EcoFest 2022 – TODAY!

New York City College of Technology presents EcoFest 2022 Conference: IT'S TIME TO TAKE ACTION! CRISIS
April 28, 2022
8 AM - 5 PM
Register Here [QR code linked to Zoom registration link:]

The OpenLab is a great place to host a website for an event, taking advantage of its openness to make it available to members of your group both inside and outside of City Tech and the public in general.

Today’s EcoFest 2022 Conference is a great example of this. You’ve probably seen the EcoFest site pop up in the Projects section of the OpenLab. If you want to learn more, attend their conference today! Please also share with students, colleagues, and friends!

Here’s what the conference organizers shared to welcome everyone to the EcoFest conference today:

Greetings City Tech community,

EcoFest has been the College’s Earth Day-centered event for the past 7 years. It is an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to celebrate environmental successes and educate each other concerning the huge challenges we face.

The theme of this year’s EcoFest Conference is Crisis: It’s Time to Take Action. The event will have a hybrid format: there will be live panels and presentations in the Academic Building lobby and theater, and it will be shared synchronously as a Zoom webinar. Last year’s conference had 140 viewers and more than 50 participants. We are planning on even more viewers for EcoFest 2022. The conference schedule is designed so the panels coincide with the times college courses are taking place. Faculty are encouraged to bring their classes. Join us in person in the New Academic Complex Theater or, if you cannot attend live, join via Zoom webinar (registration required). See the full schedule or download the full schedule.

We look forward to seeing you on the 28th!

Thank you,
City Tech Campus Sustainability Council

Open Pedagogy Recap: Ungrading Pt. 2

On Thursday 1 April 2022, the OpenLab Community Team hosted three emerging scholars exploring abolitionist pedagogies, resisting increased institutional surveillance of students, and ungrading strategies. Co-authors Marianne Madoré, Andréa Stella, and Anna Zeemont shared their experiences with pedagogical practices and activism. We were excited to welcome faculty from City Tech and Baruch to this workshop, the second in a series on Ungrading.

Dr. Zeemont wanted to discuss the process of putting together a collaborative article including NTT and precarious academic workers alongside students for the article, while Adjunct Assistant Professor Stella discussed the importance of including citations in her own course syllabi, both to help explain ungrading policies to students, but also to stave off any potential conflicts with administration. Including citations provides scholarly context for ungrading and demonstrates that an instructor practicing different forms of ungrading is not a rogue agent, but rather part of a larger movement towards equity and anti-racism in higher education. 

PhD student MadorĂ© shared more important historical information about activist group Free CUNY and the 2020 As for All manifesto co-authored by members of the CUNY community working towards liberationist pedagogy and antiracist education.  

Zeemont closed the co-authors’ discussion by reminding attendees that ungrading is not reserved for expensive private colleges, and that incorporating understanding of students’ material conditions is necessary for liberatory pedagogy. 

One of our discussion questions for this event asked participants to consider the connection between ungrading and open digital pedagogy, which is really the focal point of all the OpenLab Open Pedagogy events we plan each semester. While we did not come away with easy answers, we were better able to understand how material inequalities impact our students. Unstable wireless, shared and out-of-date devices, and other technological deficits impact student access to their online courses, while unstable housing, surging inflation, and exploitative working conditions all impact our students’ ability to focus on their studies, and also impact precarious academic workers such as adjunct classroom instructors, non-teaching adjuncts, and college assistants. 

In short, expecting learning to take place seamlessly because we have an engaging and flexible platform like the OpenLab does not impact the material conditions that may block student access to the site, and open digital pedagogy cannot be framed as a utopian cure-all. Instead, we learned to focus on student-centered learning, which requires really listening to students’ needs and concerns.