by Reza C. Clifton
PROVIDENCE, RI – It’s good to teach, and it’s good to learn. For me, the two often co-exist and dance together, which is why I’m so excited to be starting up a second, four-week teaching residency at AS220 starting today, Sunday February 1, noon to 1:30pm at the Media Lab at AS220 (click here for more information and to register for class).
I teach different variations of this course – offerings that range from a few minutes up to 4 months – to high school students, adults at public libraries, and professionals and practitioners at national conferences, art gatherings, and company workshops, and have done so for
over half nearly a decade. By far, my favorite aspect of teaching and presenting on the topic of online communication tools and techniques is getting to hear people describe their ideas, talents, projects and concepts. Whether it’s a piece of history being uncovered and brought to the public, a unique technique that an artist or artisan is building a brand around, a mother or father whose insight on parenting makes sense to the non-parenting world, or a grassroots group organizing a community around toxins in homes and neighborhoods, I get to hear stories, anecdotes and questions that satisfy my curiosity and I am given early access to important data, trends and movements. Plus hearing a thank you if a tip, idea or recommendation resonates isn’t so bad either.
Apart from hearing awesome stuff (imagine if I’d just said that above), teaching these classes has often given me access to my own tutors and tutorials on social media sites that I’m not using. Pinterest and Snapchat are great examples of two platforms where I simply do not have a login (but maybe someday will). I’ve even learned more about WordPress from students – the site I reference most! It’s a very rewarding feature for me to come in as the teacher, but be treated to at least one round of being a student.
So today the cycle begins again at AS220, arguably one of the most preeminent arts organizations in Providence. I’ll be ready with my prepared lesson book and assignments for the day, because that’s what a teacher does. And I’ll come ready to listen, learn and take notes because that’s what a student does. See you there!