I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity." -Eleanor Roosevelt
I can appreciate the irony of talking about the useful online tools needed for student affairs success and not being able to access the internet yesterday. It must have been a big time for Netflix watching last night. So here is my attempt to write a post about helpful/useful tools of the student affairs trade that I like to use in order to be successful at my job. Please note that all of these websites are completely free to use and most do not require any login information.
ResidentAssistant.com: So this is one of the very original sites that helped my job take off from the ground and I'm very excited to announce that they have recently relaunched the site and it looks great! There are tons of useful information including programs, hall decorations, and basically any resource an RA could possibly want! It's primarily created by RAs, for RAs, so you know that everything has been done before and really works!
Otms.nrhh.org: The National Residence Hall Honorary is made up of the top one percent of student leaders living in the residence halls. I'm proud to consider myself a member of this organization and to also serve as an adviser as well. With one of the primary pillars of the group being recognition, NRHH members submit a monthly award nomination called an "OTM" (of the month). The chapter then votes on their favorite OTM for each category (program, student, organization, community, etc) and send their winners up to the regional level which is then voted on and is then sent to the national level. On this site, you can pull up the winning nominations on the regional/national levels for each month. This is especially helpful for program nominations since it goes into a full detail on how to replicate the activities and how to transfer them over to your school!
Teampedia.net: With over 80 ice breakers and 200+ team building activities, teampedia is where you go to create a strong staff or residential community! There are tons of great ideas and it can even be broken into learning outcomes or the size of group you are working with!
Pinterest.com: No longer is this site just for arts and crafts, RAs and other student affairs professionals use this site for all sorts of bulletin board and program ideas. Plugging my own account, if you click here, you will have access to over 800 door dec ideas, 500 bulletin boards, and 1,200 program ideas!
Dafont.com: Fonts are very helpful to liven up any bland flier or bulletin board. Dafont has thousands of great downloads that can be used and uploaded straight into Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, etc.
Doodle.com: Have a lot of members in a group and can't figure out the perfect time to meet? Set up a doodle where members can easily show when they are available and you can schedule a meeting.
Surveymonkey.com: This site is an amazing assessment tool. Create surveys easily and send them out via email. It also offers some good statistical analysis once receiving answers back from participants.
Blockposters.com: Blow up any picture to fit bulletin boards or to really show up on the walls.
Note: Use a larger picture to begin with, otherwise your results may turn out pixelated.
Residentassistantlife.weebly.com: This was actually the site that taught me about weebly.com to create my own website. Torie Agne is an RA at Michigan State University and she has some great ideas for programs, door decs and bulletin boards. Her site is currently under construction, but I'm excited to see what new and exciting things she has in store!
YouTube: This may seem like an easy one, but I use this all the time for my posts or to simply get inspiration. To take it a step further, if you use this website: http://en.videotrine.com/ you will be able to pull up the most viewed videos on YouTube and really see what is trending in your country.
BrainyQuote.com: Ever wonder where I get all of my quotes? Brainy Quote is a great place to find the exact quote you are looking for!
Linkedin.com: This is more for professional development, but it is a quickly growing website with a lot of features that you might not have known about. There are helpful articles released by businesses you follow, job postings, as well as your ability to really reach out and network with people similar to you.
There are so many more websites I should have mentioned, but I don't want to have these gems lost in the crowd. I use these the most and they have been very useful in my job. I decided to use this recent DNews video today for a couple of different reasons. I've referenced Laci Green in the past and I think she is an amazing YouTuber with tons of knowledge on science topics and sex education, so first and foremost, this is a bow to her efforts while seeking to educate. This is her recent farewell video for DNews and she talks about gratitude. Not only her gratitude for working with DNews, but simply the concept and the science about it. I would have never gotten to the area I am today without these websites and sometimes you need to step back and thank them for all of the help they have offered. I recognize there is a high likelihood they may never see this, but if I have provided any information to help you use this site more, then I would consider this post a success.
Question Time: What websites do you like to use?