What's Going on Behind the Screen with Traditionally-Aged College Undergraduates

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Presenting research on how social and digital technology impacts the development of 18-24 year old college undergraduates and implications for practice.


Paul Gordon Brown is a speaker and educator specializing in student learning and development’s intersection with technology, social media and design. Paul has over 15 years of professional experience in higher education and student affairs in a diverse array of functional areas from entry-level to senior-level administrative roles and has served as an instructor in the Boston College and Merrimack College Higher Education programs. Paul currently serves as the Director of Curriculum, Training, and Research for the higher education technology software company, Roompact, and conducts research on social media’s impact on college student development and identity. An experienced presenter, Paul has had accepted and given over 50 refereed presentations at international and regional conferences. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the State University of New York College at Geneseo, a Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University, and in 2016 defended his doctoral dissertation at Boston College. Paul currently serves on the Governing Board of the ACPA—College Student Educators International, as a faculty member for the Residential Curriculum Institute and on the ACPA Presidential Task Force on Social and Digital Technology and Higher Education. His latest book is a collaboration with Erik Qualman as a contributing author to 'What Happens On Campus Stays on YouTube.' A work that educates college students on the new realities of living online lives. Now available on Amazon. Find out more at www.paulgordonbrown.com and follow along at @paulgordonbrown.

Extended Abstract

This session will present original doctoral research into how the heavy use of digital and social technology may be impacting the college student developmental processes and their expectations for learning online. Rather than a dry research session, this presentation will guide participants through their own discovery process mirroring the questions and activities in student interviews. Furthermore, real student voices and implications for practice will be discussed.

Research into the impact of digital and social technology on student development remains relatively new, therefore, this session will help professionals reflect on some of the same questions asked of students. This will role model appropriate discussion strategies with students and help practitioners do the necessary reflective work to be able to engage in these types of conversations. Furthermore, the implications for practice will be interactive with prompts coming from students regarding what they want to learn as well as the opportunity for professionals to suggest what students need to learn.