Monday, September 26, 2011

Focus...must have focus

Well, obviously my blogging spree during #MOSHRM ended almost as quickly and randomly as it began.

That's the problem with being a professor, you have a serious gear-up of energy and resources twice, maybe three times, a year and then it takes a while to recover...and regain focus!

I just got back from #TNSHRM and while the sessions were great, I got the most out of finally meeting and sharing some ideas with Lyn Hoyt (@designtwit). Again, I need to reiterate how much I suck for bailing on the TNSHRM Tweetup, SORRY LYN!!!!!

Anyway (yes refocusing is often an issue).....we were sharing stories of about social media, it's impact on our lives work, and others perceptions of it. And she finally looked at me and asked why I wasn't blogging more about what I do in the class and my views.....because I obviously have plenty of them!

So, I'm going to make a conscious effort to reengage with HREgghead, if for no other reason than to journal my successes and failures.

Hopefully I can offer some inspiration and ideas, or give others an opportunity to laugh at my mistakes!

We'll see how it goes......stay tuned!

- Heather

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thinking about education and technology.....

Summer is officially over (at least it is for me). Fall classes start in 2 weeks, which leads me to the most pressing question of the term.

No, it's not office hours, how many tests to give, or how many students I's what to do about cell phone (or ipod or tablet or laptop) use in the classroom.

In the past, I've always said that if I catch you playing on your phone, it's mine for the rest of the class. I'm starting to rethink that. Honestly, I'm not going to stop them from texting, facebooking or playing words with friends, so why stress myself trying?

Instead, I'm looking for ways to turn their divided attention and quick thumbs in my favor. At the #MOSHRM11 conference last week, one of my favorite presentations used "clickers" to poll the audience throughout the presentation. As an educator, I love that. It engages the audience, its entertaining, and it prevents presenters from turning into Charlie Brown's teacher:

Unfortunately, the presenters felt the need to remind the audience 4 or 5 times (in 1 hour) to make sure to leave the clickers behind.....apparently they had "legs" and walked away previously.

So, while I love the idea, I didn't want to be responsible for handing out and collecting clickers each class, if I could even get them (read: tight university budgets and expensive technology).

While playing with my own new tablet (the Samsung Galaxy Tab for anyone who is interested),  I found a free classroom "clicker" service from (@socrative). Basically, there is the teacher system and the mobile system....students can go to a mobile website and take what ever quiz, exit questions, etc I want. Plus, I can put results in real time on the presentation screen.

I'm going to try it this semester....if it bombs, at least I didn't spend any of my (or the university's) money. If it works.....then let the cell phone games begin!

- Heather

Thursday, August 4, 2011

#MOSHRM11 Day 2

Here's my meager attempt to relive day 2 of the MO SHRM conference at Tan-Tar-A for you....

1. It's still HOT!! Not as hot as Tuesday, but pretty damn hot none the less.
2. The vendors are diverse and giving away multiple ipads. Yes, I will blatantly plug your organization if you give me an ipad...... :)

Now to the important stuff....

1. I wasn't nearly as scared about the profession as I was on Tuesday. Maybe it's because Wednesday's topics were more mainstream, but I didn't see the push-back I saw at @WilliamTincup's social media session on Tuesday.
2. For practitioners, this conference offers multiple, solid sessions that provide good information and advice. Multiple legal updates (as expected), but also sessions on appropriate use of technology, compensation, etc. As a practitioner turned academic, I'm getting more from networking than the majority of the sessions....but that doesn't surprise me either.
3. Finally, my scare of the day.....beware of statistics! If anyone tells you that X process results in 100% improvement, higher scores, etc., don't believe it! I don't care if it's delayed gratification, introduction of technology or giving people free beer......stats can be manipulated, and the old saying "if it sounds to good to be true...." most definitely needs to be considered.

I'm still tweeting about the conference today and tomorrow using #moshrm11. Would love to hear your thoughts!

- Heather

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Live from #MOSHRM11

Ok, so maybe it took a little longer to get back in the saddle than I thought!

Anyway, I'm attending the Missouri State SHRM Conference this week in Tan-Tar-A, and while the conference officially begins today, William Tincup (@williamtincup) had a great preconference yesterday on social media and HR. Here's what has scared me so far....

1. There is a serious disconnect between HR and social media. Yes, I know we read about it all the time, but it's different when it hits you in the face. In a room of 50-ish people, less than 5 of us were on Twitter, with about half on Facebook....of those, most were of the "keep my private life private" variety. Don't even get me started on 4-square! The impression I got from the room was that they were more afraid of social media than anything else. YET, they definitely weren't afraid to fire an employee due to their social media activities.

2. A whole lot of people thought it was ok to block social media sites on work computers....even in an organization that "values transparency." When confronted with the idea that Gen Y (and Gen X for that matter) would quit in such a restrictive environment, the "oh well, they're replaceable" attitude was frightening.

I think that's it for now......follow conference happenings on twitter #moshrm11.

- Heather