Dr. Philip Szmedra presenting "The Impact of Social Media on Social Media" at WISE (Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement)
Drs. Philip Szmedra (CEB) and Sarah Speir (OGSSE) presented last week at the WISE (Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement Conference), the pioneering conference for faculty leaders, program coordinators, and administrators to develop the knowledge and skills needed to help students advance their intercultural skills and awareness during their abroad experiences. Philip Szmedra has led study abroad programs to Bulgaria, China, Argentina, El Salvador, Romania, France, Nepal, Hong Kong, and other locales.
The title of their session was: “The Impact of Social Media on Study Abroad” - The positives of study abroad are constant across generations; it is only the generation that changes complexion. Generation Z’s use of technology is as an extension of themselves rather than a distinct tool. Viewed through this lens, a radical rethinking of how technology impacts the study abroad experience is needed. No longer is it the case that insularity enhances the traveler’s joy of discovery. Students’ experiences are dictated by a waiting internet audience. Intercultural educators need to adapt program design to accommodate the evolving imperatives of this continuously wired generation. The 75 minute session included a lively conversation with 50+ participants attending.