Authors: Wilma Jones, Director, Faculty Center for Professional Development and Fausto Canela, Academic Technology Specialist, Faculty Center for Professional Development, College of Staten Island (CSI)
A goal in this year’s agenda of the Faculty Center for Professional Development at the College of Staten Island (CSI) was to revitalize the Center’s physical and virtual spaces facilitated with programming utilizing a smart technology configuration. The award inspired new confidence in the staff at the Faculty Center to seek out and coordinate a variety of programs, other than the usual Blackboard-centric ones. This award enabled the Faculty Center for Professional Development to purchase innovative equipment needed to upgrade obsolete equipment that would facilitate, transform, and deliver better quality presentations, whether in-house or virtually.
Such technology supported 16 in-person, virtual, and hybrid professional workshops and lectures were scheduled and executed from January 2023 to date. These events focused on enhancing digital skills and student engagement. In less than 5 months, these events, to date, have yielded 475 attendees from 265 individuals from academic and non-academic divisions of the CSI community. The Faculty Center promoted events far and wide, which attracted many first-time attendees other than full-time faculty, including adjunct faculty, lecturers, and CLTs, as well as professional staff (HEOs, and IT Specialists) from non-academic divisions of the college.
Some events focused on enhancing instructors’ digital skills to meet our students’ diverse learning abilities. Titles of these included:
- ChatGPT: Implications and Possibilities
- Using “Navigate CSI” for Early Alerts and Feedback
- Technology Day (featured ChatGPT, Virtual Reality, HyFlex equipment, and TEAMS)
- Tooling Around: Five Fun Tools for the Classroom (Picker Wheel, PollEverywhere, Mentimeter, Jamboard, and Padlet)
- Tips for Creating Accessible Digital Content
- Using Loom to Create 3-Min Video Clips
Lectures that sparked new knowledge and stimulating conversations with the product of enhancing student engagement included:
- Antiracist Pedagogy: Lightning Talks
- Becoming Allies for LGBTQ Students: SafeZone Training
- How to Recognize and Help Students in Distress
- Open Educational Resources Showcase @ CSI
- Open House event that featured three Poster Sessions — “Integrating Computational Literacies in Teacher Education across the Disciplines” (see photo below), “Social Justice, Antiracism, and Active Media: How/Why I Devised the Course,” and “Community Spectacular Initiative Museum: A Game-Based Learning Project”
Since 2017, the CSI Faculty Center for Professional Development has had fewer than eight (8) professional development programs per year with less than 70 individuals in attendance. The Transformative Learning in the Humanities Grant has prematurely revitalized the Faculty Center into a vibrant and lively hotspot for learning where over 265 instructors and professional staff convened to learn from 16 thought-provoking pedagogical or digital enhancing skills’ professional development programs. Presently, a series of professional development summer workshops are being planned for the week of June 12th-16th and August 14th-18th where we are certain the smart technology configuration will be a conduit to most presentations for in-house, virtual or hyflex programs.