By: Christina M. Ferrari
I’ve always been a lover of stories. In college, I studied Creative Writing and growing up I would do acting or makeup stories and play pretend pretty much all the time. Now, as a student affairs professional, I see my role as someone who helps students discover the story they wish to tell the world and who they want to become.
I work in New York City as a Counselor for leadership development and civic engagement at the Fashion Institute of Technology. We are a SUNY institution with roughly 10,000 of the brightest and most passionate students I have had the pleasure of working with. As you might imagine, being an art and design school in the largest city in the USA means our students are busy and dedicated to their industry whether that be fashion design, illustration, business management, or technology. With all of this energy and interest in innovation, our students are online and produce content as often as they consume it. My interest in starting the Digital Leadership Network is to form a learning community of educators who are also exploring how best to engage students whose understanding of the world is both in real-life and online.
I am fascinated by how communication is shaped and what influences people’s understandings. As a leadership development specialist, I work with students to help them integrate their learning in the classroom with the needs of their communities. Technology breaks down barriers between cultures and brings us closer together while simultaneously isolating individuals.
We, as educators, must navigate this platform and explore how it can be a community building learning tool. We must explore for ourselves how to engage with students through apps and posts, and how to assess the student experience from a virtual lens.
The power of social media is immense, we know this. But, how do we maximize its potential and shape our students to be competent and socially conscious citizens of the web as well as the world? This is the aim of the Digital Leadership Network, and I hope you will join us as we explore these very issues.
Thanks for reading. Let’s make this a dialogue! Reach out to me via Twitter or Instagram at cm_ferrari3 or comment below to keep the conversation going.