4IR.org SKILLS COACH NEW MEDIA LITERACY
Hi, I’m Vanessa Vartabedian your 4IR.org New Media Skills Coach. I’m passionate about helping organizations and individuals develop the new media fluency necessary to engage with the world in productive and meaningful ways.
For over 10 years, I have held only newly-created positions from PLAY! Coordinator to Professor of Filmmaking – and I never know what’s next.
My journey to media literacy training started with my own passion for storytelling. I come from a diverse background as a trained theatre professional, filmmaker and educator. As a filmmaker, I am constantly engaging with media to help inform or inspire my creative vision. As a professor I help students learn how to evaluate information and use practices for engaging effectively with media. As a producer of live storytelling events, I connect individuals with the public to tell their tales, which are then broadcast to the world. We use similar processes and practices in our everyday work as we engage with technology, information and each other to solve problems or create something bigger than ourselves.
While working with Professor Henry Jenkins at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, I designed and led a new blended model of professional development focussed on the New Media Literacies identified in his research, like collective intelligence, transmedia navigation and visualization. Our work attracted Gates Foundation funding to develop a new pedagogical model called PLAY! (participatory learning and you), a framework identifying the characteristics that productive participatory environments, like workplaces and classrooms, need to thrive.
Subsequently, I joined the USC Shoah Foundation, which grew out of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar winning film Schindler’s List. As an Education Specialist, I helped design an online learning experience called IWitness, where educators and students all over the globe could interact intimately with the Foundation’s rich archive of video testimony.
Currently, I enjoy my work as a professor of Filmmaking at Lesley University’s College of Art and Design, a Trainer for SMALLab Learning, and recently, Senior Education Specialist for the Imagination Foundation helping our global network foster entrepreneurship in children through creative play.
Passion projects include producing The Mosquito Story Slam, a live storytelling series and podcast, and making films when I have the chance.
I call Boston USA my home.