Pony Express....Butterfield Overland Mail...US Mail Service...then Fed-Ex became the household name for getting a document to someone absolutely, positively overnight! When overnight wasn't fast enough, fax became popular. Then scanned documents in email. And then....email to your Palm Pilot! How cool was that?
Today, on our iPhones (or similiar devices, so as to not offend the 'Droid users) we learn of Steve Job's passing, read our emails, plan menus, play games, receive "push notifications" from someone that we haven't talked to in 25 years but has left a message on our Facebook page, reconnect with old friends via "status updates" or "tweets," order takeout for dinner, get notification of how our Fantasy Team is doing, and on and on. There is SO much information out there, sometimes it is hard to decipher which information is really important. I would argue that 10 years ago, we were a "Now" society. Today, we are "Now and Connected" society--more connected than we have ever been.
I recently finished Gary Vaynechuk's The Thank You Economy. He talks about the impact social media can have on our business--mostly because of the connectedness of our society. From this book, I learned how to search tweets. You can imagine the student's surprise when, after a tweet about getting a class on his schedule in Hanford , complained about bad advice, because he lived on the eastern side of Tulare County. I asked how we could help....and he simply thanked me for my time. He complained. We cared. Problem diminished.
As I thought about how this enviornment has impacted our students, it was amazing. What? You mean we can't give them all the information they need to know in 140 character posting like Facebook? What? You want a paper that isn't <ful of txt wrds u can read & btw b4 u read u have to go 2 txt skul to learn> acronyms (I'm just not that cool to know how to text that word!)
We, as a community college, have a tall order. Not only did the voters five years ago vote for a permanent facility for COS Hanford, the community is entrusting us with their greatest resource--tomorrow's generation. We must be connected to our students: getting through to them, helping them find resources to be successful, and being connected. One day, these students can better provide for themselves and their families--the ones that think they are way too "old school."
In light of this column, I couldn't help but pass along a picture that I saw on a Facebook post from a high school classmate--that I haven't seen in 26 years--before the new FB format. LOL!