Tag Archives: education

You’re Invited: Digital 411 IRL (In Real Life) Event

You’re Invited: Digital 411 IRL (In Real Life) Event

About a month ago, some Twitter friends picked up on the current national discussion about whether there’s a higher education bubble and if we are on the verge of seeing it burst. Peter Thiel has written about this topic, “We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education,” as well as Glenn Reynolds, “Higher Education’s Bubble is About to Burst.”

With the Twitter conversation heating up, we decided it might be interesting to take the conversation offline and include entrepreneurship to hear more about what people think. As a previous college professor and constant advocate of higher education, — of course — I got excited about the prospect. All of this has manifested into the first Digital 411 IRL (In Real Life) Event, and you’re invited to be part of the fun.

The Digital 411 IRL Event will be a live, interactive debate with a panel and live audience discussing the potential (or pending) higher education bubble bursting. We will address the question: Do you need a college education to be successful? And given the number of technology companies that are started by college drop outs, we ask: How might the higher education bubble affect technology companies and start ups?

I’m excited to moderate the panel which includes the following participants:

For those in central Ohio, you can attend the event live on location at the Ohio State University’s new, College Commons space located in Ramseyer Hall. And given the topic and location, we will be collecting school supplies to donate to St. Vincent Family Center to ensure every child is prepared to start the 2011-2012 school year!

For others, you can participate in the live broadcast by tuning into Thursday, August 4 at 5pm. We will be taking questions and comments by Twitter, so send them along with the hashtag #Digital411IRL. Register for the Digital 411 IRL (In Real Life) 

I’m obviously as excited as can be and I hope you will join us IRL or virtually. It’s sure to be an interesting and engaging discussion! I’m looking forward to seeing you at this live event!

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Digital 411, education


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Technology Education: How Prepared is the Next Generation?

The latest statistics from Mashable indicate that 80% of children under 5 years old are using the internet at least once a week. That’s staggering! With the growth in the ways technology is creeping into our lives in every way possible the demand is growing from qualified technology professionals. My question, like yours is: What’s happening to prepare the next generation of technology professionals to meet this demand? In 5, 10, 15 years will we find our selves without the people to fill the need? I’m not sure, but that’s what we plan to find out on the next episode of Digital 411.

I’m confident that this is a don’t miss conversation on Digital 411 live 10am on, Saturday March 26, 2011 (Bookmark the page!) If you’ve got questions about what’s happening in technology education, give us a call at: 1 (877) 932-9766, Tweet us @Digital411 or email us

Lisa Chambers, TECH CORPS National Director and State Director (OH) (@lisachambers and @techcorps_org)

Lisa Chambers has served as the State Director of the TECH CORPS Ohio chapter since 1999. Under her

leadership, the Ohio chapter has experienced significant growth and success and her work has been recognized and

honored at the local, state and national levels.

Chambers was recently named a “Modern-day Technology Leader” by US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine and in 2008 the chapter received the Technology Innovation Award in Nonprofit Service Delivery from TechColumbus. In her new role as National Director, Chambers will focus on building a national infrastructure to support the delivery of innovative technology programs to students throughout the United States.

Follow her on Twitter at: @lisachambers and @techcorps_org

Shane Haggerty, Marketing & Communication Coordinator, Hi-Point Career Center (@shanehaggerty)

Shane Haggerty is the marketing and communications coordinator for the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Shane spent three years as a middle school and high school English and journalism teacher at Crestview Local Schools in Convoy, Ohio, before working as an assistant principal and athletic director for three additional years within the same district.

He earned degrees in English education from Huntington University and in educational leadership from the University of Dayton. He returned to school full-time in 2004 and earned his master’s degree in sports marketing and PR from Xavier University, completing professional internships for Xavier University’s Athletic Media Relations Department and at Game Day Communications, a top sports and entertainment communications agency in Cincinnati, Ohio. Shane is currently the president-elect of the Ohio School Public Relations Association (OHSPRA).

Follow him on Twitter @shanehaggerty

Listen to Digital 411 live 10am on If you’ve got questions about what’s happening in technology education, give us a call at: 1 (877) 932-9766, Tweet us @Digital411 or email us

To join the conversation before the show, connect with Digital 411 on Facebook.

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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in communication, Digital 411, education


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How To Stay Fresh While in Transition: Volunteer

Austell, GA, September 30, 2009 -- FEMA Commun...

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If you have lost your job or are making a career change (like me), you know that the job market has completely changed. Job seekers have to do more than scour employment listings and send out great resumes and cover letters in order to get to the next phase. It’s likely you’ve heard that volunteering can be a great way to network while in transition, but volunteering can also be an excellent way to Stay Fresh While in Transition.

Why is this you ask? Well non-profits, government entities, and educational institutions frequently need volunteers to help their organization execute everything from day-to-day operations, large scaled events, outreach programming and most anything in between. Depending on your professional skills, you may find that putting in a few hours each week can not only put you in contact with a whole new collection of people, but can also give others an opportunity to see you in action.

So, how do you find a volunteer opportunity that offers these aspects for you. If you happen to live in the Central Ohio area, a good place to start first is HandsOn Central Ohio (formerly known as FirstLink). HandsOn is a database or clearinghouse where individuals can review volunteer opportunities by cause or organization.

Once you’ve identified a few organizations that you are interested in working with, the next step is to contact the volunteer coordinator to schedule a meeting. Although you could discuss with this person on the phone your interests, an in-person meeting gives you an opportunity see where in the community the facility is located, take a tour and garner a better sense of what they are all about.

During your meeting with the volunteer coordinator, be sure to let me know you are interested in something that is long term — like a 3 to 6 month commitment. The benefit of pursuing a long term project is that you can build and develop relationships better. It’s great to lend a helping hand the day of a big event — but if you want people to see you in action — you likely need to commit to something that gives individuals the chance to see you over time.

Also during your meeting with the volunteer coordinator, be sure to ask lots of questions — don’t worry they expect you will have them. Consider writing a few of these questions down before you go in so you are well prepared.

  • What is you “signature” program or event?
  • What are the demographics of the community members your organization serves?
  • I’m in the (fill in the blank) industry, what types of volunteer opportunities are available that will allow me to keep up on my skills while in transition?
  • Where are your greatest volunteer needs?
  • Are there other volunteers that you can put me in contact with to learn more about their experiences?
  • Do you have any opportunities that are long term like 3-6 months?

These are just a few questions to get you started, but are designed to help you take seriously a volunteer undertaking.

Depending on who you speak with, you are likely to get a lot of information and feel very excited about what you’ve discovered — that’s great — but don’t commit to anything that day. Thank the volunteer coordinator for their time, and let them know you will be in contact with them during the next week. Your best strategy is to take some time to think over the information and the potential options you’ve been presented with. Sleep on it and then review the information again. Try and get in contact with other volunteer if possible to learn about their experiences — then make a decision.

Once you’ve made a decision about what will work best for you and contacted the volunteer coordinator to let them know — follow through. Remember non-profits, government entities, and educational institutions always need volunteers to keep things working. So, flaking out is not an option.

Also, as you begin to meet new people, get to know them and allow them to get to know you. Not just your professional interests, but also your personal interests and things you are passionate about. Be sure to tell others you are in transition and looking for new opportunities. Don’t be shy. So, what do you think? Are you ready to stay fresh in your industry and help your community at the same time?

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Posted by on September 19, 2010 in Networking, volunteering


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Public Speaking in a Digital World: Interest Is Piqued

Like most professionals passionate about what they do, I was excited about the opportunity to share with my colleagues how I had incorporated social media technologies in my public speaking course. This opportunity presented itself in late February when I presented “Teaching Social Media vs. Using Social Media To Teach” Teaching Social Media vs. Using Social Media to Teach I was excited to share with my colleagues, and others from around the University, what I found to be an engaging, student-centered educationally enriching way to teach Public Speaking.

Whenever you present a new area of research there is always some trepidation in regards to reception. My anxiety was quelled by the warm reception of the audience. Unexpectedly, Paul Peghar Creative Director of University Communications decided to attend my talk — to my surprise! Paul like the other attendees seemed enthusiastic about how I had encouraged students to use their own experiences to teach others communication principles. Well, that presentation piqued the interest of Paul.

Soon after he contact me to inquire about doing a short promotional video for the University on this innovative teaching practice of using social media to enrich the educational experience of students enrolled in public speaking. I admit that at first I was a bit apprehensive about the invitation. I’m not the most comfortable in front of the camera, and I felt as though my role at the University is not that of a spokesperson. However, after speaking with the students enrolled in the class and seeing their excitement about the opportunity to share with others what they believed to be an engaging educational experience — I soon changed my mind.

As of now, I have been interviewed by someone in University Communications. This interview included questions about my teaching practices and how I came to the decision to teach Public Speaking in a Digital World. The second — and more dominant — component of the video features the students and their work. I admit, I am excited to see how the video turns out. I promise to share it with my readers here. Stay tuned!


Posted by on April 1, 2010 in education, social media


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Pursing An Advanced Degree: Part 2

Courtney Herring

Courtney Herring, Research Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University

By Courtney Herring, Guest Contributor


In continuing my mission to inform and empower current and prospective individuals seeking to further their education with an advanced degree, the following tips are helpful strategies that are just as important to attend to as your academic performance inside the classroom. By keeping this advice in mind, your graduate school experience will certainly be enriched and may prevent later frustration.

1.    Make an effort to extend yourself to the faculty and administration in charge of your specific program. This is especially helpful and pertinent for those of you who are new to an advanced degree program because it shows that you have a vested interest in gaining the most while you are there. By extending yourself, I don’t mean “kiss up,” but do not be afraid to introduce yourself to faculty and administration .Give them a brief idea of your interests (by brief, I mean a Reader’s Digest version of your research interests). In fact, most members of faculty/administration welcome students stopping into their office hours or soliciting their help with your ongoing thesis or projects. Extending yourself to faculty is also important because you never know who can or will help you later on with selecting courses, recruiting thesis/dissertation committee members, participating in academic conferences, as well as participating in some cutting edge research that could inform your own future research or career. If you are not new to your graduate program, it is not too late for you to start branding yourself as a dedicated, interested student. You will be surprised at who remembers you.

2.    Try to get involved in group research projects OUTSIDE of those your courses may require. I know what you’re thinking: yeah, right. Between homework, other existing group projects, and teaching or researching responsibilities — oh yeah, a social life– it may seem like you’re already stretched too thin. But if you can spare the time to become involved in research groups that your professors organize, the pay off will likely be worth the sacrifice. Graduate professors are always coordinating group research projects or are engaging in their own, and more than likely the topics covered are those you may be interested in. Not only does this extra involvement allow you to hone your skills as a researcher and scholar, it also allows you to see who you may or may not want to work with in your own research.  Oh, and it looks great on a resume or CV because graduate professors research with the intent to not only learn more about the subject at hand, but the objective is also to gain exposure through academic conferences and journal publications. And, we all know what that means…presentation credits and/or publication citations for you!

3.    Respect your graduate program’s administrative assistant. Some of you may be wondering why this merits mentioning, but more often than not, you will need to use your program’s administrative assistant as a resource for information, as a liaison between you and the faculty and/or members of the administration, and to help you get into that class that is “technically” closed. With that being said, when he or she requests that you return important documents and information, DO IT On Time! This person’s role is so important to your success in graduate school that it would be a bad idea to give them an unfavorable impression of you. By respecting this person’s time and efforts, you also show your prospective instructors and thesis/dissertation committee members that not only are you a scholar, you are a professional as well.

All of the above tips require you to give more of yourself and they encourage you to push yourself beyond mediocrity. Putting in the extra time and effort will yield meaningful results for you.

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Posted by on January 21, 2010 in education


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Law School Admissions Lag Among Minorities


From The New York Times  


Published: January 6, 2010 While law schools added about 3,000 seats for first-year students from 1993 to 2008, both the percentage and the number of black and Mexican-American law students declined in that period, according to a study by a Columbia Law School professor.  

What makes the declines particularly troubling, said the professor, Conrad Johnson, is that in that same period, both groups improved their college grade-point averages and their scores on the Law School Admission Test, or L.S.A.T.  

 “Even though their scores and grades are improving, and are very close to those of white applicants, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans are increasingly being shut out of law schools,” said Mr. Johnson, who oversees the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic at Columbia, which collaborated with the Society of American Law Teachers to examine minority enrollment rates at American law schools.  

However, Hispanics other than Mexicans and Puerto Ricans made slight gains in law school enrollment. The number of black and Mexican-American students applying to law school has been relatively constant, or growing slightly, for two decades. But from 2003 to 2008, 61 percent of black applicants and 46 percent of Mexican-American applicants were denied acceptance at all of the law schools to which they applied, compared with 34 percent of white applicants.  

“What’s happening, as the American population becomes more diverse, is that the lawyer corps and judges are remaining predominantly white,” said John Nussbaumer, associate dean of Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s campus in Auburn Hills, Mich., which enrolls an unusually high percentage of African-American students. Mr. Nussbaumer, who has been looking at the same minority-representation numbers, independently of the Columbia clinic, has become increasingly concerned about the large percentage of minority applicants shut out of law schools. “A big part of it is that many schools base their admissions criteria not on whether students have a reasonable chance of success, but how those L.S.A.T. numbers are going to affect their rankings in the U.S. News & World Report,” Mr. Nussbaumer said. “Deans get fired if the rankings drop, so they set their L.S.A.T. requirements very high. “We’re living proof that it doesn’t have to be that way, that those students with the slightly lower L.S.A.T. scores can graduate, pass the bar and be terrific lawyers.”   

Margaret Martin Barry, co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers, said that while she understood the importance of rankings, law schools must address the issue of diversity. “If you’re so concerned with rankings, you’re going to lose a whole generation,” she said. The Columbia study found that among the 46,500 law school matriculants in the fall of 2008, there were 3,392 African-Americans, or 7.3 percent, and 673 Mexican-Americans, or 1.4 percent. Among the 43,520 matriculants in 1993, there were 3,432 African-Americans, or 7.9 percent, and 710 Mexican-Americans, or 1.6 percent. The study, whose findings are detailed at the Web site A Disturbing Trend in Law School Diversity, relied on the admission council’s minority categories, which track Mexican-Americans separately from Puerto Ricans and Hispanic/Latino students. “We focused on the two groups, African-Americans and Mexican-Americans, who did not make progress in law school representation during the period,” Mr. Johnson said. “The Hispanic/Latino group did increase, from 3.1 percent of the matriculants in 1993, to 5.1 percent in 2008.” Mr. Johnson said he did not have a good explanation for the disparity, particularly since the 2008 LSAT scores among Mexican-Americans were, on average, one point higher than those of the Hispanics, and one point lower in 1993.  

 Over all, Mr. Johnson said, it is puzzling that minority enrollment in law schools has fallen, even since the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2003, in Grutter v. Bollinger, that race can be taken into account in law school admissions because the diversity of the student body is a compelling state interest. “Someone told me that things had actually gotten worse since the Grutter decision, and that’s what got us started looking at this,” Mr. Johnson said. “Many people are not aware of the numbers, even among those interested in diversity issues. For many African-American and Mexican-American students, law school is an elusive goal.”  


Posted by on January 11, 2010 in education


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Pursing an Advanced Degree Part 1: It’s Not a Game





Courtney Herring

Courtney Herring, Research Fellow, The Pennsylvania State University


 By Courtney Herring, Guest Contributor               

I recently earned my Bachelors’ degrees in English Literature and Communication and am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Media Studies. Although I have only completed my first semester, I have learned a LOT, and I’m sure the learning will not end any time soon. I have a rudimentary vision of my future career goals and wanted to continue my education in the meantime before pursuing a professional career.competitive in a market that is not designed for the faint of heart. Maybe some of you are contemplating the journey or return to academia, and maybe some of you are already there. At any rate, I thought it necessary to relay some survival tips for getting through graduate school.     remain in order toI recently earned my Bachelors’ degrees in English Literature and Communication and am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Media Studies. Although I have only completed my first semester, I have learned a LOT, and I’m sure the learning will not end any time soon. I have a rudimentary vision of my future career goals and wanted to continue my education in the meantime before pursuing a professional career. The state of the current economy also scared me into going back to school.




  • Know why you are pursuing an advanced degree. That should be an obvious one, but you would be surprised to know that there are quite a few people that don’t know why they are in graduate school. Some are fresh out of undergrad, while some are going back to school because it seems like “the way to go.” The uncertainty seems quite counter-intuitive to the application process, but it really does happen to people once they get their acceptance letters. In order to get into a graduate program, you have to convince the faculty that you know why you want to be there, but the most important piece of advice I offer is that you have to first convince yourself of why you are there (or want to be there). I’m not saying that you have to have a rock-solid plan of study and thesis proposal once you hit the door, but it does help to have a flexible vision and some foresight. Most importantly, it’s necessary to know what you want to accomplish with the degree after you obtain it. Having a vision not only keeps you from wandering aimlessly, it also keeps you sane throughout some tough times when you seemingly want to give up and throw in the towel.
  • Be prepared to work. This piece of advice seems common-sensical, right? But, once you enter graduate school, work takes on a totally different meaning. I mean, REALLY. Graduate school is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Three to four hour classes, massive amounts of reading, hours of sometimes boring discussion/lecture, and seemingly impossible exams for each course seems doable when you first start, but after a couple of weeks it can be draining. Having prepared a vision of what you want out of the experience before hand helps combat procrastination and plain old laziness.
  • The above tip brings me to my next one…Be realistic about the course load you can handle. This is especially true for those of you who want to pursue or are pursuing an advanced degree in addition to other responsibilities, like work and family. Though classes usually meet once a week for three hours, one must still take into account the homework, group projects and exams that could accompany each class. While it’s great to want to finish up a degree in as less time as possible (and, perhaps with less debt), you must be realistic. Now, if you’re like me and happen to have a fellowship or an assistantship, depending on your program you may not have the option to be a part time student because you may be getting paid to be one. For those of you in my shoes, I still recommend that you choose your classes wisely. Most programs require a thesis or dissertation in order to fully complete the degree. So, not only do you have to choose classes that will inform the research that you are planning to conduct, you must also be strategic about choosing a schedule of courses.


 Of course these aren’t the only things I have learned, so stay tuned. I have more tips up my sleeve! I would love to hear about your experiences, fears, and accomplishments in graduate school. Feel free to leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn at:      


Posted by on December 24, 2009 in education


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