A brief introduction
 
It's a normal afternoon for college students. They sit down at a lunch table with their friends after class to get something to eat and catch up with each other. Given that it is 2013, their conversation could go anywhere. However, chances are that at some point or another, some aspect of social media will be brought up. Whether it's "Oh, did you see who Tweeted this?" or "Hey, did you see what she wrote on Facebook?". The truth is, this is the new norm.
 
In this day and age social media has become a part of our culture, so much so, that it's considered a social norm, used by anyone for any reason. With the growth of technology, even over the past few years, social media has found countless platforms to allow its users to immerse themselves in a vast network of online news, blogs, social interactions, and countless other venues. Since the dawn of social media, it has evolved into a primary method of communicating, getting our news, and promoting a culture dominated by technology and the Internet. When considering these facts, one can't help but stop and think how this might be affecting higher education and what impact it has had on students and the institution itself?
 
From my perspective, social media has taken over higher education in many ways, none of which I would say is negative, as social media is now being used by faculty and staff just as frequently as students. All across college campuses throughout the country, social media is becoming an integral part of day-today life for the entire campus community. . Just in the past three years that I have been in college, I have seen social media everywhere I go. Nearly every club and organization at Anna Maria College uses some form of social media to market their club, communicate between club members, and reach out to other students, as well as advertise for their events. Social media is even evident on the professional level just as much as it is on the student level. The admissionteam relies on the benefits of social media to help them connect with prospective students, as well as share the wealth of information about the School. Just on the admission page alone incoming freshmen can find links to pages on the Anna Maria website that directly brings them to their point of interest, whetherr one is looking for residence life, student activities, how to deposit, or even how to find email addresses to talk to admission councilors or faculty members. Students can also find Anna Maria on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Instagram, as well as Linkedin.
 
This is just a small example of how social media has found itself at the center of higher education. I hope to discuss more about this in my next blog...

Posted by on in Matt's Corner

For my final blog post, I would like to point out the most important thing students need to remember in college...it’s your education! Students need to be comfortable and assertive in communicating what they want to get out of their college experience with their professors. And faculty should continue to strive to provide the resources necessary to let students flourish in their academics.

As a junior at Anna Maria College, I take pride in knowing that the College I go to is full of resources that will help me learn what I need to know, and the biggest resource of all is the faculty. They provide the knowledge and the tools AMC students need to thrive...students just need to let them know that’s exactly what they are in college to do.

Have a great holiday season and thanks for sharing this experience with me.

Anna Maria College is blessed to have an amazing faculty that is dedicated to the values of education and helping students. Our professors can almost always be seen with an open door to their office when they are not in the classroom. Every time I walk down the halls and past faculty offices I see at least a couple of professors meeting with students trying to give them the extra help they might need for the class or possibly just meeting to make sure they are both on the same page.

Meeting with faculty is important because the classroom is not the only time place your professor can help you. Often, it’s during office hours that you can really talk with your professors about what’s going on in class or about something you need help with. Any questions that can’t be asked in class because there might not be enough time or you’re not comfortable asking in class, can be asked during these office hours. One-on-one time can be very helpful for students, as well as professors, and can aid in the professor-student relationship. I encourage all students not to ignore their professors’ office hours!

Another great thing about Anna Maria College is that it is a small campus so it is a common occurrence to see professors walking around campus. Also, because we don’t have a large campus, it’s easier to talk to a professor casually either to get to know each other better or to set up a time to meet more formally.

Remember that professors are there for you; they are your most valuable resource, after all, they are the ones teaching you everything you need to know!

            Professors, do your students utilize your office hours frequently?

            Students, do your professors' office hours help you?

One advantage of being at a smaller institution is being able to develop a good form of communication between you and your professor. My advisor, who is also the primary professor for my major of media communications has made a huge impact on my college life here at AMC. For my first two years, I had the pleasure of having him one to three times a semester, as well as for my advisor. This semester, although I don't have any classes with him, I still make sure that we stay in touch whether through email or by stopping by his office during free time to speak with him about what’s going on with my life, classes, and internship.

The more you tell your professors and advisors, the more they will know about you and the more they can help you. For instance, if you are failing a class and for some reason your advisor did not know yet and you didn’t tell him/her quick enough, by the time s/he finds out, it might be too late to sign up for that class again and/or it may interfere with future scheduling.

Being on a small campus like AMC, it’s very easy to speak with your advisor and  professors frequently.

Have you ever had a good experience because you kept good communication with your professor/advisor?

Communicating with your professor can do a lot for building a positive student/professor relationship that makes your educational experience worthwhile. Getting the most from your education can also be as simple as understanding what you are doing in your classes in the first place.

Besides the fact that we are in college to learn, we should know exactly what we are learning. Some of us may find ourselves in a class we are required to take and then realize that we have no idea what it is actually about. Sometimes, students have trouble understanding exactly what they are supposed to obtain from a class or what they need to learn. Working with the professor to establish course goals can help students stay focused on what they need to do and can keep them on the right track. This may sound simple to some but as  a college student I have often wondered  “when will I use this class for?” or “how does this class really help me?”

With your professors assistance, I am finding that there is always something of value to gain from a class. And while it may not seem to directly help you in obvious ways, you may and most likely will find yourself in a situation where you remember what you learned in that class you once took and be glad you learned it!

Education is so valuable, and when it is given to you in any form, cherish it, because it’s one thing that can never be taken away from you...only given.

Thoughts?