In the Spotlight: OpenLab Updates

Hubble Goes to the eXtreme to Assemble Farthest-Ever View of the Universe
“Hubble Goes to the eXtreme to Assemble Farthest-Ever View of the Universe” by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Now that the semester is well underway, you might be open to looking at what’s new on the OpenLab. The most recent set of updates to the OpenLab included some great new features and opportunities. If you haven’t already, you might want to read the This Month in the OpenLab post from the end of August to learn about what’s new, different, or otherwise helpful. You can always find This Month in the OpenLab posts in the category OpenLab News.

OpenLab updates address community needs. They include keeping up to date on software updates, making fixes and adjustments to things that need to work better, and new ideas–big and small–that can make new things possible.

The August installment of This Month in the OpenLab announced features and functionality including new templates for sites, options to give members greater ability to customize sites and profiles, improvements to discussion forums and site commenting, and of course new plugins– which are tools that add functionality to your site. Look for the spotlight to shine on some of these important updates soon!

As always, if you have ideas for improvements, you’re welcome to share either by emailing or by using the contact form.

In the Spotlight: Connect Day

Clear circular connectors on dark cables against a blue sky background
Connectors” by Michael Coghlan via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Connect Day, the departmental new student orientation, will take place this Thursday, August 31st during Club Hours from 12:45-2:00pm. During this welcome event, students will meet faculty members from their department and student leaders who will share important information and strategies for success with participating new students beginning their educational journey at City Tech. There are also some fun activities and prizes planned for the event!

All first-time, first year, re-entry and transfer students are welcome to attend. Students who have not chosen a major yet can attend the session for Undeclared majors.

A comprehensive listing of all Connect Day locations and information can be found on the Connect Day Student Resource Center on the OpenLab. This site organizes the departments’ information according to which of the three schools they are in: Arts and Sciences, Professional Studies, and Technology and Design. Not sure which department is in which of the three schools at City Tech? You can browse through each list to learn more. There is information about the Connect Day session for Undeclared majors in the list for each of the three schools. The site also includes other information to help orient students to City Tech and college work.

We hope new students find their way to their Connect Day on Thursday, and that faculty and staff members and returning students share this information to help new students find their way to the right place for Connect Day.

Happy connecting!

In the Spotlight: Spring Eggventure!

COMD Spring Eggventure, Spring 2023

Spring is in full bloom, and there is still time to have fun finding eggs with the COMD Spring Eggventure! The COMD Futures Collaboratory, a Communication Design Department site for student and faculty research collaboration, recently shared an updates about their partnership with Membit Inc, to offer everyone at City Tech a fun break from the hectic end of the semester by setting aside some time to look for these eggs at CityTech. It’s an augmented reality experience geolocated on the first floor of the Pearl Hallway at City Tech. When you are on Campus, stop by the Pearl Hallway to catch some or all of the 10 eggs!

To learn more about the Spring Eggventure, and to download the Membit app you’ll need to find the 10 eggs, visit the COMD Futures Collaboratory site.

Want to share the video with others? Remember that you can always embed a YouTube video in a post or page by using a YouTube block. The easiest way to do that is to type /y in a block and choose YouTube from the options that pop up. Add the link and it will appear as a watchable video in your post or page!

In the Spotlight: Literary Arts Festival

Poster with rainbow heart and LGBTQIA+ flag 
City Tech's 42nd annual
Literary Arts Festival
Free & Open To The Public
Featuring Akwaeke Emezi [includes photo]
and City Tech Students
For more info: Megan Behrent
Thursday April 27
The Theater at City Tech
285 Jay Street
Sponsored by: Coordinated Undergraduate Education (CUE), New York City College of Technology
This event is made possible through the generous support of LaGuardia Community College and the New York City Council LGBT and Queer Caucus
LAF 2023 poster

We’re shining the spotlight on this week’s Literary Arts Festival. This Thursday, April 27th, come listen to and celebrate City Tech students whose writing won awards in the LAF writing competition. And don’t miss this year’s featured speaker!

This year’s event features acclaimed multidisciplinary artist, writer, and a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree Akwaeke Emezi, author of Freshwater and the bestsellers You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty and The Death of Vivek Oji.

Not yet familiar with Emezi’s work? The Literary Arts Festival site on the OpenLab includes some great resources for getting to know Emezi and their work. Check out the LAF 2023 Featured Writer: Akwaeke Emezi page, and scroll through the posts highlighting their work. These posts include links to Emezi’s website and featured content, as well as embedded videos of interviews and readings with Emezi.

You can see in the featured post on the LAF site that there is a link to register for the event, along with all the information you need to attend the 2023 City Tech Literary Arts Festival: on Thursday, April 27, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Academic Complex Theater, 285 Jay Street.

In the Spotlight: Coworking

Pollination Hypnosis” by Wayne S. Grazio via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Do you work better when there’s someone else working nearby? Do you seek out spaces like libraries or coffee shops to get work done? You might be interested in coworking !

This idea of coworking and the related idea of body doubling, in which people find better focus or persistence when they have a friend or colleague working in the same in-person or online space, can be effective methods for productivity.

The Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab project is hosting a coworking session this week: Tuesday, April 18, from 1:30-3:30. This is a virtual coworking opportunity, hosted on Zoom. Join at any time from 1:30-3:30, with whatever work you want to accomplish. Check out the Coworking invitation post for more information.

Have other ideas for increased productivity, accountability, and getting through your to-do list? Share them here in the comments!

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: The Seventh Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium

The Spotlight is on the Science Fiction at City Tech website leading up to the Seventh Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium on December 6th, from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. E.ST. The theme for this year is “Science Fiction and the Archive.” The discussions will be on various questions like What role do digital technologies and social networks play in creating the Science Fiction Archive? How can the SF Archive be inclusive and representative? For the second time, the winner of the Analog Award for Emerging Black Voices will be announced by Analog Science Fiction and Fact.  

Co-organizers Jill Belli, Wanett Clyde, Jason W. Ellis, Kel Karpinski, and Lucas Kwong invite everyone to join for the day-long event or stopping by as schedules permit. The event will happen online, free and open to everyone, and will also be livestreamed on YouTube. Links for registration and the livestream on YouTube, along with the symposium program, are available on the Science Fiction at City Tech OpenLab site–that’s also where you can register, RSVP, and learn more about the program.

The event is sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.

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: 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!