Virtues from Motherhood: My work with the FYLC and OpenLab

On March 3rd I attended the second of three workshops with the FYLC, this one about using the OpenLab as a tool in the classroom. The discussion ranged from technical to academic concerns, all while trying to bridge the gap between high school and college. At the last workshop the focus was the struggles incoming college students deal with but this time the focus shifted to how to get them involved and engaged in the classrooms. With me at this workshop were the some of the masterminds here at The Buzz, Jill Belli and Phil Kreniske, who helped the audience of professors and faculty, understand the benefits and best practices surrounding the OpenLab.

My portion of this workshop was centered around my use of the OpenLab, how it’s benefited me as a student and peer mentor and how professors can better use the OL to get students excited and engaged with the work. I use the OL for many tasks on campus, like right now as a blogger, but I also use it as a peer mentor to orchestrate and update the FYLC page and of course in my own courses. I love the OL and I love the uniqueness and open concept it represents, versus blackboard which is gray in more than one sense of the word. The OpenLab gives students control, a say in essence, that they don’t otherwise have with academic websites and that makes a world of difference for a student.

As a college student I’ve seen multiple websites and hosts for academia but the OL has got to be my favorite because it in a sense reminds me of a social media platform. It’s colorful and it’s easy to access and connect to my other go to apps. Students are already online, on their phones, so why not make a platform that works seamlessly with a students lifestyle because don’t forget the millennial era student has a much larger digital footprint than previous generations.

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