Category Archives: Professor

Moving ahead with final projects

Today the OpenLab welcomed the birth of the Vinegar Hill Gang, the new project site you all created and joined. On Wednesday, we’ll vote on a header image, avatar, and a theme for the site. We’ll spend time reviewing report development so far. Remember that we meet in A540, the large e-classroom.

A few people had questions about adding media to the Wikimedia Commons. To add your original photos, start at the Upload Wizard. Be sure to choose a license and assign Categories to the images you share.


For the final project, the class will create a project site on the OpenLab to which everyone will contribute. Each team will have its own page on the OpenLab project site. Each team is responsible for the design of your project and for any sub-topics included. Within the team, students will assume responsibility for a sub-topic as well as various roles including graphics & visualization editor, writer/editor, References manager etc.

Final Report Guidelines  — In this project, each team will collectively determine the form that their project will take within the OpenLab:

  • Consider the purpose and audience of their project
  • Develop project deliverables that reflect the audience and purpose of their project
  • Incorporate research from primary and secondary sources and appropriately cite sources
  • Articulate research findings as well as analysis and original work through writing and visual documentation
  • Determine appropriate graphic language and compositional modes
  • Publish deliverables on the OpenLab project site
  • Prepare a PowerPoint slide presentation to deliver and discuss in class

Key Dates

May 3: Finalize purpose and audience of the project, outline and list of deliverables

May 8 + 10: In class work on project

May 15: Project drafts completed + In class progress presentations (power point optional)

May 22: Projects live on OpenLab + Final PowerPoint/slide presentations due

May 24: Final presentations continue + reflection

Final Project Grading rubric

Clarity of project concept – 15%

Extent of research conducted – 20%

Extent and clarity of analysis of evidence pertaining to hypothesis, writing, and documentation/references – 20%

Final project deliverables – 15%

Clarity, logic and graphic presentation on the OpenLab – 15%

PowerPoint presentation and in-class discussion of the project – 15%

Wikipedia Wednesday

Today we reviewed the Wikipedia readings and shared thoughts on the reliability and biases of Wikipedia. We spent some time creating (or trying to) Wikipedia accounts and explored the training modules and Creative Commons licenses. For Wednesday, please create a Wikipedia account and send your username to Prof. Leonard via email or the OpenLab. You can then begin the training modules:

Contributing Images and Media Files

Sources and Citations

Plagiarism and Copyright

On Wednesday our guest lecturers, Prof. Ann Matsuuchi from LaGuardia Community College, and Richard Knipel, president of the Wikimedia Foundation NYC Chapter, will lead us on a workshop on writing, editing, referencing, and creating images in Wikipedia. Bring your questions and a laptop if you like.


Looking ahead to Wikipedia week: April 24 and 26

Today we took part in the library/NYPIRG Earth Day screen print and button making session, and then returned to the classroom to review the Wikipedia assignment guidelines and the final project guidelines.

For Monday, please review the Wikipedia assignment guidelines, begin to think about the article(s) you might improve through editing, writing, or creating references, and the photos or media you will contribute to the Wikimedia Commons.

Also be prepared to discuss the 3 short assigned readings:

Lih, Andrew. “Can Wikipedia Survive?” The New York Times. 20 June 2015. Web.

Postrel, Virigina. “Who Killed Wikipedia?Pacific Standard. 17 Nov. 2014. Web.

Randall, Eric. “How A Racoon Became an Aardvark.” The New Yorker. 20 July 2014. Web.

On Wednesday, April 26 our guest lecturers, Prof. Ann Matsuuchi from LaGuardia Community College and Richard Knipel, president of the Wikimedia NYC Chapter, will lead us in a Wikipedia workshop. We’ll make use of the tablets; it’s fine to bring your own laptop if you like.

Welcome back! And this Thursday 4/20 runs on a Monday schedule

Today we viewed The Happy City Experiment and discussed the spirit of a place. Groups also worked on their outlines. Don’t forget! Tomorrow, Thursday, April 20, the college runs on a Monday schedule. We’ll spend some time reviewing the assignment guidelines for the Wikipedia assignment, which you’ll complete both individually and in your research groups.

Next week we dive deep into Wikipedia, with a writing and editing workshop on Wednesday 4/26, facilitated by Prof. Ann Matsuuchi, Instructional Technology & Systems Librarian at LaGuardia Community College. Please get started on three readings for Monday:

Lih, Andrew. “Can Wikipedia Survive?” The New York Times. 20 June 2015. Web.

Postrel, Virigina. “Who Killed Wikipedia?Pacific Standard. 17 Nov. 2014. Web.

Randall, Eric. “How A Racoon Became an Aardvark.” The New Yorker. 20 July 2014. Web.


Here are two radio broadcasts about Farragut Houses residents, the waterfront, the changing neighborhood and the involvement of the community in the local school. They are 6 minutes and 3 minutes long. Perhaps they can help some of the teams with your projects.

Longtime Residents Witness Brooklyn Waterfront’s Changing Fortune

History Repeats Itself in Brooklyn School Rezoning

Annotated bibliography assignment due April 19, after Spring Break

Today each group presented their hypothesis and received generous feedback from the class — thanks for contributing, everyone. The annotated bibliography group assignment is due by the start of class on Wednesday, April 19. Get in touch with questions early – do NOT wait until the night before it is due! As your group’s research continues, you may find the New York City Research Guide useful. You may also want to search the Brooklyn Eagle and the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections to find additional primary sources to include in the annotated bibliography.  Over the break you may have time to continue your research in the Brooklyn Collection, the New York Public Library, or the New-York Historical Society — in person, rather than solely online.

Don’t forget – on Thursday, April 20, classes run on a MONDAY SCHEDULE. This means we meet Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20.

Enjoy break, everyone!



The Research Question and the Paper Outline

Yesterday we worked on your research questions to make them as productive for your projects as possible.   We also discussed the importance of the outline as the structure that will hold your paper as well as the need to sort out the data you collected so far.

The outline starts from the research question. For Wednesday start to identify subtopics that you need to answer your research question and start to organize these subtopics. Bring your preliminary outline work to class.

Outlines can take many forms but for preliminary understanding check out these links:

On Wednesday we will talk about annotated bibliography as a tool to help you sort out and evaluate your data and make it useful for your project. We will also continue to discuss the paper outline.

TIME FOR BLOGGING: The NY Historical Society visit — assignment due April 3

We had a productive and interesting visit at the library of the New-York Historical Society today. Hopefully, you discovered new information to consider for your projects. Newly found material has the potential to answer some questions or open new ideas for investigation.

TIME FOR BLOGGING: For Monday please post a blog entry and share with the class one important piece of information you found today at the library. Your blog must include:

  • An image of the information (the image can be a photograph, a map, a copy of a chart or text from a magazine article or a book, etc.)
  • A 100-word written description of the item and the information it conveys. Explain how you expect or hope that the new information would fit in or impact your research project. Be specific about the research question you are working on. Does the new data support your ideas or change them? Build your description around answers to the questions: who, what, where, why, when and how.

The blog is due Monday, April 3 by 1:00 pm

Please review the blogging guidelines or get in touch with your instructors with any questions.