Fresno City College Professors Hit the Platforms


Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Story By: Maya Padilla, Reporter

With the majority of classes being online, some Fresno City College Professors have taken it upon themselves to utilize social media to keep their students engaged. 

During a virtual forum on Feb. 26, 2021, FCC President Carole Goldsmith praised Monique Kelley, a FCC accounting professor, for her creativity and efforts to teach students via TikTok throughout the pandemic. 

Kelley has been teaching online for 17 years and published her first teaching video on YouTube  in 2015.

 Instead of being discouraged by issues some have faced with remote learning, Kelley took it as an opportunity to be creative and posted her first teaching video on TikTok in February 2021. 

Trying to meet people where they are is something Kelley strives to focus on and she figured, “Everybody’s so engaged with TikTok, why not appeal to them with that?”

In doing so she hoped that if she could put the concepts from her YouTube videos into TikTok videos, maybe she could captivate more students and teach them something new. 

With social media being the primary form of communication for many during the pandemic, Kelley used it to her advantage to not only appeal to her students, but to the general public.

Not everyone has access to social media, so it is not a requirement for her class.

 However, for students that do, Kelley feels short videos she makes could be beneficial to them and other accounting students across the country.

“If there’s somebody else that’s taking a class in — I don’t know Athens, Georgia, they can also go there and get information to help them pass their accounting class,” she said. 

By making videos on TikTok, Kelley is trying to keep it as simple as possible but also fun and engaging for students. 

Welcoming a new social media application to her teaching methods was difficult at first due to her having to learn how the platform works. 

However, it was also fun because she was learning something new herself. 

“To be the best instructor, I can never forget what it’s like to be a student,” she said. 

Although Kelley enjoys creating content for TikTok and other platforms, she believes it will eventually slow down due to the constant change of social media apps. 

Overall, Kelley encourages other instructors to use social media as a way of teaching because she believes it has allowed her to be human. 

Another professor at FCC that has started utilizing social media to teach is dance instructor, AJ Lacuesta. 

Lacuesta had not started using social media to teach until roughly 2010. 

He currently teaches elementary social dancing at Fresno State and creates content for students interested in learning the basic styles such as: bachata, salsa, waltz, hip hop social dancing and more. 

Lacuesta’s intended audience ranges from those of 5-65 years in age or people that are just interested in dancing. 

 The main thing he is trying to extract through the use of publishing content on social media is for people to have a good time. 

“I want students to be interested in any form of dance. To stay active and to have fun socializing with others,” he said. 

Initially, the process of using social media to publish content was difficult for Lacuesta, leading him to hire a friend to edit and record dances he choreographed.  

However, he slowly started learning on his own through YouTube tutorials and from other people in the field.

 Lacuesta then started getting more serious with professional editing software a few years ago.

What motivates Lacuesta to keep publishing content is creating something that he can call his own.

 He also enjoys interacting with his audience and most recently started going live on Instagram and TikTok.

“It’s interesting engaging with people outside the community and I love to give people the opportunity to be active or find fun things to do,” he said. 

Last week, Lacuesta had a public TikTok session coordinated by Fresno State where students and professors could learn new TikTok dances via Zoom.  

Lacuesta does not plan on reducing the amount of content he publishes on social media because he is an active person and social media provides an extension that he couldn’t normally do in-person. 

For example, Lacuesta says he has noticed more people joining his Zoom classes that had not joined in-person for previous semesters. 

He strongly believes social media has allowed him to keep in touch with the community and is a fun tool for communication.