In the Spotlight: Spring 2024 Welcome!

Welcome to a new year and the Spring 2024 semester! City Tech is welcoming even more new students and faculty members–so welcome to everyone new, and welcome back to everyone returning!

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

This Winter Break, there were some exciting new features added to the OpenLab, and some updates in response to members’ needs. You can read about them in the January 2024 edition of This Month on the OpenLab. We’re especially excited about this new option to change the visibility of posts made on open sites–now in addition to posts being as open as the course is or private between author and site admin, authors have the option to share their work with only members of the group or only members of the OpenLab.

As the Spring 2024 semester begins, check out the OpenLab’s 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. 
  • Workshops: All are welcome for our calendar of workshops, plus any group can request a workshop on a topic or technique! The next workshops are on Thursday, 2/1:
  • Co-working sessions: for quiet working time with others, with the option to move to a breakout room for conversation or questions. The next co-working session is on 2/16:

There are also great asynchronous options for support:

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and inspiring new year and Spring 2024 semester. See you on the OpenLab!

Photo Credit: “Frozen Peanuts are Slippery!” by DaPuglet via Flickr under the license CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed.

In the Spotlight: PLAN Week Fall 2023

2017 Total Solar Eclipse
2017 Total Solar Eclipse” by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr CC BY 2.0 Deed

It’s PLAN week! That means that from October 30 to November 3, you can take part in Plan Week activities to prepare for advisement and registration (which starts November 9-17th) for winter and/or spring courses, to ensure you are taking the right courses and asking the right questions to stay on the path to graduation and achieving your future goals.

The PLAN Week website 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 City Tech swag!

Each day this week has events and will focus on information to help students plan for their next steps at City Tech:

As you develop your PLAN, remember that you can use the OpenLab to get a preview of the courses you’re interested in registering for, and to develop a better sense of what students are doing as they progress in your major and move toward graduation and their careers.

Take full advantage of in these events, and happy PLANning!

In the Spotlight: Fall 2023 Welcome!

Yellow and pink clouds against a blue sky.
Brooklyn, NY” by Steven Pisano on Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Welcome to a new academic year! City Tech is welcoming even more new students and faculty members–so welcome to everyone new, and welcome back to everyone returning!

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

This summer, there were some exciting new features added to the OpenLab, and some updates in response to members’ needs. You can read about them in the August 2023 edition of This Month on the OpenLab. The option to have different course templates is a great innovation that will make it easier for instructors to build a course site tailored to the course’s needs.

As the Fall 2023 semester begins, check out the OpenLab’s 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. 
  • Workshops: All are welcome for our calendar of workshops, plus any group can request a workshop on a topic or technique! 
  • Co-working sessions: for quiet working time with others, with the option to move to a breakout room for conversation or questions.

There are also great asynchronous options for support:

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

In the Spotlight: Pre-semester Prep

close-up of purple allium flower with a bee
Allium and Honey Bee, Greys Court” by s9-4pr via Flickr CC BY 2.0

As you get busy preparing for the upcoming semester, the OpenLab team is here to support your course building efforts!

Join a Workshop

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

Monday, 8/21/23

  • Getting Started on the OpenLab (express): 1:00-1:30pm
  • Creating a Course Site: 1:30-2:30pm
  • Fostering an Interactive Course Site 2:30-3:30pm

Thursday, 8/24

  • Getting Started on the OpenLab (express): 10:00-10:30am
  • Creating a Course Site: 10:30-11:30am
  • Fostering an Interactive Course Site 11:30am-12:30pm

Follow the 5-part Summer Series

In each of the five installments of this asynchronous Summer Series, the OpenLab team suggests tasks to guide you from creating an account through joining the community to creating courses. No worries if you didn’t start last month–follow along with the installments at your own pace and at your own start date.

Co-work with us

Last semester, the OpenLab team piloted co-working session for quiet working time with others, with the option to move to a breakout room for conversation or questions. Join OpenLab team members on Friday, 8/18/23 at 12:30-1:30pm to start working on your course site, build out your portfolio, sort through your email, anything OpenLab or not OpenLab, or just to be a positive force for anyone else joining who needs that energy!

Help is here

Use Help materials and screencasts to guide your work. Search for your specific topic in the OpenLab’s Help section or navigate through the different sections. You can also reach out for email support by sending a message to us at OpenLab@CityTech.cuny.edu or via our contact form.

Want more? Request a workshop for your group, ask a question, or let us know what else we can do to support you!

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: 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: 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!