My Quest To Teach

March 6, 2017

HBCU Students Don’t Wait to Market Yourself

 

 

 

HBCU Students Don’t Wait to Market Yourself
by Pro. William Jackson
Educational Technology and Social Media
Edward Waters College @wmjackson

HBCU students in the 21st century cannot wait to market themselves
in a world of global commerce, digital Branding, intellectual sharing
and the vast Social Media sites that are building to get the word out
there about the talents, abilities and skills that HBCU students possess.

HBCU students still struggle and have faced more challenges in the past
8 years as HBCU institutions struggle to remain relevant, real and respiratory.
Even with the promises coming by the Trump administration there will
be strings attached, policies to follow, procedures to implement and even
expectations that need to be achieved.  This is not a handout, I hope it is
a help up for these historic institutions and if any money is provided
it is not mismanaged, lost in ill-advised policies nor “misplaced.”

Internal struggles have been a challenge at HBCUs either through faculty
stability, administration interaction with faculty and students or the
changes in generations of priorities. The retention and graduation of
students especially males is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

The debate about the relevancy of HBCUs continues, data shows that a
high percentage of Black educators that are successful and work in the
most challenging schools graduate from HBCUs and continue on to
earn their advanced degrees. HBCU students are involved in STEM
careers even before STEM and STEAM where aligned with
educational initiatives.

As a graduate of an HBCU South Carolina State University ’85 and an
instructor at Edward Waters College,  the oldest HBCU in Florida, the
struggle is real and in many cases is overcome with each victory of students
graduating and becoming gainfully employed.

Teaching Educational Technology and Social Media the challenge is
teaching students how to compete for jobs before graduation, how to
Brand, then Market to a world of global competition and even tougher
globalization. This blog is about why HBCU students should market
themselves before graduation, usually starting in their junior year to
network with and collaborate with the “right folks.” Instilling in students
that if you want to be an educator, hangout with educators, if you want
to be a lawyer network with attorneys, if you want to even be a gamer
then learn from, compete with and against, and importantly network
with other gamers.

The most dangerous thing that keeps HBCU students from gaining their
dreams and aspirations is being afraid to network, speak with, talk to and
exposed to the diversity that world has to offer. Talking to my students I
share that you will not lose whatever “Blackness” you have if you have a
diversity of friends, associates, networking groups that can empower,
motivate, engage and collaborate with.

These suggestions are designed to help
HBCU students get out of their mental
boxes and to be less introverted and
race conscious
of fear and self-imposed apprehension.

Suggestions to motivate and encourage
for students and educators:

1. Learn how to market yourself before you
search for jobs, before you graduate, either
at the start or before your junior year of
higher education, vocational school or even
the transition from military service to civilian life.
2. Marketing shows your worth, talents, abilities,
work ethic, leadership abilities, being able to
function in diverse environments, acceptance
and tolerance of diversity.
Learn what marketing is….
3. The ability to adapt to the diversity of cultures, technology, responsibility
and accountability for success and failures needs to be learned. That does
not mean babying students it means teaching students how to adapt their
biases, stereotypes that they may have and how to professionally deal with
potential situations and circumstances.
4. HBCU students must always see themselves as investments.
The more you grow and improve the better investment you are to yourself
and future employers.
5. Don’t wait until your senior  year to rush to create a dope or lit resume,
start the first year and build by creating a living document of accomplishments,
volunteerism, learning, leadership, community activism and collaboration.

As a professor in higher education and as a elementary teacher it hurts my
spirit when students state “why do I have to do that”, I don’t wanna be
bothered with those people.” My response is, “do the right people know you
in the career you want or just those that do not want to see you grow beyond
them?”

6. Show yourself as well rounded; the combination of academics, job-training,
extra-curricular activities, volunteerism, all need to show your contribution to
things bigger than you are. Are you a part of something bigger than you?
7. Look at the world globally not just locally. Jacksonville, Florida is the largest
city in the USA by land mass. Students are encouraged in my class to have a
global perspective of the world. The smallest global event in their major can
have major implications on employment and involved in global markets.
8. Believe that your major course of study will have national and
potentially international influence as  you grow and take on more responsibility.
The road to leadership is driven not by money, but by willing to work hard to
make a difference in the world.
9. Learn to be familiar with foreign languages.  Dedicate yourself that you will
learn a new language especially one where you may have to use when traveling.
HBCU students can be heard talking that someday I want to, I might, maybe if.
They want to travel overseas, they do not take the time to plan, execute the plan
or even save to meet the plan. You have to start with a plan!!!
10. HBCU students network with cultural groups and participate in community
events like festivals and networking socials. Never assume that there is already
someone at an event that knows what you know. You have a wealth of inform-
ation that no one else knows.
11. It is important for HBCU students to learn how to integrate Social Media
tools and platforms beyond joking with their friends, booty calls, partying,
clubbing and acting a fool. This multi-functional, diversely dynamic platforms
can allow for communication with employers around the world. These
platforms can help start a career or end a career before it gets started.
12. Being technology savvy is important and just as importantly is how to
apply that knowledge. Use your knowledge to be involved in community
initiatives that build communities, that bring people together and open doors
for collaboration.
13. Have a reliable list of resources to help you grow.
The library services at Edward Waters College has one of the best resources
in its library staff. Emma Kent is a knowledgeable and dedicated professional
that embraces technology. Accentuating the services the library at Edward
Waters College offers. Too many students at HBCUs do not take the time
to get to know their library professionals that have a wealth of information
waiting to share and becoming friends with them. One of the best moves
for me was to be friends with the librarians, custodial staff, be nice to
the cafeteria man and women and secretaries. They became my “extra”
parents with prayers, advice and even extra food on my meal trays!!
14. HBCU students must adapt their thinking as they matriculate through the
years. Their ideas, opinions, skills, networks must change. This change should
be seen in their attire, their speech and self-confidence. Being a lifelong
learner brings benefits that will be seen in the future not just in the present.
15. Applying to both males and females, your visual personality is just as
important as your e-personality and e-reputation. Make the conscious effort
to protect yourself in the direction of your career goals and dreams.
16. During your growth take advantage of tutoring and learning outside of
academics. Attend tutoring for interview skills, cultural understanding, career
counseling, and even role playing directed at your career interests.
The more prepared you are the better prepared you are.
Obtain a mentor, someone that has life experiences, and sees your potential
that you do not. Someone that sees you as an investment to a better
future and learn from them.

February 5, 2017

Who Writes Your Life Story HBCU Students?

Who Writes Your Life Story HBCU Students?
by Professor William Jackson
@wmjackson #MyQuestToTeach

Using the TEDx presentation to
encourage all HBCU students to live up
to their expectations and not to listen
to the stereotypes of others based on
color, gender and social-economic background.
Who writes your life story? | Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
https://youtu.be/OscDpHfrtog

Each HBCU student has a story to tell, an adventure
or a situation that allows each of us to share our
travels in a world of continuous change and adaptation.
The human spirit is sometimes defined by the actions and
in actions we take as we make the journey into and through
the challenges, chaos, confusion, storms and welcoming
calmness that we experience during the time we are on this
plane of life.
Students in my Educational Technology class are required
to manage a traditional blog, writing for several weeks
about their talents, passions, goals, likes and challenges.
Just as other classes for the past 4 years that have taken
Educational Technology, Social Media and STEM at Edward
Waters College. Those that are in the Department of
Education and Urban Studies are required to take this class,
but more and more students in other disciplines are seeing
the value of writing for their life.
Encouraging students to write can be challenging because
you have to show the reasons why they should do this and
how it can benefit them.
There needs to be tangible and connecting situations and
circumstances to show that writing can increase networking,
create a positive digital footprint and show the potential to
increase visibility in the job market and potential financial
benefits.

use

Attending an HBCU there are benefits and some potential things
that can hold a person back. The term HBCU is not always
beneficial in the white corporate world because it may be
perceived as unskilled, ill-prepared, lower educational
achievement, minority, ghetto, inner-city and slow. These may
be some of the perceptions carried by labels and assumptions.
Labels can deny access to equitable educational access and even
the mental stereotypes that can affect performance in the classroom.
I share with my students to never let someone else’s expectations
define their life and their successes.
As a father of two college age young adults I have seen how low
expectations of teachers, friends and even the community affect
the self perceptions of children. When my children were in
elementary and middle I constantly encouraged them to read, to
think for themselves and not like the crowd, I took my kids to
conferences, workshops and other events that offered
exposure and learning. Why more Black families do not do this
there are many excuses.
Understanding diversity was important because my children had
to understand that this world, this nation is diverse and they
had to be able to cope with the integration and collaboration
of races. To many times people said I was raising my children like
they were white, but in actuality I was raising them to live in a
white world where mental toughness was necessary, having dreams,
goals and a mission in life made living valuable and being Black was
an asset not collateral damage.
Parents must always build up their children even if there are
challenges to their mental abilities, children can overcome and
compensate for many challenges if the parents do not have lower
expectations for success. Speak and breath life and a love for
learning. This is where to many African American families fall
short, living under the expectations of others that see them
as second class citizens, as potential criminals, welfare
recipients and even kids being in ESE and EBD classes not
Gifted and Talented classes.
The parent is the first educator and creates a foundation for
growth and development for a life-time. Parents create the
mental foundation for how their child will stand and deliver
energies that motivate and expand success or accept the mode of
below average living and relying on governmental
assistance.

HBCUs have a history of overcoming challenges and even
atrocities that are thrown at them because of the strong will
for success and rising like the Phoenix. If the parent assumes
their child cannot read past a certain level and mental comprehension
they deny their child the gifts of literature, reading, exposure
and even interactions that can open mental doors to expand the
horizons to be better then they currently are.
In my class I use TEDx Talks to show the similarities of cultural
and generational experiences to help students to understand
they do not have to live by others expectations and stereotypes.
They have options to experience and manage their life to be what
they want it to be by embracing learning and exposure to
new things in life.
Using a platform of blogging to step out away from the limitations
of people placed because they only only see color, zip codes or
area codes, student writing can take them globally any where in the
world because they can adapt their writing to embrace not just
the diversity of people, but the diversity of thought,
rationalization and the emotional connections that bring about
unity and respect.
Who writes your life story? | Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
https://youtu.be/OscDpHfrtog
Is a way for students at HBCUs to share in a story of
mental and emotional neglect and abuse. Even through
the hell of low expectations HBCU students can rise
to new heights and accomplish unbelieveable success.
HBCU students start to write your own story, never
allow anyone else to write your story, to cast you
into a category and try to keep you there.
It is a choice, a decision that you make.
Choose wisely what direction you will go, by your
decisions or by the decisions of others that only see
you based on ignorance, racism, prejudice and hate.
Listening to “Who writes your life story?” |
Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly is a way to break free
of the pain and limitations of others.

11

Resources:
Who Writes Your Life Story?
Hill Krishnan | TEDxCalPoly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OscDpHfrtog&t=424s

Real Talk Real Change by E3 Business Group
RTRC VIII: “We Are Women, Hear Us More!!”
https://eventium.io/events/1036938196421735/real-talk-real-change-viii

January 16, 2017

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us

mae_taylor_richardson-e1464812958699
Dr. Mae Jemison and Taylor Richardson

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us
by Prof. William Jackson @wmjackson
Edward Waters College

“I’m just amazed at the shoulders that I’m standing
on to allow me to work to achieve my dreams.”
Taylor Richardson, attending “Hidden Figures”
premiere at the White House 2016

Dedicated to the past Hidden Figures that allowed
girls and boys to embrace STEM – STEAM – STREAM
and grasp new opportunities to fulfill dreams from the
depths of the sea, to the height of the clouds to the
deepest of space.
The movie ”Hidden Figures” 2016 is inspiring thousands
of girls and women to eliminate the fear of learning,
to understand the fun of exploration, embrace artistic
creativity, develop themselves as “thought leaders” and
“smart creatives.” To understand that it is ok to be smart,
gifted, talented and special. The perceived glass ceiling of
career limitations has been shattered by the flames of
curiosity to explore not just the limitations of earth’s
atmosphere and her seas, but has moved into the air less,
weightless and limitless expanse of space and time.

20161210_131333
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE of Jacksonville, Florida

The emergence of STEM – Science Technology Engineering
Math is looking good to girls and women as careers explode
in diversity in the embracing of girls and women into areas
at one time exclusively open to men, white men.
The irony of “Hidden Figures” is that research has proven
that women are more analytical and able to comprehend
and apply mathematics skills faster than men. They are more
detailed oriented and specific about applying learning to
real world situations.

African Americans and others of color have been involved
with most if not all space agencies, this involvement is not
just as custodians, cooks, maintenance and other support
personnel. These positions are important, they help the
people do the jobs they to do and service this country.
The other aspect is not just as service personnel, but the
intellectual abilities that allow for NASA and other agencies
to meet with success and build a legacy through the
intelligence of everyone that contributes. People of color
have always and will continue to contribute, they have not
received the recognition they deserve.

STEM / STEAM are the hottest sectors in the U.S. job market
and has grown to international levels. Even before it became
a commonly used word the elements of STEM have been
important. Because of movies like “Hidden Figures” and others
doors of imagination and dreams are growing for girls,
women, boys and men of color and culture.

STEM does not start in high school or higher education, it
starts in elementary education labs, classrooms and weekend
competitions and events. It starts in after school programs and
new curriculum’s that teachers have a passion to apply new
and exciting ways to engage students that were once thought
slow or different, but were actually higher order and critical
thinkers, just bored with cookie cutter teaching strategies
dated from the 1950s and 1970s. Today’s students need to
be engaged and active learners.


William Jackson teaching a STEAMS
class – Science Technology Engineering
Math Sports – engaging studnets.

When I taught STEAM at an elementary Magnet it is important
that learning is relevant and students can apply their past
learning to new learning and integrate it to everyday life.
If students are not engaged mentally, actively involved, have
hands on activities and allowed to explore environments there
are lost opportunities to build the excitement to allow future
scientists, mathematicians, engineers, innovators and even
technical expertise in computers and robotics.


HBCUs are important in the education
of future STEM employees.

Many people still do not realize that STEAM and STEM run the
U.S. economy, look at the growth of careers that not only require
a college degree, but certifications. “The future of the economy
is in STEM,” says James Brown, the executive director
of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C. Even
President and Mrs. Obama have encourage STEM education
through grants and national programs.

Parents must understand as well that their children’s employment
are influenced by STEM. Employment in occupations related to
STEM science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is
projected to grow to more than 9 million jobs by 2022
nationally and internationally. Children now may now have to
find jobs in the U.S. and have to travel overseas, they must be
prepared to keep this nation competitive.

U.S. relationships with the world are important because if the
U.S. does not have friendly relationships globally then research
opportunities, international collaborations, joint projects and even
educational research will be at jeopardy. We cannot afford to be
secluded because the world is diversified in economic and social
diversity.
Students should be asking what their STEM futures are and how is
their current educational instruction preparing them for the future?
Parents should be asking are their children being prepared to be
employed or setup to be under or un – employed.

“One of the things that I’ve been focused on as President is how
we create an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology,
engineering, and math… We need to make this a priority to train
an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure
that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the
respect that they deserve.”
President Barack Obama, Third Annual White House Science Fair,
April 2013

20161210_131409

Events like the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE by Mark Douglas McCombs
are foundations to engage youth, teens and young adults into
robotics, programming, design, innovation and as developers.
There are hundreds if not thousands of “Hidden Figures” in homes,
schools, communities, cites and this nation. They should be
encouraged, mentored and provided role models to spread their
wings to take flight to be unHidden…

20161210_142416
Mark Douglas McCombs, center celebrating the
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE competition at The Bolles
School

Parents your child may be the scientist to discover a cure for cancer,
diabetes, heart disease; your child may be the next deep sea
explorer or engineer to develop light speed, force fields or even
new fuels to power the world. Uncover the hidden talent in your child
by supporting their education, their thirst for exploration and their
gifted abilities.

Resouces:
Statistics uses data from Occupational Employment Statistics
https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2017/science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-occupations-past-present-and-future/home.htm

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
http://www.firstinspires.org/

Jacksonville Florida FIRST LEGO LEAGUE
https://www.facebook.com/markdmccombs

The Office of Science and Technology Policy
https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/women

Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson
https://m.facebook.com/amightygirl/posts/1222453677790943:0

Photos:

 

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