential to signify logorrhea. In short, don’t be douchetastic.

Douchetastic, in the context of this narrative, means, simply, don’t use words solely because they sound intelligent. Doing so indicates elitism. Elitists, with their inclination towards closed-mindedness, have fostered the division we see between those who debate the journalistic standard of writing on an eighth grade reading level and those who believe writers shouldn’t underestimate their audience. Intelligence need not be a hallmark of the exceptional writer. Intelligence can be normal, too.

When a society divides itself into the exceptional and the normal, it leaves itself room for excuses. These excuses show up in phrases like “Real people don’t talk like that,” “Them big words ain’t cool,” and “Only people with small minds use big words.” You’ll find the latter phrase in The Cosby Show episode embedded below.

In a society where we converse in 160-character texts and 140-character Tweets, concision and clarity are key. However, must we sacrifice language’s innate complexity for clarity of message? The two can coexist. When a thought is clouded by words planted just to make it sound good, the message loses its simplicity and its ability to impact the broadest possible audience. A simple, easy to understand message can contain complex language, though. Only in the case of a clouded thought do we get the following example of douchetastic writing:

Theodore Huxtable, used to receiving A’s in high school English Composition but getting D’s in his college-level course, is thrown by his professor’s feedback on an essay he wrote: “I have never read such muddled thinking in all my life. You use too many words to express your thoughts and don’t understand the words you use.” His younger sister and her friend try to help him through his mental block in the following scene. The transcript of the relevant portion follows.

Carolyn: What are you writing about?

Theo: You wouldn’t understand. It’s college-level material. It’s not for infants.

Rudy: It was a haunting, cloudy day – one that conjured up images of destiny. Huh?

Carolyn: It sounds like you’re trying to impress your teacher with big words. Well, that never works.

Theo: How do you know?

Carolyn: My dad’s an editor of a newspaper. He always tells the new reporters when you write, keep it simple. Only people with small minds use big words.

If only people with small minds use big words, are college English professors small-minded? If so, why are we sending our children off to universities to be taught by small-minded people? As adults, the supposed mentors of young people and models of proper behavior, our actions should align with our teachings. We are teaching our children to value education, so we must value it ourselves. Valuing education includes teaching children the value of a well-placed phrase or well-chosen big word. We have nothing to fear from language, only from its improper use.

Chanelle Schneider, also known as @WriterChanelle on Twitter, is a Freelance Social Media Manager. The creator of There From Here, she writes insights into career development and life management for Generation Y with a specific focus on those older GenY’ers who have yet to graduate from college. Chanelle founded and moderates the cross-generational Twitter chat, #GenYChat, serving as community manager under the @GenYChat account.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

30 Things About Me

By Will Deyamport, III, MSEd

1. I am a Doctoral Student.
2. I am a huge fan of romantic comedies.
3. I have seen ever episode of 24.
4. When Harry Met Sally is in my top 10 movies of all time.
5. I drink coffee, but I am more a tea guy.
6. I am 37, and I am a PC.
7. I love traveling - especially to the east coast.
8. I cook. My specialty is spaghetti.
9. I love sweets - especially anything chocolate and key lime and pecan pie.
10. I had a root canal and it hurt like hell!
11. I am addicted to the internet - especially digital and social media.
12. I have a slight obsession with TV and movies - hence my B.A. in Film Production.
13. I don't make the bed.
14. I can't stand noise. In fact, I am hoping to move into a retirement community.
15. LOTR are my number 1 movies of all time.
16. I have seen all of the Twilight movies, and I love them.
17. I don't want any children. They make noise, cost money, and take away from me time.
18. I almost drowned.
19. I played drums in the Junior High Band.
20. I wear Versace Au Fraiche, Bulvgari Pour Homme, and Polo Pony #1.
21. I hate it when a burger is not cooked well.
22. I have a fondness for Sarah Shahi, Sanaa Lathan, and Yvonne Strahovski.
23. I have never been outside of the United States of America.
24. I want to visit London, Toronto, Vancouver, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Mecca.
25. I go to sleep with the TV on. I need it to keep my mind still.
26. I prefer to read business books written by women - except for Al Ries. Women tend to focus more on the self than on competition.
27. I don't drink white milk. I only use enough to wet my cereal.
28. I am afraid of heights, snakes, spiders, and scorpions.
29. My number 1 pet peeve is inconsiderate people.
30. I am going to dance on stage at my doctoral graduation.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Teacher's Life Coach

By Katie Hellerman

If there were one thing I could wish anyone in life, it would be clarity. The funny thing is that I don’t need to wish this for people. About 90 percent of life’s clarity comes from the individual. The thing is that most people spend the majority of their lives without any idea of where they are going or what they really want. I’m as guilty of this as anyone. I just took opportunities as they came to me. I figured fate was leading me somewhere. I went to a certain college, I became a teacher, I lived next to the ocean in a yurt, I learned how to create landscape designs, etc. Each place that fate took me was interesting and fun, and oftentimes I was very good at what I did. But I never found things to be satisfying. It wasn’t until recent years that I understood that I would only feel satisfied if what I was doing was connected to a deeper purpose. I had been living my life in a way that was a lot like putting on a blindfold and trying to hit the bowling pins. How could I ever expect to win the game if I didn’t know where or what the goal was?

Asking myself what I really wanted in life was actually pretty terrifying. I kept writing goals down and thinking, “I can’t do that! I shouldn’t even write it down. Everyone will think I’m crazy.” At one point, I broke down into complete sobs. Despite a great story I had told myself about my life thus far,I felt like I had wasted so much time in life by just floating around. As Jack Canfield said, “[I] got to the top of the ladder only to find out [I] had it leaning up against the wrong wall.” Even though it was terrifying to find out what I really wanted in life, it actually worked to my advantage. Now every project I do is connected to a deeper purpose. Even when I’m doing something totally boring like my taxes, all I need to do is figure out how it will get me to my ultimate goal and I find the energy to finish.

My lack of long-term personal vision was one of my biggest mistakes as a teacher. It caused me to get worked up about … well, everything, including what the summer reading was going to be or the gossip that was being spilled in the teacher’s lounge. I was winning the battles but losing the war. I didn’t have a perspective on life that was bigger than what was going on in school. What was my vision for my life? Where was I going? If I’d had a bigger vision for myself, I could have more carefully expended my energy.

The world needs people who live with passion, purpose and vision. No matter what your profession, I encourage you to take some time to really reflect on whether you are truly walking your path.

Katie Hellerman is a success coach for elementary and secondary school educators. Her work with them focuses on setting short-term goals that lead to the achievement of long-term life goals. Katie credits her deep understanding of the educational system to her three-year investigation under the guise of a substitute teacher. She observed and interviewed more than four hundred public and independent schoolteachers about their ability to be successful in their school system. Katie’s personal breakthrough in the discovery of the Teaching Game came about as she struggled and later succeeded in her second year as a high school Spanish teacher. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a MEd in Secondary Education from Vanderbilt’s Peabody School of Education.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Best Practices for Gen Y on LinkedIn

By Ed Han

If you’re like the vast majority of people, you probably are not getting the most out of the website that had the biggest technology IPO since Google back in 2004: LinkedIn.

As a LinkedIn trainer, when I begin any training session, I start by surveying attendees’ familiarity with the site. Without fail, at least 95% of responses are something like, “I’ve heard of it but haven’t really done anything with it”. And I know why: it’s because you haven’t seen a whole lot of reason or benefit in it.

Well, I’m here to tell you the reason and benefit in using it. It all comes down to one word.

A brand can be a very powerful thing.

When we talk about brands, it’s only natural nowadays to think both of household names such as Coca-Cola® but also of people like Apple CEO Steve Jobs. But this wasn’t always the case: most people needed to learn about personal branding in 1997 from Tom Peters in an incredibly influential Fast Company article, The Brand Called You.

When you Google (or search via Bing) for anything, very few people go beyond the first few links, never mind the first page. There may be millions of search results that extend for thousands of pages—but the 3rd page might as well be the 103rd page, for as often as people see it. And the truth is that very often, those first few results are all that you need. People put great trust in those first few links.

What happens if someone searches for your name? Try Googling yourself right now. Are you on the first page? For the vast majority of people, the first few results will be for someone else with the same name. That isn’t a desirable state of affairs.

LinkedIn provides a great way to place higher in the results—and in a way that not everyone is using. Social media is a great way to do so and you probably have heard that Facebook’s got nearly 700 million users. But this doesn’t mean you should invest more time in Facebook, because everyone is on it already. Using LinkedIn will help you stand out from the crowd.

As for how to do that, we need to start with your…

The basis for any LinkedIn account is the profile: the information you put out there about you. It goes without saying that you should add your educational and employment details, but the reason for doing this isn’t just for completeness: you can usually invite people to connect on the basis of having been classmates or colleagues. Therefore, more complete details make it easier to build a network.

There are three simple but often missed ways to make your profile stand out:

Profile pictures
A massive amount of the human brain is devoted to recognizing faces and interpreting what it sees there. I suggest leveraging that by giving them something to remember: your face. The LinkedIn Terms of Service require your profile picture to be a photograph, and specifically a headshot. Just remember to smile: a smile is engaging.

On the LinkedIn site, your name and picture will always be accompanied by this text. In short: it’s a billboard that appears with your name and face in highly-visible space. Treat it accordingly.

Status updates
You can post them on Facebook, Twitter, and you can do so on LinkedIn. I recommend posting at least once every two days, because it’s the only way to show someone viewing your profile how often you might be visiting. However, please note that people on LinkedIn expect updates no more than once or so per day. Updating your LinkedIn status as fast as some people use Twitter is a sure way to make sure people stop reading your status updates—or anything else you may post.

LinkedIn will let you join as many as 50 groups. It should go without saying that you should join groups for your alma mater and where appropriate, any other groups or organizations that apply. But also be aware that many large employers also have LinkedIn groups for current and/or former employees. This matters because you can usually invite someone to connect or send someone a message on the basis of shared membership in one (or more!) groups.

But groups aren’t just useful for broadening your list of connections. Indeed, groups are a great way to network. Industry or job-specific groups allow you to stay informed about new developments—or in some case, changes in legislation or major legal decisions that significantly impact the operating environment for anyone in that industry or performing that role. HR is certainly one field heavily impacted by legal decisions or legislation and it’s far from alone.

For as helpful as reading these discussions may be, it isn’t enough. A LinkedIn group allows any member to post a discussion or participate in one, and activity here can be tremendously helpful in raising one’s visibility. So become visible and participate in these discussions. If you can establish a reputation in a few groups for consistently providing insightful observations, that absolutely adds to your personal brand.

LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for branding and there is so much more that could be said about it. But don’t forget the most important lesson of social media. Social media differs from traditional media because it’s a two-way street: talking and listening. When you talk a lot, it’s hard to do a lot of listening.

Ed Han is a wordsmith with a passion for networking and helping job seekers optimally leverage opportunities. The holder of a B.A. in English literature from Albright College, Ed is a collaborative client champion with particular expertise in online communities, relationship management and influencing skills. As a veteran of several industries, including publishing, financial services and fashion, Ed has honed these skills and traits in many environments, from a major Wall Street firm to a small financial services start-up to a sales office for an overseas fashion brand.

Active in the community, Ed is serving as one of several facilitators for a confidential job search group in Princeton and as the Executive committee chair for the Professional Service Group (PSG) of Mercer County. Ed is also a LinkedIn trainer.

Lastly, Ed is active in major social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and writes a monthly column for the PSG of Mercer County newsletter geared towards job seekers, Staying Focused. You can follow Ed on Twitter here, see what he is doing on LinkedIn here or check out the weekly updates to his blog.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Arrogance of the Academy

By Will Deyamport, III, MSEd

I've been told by several folks in academia that my doctorate (expected graduation date: June 2012) will not count. That it is worthless and not credible to earn me a post for a tenured-track teaching position. I've heard that from people on The, The HigherEdJobs group on Linkedin, as well as folks who attend or teach at traditional brick and mortar universities. Some have gone so far as to say that, if they were on a faculty hiring committee, they would throw a for-profit university graduate's resume in the trash. Huh?

The truth is the "top tier" research schools are made up of a small list of schools. The ivy league is made up of an even smaller group of schools. That means that the majority of people who earn college degrees in this country, according to the academy, graduate from "inferior" universities. Throw in for-profit universities and the academy is off to the races to point out how "deficient" of an education I am receiving.

I earned both my bachelor's degrees in Radio, TV, and Film as well as Child and Family Studies from The University of Southern Mississippi. With such notable alumni as Cat Cora, Jimmy Buffet, Natalie Allen, Bruce Aust, Nan Kelley, and David Sheffield, to name a few, USM has produced some talented folks - people who have gone on to shape and define the industries they're in. But by the academy's standards, The University of Southern Mississippi was considered a waste of my time.

That kind of mindset is beyond arrogant. It's sanctimonious and way off base. To say that about doctorates from for-profit schools or schools outside of the "top ranked schools" is ridiculous and doesn't reflect the real world accomplishments of their graduates.

Capella University's School of Education has an excellent reputation. Not only is its teacher and school administrator preparation programs NCATE accredited, its School Counseling program as well as its programs in Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (though not a part of the School of Education) are CACREP accredited.

The students in my doctoral cohort are professionals from across the country. They are principals, college coordinators and administrators and there is even a superintendent from California. Each of them bring their unique personal and professional experiences to the courseroom. I, for one, have learned a lot about the different issues and concerns facing both K-12 and higher ed professionals at every level. Likewise, I've heard about their triumphs and successes. And if they are indicative of the kind of student and education Capella has to offer, then I am honored to be counted among them.

We live in an ever-changing, technologically-driven world. Breakthroughs and innovations in ever sector (except for maybe public education) is a way of life. Yet, the academy and its followers are more focused on its elitist cast system, than recognizing and providing the kind of educational and professional experiences needed for the 21st century. Well, the academy can have their rankings. I have work to do.