Marist Magazine: Fall 2014 - page 18

Fashion & Technology
T
he Wi-Fi was spotty, the laptop micro-
phone wasn’t working all that well, and
all Melissa Halvorson could think about was
irony.
She was at the Apereo awards in Miami,
Fla., with five Marist Fashion Program
students to make a presentation on their
award-winning open-source collaborative
learning project—and technology glitches
were popping up left and right.
But the Marist students and Marist
Visiting Professional Lecturer in Fashion
Halvorson pressed on, not surprising for a
group that within one year had turned an
administrative challenge on using cloud
technology for academic collaboration into
reality.
The students got a warm response from
the software developers and other June
Watching Fashion UnFOLD
The Marist Fashion Program breaks new ground—and wins awards—with its global, free, peer-to-peer online
fashion learning environment and community.
B y K at h l e e n N o r t o n M c N u lt y ’ 79
the Apereo Foundation for their work on the
FOLD.
The FOLD leverages the power of two
Apereo Foundation projects, Sakai and the
Open Academic Environment (OAE), as part
of Marist’s Academic Community Cloud ini-
tiative. Marist is a partner in the OAE, an
open-source project that supports academic
collaboration on a global scale.
In fall 2013, fashion students were chal-
lenged with three goals: create a Marist
footprint at New York Fashion Week; help
create a menu of free, massive open online
courses (MOOCs); and use, promote, and
conduct research into the OAE. The outcome
was the FOLD, which launched at New York’s
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in February
2014. It had more than 1,200 participants
from around the world, including 600 in a
Marist faculty and
students created a
fashion brand using
vintage graphics found
in the Marist College
library’s archives.
conference-goers who heard how they cre-
ated the FOLD (Fashion Online Learning
Domain), a first-of-its-kind, global, free
online learning environment for fashion.
“I was so proud of them,” Halvorson said.
“They were so self-possessed in a room full
of Doctors of Technology, and the reception
they got afterwards was wonderful.’’
The team behind the FOLD received the
2014
Campus Technology
Innovator Award
in the teaching and learning category from
the leading publication covering technol-
ogy in higher education. Two months earlier,
Halvorson and Marist Senior Academic
Technology Officer Josh Baron won Teaching
with Sakai Innovation Awards presented by
TimMaggio
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