Digital Projects

The OpenLab, https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/

I am one of the co-directors for the OpenLab, an open digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating. The OpenLab was launched in Fall 2011 by New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City Tech), a public, urban, commuter institution located in downtown Brooklyn. Built using open-source software (WordPress / BuddyPress), the OpenLab provides an academic social network where students, faculty, and staff connect, create profiles and portfolios, and collaborate in courses, projects, and clubs. Part of a U.S. Department of Education Title-V grant espousing hands-on, active learning to revitalize general education at a college of technology, the OpenLab is a laboratory for networked, open collaboration and multimodal composing.

OL homepageBy bringing their work into the open, the OpenLab’s 16,000+ members move teaching, learning, and scholarship beyond the walls of the college while strengthening the intellectual and social life of City Tech. The OpenLab’s design and ease of use enable students and faculty to connect their work across multiple classes, bridge disciplinary boundaries, experiment with innovative tools and pedagogies, and engage real-world contexts, skills, and audiences and digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaborating at the college.

 

The Writing Studies Tree, http://writingstudiestree.org/

Screen-Shot-WST-homepage-logged-in-1024x455I am a founding member / developer of the Writing Studies Tree (WST), a crowdsourced, online, open-access, interactive database of individual scholars, educational institutions, and the disciplinary movements that connect them. The WST offers an “academic genealogy” for the field of writing studies and related disciplines that serves as a model for visualizing the social history of humanities disciplines. Through a fixed data structure that gives open editing privileges to thousands of members, the site aggregates, visualizes, and recombines data, enabling us to discover large-scale patterns and movements, and thus to map the collaborative interpersonal paths by which a discipline emerges and matures.

wst_gif_kairosThe WST, built in Drupal 7, has a database that currently contains roughly 1,500 people, 450 institutions, and 3,900 relationships, all navigable by browsing, searching, or filtering a graph of the full network. As of now, users can search and view the WST data through three distinct visualizations: the Individual View, the Family Tree View, and the Full Network View.

Users can also add labels through two open taxonomies, allowing navigation by areas of interest or by affiliation with professional organizations. In a significant shift from prior academic genealogies, the WST also provides space for both open-ended narrative contributions and a data structure of nodes and relations, so as to build navigable paths that follow the interpersonal and inter-institutional relationships.

Check out our recent article “The Roots of an Academic Genealogy: Composing the Writing Studies Tree” in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy to learn more about the project.


Society for Utopian Studies, Digital Presence, utopian-studies.org

suslogo (text cleaned up by Sarah, October 2014(As the current web developer for the North American Society for Utopian Studies, I have reconceptualized and redesigned this professional organization’s web presence. I created an interactive, collaborative digital space for the Society, built on the open-source software WordPress / BuddyPress (the same software that powers City Tech’s OpenLab: see ablove) that serves both as an archive and resource for utopian scholarship and pedagogical materials, and as a crucial networking tool for scholars in the field. This digital presence also involves websites for the Society’s annual conferences (currently powered by Open Conference Systems); the Society newsletter, Utopus Discovered; Teaching Utopia (a site that aggregates/discusses utopian syllabi/assignments), a utopian bibliography; and activity on social media (Facebook and Twitter).