Today, in our Progressive Pedagogy Group on hastac.org, we recognize the superb classroom and institutional innovations of Professor Walter D. Greason, Associate Professor and Dean Emeritus at Monmouth University. His contributions to African American studies, diaspora studies, American studies–enhanced by sophisticated and ingenious use of social media, video, and other digital tools–is inestimable. There is so much here that we can all learn from.
Professor Greason is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Counseling and Leadership at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey . He is the author or editor of six books, including Suburban Erasure, Industrial Segregation, and Cities Imagined. He teaches courses in Diversity and Equity in Digital Classrooms, Economic History, and History of Media Design.
Professor Greason writes: “The combination of digital video production and real-time social media distribution provided the most impactful classroom experiences for my students over the last fifteen years. The most advanced example I have is the virtual simulation of African-American neighborhoods in nineteenth-century Charleston and twentieth-century Chicago. Created in collaboration with digital designer, Megan Allas, and my Media Design students in Spring 2018, it is titled “Sojourner’s Trail”. Envisioned as an improvement on the classic “Flight to Freedom” online game at Bowdoin University, Sojourner’s Trail allows students to explore an infinite variety of spaces and places across the African diaspora. More importantly, the content variations allow the platform to gamify almost any lesson plan. By partnering with the scholars who created Virtual Harlem, the next stage of development will render the settings in Unity 3D. This update will make the environments even more compelling.”
“The concept of the flipped classroom was the foundation of my earliest attempts to teach, more than thirty years ago. After a decade of work with innovative educators from a wide range of institutions, I committed to a philosophy of education that grew out of the civil rights training sites like the Highlander Folk Center and the American Friends Service Committee. By 2010, my students reported that their experiences during my courses changed the trajectories of their lives, especially those who felt marginalized by earlier educational settings. Ken Bain’s work on experiential learning and the digital humanities breakthroughs led by Angel David Nieves and Kim Gallon have shaped a new decade of interactive, immersive pedagogies. I hope I can learn much more from the people in the HASTAC community.”
To learn more about this distinguished Professor’s many contributions to higher education, please look at the work he has compiled through Twitter, @worldprofessor.
Some of his notable content appears with the following hashtags: #wakandasyllabus, #racialviolencesyllabus, #racialjusticesyllabus, #americaneconomy, #industrialsegregation, #citiesimagined, #planningfuturecities, #suburbanerasure, and #pathtofreedom.
Thank you, Professor Greason, for all you contribute and for allowing us to feature you in this blog as a model that others might follow.