My Quest To Teach

April 1, 2016

HBCU Students: Can Your Brand and SWAG Can Get You Employed

HBCU Students: Can Your Brand and SWAG Can Get You Employed
by William Jackson, M.Edu.
Instructor at Edward Waters College
Educational Technology and Social Media


The competition for earning internship opportunities and employment
is a work of Branding, Marketing, Networking and strategically
being placed. Creating a strong Brand that has SWAG and draws positive
attention to abilities, talents and skills. Being recognized, respected,
in demand by employment recruits cannot happen the senior year of college,
it is a process that is built from the freshmen year to graduation day
and beyond.

Employment recruiters have changed the way they recruit and hire
because many college students do not posses the necessary employment
skills.To many HBCU students still don’t understand, that they need
serious tech skills and certifications. Employers are not looking for
people who can just do a job, they are looking for people that excel
and have marketable skills that are beyond academic excellence and
technology wizardry.

Today’s corporate and academic world a bachelor’s degree is
just a step up from a high school diploma. The need is for advanced
diplomas and multiple certifications. Skills in Social Media, Digital
Media, Literacy Media and the list continues to grow when manipulating
digital tools. Young corporate talent must Brand themselves with
multi-talented skills that are marketable, scalable,
and bring value to their “Human Capital.”


To see the skill sets needed HBCU students need to view the
employment resources and view the skills necessary
before they can even get invited to an interview. To prove this
point high school students must understand how to create more than a
PowerPoint presentation, they must be able to make web sites with
Blogger or WordPress, they must understand coding and articulate
during their presentations with bullet points, integrate animated
graphics, have active sound bites and active web links that connect
to resources they used to build their presentations.

HBCU students must know these skills out of high school or use
YouTube resources to teach themselves. HBCU students cannot afford
to wait on classes to learn new skill sets, they must be proactive
in teaching themselves necessary tools that allow them to
be competitive in a global economy. They can’t blame “the man,”
“the system,” nor “their parents if lacking. HBCU students have
access to the Internet which has global access to information,
resources that can build a personal Brand and Market to global
networking resources.


As an HBCU graduate (South Carolina State University) and
an instructor at Edward Waters College, the oldest HBCU
in Florida HBCU students will compete against thousand of others
for high tech, high salary positions.
Resources like LinkedIn, HBCU Connect and even GCF Learn Free
can provide a heads-up on what to do to enhance skills.

Speaking at conferences  I try to get people to understand that
their Smart phones, Smart tablets and even Smart watches,
“can be their best digital friend or worse enemy,” by the content
they create and broadcast. HBCU students need to understand how
valuable their content is.Caution and common sense are important,
HBCU students risk loosing chances at internships, scholarships,
fellowships, studying overseas and even being put out of school
because of Sexting, Cyberbullying, and Cyberstalking.


Proving You Have SWAG and Your Brand is Crunk
HBCU students cannot just sit on their assets and “wait” on information,
they must research, read, comprehend, digest information and regurgitate
it in understandable ways that provide value and worth. HBCU students
must be willing to learn and grow at a fast pace depending on their
career aspirations and life long goals. Comprehension is a skill that
leads to understanding and practice in applying methods to improve it.
Proving you have what it takes means being involved in networking
events, community activism, and volunteering.


Your SWAG and Brand
HBCU students need to be connected to resources like LinkedIn that
allow them to share and expand their Brand and E-Reputations.
The world is a smaller place because of technology, creativity and
innovation. HBCU students need to exercise their gifts, talents and
abilities to strengthen their SWAG. Use technology to tell your story
not allow others to do it for you.

February 20, 2016

26 Must Haves for HBCU Student’s


26 Must Haves for HBCU Student’s
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Alumni of SCSU ’85
Instructor at Edward Waters College,
Jacksonville, Florida
@wmjackson – #MyQuestToTeach

Wm Jackson (SCSU ’85) – Sean Jackson (FAMU ’14)

Teaching educational technology at Edward Waters College
provides great joy and purpose that combines teaching as
an elementary school teacher in public education with my
teaching in higher education.
I enjoy having the best of both worlds, helping to prepare
elementary students for life after elementary school and
helping college students prepare for the working world
outside of higher education and other events that prepare
students for “real life.” HBCU students are already using tech,
but must learn to apply it to the most effective use to Brand
their SWAG and get employed before graduation.

The competitiveness of the global business markets, business
environments, international trade that has increased demand for
those with specific skills and higher degree levels has created
a demand for students to be adaptable in their ability to work in
any environment, flexible in their duties and responsibilities as
“Human Capital,” and possess higher order and critical thinking
skills that allow for problem solving skills to grow.

The skills that HBCU students learn should allow them to be able to
compete with students that attended PWI’s. The must haves must be
gained while HBCU students are preparing for the days after
graduation and beginning of careers dreams. HBCU students cannot
wait until their senior year to prepare for graduation, it must be
an ongoing process and planned beginning in their freshman year.



26 Must Haves for HBCU Students
1. Have a Resume / Vitae created in multiple formats to provide for
potential employers. Copies should be online, on a flash drive and on
a laptop or tablet and even a couple hard copies for those unique
opportunities on the train or bus.
2. Have an email with GMail with a valid email address and a professional
looking email signature. Check it on a regular basis and respond to
inquiries quickly. When you receive business cards or make contact send
an email that you were glad to meet that person. Even digitally you can
make an impression.
3. Have a Skype account that you can use for online interviews. If you’re
willing to relocate employers may want a Skype interview to get to see
you and meet.
4. Have a list of mentors to ask questions. Every college student needs
a mentor to bounce ideas off of. They provide a perspective on the world,
mentors can be online contacts as well, and digital connections can be
just as successful.
5. Have a list of references with email addresses, phone numbers, that
are legally employed, no criminal histories, and have a good academic
and professional backgrounds. Who you know still matters, when seeking
references make sure you ask the person first to be sure they are in
6. Know your GPA weighted and un-weighted. During interviews this
question may come up, hesitations and “I don’t remember,” shows lack
of academic knowledge.
7. Taken or plan to take assessments to know your cognitive and
intellectual strengths and weaknesses. Build your confidence to take
tests. Don’t be intimidated because what you think you’re being tested
on may not actually be what you’re tested on.
8. Have a library card, museum membership to show involvement in the
community. This also encourages you to participate in networking
events to meet people and gain new contacts to build your PLC or
Professional Learning Community
9. Volunteer time with your ministry, not for profits and other
groups to understand where you can fit in to contribute to your
community. The best way to gain quiet exposure is to volunteer
your time.
10. Have a documented history of community service. Keeping records
allows you to see overtime your contributions to your community and
to share this information. It also helps with memory and meeting
11. Have positive Social Media content. When people research you
online they are hoping to see good content. You never know when an
opportunity comes available when someone remembers you from an event
and wants to match your skill set with a project.
12. Attend conferences, workshops, seminars, etc. HBCU students must
be involved in these to learn more, increase their knowledge and
share their knowledge. These are awesome ways to find a mentor,
network and even future employment.
13. Have a list of accomplishments, honors and achievements with
dates put in your Vitae or stand alone.

14. Have a valid driver’s license even if you’re not driving, the
company may be willing to give you a car until you’re on your feet.
15. Have an open bank account with checking and savings even if you
have $5.00, you will need this for direct deposits.
16. Check your credit history to check against errors and identity
theft. More companies are checking credit histories so be careful
what is on your history. Monitor it because it can influence salary
and benefits.
17. Have a mission and vision statement for life goals and accomplishments.
18. Know how to travel within your city, know where the library is,
City Hall, Social Security Office,
Police Department, and other major points of interest.
19. Know how to use your phones GPS to help you navigate if walking
or riding your bike.
20. Start watching the news to keep up with local and current events
and the weather. Someone may try to start a conversation.
21. Talk to your parents, family and even church to see where your
help will come from if you need help and assistance. Successful people
will tell you that you should not think you can do everything
on your own, you will need help.
21. Have a copy of your Social Security Card, Birth Certificate and
drivers license.
22. Access to loose change and small amounts of cash always.
23. Cell phone numbers to: Taxi Service, Bus Station, Police Department
(not 911), a teacher, mentor and your minister, evangelist, priest, etc.
Prayer does work.
24. A debit card or credit card for emergencies, and maybe invest in a
gift card to use for transportation only and one for food only to help
manage your finances.
25. Checks from your bank (to help you start your direct deposit when
hired for a job).
26. Have a Paypal account to register for events and activities.
These are a lot of considerations, but for HBCU students to be successful
they must adapt to the business and educational environment to reach their goals.

The Power and 
Empowerment of Education

HBCU Listing
Preparation – Planning – Prayer – Practice

November 10, 2015

Social Media: Parents vs Teens

Social Media: Parents vs Teens

The holiday seasons are coming quickly, new high tech devices
are allowing teens to increase their Social Media connections
with friends. Social Media networks like; Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, Vine, SnapChat, Youtube and others allow for the
exchange of all types of social information both positive and
SM by teens are their primary means of sharing information and
posting personal content. Parents should be prepared for the
increase in digital connections, Smartphones, tablets and even
watches open diverse challenges to managing personal information
in which some type does not need to be share.

Wireless technologies have allowed for unprecedented access
to people and data. Because of the easy access to online resources
there should always be open communication between youth/teens
with their parents. The distractions and dangers of life can quickly
bring tragedy and second guessing of parental responsibilities
and accountability for young lives when there is death or injury
from Cyberbullying and misunderstood intentions.

Parents cannot allow Social Media to be a baby sitter for their children
just as television should not be a substitute for parental engagement
and teaching social skills. Parents may find it difficult to start a
conversation about the use of technology and Social Media; start
the conversation about the inclusion of Social Media in a teen’s life,
parents should understand that their children may know more about
technology, but parent knows more about life and survival skills.
This fact alone can strengthen the conversation on safety and survival
in a world of diversity in ideologies, economic status and educational
access. Social Media is a snapshot of our society, being connected to
multiple people with diverse backgrounds.
There are growing numbers of youth and teens being lured and seduced
into prostitution, sexual torture and murdered from online meetups.
Technology is necessary, an important part life, the bond between
families cannot afford to be disrupted by electronic devices.

Communication is in a digital arena not verbal so Social Media, texting
and digital interaction is common with teens. This interaction is not
always sexual, but the sharing of social information can lead to situations
of personal invasion. Because of the intrusiveness of technology parents
need to set boundaries just as they would if their child or children were
at a playground or a swimming pool.
Parents need to monitor what is being shared online, some information
may be dangerous or lead to future problems in developing relationships
or potential child stalkers becoming friends with unguided and
unmonitored youth and teens.

As a Teacher of the Year, STEAM educator, a national/international
Blogger and presenter of Social Media Safety, with over 25 years in
public education and higher education, many teens lack the appropriate
processing skills to manage their Social Media content. What they put
online can be used as a benefit when they become adults or a hazard
during the developing teen years.
A quick comment, a moment of frustration, the thrust of jealousy and a
period of anger can cause teens to post comments that have profanity,
potential slanderous statements or even threats of physical or property

Parents cannot afford to be negligent, ignorant or complacent in their
child or children’s social media activities. “Parents need to be involved
and engaged even checking phones, tablets, laptops and desktops”
William Jackson 2012.
Stages of development for online behavior are a gradual process
requiring parental supervision and parental communication. Schools
cannot be responsible to totally teaching technology literacy. Canada,
France, Britain and Australia all have national media literacy standards
for students in their educational curriculum; the United States because
the educational system is decentralized does not have a national model.
Parents must be the guiding force of reason and education outside of
the school. Parents set the tone for Social Media morals and ethics
in Social Media conduct.

A very important reminder anything that is put online stays online and
never goes away. Even if a student tries to delete their online content
it is backed-up on a server someplace and can be accessed.

Social Media: Parents vs Teens
Parents should spend more time with their kids and teens, parental
involvement is important and contact not through the Internet or cell
phones. Communication is becoming a lost art between parents and
their children. Children and teens will post personal information online
faster than thinking that they should not. This presents potential
dangers that are broad and can influence future safety of the family.
Talking can save your child’s life or the families from Internet and the
dangers that are a real and present danger.

July 28, 2015

Blacks in Technology – CSTREAMing

Blacks in Technology – CSTREAMing
by William Jackson
Edward Waters College – Educational Technology Instructor

Computers Science Technology Reading Engineering Arts Mathematics
“The development of content, creation of Apps, software development,
and the integration of technology for reading, science, engineering, math
and other areas of academia for African Americans is only part of the battle
to create an employable high tech workforce.”
William Jackson, Edward Waters College, Educational Technology Instructor

The African American participants of One SPARK (each year grows) in
One Spark and Ed Spark ranging from educational software, to reading
initiatives like Reader Theater (Tangela Floyd and Emanuel Washington),
the implementation of robotics in learning GEERS, a focus on the growing
academic initiatives of STEM/STEAM.
The encouraging trend is more participants are African American showing
that even in Crowd Funding African Americans have viable and competitive
Several of the highlights of One Spark and Ed Spark that is still being
celebrated on a national scale, the winner of the Education Division
“The Adventures of Moxie Girl,” whose comic book concept is an inspiration
to African American girls in the very sensitive subject of hair and self-esteem.

Literacy, comprehension, imagination and reading are vital for African Americans
to be competitive in a world that has embraced technological advances. Too
many African American children are struggling in a nation that is leading globally
in technological evolution. One Spark and Ed Spark have shown that African
Americans have to be able to build Apps, write with power, imagination, and
creativity, involved in project management, STREAM initiatives on a grass roots
basis in the community. STEM provides an opportunity to enhance the future
life of children through futuristic careers, inspiring them to dream and
imagine their future careers even at early years of age.

In a BET survey (2010) African Americans spent about 39 billion dollars that
went towards purchasing technology. The purchase of computers, cell phones,
tablets, watches and other digital equipment shows that African Americans are
connected and plugged in when purchasing, but what about the economic
development from concept to development? African American children must
be taught how to be developers, programmers and even teachers of tech not
just consumers.

Schools can encourage the building of foundations of re-investment to build
children of color into future developers. STEAM, STREAM, STEM, CSTEAM,
STEM3 are based on the integration of Computers Science Technology Reading
Engineering Arts Mathematics (R=Reading – C=Computers -M3 =Medicine).
AA youth need the power of education through math, literacy, comprehension
and reading to compete.
AA children need the foundation in education to apply their intellectual powers to
be involved in the growing technological changes happening today.
African Americans in Jacksonville, Florida and across the nation cannot afford to
be left out and left behind in opportunities like Crowd Funding.
The potential financial prospects are unimaginable and have an economic potential
to influence youth, teens, and young adults that have dreams and aspirations
in fields like CSTREAM3.

African American parents need to consider the realities do they want their children
involved in CSTREAM3 or the potential of being underemployed or unemployable?
Too many families are slaves to EBT and public assistance because of the lack
and respect for and of education. This is a decision that African American families
are making as they see unemployment rise for African Americans especially youth
in a high tech society. Too many African Americans are not tech qualified because
they are not qualified, skilled, have degrees or certifications.

Education in CSTREAM3 can prepare beyond traditional careers, but education
is needed.

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