Training For A
Jennifer Bentivegna, assistant professor of Fashion Business Management, is exploring an alternative to the traditional classroom environment. Bentivegna had recently completed a master’s degree in emerging technology and realized the virtual environment one of her professors had constructed could translate well to the world of fashion. She researched existing virtual environments and considered their use in fashion and education. In February 2020, she met with representatives from software companies and studied the software to teach it to her students. If companies like Tommy Hilfiger and Century 21 can open virtual showrooms, why not use such a platform for training faculty and, ultimately, students? Bentivegna turned to Kitely, an open source virtual architecture that allows users to build, design, decorate, and explore digital environments. In Kitely, users can create virtual stores to learn more about fashion merchandising, as well as meet for class or work in a video-game-like scenario that is more engaging and exciting than existing video chat platforms. For now, Bentivegna is working on establishing a course to train FIT faculty on how to create a virtual environment to make online and remote courses more dynamic and appealing.