Open Pedagogy Event (Th 10/26): Teaching and Learning with Annotation

An abstract image of stacked blocks.
Image Source: MANYBITS

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 5:30-7:30pm (Faculty Commons, N227)

*Refreshments will be served. (Thanks to the Faculty Commons for its generous support of this event!) 

*Part-time City Tech faculty are eligible to receive a stipend for participation.

*Please RSVP by commenting on this post. Please share this invitation with your colleagues!

Join the OpenLab Team, City Tech faculty and staff, and CUNY colleagues at our next Open Pedagogy event, where we’ll be discussing teaching and learning with annotation. This event is a follow-up to our Spring 2017 Open Pedagogy event on annotating texts in open digital pedagogy, and we’re excited to continue the conversation about how annotating digital texts can impact student learning and the teaching process. Our discussion will focus on how to increase engagement with the resources we build and share on the OpenLab. We’ll cover rationales and strategies for annotation, how its process and impact changes when moving from analog to digital annotation tools, and how it can foster collaboration.

This is a follow-up event to Annotating Texts in Open Digital Pedagogy, held in February 2017. Read the Recap here.

This event has a follow-up workshop, Annotating Text on the OpenLab, where we’ll teach you, among other things, how to use the plugin. This workshop will be held on Thursday 11/2 from 2:30-4:00pm in Rm G604 (RSVP).

We’ll Consider the following questions:

  • How can the use of digital annotation tools change the teaching and learning process?
  • How can we use annotation to increase engagement with the resources we build and share on the OpenLab?
  • What are some of the challenges of annotating different media, and what are creative solutions for these cases?
  • How does working individually, publicly, and socially change the way we view annotation and its functions?

Suggested Readings:

Recap: A Conversation about New Possibilities for Teaching, Learning, and Collaborating at BMCC

An image of two intersecting circles with a nucleus in the middle.
Image Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

On the morning of Friday October 13th, and in anticipation of experimenting with an open digital learning platform in Spring 2018, BMCC faculty from the Media Arts & Technology Department (all but one) hosted members of the OpenLab Community Team for a rich discussion of open digital pedagogy on the OpenLab.

We opened the session with a freewrite and discussion of the values that underpin our pedagogy, the strategies we deploy to implement those values, and the challenges we face in doing so. During the share back portion, the discussion was wide-ranging. Faculty discussed values, strategies, and challenges related to a holistic type of learning that valued not only learning course material, but having a sense of creativity and vitality for learning, and viewing learning in relation to the maturation of students more generally. Faculty also discussed their desires around learning as a classroom community, and building a culture of respect, reciprocity and shared growth among the students. There was also a realization of the challenges presented by the realities of student’s lives (i.e. other demands on time such as work, friends, family; access to software; long commute times) which sometimes impedes our ability to achieve these goals. You can view the full list here, and if you’re like me, you will find yourself nodding your head as you read through the list, seeing many of them embedded in your own pedagogy, whether you previously recognized them there or not.

Ultimately, this conversation was a primer for thinking about how the OpenLab resolved some of these issues at City Tech, and how a similar open digital platform might do the same at BMCC. From striving for 1000 members in its pilot year, to facilitating a community of 23,000 users in its 6th year, the OpenLab has become another place for teaching, learning and community building at the tight, commuter school. As we discussed, in part this can be attributed to the ‘open’ aspect of the OpenLab, which expands the possibilities for both students and faculty along the lines outlined in the table below. Another important factor is the networked aspect of this open community – that through the OpenLab’s homepage, one can peruse (and in some cases, join!) the various courses, clubs and projects taking place at City Tech – and learn more about the members and groups who comprise the community.

Opening Student Experiences at City Tech Open Faculty: Teaching, Research, &  Service
o Supports student learning in Gen Ed core competencies and high impact practices

o Bridges experiential and classroom learning

o Builds student proficiency with digital media, transferrable skills

o Offers professionalization opportunities

o Provides space to network, collaborate, and socialize around shared interests

o Fosters and showcases innovative and engaging pedagogies

o Enables sharing of best practices

o Supports interdisciplinary approaches

o Promotes community and collaboration

Together, this strengthens the college community by providing a space for students, faculty, and staff to interact, supports and enhances major college-wide initiatives and other grant-funded projects, and makes the work of the college more visible & accessible.

This introduction to the OpenLab was followed by a more practical conversation about how we have strived to achieve this – for example, through the different digital tools we use (WordPress and BuddyPress), how we have designed our homepage to showcase recent activity, and what kinds sites one can build on the OpenLab (courses, clubs, ePortfolios and projects). In addition, we shared examples of how various community members are growing the possibilities of the OpenLab, through assignment and classroom activity creation, ePortfolio construction and the integration with external sites, and finding novel ways of sharing across classrooms, departments and sub-fields. In many cases, as came up in our conversation again and again, this growth in use is really the result of the built-in flexibility of the platform, the creativity of our members, their sense of ownership over their content, and their ability to share, borrow and remix from one another quickly and easily in an open, centralized environment.

For examples of the type of innovation taking place on the OpenLab, we encourage you to check out our ‘In the Spotlight’ blog series, where we highlight one site per week, and The Buzz, which showcases the work of our student bloggers. Lastly, if you’re looking share and view assignments or tips related to open digital pedagogy, check out the L4 Library and Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab!

We look forward to continuing to support our peers at BMCC as they adopt and adapt a similar open digital learning platform over the next year, and we look forward to the possible for synergies going forward!

Recap: Copyright and Attribution in Open Digital Pedagogy

On the eve of Thursday September 28th, faculty, staff and graduate students from across CUNY gathered in City Tech’s Faculty Commons (N227) to discuss Copyright and Attribution on the OpenLab and other open digital platforms. Joining a growing group of scholars, our sense is that open digital environments are challenging long-standing notions of copyright and attribution, but in what ways, to what ends, and how are scholars and students thinking about and navigating these shifts in meaning and practice? This first Open Pedagogy event of the semester was organized around digging into these questions.

We began the evening by continuing a past Twitter conversation started by Hybrid Pedagogy. Using the hashtag #digped, “Plagarism Undone” highlights the complexities – new and old – of copyright and attribution, with attention to how technological developments have stretched and remixed long-standing interpretations of copyright, and what this means for scholars with regards to their own research AND pedagogy. In continuing this conversation, we carried out an analog, embodied twitter-like conversation where event participants wrote down tweet-like phrases on post-it notes and stuck them to the wall. We used the questions below as prompts for this activity. After an initial ‘posting’, participants reviewed others’ posts, taking some back to their seats to respond to with a second post-it note.

When creating and sharing content for research and pedagogy, how do you think about ownership and citation?

How was working on the OpenLab (or other open digital platforms) changed your ideas about authorship and remixing?

We plan to share these ‘tweets’ publicly via the OpenLab Twitter account (more info forthcoming!), however, for the evening, these ‘tweets’ worked to get the conversation going. Among these initial openings and throughout the evening, participants raised questions about: balancing openness and sharing with authorship and attribution and what the tipping point is between wanting to share and wanting to get recognition and compensation for your work; about whether and in what ways pedagogical materials are also scholarship and what responsible sharing and remixing looks like; and how we might begin to cultivate a culture of sharing and attribution with colleagues and students on the OpenLab and beyond.

Event attendees begin our conversation about Copyright and Attribution by reviewing and contributing to our analog 'Twitter feed'.
Event attendees begin our conversation about Copyright and Attribution by reviewing and contributing to our analog ‘Twitter feed’. (Image Source: Kristen Hackett)

In addition to these open-ended questions, the event, with the help of librarian, professor and guest speaker Nora Almeida, also addressed some practical challenges. Below we’ve included these questions with some of the responses and resources that were mentioned during the event.

What are my options with respect to copyright?

In addition to traditional copyright – which reserves all rights of use for the creator – you can look into Creative Commons licensing, which provide multiple options for sharing and licensing your work. The OpenLab uses a version of Creative Commons, as does all content on the OpenLab unless otherwise specified.

[prezi id=’’]

How can I respect the copyright preferences of others?

First you should check the licensing on the work. If you don’t seen any copyright information, it is usually safe to assume they are using a traditional copyright license, which automatically applies to original work by default. The use of others’ photos and images was a particular point of interest. The OpenLab has some tips here.

What are some strategies others have used to discuss copyright and attribution with their students?

Talking about copyright and attribution with students often takes the form of a cautionary conversation about plagiarism, however, there may be more productive ways of having this conversation. For example, in open digital environments like the OpenLab, students too are putting their intellectual property out there. How would they feel if someone used their work as their own? What if that person made money off it or benefitted in some other way? You might also consider having students reflect on some recent interesting copyright cases such as the nature photographer who is claiming selfies taken by monkeys as his own or the artist who is profiting off of others Instagram photos.

We hope this recap sparks your thinking around copyright and attribution and we encourage you to chime in here with questions and comments and keep this conversation going.

In addition, we encourage you to attend our related workshop on Thursday October 5th from 2:30-4:00pm in room G604. RSVP here!

In preparation for the workshop, or to learn more about this topic, visit our event posting for a list of short, relevant readings.

Lastly, our next Open Pedagogy event will be on Thursday October 26th from 5:30-7:00pm in the Faculty Commons (N227). This event, titled Teaching and Learning with Annotation, is a ‘Part 2’, building on an event on Annotating Texts in Open Digital Pedagogy held in February 2016. Refreshments and snacks will be provided, and part-time faculty will receive a stipend for attending. This event will also have a related workshop – more information here.

Event attendees stretch their legs and minds at a recent Open Pedagogy event engaging in an analog Twitter activity around Copyright and Attribution in Open Digital Pedagogy.
Event attendees stretch their legs and minds at a recent Open Pedagogy event engaging in an analog Twitter activity around Copyright and Attribution in Open Digital Pedagogy. (Image Source: Kristen Hackett)