Cause in a Classroom
"Cause in a Classroom" is the name of the methodology and visually showcased results of some of the field-work assignments my college-level students have engaged in. It also highlights the related methodology I designed when I ran a small internship program at Brooklyn College.
Whether it's a field-work assignment or the internship program, both are designed to help the students develop professionally, academically and personally. This approach strongly emphasizes the development of video and photography production alongside developing soft skills, such as leadership, teamwork, creativity, communication skills, etc. The students often showcase their accomplishments on a free website that they design and own According to a survey by the National Academy of Colleges and Employers, among the top 10 skills employers are seeking in candidates are teamwork, problem solving, communication skills (written and verbal), leadership and creativity. My field-work assignments are purposely designed to help the students develop and showcase these exact skills.
Short Internship Programs at Brooklyn College
I collaboratively designed and ran a small internship program, SLATE (Service Learning Aimed Toward Employment) that integrated soft-skill development with iphone videography/photography skills for the interns to more professionally serve local populations in need. The workshops placed a strong emphasis on social media and multimedia for professional purposes and social good. The interns either served local nonprofits or on-campus organizations. Link to the SLATE internship program:
Video highlights of the short internship program that I have created and coordinated at Brooklyn College (part one: 5 min.)
I've filmed both of these videos (part 1 and 2) on my iphone with budget lighting and audio equipment. This is the same equipment I used to teach basic videography and photography skills to the interns, which they've applied to support local nonprofits with their social media needs.
Video hightlights of short internship program, part two (3 min).
The interns develop business communication and leadership skills, as well as designing their own Linkedin profiles, to represent themselves professionally. They work closely with their assigned organizations to help make a contribution that outlasts their required engagement.
Online Courses that Integrated Fieldwork
In select classes, I assign fieldwork assignments in my Critical Thinking classes at BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College). In teams or individually, the students integrate text, photos and videos with academic research to investigate issues of critical importance in their own neighborhoods that impact them personally. Using an easy and free template, the students create and own their websites to visually showcase their field-work accomplishments.
Service Learning Integrated with Academics in General Education courses
Student testimonials about their project-based work in the Critical Thinking course at BMCC. Video length: 5 min.
In our Critical Thinking class at BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY), the freshman students applied their course academics by helping clients at local nonprofits. This 5-min. video documents the students' engagement with social media platforms that showcase their engagement and self-empowering accomplishments.
Multimedia-Research projects develop critically important soft and hard-skill sets for professional and personal development.
In our Critical Thinking class at Brooklyn College in 2017, the students were assigned a multimedia-research project that focused on the challenges they faced as incoming freshman. The students used social media platforms to document and showcase their engagement with these assigned projects. We integrated their hard skills (i.e., reading and writing) with developing their "soft skills," such as leadership, teamwork and conflict-resolution development. Length of video: 5 min.
A Leibman has taught students at CUNY (BMCC, Brooklyn College and John Jay College) for the past 16 years. During that time, his teaching methodology has evolved towards integrating soft skills into his course curriculum to help his students develop academically and professionally.
In addition to passionately exploring innovative methods to provide college students relevant and socially consequential assignments, he's the creator of SeaofSalvation.com, which serves as his professional video and photography portfolio. His videography/short filmmaking experience is extensive. He has worked as a full-time TV-news field cameraman/editor/producer (NBC affiliate stations in Sioux Falls and Atlantic City) and as a freelance studio cameraman on live news shows at MSNBC and CNN.
He has shot, edited and produced short documentaries that have appeared in film festivals. He also has a deep level of expertise with mobile filmmaking, which he has frequently taught. When he's not working, he can often be found enjoying warm and cold-water swims every week of the year with his pals at Brighton Beach or as its affectionately called, “The medicinal waters off the coast of Southern Brooklyn."