The PressEd Conference on Twitter 2018!

This blog post will function as a series of prepared tweets set up in advance for the conference. This is my first time participating so I am a little nervous and overly excited! 

My presentation time is scheduled for 1:35pm Easter time – NYC – Follow the hashtag on twitter – #pressedconf18

Im excited and grateful to be a part of this super cool event! My name is @ryanseslow

I have been a twitter user since August of 2008! Oh how time speeds on by! (that is kind of crazy, almost 10 years of tweeting..)

I began teaching at the college level in the fall of 2004. I fell in love with teaching right away. Teaching and the Internet is the best marriage ever. Mix that with the creative spirit and that fusion can only expand.

I created my first wordpress website in 2007, I believe, or a little earlier. It was a site. It was complete crap design wise, but it opened the door to the potential of what could be once I produced that result. This was a personal website, but I knew it would instantly spill over into teaching. I got the hang of it pretty fast and micro tested like crazy, mostly making mistakes and having fun!

By 2008, I also officially fell out of love with Blackboard and abandoned it all together. It lacks transparency. Students hated it by then as well. I wanted more transparency, control, and I wanted the course work and content to easily be shared by anyone, not just by students enrolled in the courses.

I started to use wordpress for pretty much each course I teach by 2010 / 2011 but mostly in the form of blog posts coming from my own website. Lots of testing continued, variety, tons of energy and ongoing discovery. By default I became a “blogger.”

I teach studio courses in Digital Storytelling, Art Foundation 2D, 3D & 4D design, Computer Graphics, Graphic Design, Web Design,  Art Appreciation, Sculpture (intro & intermediate) Drawing, MFA Seminar, Graduate Design, Graduate New Media in Art, Creative Concepts, MFA Thesis: Criticism in Art & The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti.

WordPress keeps me motivated to learn more about how it can be used. Like making collaborative digital zines in my New Media class an easily showcasing them as an online exhibition.

I am excited to research, discover, experiment, organize and share the new software updates, plug-ins, applications and tools in my courses.

I am interested in pushing the limits and repurposing course content for creative output and deeper learning. WordPress websites are readily available for multiple forms of communication, discussion, presentation and archiving student works. Interdisciplinary projects and collaborating is a frequent methodology applied in my teaching practice, while making sure those projects stay transparent and archived. 

Most of my courses have wordpress websites that are used for presenting both student and course work. The course websites transparently share reflective reactionary writing, discussions, presentations and notifications about course content.

These websites and blogs are indeed creatively varied. Some are still in their infancy and some of them have expanded ten times beyond my expectations. They grow, update and change regularly.

They are measured and assessed each year to show the individual and collective developments of the courses. I love having examples easily sharable. 

Students simultaneously learn how to build, augment and navigate the course website. They work with several tools in the process while contributing to and developing their own visual online portfolios and identities. 

In essence, we empower and support each other to create and illustrate our own learning process. One that can easily be referred to, expanded upon and shared with others.

How do these collaborative class experiences foster continued learning?

The process allows for us to publicly archive and continue to contribute to our class content after the traditional 15 week semester ends. It is my intention to generate and facilitate ongoing networks beyond the traditional classroom for my students.

Classes may end in the physical space after 15 weeks but with today’s available technology the learning and participation continues on indefinitely.

Here is a list of courses that are active and have changed and grown over time.

Some of the sites emphasize discussion and commenting. Some are more digital storytelling based with the expressive written word. Some are purely visual and creative, some are completely hosted for art works. And some of them synthesize them all. My students refer and use these websites as research examples and references for their current course work and beyond.

CUNY BMCC – MMA 100 – Foundation of Graphic Design – 2018 –

CUNY York College – CT 101- Digital Storytelling with Prof. Michael Branson Smith @mbransons – Ongoing since 2014 –

CUNY York College – Web 1 & 2 – Fall 2016 –

CUNY – NET ART Course website on the CUNY Academic Commons –

LIU Post – New Media in Art/ MFA/MA – 2013 – 2017 –

LIU Post ART 550 – Art Criticism for Artists & Creative Concepts – MFA / MA Graduate  –

LIU Post – The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti – 2011 – 2016 –