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STAP: Student Technology Ambassador Program
Guest blog post by STAP program founding team Ben Cook (Trinity ’15), Stephanie Downey (Trinity ’14), and Jenny Su (Trinity ’15).
The CIT Student Technology Ambassador Program is a new student group on campus aimed at fostering personal relationships between faculty and undergraduates, developing faculty membersâ social media skills, and bringing innovative technology to Dukeâs campus.
The CIT STAP pairs interested faculty with engaged undergraduates, who will support the faculty in developing their social media skills. The program begins with personal relationships, and develops over the course of one-on-one meetings as a faculty-student pair develops a mutual understanding of goals and needs. Our friendly and energetic STAP students are ready to help professors find and master a wide variety of social media platforms and other innovative technologies, and are happy to work on a schedule that meets the faculty member’s needs.
What the program looks like
An interested faculty member should fill out a brief initial application form, to give STAP some basic information about themselves and their social media goals. Based on this initial assessment, the faculty member will be paired with one of the trained STAs, and the two will have an initial meeting to become acquainted and plan their goals. In the next meeting, the student will work with the faculty member on plans to incorporate the social media platform more effectively into the classroom, and in future conversations the STA will follow up on implementation and help tackle any new issues that arise.
Examples of possible social media platforms:
- WordPress can help students share documents to make a communal class blog, where students can view and comment on each other’s work and generate a class publication.
- Twitter provides an easy way to document and share notes about relevant experiences outside the classroom.
- Computer Science Department classes are currently taking advantage of Piazza, which enables students and faculty to ask and answer questions and make announcements about class information; Piazza may be useful in other disciplines as well.
- Poll Everywhere lets faculty get feedback from students using a cell phone or laptop. Student input appears in real time on the poll in the form of free comments, graphs, or multiple choice responses.
- Any class can create a Facebook group, which allows the students to ask and answer each other’s questions, post class notes, and even post videos related to the course material.
- LinkedIn will allow faculty with a large alumni database to easily manage their alumni contacts. Professors can even use LinkedIn to provide job recommendations to current and past students, join groups related to their field, and connect with colleagues.
How STAP participation can benefit faculty:
Education: By enabling students and faculty to become more actively involved in discussions both in- and outside the classroom, both will become more passionately engaged in course material and beyond, thereby enriching the learning experience, deepening understanding and mastery of content, and furthering the educational mission of the university.
Relationships: Many faculty complain that they never get a chance to really get to know their students. Undergrads rarely come to office hours, and even if they do the conversation is limited to the scope of the syllabus and the gradebook. This is where STAP comes in. Through social media, faculty and students can connect in a exciting new way, fostering passion and engagement that will help build close relationships and bring teaching and learning to a whole new level.
General knowledge: In this day and age, especially in the university environment, faculty should be familiar with the social media their students are embracing, because this is a good way to meet undergraduates “where they are.” Faculty who want to know more about the educational applications of social media, and become conversant with hashtags, memes, and tweets are welcome to get involved!
How to get involved:
If the CIT Student Technology Ambassadors Program is of interest to you, please fill out the brief initial faculty application form. The information you provide will help STAP contact you for an initial meeting, determine your skill set and needs, and pair you with an eager and compatible student ambassador.
If you are a student interested in becoming a student technology ambassador, please fill out the student application form. The information that you provide will allow us to contact you concerning your potential involvement and later pair you with faculty with whom you share interests.
We look forward to hearing from you!