This Week in the OpenLab: November 4th Edition


(image by Sean MacEntee via Creative Commons Liscence)

This week we wanted to run through a couple of plugins that do very specific, very useful things.



This very simple plugin can do wonders to organize a site with multiple users, just by making sure users don’t forget to pick a category. To use, it first activate the plugin:

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When users forget to select a category, they’ll see a pop up reminder:

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That’s it!



Again, a very simple plugin that will allow sticky posts (posts that you want to “stick” to the top of a page) to expire on their own. Once expired, they will move “down” the page in reverse chronological order like any other post. To use it, first activate the plug in:

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Once you do that, you’ll see a new option appear in the “publish” section of your dashboard. Enter the date or choose it from the pop-up calendar, and you’ll set it to expire!

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That’s al for now! Enjoy and as always email us with any questions!

This Week in the OpenLab: October 19th Edition

Recently a few questions have come to us about the Prezi WP plug-in, which allows you to embed a Prezi presentation into a page or post. Here’s a handy guide. Much thanks to Boone Gorges for creating this, and the team over at the Cuny Academic Commons for some of the language here. As always, contact us with any questions!


  1. To embed a Prezi presentation into a WordPress post or page, you will first need to active the Prezi WP plugin.wp prezi 1
  2. Then, go to the Prezi you hope to embed. You’ll see a unique short code in the URL of the Prezi. It surrounded by the box here:wp prezi 2 version 2
  3. Next, you’ll want to copy that shortcode into this form:  [prezi id=’xxxxxxxxxx’]. Go ahead and copy that exactly if you like, replacing the xxxxxxxxx with your shortcode. As here: wp prezi 3 version 2
  4. If successful, your prezi should appear in your post or page like this: wp prezi 4 version 2
  5. If you like, the plugin also accepts optional width and height parameters: [prezi id=’hgjm18z36h75′ width=’600′ height=’450′]

This Week in the OpenLab: October 14th Edition

We have an active Twitter plugin for the OpenLab, which will allow tweets to appear on your site and posts to automatically be turned into tweets. There are a few steps to the set up and one step (number 5 below) that is a bit counterintuitive, but once it’s set up, it can work perfectly. The instructions are below. As always, contact us with any questions!

1. Activate Twitter Tools under Plugins in the left hand menu of your dashboard.
activate twitter tools

2. Once activated, you’ll see a WP Twitter menu appear in the left hand menu of the dashboard.  Click WIDGETS and then click the link by the arrow below. WP_Twitter_-_Widgets_Settings_‹_scottsprojectmobileteswithalonglongnamejusttosee_—_WordPress

3. A pop up will appear allowing you to sign into your twitter account. Click AUTHORIZE APP. Twitter___Authorize_an_application

4. Once you do that, you’ll be taken to a “Widgets” page. Click CREATE NEW.Twitter___Settings

5. On the next screen you’ll see what’s below. The only thing that is a bit counterintuitive here is that you DON’T want to use the code provided here. You want to copy the numbers we’ve circled in the URL.

Widgets_Configurator 2

6. Now back on the original dashboard WP TWITTER>WIDGETS page, copy those numbers into the two fields you see below.

both Widgets_Settings_‹_The_Buzz_—_WordPress

7. You’ve now activated your twitter widget. Under APPEARANCE>WIDGETS you’ll see a new widget appear. Add that to whatever Widget area you like.


8. And you should see something like this! Not only are your tweets appearing here, but also any post that you make on your page will also create a tweet!

An invitation to an Open Pedagogy Event 10/8, 4:30-6:00


Collaboration on the OpenLab

Thursday, October 8, 2015, 4:30-6:00pm

Faculty Commons, N227

Refreshments will be served

This Open Pedagogy event brings together those interested in teaching and learning in the open, using readily available resources either within or in conjunction with City Tech’s OpenLab. Examples of collaboration among students, and between instructor and students abound in the OpenLab’s 1000+ courses. Emerging as well are collaborations between students and peer mentors, between courses across the college, and among faculty teaching parallel sections of the same course. First-Year Learning Communities can bring two or three courses together in a single space to further facilitate community, and can bring into that community the peer mentor for further student support. Course coordinators have created community within departments through the ability to share materials for better support of instruction across sections. The same kind of openness facilitates the community of pedagogy that draws on the support of Open Educational Resources developed with the support of library faculty. Come hear about these exciting examples from colleagues and OpenLab Community Team members, and share your own.

Can’t join us but want to think more about collaboration in your pedagogy? Here are two short pieces you might read to consider best practices in project-based collaborations:

A Student Collaborators’ Bill of Rights

A Collaborators’ Bill of Rights

Please share the invitation with colleagues–and feel free to comment on this post on the Open Pedagogy site to let your colleagues know you’re planning to come!

Image credit: Collaborate by Brenderous


This Week in the OpenLab: September 30th Edition

Over the next few weeks we’ll be updating the plugins section of our help section which, if you’ve never been, you can find here.  The first update is on the OpenLab Grade Comments plugin, which was customized for us. Hope you find it useful, and as always contact us with any questions!

The OpenLab Grade Comments plugin is very simple to use, with far less potential confusion for users than our previous grader plugin, and it has an easy interface for privately leaving grades only the post creator and administrator can see. Once activated, you’ll see the two options appear next to any post. Easy!

  1. Activate the plugin via the left hand menu on your dashboard.Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 1.20.52 PM
  2. Once activated, administrators will see two new options appear when replying to user comments. Clicking “Make this Comment Private” will ensure that only the user and the administrator can see the comment. Clicking “Add A Grade” will make a grade box appear. That grade is always private, even if the comment is public.Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 1.32.04 PM
  3. If you want to see all of the grades you’ve assigned to a user, you can click the number under “posts” to the right of the user’s name (under “users” in the left hand dashboard menu)Users_‹_Best_Course_Ever_—_WordPress
  4. And then you can see the grades you’ve given that particular user in a “grades” column.Posts_‹_Best_Course_Ever_—_WordPress

This Week in the OpenLab: September 15th Edition


This week we want to highlight our bloggers, who have returned this year better than ever. We’re extremely lucky to have their work here on the OpenLab, and hope you agree. Be sure to follow The Buzz to follow all their posts!


Konyca: Never Forget

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September 11th, 2001 do you remember where you were on this tragic day? I was back in my home country. I had just came out from school and turned on the television as I got in( a natural habit) when I saw the attack on the news. I stood there in disbelieve wondering if I was dreaming. Still in disbelieve, I managed to call my mom to inform her of what has happened. It wasn’t until the next day we were able to contact friends and family to make sure they were alright. Thankfully they were. To this day I am still baffled by what happened 14 years ago. However I believe this has only made the people stronger, united and more appreciated of life. Never forget……




BRIANNA: Food Styling: The Perspective of Food

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I strongly believe that despite how good food can taste, it must first look presentable. The famous saying which states how your eyes eat before your mouth does explain my theory.  As all of us post onto OpenLab or other sites, we all post photographs to truly evoke and support our article efficiently.

Food styling is all about the science of displaying food properly to evoke a sense of persuading each viewer to want to eat and enjoy the meal being presented. In food styling, presentation is key; it revolves around what the viewer’s ideal interests in that particular dish are and how to captivate them in a single photograph to entice them. Mostly, food styling is used as a means of advertisement to coax those to purchase their products but it can be used to show the outcome of a recipe or to display an edible, artistic masterpiece.


AMONI: Summer is FALLing into its Place

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 Welcome back students, faculty, staff and visitors. My name is Amoni B and its an honor to be blogging with City Tech for another semester. I hope all of my readers are enjoying their summer, whether you were traveling, learning in school, giving back to your community, splashing in water themed parks, visiting galas and museums, enjoying sport events like the US Open, dancing at the Labor Day parade, and even working. I must also shine light on the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement. Although the years of damnation and recent events in the US and Dominican Republic aren’t much to smile about, I am happy that there is more awareness and even more self-embracing being spread.

This Week in the OpenLab: School’s IN Edition


Welcome back! We hope everyone had a safe, rewarding, relaxing, productive, simply wonderful summer. And we’re excited about the upcoming year and hope you are too!



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If you’re here you’ve surely already noticed: there was a major upgrade to the OL over the summer. You’ll notice a complete redesign of the look of the OL, but won’t notice many changes. Except one: the upgrade made the OL far more usable on mobile devices. So many of our students and faculty depend on their phones and tablets for the OL, we decided it was critical to improve performance on those platforms. We hope it works well for you!



As always, we’ll be offering a slate of workshops over the course of the fall, and continuing our Office Hours initiative. You can check out the schedule below, and sign up here for faculty and here for students. Students, please note that for the first time, you can take advantage of the Office Hours as well!


FC_LivingLab_OpenLab_Student_Workshops_Fall15_F (1)That’s all for this week! Thanks and as always contact us with any questions!

This Week in the OpenLab: May 13th Edition


Last week the community team attended the CUNY CUE Conference, and we were happy to do so. Our presentation, Engaging a College Community Through Open Digital Technologies: City Tech’s OpenLab, discussed our ongoing efforts to increase students’ sense of community at City Tech. As we’ve said before, it’s not always easy to connect on a largely-commuter campus such as ours, and it’s our belief that the OL can play a central part in that process. In fact, with student membership increasing every day, we’d like to think we already are!

We’d also especially like to note the role of student community team member Brianna Vasquez. At a CUNY event largely attended by faculty and administrators, when we asked Brianna to be part of our presentation, she did not balk–in fact she jumped at the chance. And when her two fellow teammates fell ill and could not present with her, she happily spoke on the student team’s behalf to an audience of faculty from across CUNY.  Brianna remained her charming self, speaking knowledgeably and well about her role on the team, and our presentation wouldn’t have been the same without her.

And on top of that, she made the cake in the picture above! Thanks Brianna!

This may be our last post of the year, so happy summer to all!