Proposal for Creation of Student-Run Creative Online Identities Website
This proposal has been produced by Kimberley Cunningham, the Community Developer for CSM; Press Play. It responds to the discuss in our third 'all-group' meeting to look at how we can take this project forwards, what tools are needed to aid students and staff in their creative online identities, and how we can go about creating this. Kimberley's proposal sets out a plan to roll out a student run website with videos, information, links, helpful tips, opportunities to talk to professional and other tools related to creative online presence.
A student-run website that identifies what training is needed to create a professional online identity
The website would be a platform which would be administered by the students with the assistance of UAL and its digital professionals. It would be a space for sharing information relating to digital practice by means of video tutorials, forums, webinars and such content that can be curated by the students.
It will be an open network in which students and staff from UAL may connect to identify challenges and build a resource of helpful tools in order to develop their online presence and transfer that from a university arena to a professional one.
How to go about it :
A community of students would need to have workshop and tutorial time with digital professionals to learn the fundamental skills of web development and coding. Through this process of learning, the students will document the teaching which in turn shall be posted onto the website. Once a professional website has been developed it shall be marketed to the students and staff who can have their own login portal to add or engage with material. They would be able to create a profile with a list of their skills, which can then link them to others who may need assistance. It is through the learning and creating of an online identity that students can engage in inter-disciplinary practice.
Through the online platform a weekly tutorial group could meet to discuss issues and get hands-on assistance with individual problems arising from the online material. For example, if a student was an experiencing problem changing the format of their website’s Homepage after watching the online tutorials.
As well as a physical presence, there would need to be a Rota of UAL professionals who could assist on the site in the form of forums, webchat, skype.
To communicate effectively the importance of a professional online identity, there would be guest postings from industry professionals discussing their own use of this medium and why they think it is important. For example, after having a seminar with the education department of The Guardian, music editor Caspar Llewellyn Smith said that having an active blog when looking for a career in Journalism was vital, without this it would be very difficult to even take a step through the door. Not only is it important for an individual but for institutions such as The Tate or Marc Jacobs, therefore this places the learning content into a relevant context to all courses within UAL.
UAL staff and students have a vast network of skills and their own professional practices that can be showcased within this environment. It should be a service that administered by a core team that annually changes, like a society group, but can be utilized by staff, students and alumni.
Although Commonplace is already in place as a platform for skills sharing and collaboration, the online identities website would extend this further by sharing skills within the full UAL community with specific focus on online practice and the development of an online identity. This is not to say that there would not be practical Arts skills used but it would be curated in such a way that it can be the platform through which a professional website/ social media/ video content etc. will be developed.