Happy Halloween

It has been a great week leading up to tonight. First the wife, kids and I hit the Downtown Stillwater Festival for games and candy, then it was to the annual church Harvest Carnival on Wednesday and then eating pizza on Thursday courtesy of the Pizza Hut BOOK IT Reading Incentive Program and today is a school parade all leading up to the big night of Batman, the Orange Witch Mom and Dad.

(I am going as the same thing I have done the last 5 years, "Tired Dad")

Where is this going except that I hope you and your family are safe tonight as you go out?

If your community does not have a community wide Fall Fest or Harvest Carnival, why not start one on the campus of your technology center?

The technology center would be a great place for students to come and visit to get a few treats and to get on your campus. Parents would be able to see all the cool classroom equipment you have and the students would start to develop a feeling of place and comfort by walking the halls in search of their favorite treat.

Each classroom could have an instructor and a current student who could hand out candy, a group of students could create a picture area for the guest while other students record the night on film. The carpentry class could build props (within their instructional objectives) and the culinary arts students could make some awesome baked goods for a cake walk. The possibilities are endless as your imagination and the bountiful skills of your students.

If you are headed out tonight, here are some Halloween Safety Tips for you and your little one.


Are you LinkedIn?

As the number of social networking Web sites reaches over 250 you have to be asking yourself where do I start? The sites are overpowering when you aren't sure what they will get you.

Recently Meridian Technology Center's management team was brought together to explore Web 2.0, LinkedIn style. The online professional networking site is intended to manage professional relationships and professional success. Users can create a profile where they add connections, include information on their professional experience much like a resume, and can post recommendations from former colleagues. In addition, the site boasts a job board of sorts where companies can look for candidates and see their resume, through their profile, online.

The management team at Meridian has used it for a different reason. They have created an online discussion group where they explore management topics that are not always easy to do in person. Topics like the recession, defining economic impact, and drop out rates have all been discussed through this virtual leadership team meeting. Many members of the team are brand new to this online social networking site and have learned to navigate it through the group discussions.

ACTE uses LinkedIn to share discussions as well. They have over 150 members in their ACTE group who are now discussing blogs and the national STEM summit.

How do you get your ideas? Do you discuss them with non-biased members of your career field? You can do that on LinkedIn through a professional group. Some of the larger groups have 15+ topics posted a day on relevant issues for that career field.

Using this Web 2.0 tool has meant the leaders at Meridian are becoming more familiar with the tools their students often use. Sites like this come as second nature to secondary students today. The only way to get to know them is to jump in. Do you know what social networking sites your students use? A simple and easy survey of your students can tell you. How will this information help you? You can engage students in their native language: digital.

Tawny Dotson is Director of Strategic Communications at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, OK.


Happy Birthday from Cross Canadian Ragweed

This morning I was checking my email and had a birthday wish from one of my favorite bands, Cross Canadian Ragweed!!

Happy Birthday Jeremy,

First of all, we just wanted to drop you an e-mail to say thanks for supporting us, and being a part of our street team!

Secondly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We hope you have many Happy Birthdays for years to come!

Keeeeep rockin',
Cross Canadian Ragweed

My second thought, after what great use of Web 2.0, is that this is the example I have been looking for!! Each technology center has this piece of information for many of their potential recruits. That information is name, birthday and email.

Have you sent birthday emails yet? If you haven't, give it a try. Instead of thanking them for being a part of the street team, maybe encourage them to come for a visit, or view a special online tour of their interest (You have their career interest.)

Whatever you decide to do, make it a part of your year round recruitment plan and start wishing those students Happy Birthday!!


Dreaming of being a fighter pilot......

"How does a guy who wants to grow up to be a fighter pilot wind up working in economic development for the state of Oklahoma?"

You may ask "what is economic development and why is this important"?

Let's start with you. Unless you win The Lottery or are wealthy beyond measure, it is highly likely that you will have to work for a living for a fair amount of your adult life. Harsh reality, get over it.

You will want to work in a job you love and that pays you handsomely. Your employer will want a highly-skilled associate that can bring positive results on a regular basis. This is where CareerTech comes in. We help Oklahomans become "highly-skilled" so that they can get a great job and grow in it over the course of their career.

So, what is the payoff?

You get skills from CareerTech and you go to work for a company who pays you well. You take that wage; spend it on a house, taxes, groceries, a righteous vehicle and so on and, in the end, all Oklahoma benefits from a steadily improving standard of living. That is economic development.

So, what does Scott Smith do in Economic Development? Some of the work I do involves meeting with companies that are considering either moving to Oklahoma or expanding their existing operation by opening a facility in our state. I help businesses understand how they can create a highly-skilled workforce in Oklahoma by using CareerTech technology centers.

What makes it interesting is that we are competing with 49 other states. We work to reveal their filthy lies ......well, not really, because America has some great places to build companies besides Oklahoma.

But, in the end, it is our job to present the incredible value that Oklahoma brings to business and then work to bring great companies, who pay great wages and offer great jobs, to Oklahoma so they can hire great folks like you.

Scott is CareerTech's Cordinator for Economic Development and can be reached at ssmit(@)okcareertech.org


OK CareerTech on Twitter

Need another way to follow your CareerTech News? How about Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging application that lets users follow each other's updates, called "tweets." According to Wikipedia in July of 2008 2.2 million users were on Twitter.

Twitter has numerous uses, including in academia, event updates like enrollment deadlines, sharing news stories and much more.

Move over CNN and YouTube Debates!! If you want to see the power of Twitter in traditional media you can watch Hack the Debate on Oct 15. Hack the Debate is the live broadcast of the Presidential Debate (just like ABC, NBC and CBS) with live "tweets" broadcast throughout so you can see what other people think about what the candidates say. Sign up for an account and you can get in on the conversation.

A few University twitter sites so you can get a feel for how to use it:

Oklahoma State: http://twitter.com/okstatenews
University of Central Oklahoma: https://twitter.com/UCOBronchos
Oklahoma Christian University: http://twitter.com/okchristian
Allegheny College: http://twitter.com/alleghenycol
Aston University: http://twitter.com/AstonUniversity

Keep up with CareerTech at http://twitter.com/okcareertech

If your tech center uses Twitter, or you know of another Univeristy that uses Twitter, post a comment and let us know.


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