In the Spotlight: Story-telling in Interactive Fiction, FYLC

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This week we’re shining the spotlight on Story-telling in Interactive Fiction, a first year learning community (FYLC) organized by Professor Jackie Blain who teaches English, and Professor Candido Cabo and Professor Ashwin Satyanarayana who teach Computer Science courses. The three courses in this community will support students in creating an interactive fiction game over the course of the semester.

Storytelling is one critical and tricky aspect of an interactive fiction game, and is the main focus in the English class of this FYLC. In interactive fiction games, storytelling is more complex than in a novel because the ‘interactive’ component of ‘interactive fiction’ means those ‘reading’ the story get to participate and make certain decisions about how the characters’ stories unfold. Thus the storyteller – here, the students – needs to create multiple scenarios and options that allow readers to forge their own path. This process can seem intimidating, particularly if one is an inexperienced storyteller. Seeming to anticipate this, Professor Blain has scaffolded the writing assignments so that students begin developing their storytelling skills by telling the stories they know best – those about themselves!

Storytelling is not the only challenging aspect of this FYLC. Students will also need to develop the technical skills that will be needed to actually create the game. In the computer science courses students will discuss programming and games, Game Design Documents and learn how to use Python, a programming language, to create a video game based on the story developed in their English course.

We encourage you to check some of the stories students are now sharing through various assignments, such as the About College project where students will reflect on their first weeks at CityTech, and to check back at the end of the semester to see what kinds of games students have come up with, and if possible, play a few of them!

In the Spotlight: Welcome back!

OpenLab's The Open Road LogoGreetings City Tech community, and for those of you on break during the summer months, welcome back! We missed you over the summer! As you get back into the swing of things, make sure to join the Open Road and check out what we have planned for you all this semester. As you may know, the Open Road is our one-stop-shop for everything ‘OpenLab’. Here you can find out when/where our workshop for students and workshops for faculty* are (see Calendar also), when our office hours are, and any additional news and updates we have for you. For example, our latest news post informs you of all the updates we’ve made to the OpenLab over the summer.

Also, check out ‘People’s Choice’, a new-ish feature on the Open Road where OpenLab members can recommend sites to be featured on ‘In the Spotlight’. Recommend a site today!

We also encourage you to check out our student blogging team, The Buzz!

As always, the OpenLab Community Team is here for you. Contact us online or at OpenLab@citytech.cuny.edu. We look forward to hearing from you!

*This semester we have two new workshops for faculty – one focusing on copyright and attribution, and another focusing on annotation, both of which are tied to our Open Pedagogy events happening this semester. Join Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab for more on these events.

In the Spotlight: The Buzz is Hiring!

The Buzz is hiring for the upcoming academic year, and we’re seeking motivated, creative students to join our team! The Buzz is an OpenLab student project where students blog about themselves and topics of their choice (e.g., architecture in NYC, food, motherhood, academic discovery, the immigrant experience, and “Humans of City Tech”).

Why Join the OpenLab Student Blogging Team?

  • Publish your work on the OpenLab and develop a public portfolio of professional writing
  • Gain real-world blogging experience, build your resume, and get paid $500 per semester
  • Learn best practices for developing an online presence, personal brand, and using social media

Please help us to spread the word to any eligible students at City Tech. Applications are due Tuesday, May 16, 2016 by 5pm.  We can’t wait to hear from you!

Faculty and staff, we welcome (and encourage!) your recommendations of strong candidates. If there is a student (or students) you would like to recommend for the position, please email Professor Jill Belli, Co-Director of the OpenLab, at jbelli@citytech.cuny.edu and cc the OpenLab (openlab@citytech.cuny.edu).

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In the Spotlight: The Open Road

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Image source: George Hodan

Hello all, happy new year, and welcome back (nearly)! It’s that time of the year again when professors are scrambling to finish composing their classes, finalize assignments and get their course sites up and running on the OpenLab. With this in mind, this week we’d like to, once again, bring your attention to the Open Road, your one-stop-shop for ‘all things OpenLab’. The site houses information about our monthly updates, office hours, detailed information about our upcoming workshops and our weekly blog series, ‘In the Spotlight’.

Here at the OpenLab we are committed to helping you start the semester off right. With this in mind, we are offering numerous workshops in the next couple of weeks. We have workshops for everyone from first- or second-time to more advanced users (our ‘Open Hours’ are most appropriate for the latter) and remember, newly-attending part-time faculty receive a stipend. RSVP today (January / Spring 2017) !

‘In the Spotlight’ is another resource on the Open Road that may be helpful in making sure you are prepared this Spring. ‘In the Spotlight’ is a weekly blog that highlights best practices in site-making and course design here on the OpenLab. Thus, the archive – being full of analytic course reviews – is an important resource for thinking about how your site or course might be structured or what kinds of assignments might be possible when hosted on the OpenLab. In case you didn’t know, ‘In the Spotlight’ also has a participatory feature, ‘People’s Choice’, wherein you have the opportunity to recommend sites to be featured in the weekly series. Check it out and make a recommendation!

We look forward to hearing from you and working with you more closely this semester!

In the Spotlight: Introducing “People’s Choice”

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Image Credit: Geralt

“In the Spotlight,” housed on the Open Road, is a blog series that aims to showcase all the amazing work our students, faculty and staff are doing by featuring a different course, project, club or ePortfolio each week. Specifically, we highlight the unique ways users are designing their sites to meet their teaching, learning, professional, and/or extracurricular needs. Taken together, this collection of sites is a testament to the expansiveness of the OpenLab community and the diverse ways members are using the platform.

In addition to continuing this tradition this semester, we’re also introducing a new feature called “People’s Choice.” People’s Choice calls on all users and visitors of the OpenLab to recommend sites they feel are particularly successful and exemplify the excellence we promote here, “In the Spotlight,” on the Openlab. So start exploring all of the amazing sites on the OpenLab, and use this form to let us know what you like and why!

We look forward to hearing from you soon about which sites are your favorites!

In the Spotlight: Apply to become an OpenLab Student Blogger or Photoblogger!

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Apply to become an OpenLab Student Blogger or Photoblogger!

The Buzz is hiring! We are an Openlab student project dedicated to all things City Tech, where students blog about themselves and/or topics of their choice. We seek enthusiastic student bloggers to join The Buzz and create conversation, community, and engagement on the OpenLab and strengthen the intellectual and social life of the college community.

Why join the OpenLab student blogging team?

  • Publish your work on the OpenLab and develop a public portfolio of professional writing
  • Learn best practices for managing an online presence, social media writing professionally, and developing a personal brand
  • Build your resume and get paid $500/semester

Contact us at openlab@citytech.cuny.edu & jbelli@citytech.cuny.edu if you’re interested. See the full call below and submit the complete application by Monday, October 10th at 12 pm. Interviews will be conducted shortly after.

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In the Spotlight: The Open Road, of course!

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Welcome back faculty, staff, and students! We missed you this summer! Whether you’re returning to the OpenLab or signing up for the first time, remember to join the Open Road. The project is the one-stop-shop for the OpenLab’s Community Team. Here we keep you, our users, up to date on all the site’s goings-on, including news and updates. Check back here to find our office hours, workshops for students, or workshops faculty and staff. See our OpenLab calendar for all OpenLab events. And of course don’t forget about our Spotlight posts, where we highlight excellence and innovation on the OpenLab each week.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to join The Buzz, too, our student-run site!

As always, the OpenLab Community Team is here for you. Contact us online or at OpenLab@citytech.cuny.edu.

In the Spotlight: Crear Futuros

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The OpenLab is not for coursework alone! City Tech’s CREAR Futuros is a great example of a clean and straight-forward project on the site. CREAR Futuros, a joint project of the Hispanic Federation and the City University of New York, is dedicated to bringing increasing attention and resources to improve educational achievement and economic opportunity to Latinos. The OpenLab project site supports these goals by offering resources and information to City Tech’s Latino students. Students can come to the site to get oriented to opportunities offered by CREAR Futuros, to find contact information for key team members, and to learn about upcoming cultural events. Check out the site for an example of just one of many exciting projects that are using the OpenLab to build community within City Tech and beyond.

 

In the Spotlight: COMD Internship Coordination Site

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It’s that time of year when students are searching for internships. Luckily, Prof. Tanya Goetz’s Communication Design Internship Coordination Site is a one-stop shop designed to help students in the COMD Department find internships to meet fieldwork and study requirements. These internships can include placements at advertising agencies, graphic design firms, corporate design offices, and more. The site is self-explanatory, with pages for necessary internship documents, links to resources and databases for finding an internship such as the City Tech Professional Development Center, support for student networking, and resources for both academic and professional writing. Have no fear, students. The COMD Internship site is here.

 

In the Spotlight: New Features on The Open Road

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The Open Road has been updated, with new easy-to-use features! Check out our OpenLab Calendar where you can see the month’s upcoming workshops, events, and office hours. See OpenLab News for weekly announcements and updates. And stay tuned for This Month in the OpenLab, a monthly post that will announce new developments on the site, including the plugins that you’ve requested. As always, we will continue to highlight noteworthy courses, projects, clubs, and ePortfolios in the Spotlight, and you will always be able to RSVP to workshops from the Workshops and Events menu item.