Reflections on Day Two

Boy, it was a packed day. Overall impressions gleaned from hallway conversations is that folks attended some really good breakout sessions today. The scuttle on Twitter (hashtag: #NACADAR8) had good things to say about a few of them. (Which isn’t to say the ones that weren’t mentioned were bad. Just not tweeted about.) For those of you who’ve attended conferences before though, you know that sometimes the most important take-aways come from the hallway conversations. (Hey, take-aways are take-aways, no matter where they happen.)

Take-aways from the keynote by Jayson Jarmon: Of course we could report that “everything that can be digital, will be digital” but, since that was the title of his keynote, we guess that would be cheating. Technology (specifically the Internet) has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. While some of us are still grappling with the user-centric concept of Web 2.0, Web 3.0 is already looming on the horizon. It is our responsibility to accept, adapt and innovate. But don’t get distracted by the bells and whistles. At the end of the day, content is still king. Delivery methods can and will change.

So what does that mean for us in academic advising?  Well, upon reflection, we can certainly see that from the technology side, we have increasing ways of controlling our connections to students. Email certainly changed the communications landscape some years back. Today, websites are not longer the tools of those who knew how to code HTML. With a much smaller learning curve than before, anyone who can format a Word document can now format a website page. The (often free) tools of instant communication abound: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Wiki, Skype. Are we more connected to our students than ever before? Or less so? How has technology changed the advisor/advisee relationship?

News from the Region 8 business meeting. The 2011 and 2012 conference locations are set at Calgary and Oregon respectively. Tentatively, the region anticipates conferences in Alaska in 2013 and British Columbia in 2014. Other news: some positions on the region’s steering committee are becoming available. Watch for more information soon on the nomination and voting process.

Half day tomorrow and then we say goodbye to Seattle. We hope at this point (it’s almost midnight), today’s presenters are getting a well-earned rest, and that tomorrow’s presenters aren’t staying up all night to practice in their pajamas (insert obvious “Sleepless in Seattle” reference here).

Closing thoughts tomorrow.

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