A few things you should know before choosing this College
You don’t need any prior knowledge of “technology”, you don’t have to be a geek, you don’t need to know everything about virtual reality, mobile apps, video games, websites and social networks, you don’t need to know how to use graphics and editing programmes, and you don’t have to be a developer. You’ve come to Holden because you want to write, don’t you? Fine, at this College you will write. But your stories will not end up in print, they’ll travel across the web, they’ll appear on various platforms, and readers will have their say about them and discuss them with each other.
Know that at this College you will work in a highly independent manner, rarely as part of a group. You will notice that the roads you and your colleagues follow will be unique and personal, and they’ll lead you to explore totally different worlds.
What you’ll be doing over the two years
You’ll do lots of things in the classroom, and many different kinds of things. At this College it’s a bit like going constantly Off Track. You will learn to write on and for the web, but you won’t necessarily have to know how to programme the technical media on which your stories will be posted; you’ll write stories that will be disseminated using these channels.
To find a solution to the challenges you’ll come up against, you will explore some rocky, unbeaten paths that no one has travelled before, to create something unprecedented and ground-breaking. You will study websites and mobile apps, and learn digital strategy, or how to build action plans to engage people online and make them work together. You will study online communities and a discipline that goes by the fascinating name of “cyber ethnography”. You will observe and listen to human communities that inhabit the web, a bit like ethnologists who observe indigenous communities that inhabit the jungle.
You will have direct transmedia experiences, will analyse the potential of new initiatives and will transform creative ideas into online trends. You might come up with a storyline for a video game, even if you don’t know how to create it from a technical point of view. You will experiment with all kinds of writing for the web, from tweets to long form, and incredibly, one of your reference books will be Le lezioni americane (Six Memos for the Next Millennium) by Italo Calvino. The book was written in 1985, but the values described in it are nonetheless qualities that are still necessary for succeeding in this most futuristic of Colleges. Not bad, eh?
What you’ll be able to do by the time you leave
- you’ll know all the rules for communicating via any digital channel: online storytelling techniques, ways of interacting with the public, and techniques for engagement;
- you will have acquired experience devising communication plans, subjects for virtual and augmented reality, or even a short film for mobiles (directed, filmed and edited entirely on a smartphone): this is the type of experience that counts in the real world;
- you’ll be prepared for working in the corporate communication sector, at communication agencies or as a social media manager;
- finally, you’ll have written and saved a lot of stories. Of all the things you will discover, analyse and explore over the two years, there’ll probably be at least one or two that will keep you awake at night. These are the things you need to follow up on and transform into material projects; by this point you’ll have learned how to do that.
The Master of 2018-2020 will be announced within the next few days. Stay tuned!
The Master of 2016-2018 is Massimo Banzi, an Italian businessman and designer. Co-founder of Arduino, according to The Economist he is one of the promoters of the “new industrial revolution” started by the Maker movement.
The Master of 2017-2016 is Paolo Iabichino, CCO of Ogilvy&Mather Italia. He writes, teaches and studies advertising and marketing and never stops enjoying it. Yaou can follow his digital alter ego Iabicus twittering, posting pictures on Instagram, posting on Facebook and writing on Medium.
Here’s a list of people who dropped by College Digital during the last school years: Michel Reilhac, Alessandro Garofalo, Manuela Cacciamani, Max Giovagnoli, Davide Bartolucci, Emmanuel Guardiola, Simone Arcagni, Giuseppe Mazza, Tito Faraci, Luca Morena.
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