In the Spotlight: Building an ePortfolio

Draft and Finished Postcards, by Adrika Hoque

As students get started showing their work–for further studies or when applying for jobs–an ePortfolio is a great way to get started demonstrating their experience!

This spotlight brings an example of a sophomore student portfolio to show how students can take advantage of class assignments to start building their own portfolios to highlight relevant job skills. Even classes and topics that are not the student’s main interest will give variety to one’s curriculum and contribute to show experience with different tools and approaches.

Adrika Hoque’s ePortfolio also gives some nice examples on how blog posts can be a great format for image analysis, as it lets the author pick their preferred balance between text and images. Even though social media platforms such as Instagram are great in their reach, posts on an ePortfolio allow for a better balance of image and text, allowing for a deeper examination and comparison. 

A good example of the potential is the Visual Quote Project post (created in her first year at City Tech) in which Adrika shows her work with different concept drafts and explains each of them. In the end, after the reader is acquainted with the logic behind each, she puts them all side-by-side so we can compare and better appreciate each of the images.

Students working on getting an ePortfolio started can browse through all the great ePortfolio examples from their classmates. As you find other ePortfolios you’d like us to spotlight,  let us know!

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: 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:

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: The Seventh Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium

Grey space ship and stars on blue background

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.