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An Open Letter …

March 9, 2010

An Open Letter from the People with Cell Phones out (for a purpose) during sessions

Dear Presenter/Speaker at NASPA 2010,

I am listening and I think your session is great! Just because I am on my cell phone does not mean that I am sending a text to someone else. I am definitely not bored; I am fully engaged as I am actually listening to you very closely so I can take notes,  quote you, and I’m trying to take a picture of you. Let me explain better what I am trying to accomplish.

During the last few days I have used YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs like the NASPA10 blog to chronicle my experience at The Placement Exchange and NASPA.  I enjoy using social media and these websites to connect to students and those other professionals do the same. Even exhibitors here at NASPA are using social media to talk about their companies. I thought that by using the #naspa10 hash tag on Twitter that I could engage the other professionals in our field in a larger discourse about your topic, and provide them with the wisdom that you are sharing.  Not only that, the  program on my iPhone lets me share the same picture and quote and lets posts it on my Facebook for all my family, friends, and colleagues to see. It is  a way to get everyone to talk about the amazing work you are doing.

So do not get discouraged by me or others that may be doing the same. We are trying to spread the word and share the great things you are doing. Thanks for your wonderful presentation, here is my business card, and I definitely want your materials by e-mail.

The undersigned

(Feel free to comment below to join the letter!)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn Golz permalink
    March 9, 2010 6:57 pm

    I worried that presenters or other attendees would judge me for using my phone during sessions. But, I also felt that the greater good was involved and I knew that others who were unable to attend NASPA truly appreciated my tweet updates. As we say during #sachat through Twitter: “Lurking is learning” and there are many student affairs folks lurking on Twitter, anxiously awaiting the next #naspa10 update.

    Thank you for explaining our otherwise seemingly “rude” behavior! 🙂

    Carolyn Golz

  2. March 9, 2010 9:57 pm

    Excellent article. I plan to post and link to it in various social media outlets and then send to the various international education listservs so that colleagues in the field of international education understand what some of us will be doing at the various conferences in our field. Many thanks for this post. Love it!

  3. Dr. Grahaeme A. Hesp permalink
    March 11, 2010 8:44 pm

    I actually use the notes function of my iPhone to take notes during sessions. Saves paper, is easily edited, and I can email to myself and others

  4. Kami A. permalink
    March 17, 2010 12:51 pm

    Way to go, Jason, you stated this very well! I know my cellphone was in hand during Dr. Rice’s keynote because I was busy tweeting many of the quotes I felt others would enjoy. Sending photos also helped create another dimension for our colleagues who were unable to join us this year and so other twitter-ers could put a face to our otherwise cryptic twitter handles and profile photos. I hope others RT this link 🙂

  5. March 17, 2010 1:07 pm

    Well said Jason!

  6. Nick permalink
    March 17, 2010 1:29 pm

    I disagree on this. I think social media adds incredible value to higher education conferences, but there seems to be no reason why one can’t recount their workshop experience on their phone after the workshop or presentation is over. I’m not against a quick check of a phone or jotting down a note on one, but there are people who are glued to them throughout a presentation, and it can have an effect on the energy of the session (not to mention the effect on the presenter).

    For those people who need the immediate ability to interact with social media while taking in a presentation, it seems that web conferences and other e-learning options are more appropriate. Otherwise, why are you spending $1000.00 a person to travel to not be in the moment with other people?

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