For the last two weeks, I’ve been engaged in a very interesting experiment. Five faculty members from the Fashion and Apparel department have agreed to explore social media for personal productivity, professional development, curriculum redesign, and program promotion.
The overall goal it to help them push their thoughts and practices about the use of technology a couple of steps up to allow them to become 21st century faculty, the connected kind.
Taking a couple of steps back, this all began with a guest appearance I did in a Fashion class to discuss media literacy and social media marketing. The instructor really thought that I had a good thing going on, and students were reacting well to the session, but I felt something was not right. Having me doing a one-of 60 minute dog-and-pony show did not fell like it was enough. So I spoke to the instructor, and suggested to offer a Summer-long weekly coaching session on media literacy and social media, and she was able to sell the idea to four of her colleagues, including the department Chair.
So two weeks ago, we had our first meeting. I came in this meeting with one item, no slides, no presentation. All I had was a the following Wordle, printed 7 times:
… and I opened the floor for discussion.
For more than an hour, we exchanged ideas on how technology is changing the discipline, the industry, teaching practices, and networking. In the end, we agreed to meet weekly until the end of the summer to discuss, reflect, and experiment, with the final goal of making sure everyone would start living a digital professional life, one that, hopefully, will be sustainable and will lead to lifelong learning and a better integration of those new trends in the Fashion curriculum.
I will follow-up on this projects as we move along, but I have to say that I am totally impressed by the energy and willingness of the involved faculty members, and that I think this is going to be an excellent experience to guide future faculty development efforts.