Integrating Technology Into Your Daily Routine
BY MAMTA ACCAPADI
My morning ritual is as follows: I visit Facebook for about 30 minutes. I open TweetDeck to catch up on tweets that I missed overnight. I scan the landscape to see if I want to share any information with students then tweet it out, hoping it is retweeted. I think about blog entries and how I can change my blog strategy. It almost feels like yesterday when my work went “electronic,” but the year was 1994. At the time, I was determining how I would use my “e-mail address.” I had just become president of a very large student organization, and the phone tree approach to connecting with our 800-plus members was not working nor was our method of communicating with each other as an executive team.
As a new leader, I was eager to serve the organization in the
best way possible. I raised the idea of using “e-mail” to communicate periodically throughout the week. At an executive
team meeting, the team agreed that it was not only unreasonable to use e-mail as a medium for official communication,
but it was unreasonable to expect co-workers to check e-mail
more than once a week.
Fifteen years later, as dean of students at a public university,
my highest priority and passion is connecting with students.
Initially, I had no idea what this connection would look like,
but I knew that it went beyond Facebook, official websites,
and e-mail. Ambitiously, I created a blog and started learning
about Twitter. Amidst all of the responsibilities that come with
being a new dean, I established these new social media tools
and quickly forgot about them because I did not have the time
to learn and use the tools.
A turning point came for me when NASPA was seeking
volunteers to blog and tweet for its Multicultural Institute last
year. I volunteered, not because I knew what I was doing, but
because I wanted to learn. Within two months, I connected
with a mentor who guided my thinking about the best ways
to engage the conference attendees. I overcame my fear and
returned to my core values—engagement, inspiration, and
connection to a bigger purpose—to give me the courage to
work with NASPA to build a social media component to