In order to fulfill its mission of promoting excellence in teaching and learning, The Center for Teaching and Learning hosts a series of colloquiums throughout the academic year. The purpose of these sessions is to provide an opportunity for faculty and members of the college community to gather and discuss topics of interest in an informal, relaxed setting.
As members of the CTL Advisory Committee, Prof. Sarah Hoiland, Prof. Andy London and I organized a colloquium in the fall of 2018 to discuss the role and use of social media at Hostos.
Twenty years have passed since social media was first introduced. In that short time, the phenomenon has taken over all spaces of modern life, met with joy by some and chagrin by others. Institutions of higher education have grappled with the repercussions, creating policies which straddle the line between honoring free speech rights while protecting vulnerable communities. We wanted to know: what is CUNY and Hostos’ social media policies? What is protected speech? What can be said? What shouldn’t be said? Accepting that the environment in which we live, and work has shifted, we wanted to know how faculty, administrators and students, could leverage the opportunities of this evolving technology and work collaboratively with one another to navigate it.
Faculty, students, administrators and staff engaged in a lively discussion regarding social media use at Hostos. A panel of experts included Prof. Catherine Lewis who discussed the many ways faculty can use social media to better connect with their students. Lisanette Rosario, Director of Career Services, encouraged use of social media to promote visibility and showcase one’s talents when job searching. Carlos Guevara, Director of Educational Technology and Richard Pietras, Communications Manager, informed all of the various ways in which Hostos utilizes social media to celebrate accomplishments by members of the college community. Finally, Hostos alumni Axsell Bonilla’s artwork adorned the event space and he discussed the importance of social media in allowing him to make his work more visible.
Attendees enjoyed the event, calling it “interactive and enlightening”, “clear and concise” and appreciated “hearing many voices about teaching and career info”. Many expressed their desire to continue the conversation: “I wish there was more time for questions and comments.” We’d like to thank all the panelists for sharing their expertise, and to all who attended for helping to make the event a great success!