In the Spotlight: Recommend a Spotlight

In the spotlight” Michalis T. by via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

The OpenLab Team loves spotlighting all the great work happening on the OpenLab–and you can, too!

If there’s something that stands out to you while you’re working on the OpenLab and you want others to see it, too, you can recommend a site by sharing that info with the OpenLab Team. That way, the spotlight can shine a little wider on more of the things you’re doing, using, building, reading, etc.

When you follow that link, you’ll fill out a form for “People’s Choice”–you’ll share the link and a short explanation of what you’re recommending.

Another good way to show how much you shine!

In the Spotlight: PLAN Week 2023

phases of a solar eclipse over a beach
Sunset Beach Eclipse May 20th 2012” by jimnista via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Let’s shine some light on PLAN week, which is now! From March 9 to March 15, students can take advantage of resources and meet with advisors and peer mentors to plan their next steps at City Tech. The PLAN Week page on the OpenLab has all the information you need to take part and take advantage of all that the week has to offer. There’s also information about how students can enter to win prizes like gift cards and Beats headphones!

For more information on each day, there’s more information on both the OpenLab site as well as on the City Tech website–having this info in both places is a great way to find the information whether you’re on the OpenLab or the City Tech website!

Make sure to check out the site, and happy PLANning!

In the Spotlight: Undergraduate Research

Sparks” by tom_bullock via Flickr CC BY 2.0

This week, student researchers will begin participating in a series of 14 workshops that will last throughout the semester. These workshops, developed and led by members of City Tech’s Undergraduate Research Committee (plus a few other helpful members of the City Tech community), run each semester for students participating in the Emerging Scholars program or the CUNY Research Scholars Program (CRSP), and are open to any students interested in the subjects covered.

Not only are the workshops listed on the Undergraduate Research site on City Tech’s website, but they are also shared on the Undergraduate Research site on the OpenLab. In addition to the post announcing the full slate of workshops for the semester, there is also a list of the workshops with dates and times that you can see no matter where you are on the site (in the right sidebar on a computer, or at the bottom of the page if you’re looking on a mobile device). You can add a widget to your site if you want to do something similar on your site, too.

If you join the project, you’ll get reminders for each of the 14 workshops this semester. You’ll also get notifications for other information that gets posted on the site–including internship opportunities, news, and events that are relevant for student researchers and their faculty mentors.

In the Spotlight: Welcome to Spring 2023!

Yellow flower in full bloom
Mid-winter Optimism I” by Carl Campbell via Flickr, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

It might not look like spring outside, but welcome back for the Spring 2023 semester!

The OpenLab team is excited to work with you as you do great things on the OpenLab–and to help you learn more about using the OpenLab and working in an open community.

The OpenLab team has been busy adding new features and functionality. For example, you may have noticed some changes to the tools that are on by default in the profile of your course, project, or club. One addition is an Announcements feature, which allows admins of a Course, Project, or Club to post announcements that appear just beneath the avatar on a group’s profile. These provide an easy and prominent way to share announcements with members, such as an upcoming class, event, meeting. In addition to appearing on the profile, these announcements will also be sent via email notification to help ensure that everyone who needs to see them does. Announcements are activated by default, but admins can deactivate them in Profile > Settings, if you don’t plan to use them.

There are other helpful improvements that we described in the January 2023 Release Notes–we’ll be spotlighting some of them soon!

Be sure to check out the Spring 2023 OpenLab support options and join us for synchronous support:

  • Open Hours: students, faculty, and staff can sign up for open hours, one-on-one appointments to ask specific questions or ask to learn more about topics ranging from getting started to using a tool to implementing pedagogical approach. We’ve added a new tool for registering for open hours, which allows site admins to embed Calendly–many of you use this tool already, and now you can feature your Calendly directly in a page or post on your site–activate the Embed Calendly plugin via Dashboard>Plugins>Embed Calendly.
  • Workshops: If you missed the OpenLab workshops during intersession, you can request a workshop on any topic or technique! Bring a few colleagues, fellow students, or officemates to learn about how to build something, do something, or use something on the OpenLab!

There are also great asynchronous options for support:

  • Faculty members with any questions about getting your course site ready for the semester can refer to the helpful tips posted in the Teaching with the OpenLab module.
  • Students getting ready to use the OpenLab this semester can use the helpful OpenLab for Students module.
  • Everyone can get inspired by what this community has done on the OpenLab by looking through our past In the Spotlight posts.
  • The Help materials on the OpenLab are extensive, guiding members through creating and working in Courses, Projects, Clubs, and Portfolios. For example, our help documentation will walk instructors through step-by-step how to add students in bulk to your course by using a list of student emails, a feature we added a few semesters ago. Being able to add students to courses this way is so convenient, we even spotlighted it! Students, this means you might find yourself *automagically* added into a course without having to request membership or join it yourself.
  • As always, reach out to us if you need additional help: openlab@citytech.cuny.edu.

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and inspiring start to the semester. See you on the OpenLab!

In the Spotlight: Winter 2023 Support

On the Brooklyn Bridge with light snow accumulation
Jan09 056” by Paul Williams via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

Hello, OpenLab Community!

We hope you’ll continue to join us for Winter 2023 Support. For everyone preparing for Spring 2023, we offer two types of synchronous support: workshops and open hours, in addition to our asynchronous support.

Winter Workshops

Click here to view the full schedule and register to receive the Zoom link for the workshops.

Thursday, January 19, 2023:

10:00am-10:30am Getting Started on the OpenLab

10:30am-12:00pm Working on the OpenLab

Monday, January 23,2023:

12:00pm-12:30pm Getting Started on the OpenLab

12:30pm-2:00pm Working on the OpenLab

Winter Open Hours:

View the schedule for open hours, one-on-one 30-minute Zoom appointments with a Digital Pedagogy Fellow to ask your OpenLab questions try new things.

Tuesday, 1/24/23: 11:30am, 12:00pm

Wednesday, 1/25/23: 10:30am, 11:00am

Monday, 1/30/23: 1:30pm, 2:00pm

Tuesday, 1/31/23: 11:30am, 12:00pm

Asynchronous support

We look forward to working with you, and to seeing your great work on the OpenLab!

In the Spotlight: You, in 2022

bubbles” by Indigo Skies Photography via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This week, we’re spotlighting you, OpenLab members, and all the great work you do on the OpenLab. It’s a hectic few weeks, but soon the Fall 2022 semester will be behind us. Until then, keep doing great work and sharing great ideas on the OpenLab!

Need some inspiration to finish your work? Look around the OpenLab at all the courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios that OpenLab members create, contributed to, and made thrive. You can also look back at previous In the Spotlight posts.

If you need any OpenLab support to finish, remember that you can always sign up or drop in for Open Hours, find helpful information in our Help section, or reach out via email to ask a question.

And when the semester is over, take a step back and look at all you have accomplished, and ask yourself what work of yours would you spotlight this semester? Share in the comments links to or descriptions of especially proud of some of your work!

Then get inspired for next semester, too–but not before catching up on some sleep, enjoying some hot cocoa, or spending time with friends and family, or however you mark the end of the semester and celebrate all of your accomplishments!

In the Spotlight: OpenLab Open Hours

Two blue birds” by Babak Fakhamzadeh via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

The OpenLab Team has a number of requests for open hours and questions about how to access them, so here the open hours are in the Spotlight!

Open hours are an opportunity for any member of the City Tech community–students, faculty, staff–to meet one-on-one with a member of the OpenLab team to ask your OpenLab questions and accomplish your OpenLab goals. Each session is 30 minutes, so they’re like mini workshops on the exact topics you’re interested in.

Not sure what you want to ask about, but know you need help? That’s fine, too! You can use the time to learn about how to use your site to meet your learning or teaching goals, what tools can help you meet those goals and how to implement and use them, how to find Help materials, how to browse through the OpenLab to find excellent examples of City Tech community members working together, how to build something new like a club or an assignment–even how to get used to the block editor if you’re still using the classic editor. So many possibilities!

Check out the schedule, register for a 30-minute open hour session, and when it’s time, join via Zoom. See you there soon!

In the Spotlight: PLAN Week 2022

North Fork Yachats River Covered Bridge” by Ian Sane via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Let’s focus on PLAN week, which is now! From October 31 to November 4, students can meet with advisors to plan their next steps at City Tech. The PLAN Week page on the OpenLab has all the information you need to “Get with the PLAN!” so next semester you can have the schedule you want and courses you need to graduate.

The PLAN Week page includes the schedule for in-person advisement in the Atrium Learning Center and the Voorhees Computer Lab, as well as other Academic Advisement resources.

It also includes links to the Academic Advisement website and to Academic Advisement videos for anyone who wants asynchronous support–plus there’s info about how students can enter to win prizes for participating in PLAN Week!

Make sure to check the site out, and happy planning!

In the Spotlight: Commenting

Graphic Conversation” by Marc Wathieu via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Exciting news about comments!

If you added formatted text, links, or media to your comments on OpenLab posts or pages recently, you probably noticed some changes. If you read our This Month on the OpenLab posts on The Open Road (in the OpenLab News category), you probably already knew about this change to add rich text and media embedding for comments. Here’s what’s new:

The OpenLab now has enhanced commenting functionality, allowing you and your site members and visitors to write comments with rich text (bold, italics, links, etc), and easily embed media by simply pasting the URL, as you would in a post.

When you add a comment, you’ll see buttons to add rich text styles to your comment – bold, italics, underline, and numbered and bulleted lists. There’s also a button for adding a link, and one for embedding media. 

These plugins are already activated on all OpenLab sites, so if you’re a site admin, you don’t need to do anything on your site. We have help for Commenting on a Site, which includes the new rich text and media embedding functionality.

We hope this helps to make discussions on the OpenLab even more vibrant! 

In the Spotlight: National HSI Week and Hispanic Heritage Month

This week is National HSI Week (September 12-18), overlapping with Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15). The HSI (Hispanic Serving Institution) Committee has invited everyone at the college to celebrate, get involved, and join the community.

The HSI Committee is using their OpenLab site to share information about all of the events happening on campus for HSI Week and Hispanic Heritage Month. That means that departments and initiatives are hosting events, and you can learn about them in one central place, their Upcoming Events page.

There are several events taking place this week, including the annual HSI Week Forum on September 15 from 12:45pm-2pm in the Faculty Lounge, L632 in the Library Building. The committee asks all planning to attend to Register Here so they can best plan for the event (and for refreshments, too).

The HSI Committee has invited all of City Tech to “come together to share ideas and next steps as we continue to work towards servingness as an HSI.”

If you haven’t already, check out the list of upcoming events and start participating!