Tag: tech ed

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Back to Teaching Reminders!

a colorful digital illustration of an abstract series of jazz musicians playing various musical instruments together

Welcome Back!

Obviously there is a lot to say and catch up on, but first and foremost, a reminder of Empathy.

I would like to ask my fellow teaching colleagues far and wide to consider this information as you begin teaching your courses again this fall. Our students, colleagues and campus communities need us more than ever this semester.

Whether you are teaching 1 course or 7, this applies to all.

Keywords – Patience, Empathy, Compassion, Creativity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Community

1. There is no ego in teaching. Be an example of patience, compassion, empathy and understanding. Make this your mantra. Your energy is contagious! Meaning, your vibration carries information to each and every person in the classroom (in person or virtual.) The emotional state of your vibration creates rapport between people. You can set the vibration for the semester in your first-class meeting by expressing your gratitude, excitement, appreciation and enthusiasm for teaching and meeting your new students. Again, this is contagious energy!

2. Take acute awareness that your course(s) holds all of the potential to be an incredibly unique learning experience in and of itself. I mean this far beyond any of the specific course content that will be covered throughout the semester. Acknowledge, we are all human beings coming into the course from various places and stages in our journey together on this planet. There is always a part of each and every one of us within each other. Whether it is an example of who you once were, relate to now, or a reflection of the future you to come. There you are.

3. Think about the fact that yourself, and the group of incoming students will be having a new experience in the same physical or virtual space, at the same time for the next 15 weeks. This experience, with the exact same people, in the exact same “space” and time frame will never happen again. Discuss and discover your similarities and collective strengths as a class and how those individual characteristics form the modular fragments that make up the whole. Every class is a community. It will function as one with great energy if it is declared collectively.

4. Create a community! Every course holds the potential to be platform for collaboration and community building. This means, setting up a series of dialogs early on for learning about each other. What are the passions, concerns and ambitions of each student, how are they taking steps to realize those things? Remind yourself before, during and after each class; what roll do you play as a leader and facilitator of inspiration for your students?

5. Realize, our students are teaching us far more than we are teaching them. (read that again if you need to) If you have a classroom of 20 students, then a minimum of 20 new potentialities, solutions, variations and iterations will be generated, worked on, crafted, discussed, written, spoken, presented uniquely and shared back to you (and the class itself) for each assignment. That is a tremendous amount of information and energy. Remember, there is no EGO in teaching, so whether these outcomes please your expectations or not, you have been exposed to a new opportunity to help, learn, grow and see things from another’s perspective. The sum total of awareness from openly experiencing things from another’s point of view is the diminishment of competition-based thinking, and the humble transition into seeing infinite creativity.

6. Do you really think that you are going to inspire your new students this semester by spending the first-class meeting time reading the entire syllabus? Place an emphasis on our collective human-ness first and foremost. Your class(s) are communities awaiting the declaration of its potentiality. Introductions should be the first thing that happens. Learn each other’s names, share stories, connect and learn about each other.

7. Make all of your content Accessible and Inclusive! A single method of sharing course materials is completely outdated in 2021! Make a commitment to learning new skills that will facilitate and foster accessibility and inclusion across your teaching methodologies. If you are using audio and video, make sure that there is a written transcript and real time closed captions available at all times. Use high contrast visuals and plug-ins that give the user the ability to visually tweak and control the value and contrast of what is on their screen. Add alt-text to images for screen reader access, and do some research on “accessibility & inclusion”. Your campus has an office for this and are there to help. Reach out. This is your responsibility. Most of all, ASK your students what THEY NEED for them to best receive the teaching materials.

If you need some help with this, please reach out to me – rseslow@york.cuny.edu 

 

Keywords – Patience, Empathy, Compassion, Creativity, Accessibility, Inclusion & Community

 

Have a wonderful Semester!

 

Feel free to add to this thread in the comments section below!

mmm.page Creative Awesomeness

mmm.page Creative Awesomeness

Ah, the speed and the beauty of the Internet! The Internet will always find out, and the Internet will compel you to share! Less than a week ago I was “woke” to mmm.page by my fellow colleague, collaborator, mentor and friend; MBS, aka Michael Branson Smith! MBS has an amazing acute radar for discovering all kinds of new creative digital tools! He always finds them first and so graciously alerts me right away! This past Wednesday he did this with mmm.page! He shilled me an example of what he created using his mobile device, I was impressed and activated! I jumped right in. I signed in. No password needed, just input your e-mail address and wait for the link to verify – that is all that is needed. Within 2 minutes I was in and creating…

I became reflective, immediately. A lot of digital artists and educators like myself may recall Net-Art creation sites like “newhive” and “to.be” back in the late 2010 – 2015-ish years. Those platforms were super cool for the time, purely web browser dependent, Net-Art making machines that pushed the context of the tool so far ahead. Both platforms created huge communities and produced a lot of new artists, art stars, web browser enthusiasts and educators. The creative potential of the web browser continues to excite me. The truth is, if you build it, they will come, mmm.page has brought this ability and energy back! I have been literally looking for something like this since both newhive and to.be vanished.. I know a lot of other artists, designers, educators and creatives also feel this way too. Bottom line, the site invites your energy, awesomeness and creative immediacy. Let me says that again, creative immediacy. Creative immediacy is the action that is taken once we become inspired and mmm.page is a bolt of lighting in terms of creative immediacy.

The site is for everyone! Of course I am speaking and sharing from my own personal interests, examples and awareness of how I want to use the tool, but, thats just one perspective. The tool can easily be used for digital art making, but more importantly to make beautiful websites of all kinds, and to expand the context of what a website is and can be. Plus, just how much creative control we have with in the web browser space itself. This is also a creative license to develop a digital identity! (And, we may create many!) This excites the hell out of me. The creator of mmm.page is called “xh”. xh -is a super cool person who is community oriented and has allowed for me to begin infiltrating the platform 🙂 I immediately reached out and made a connection. I love supporting new projects, participating and making new friends. Its always fun to connect with like-minded awesome peeps who want to make and share utilitarian tools that can help others. Cheers to xh!

 

This post is just part 1 of the many that I feel I can write about mmm.page! Im excited to bring the site’s capabilities back into the realm of teaching and creating a series of both individual projects and collaborations between students, faculty and campuses. And of course I hope that MBS will participate! (I know he will!) Im also excited to develop a new body of digital art works using the site and meeting new people in the community. 

The first thing I did with mmm.page.. I applied MBS’s tip, I made a piece and shared it immediately as a part of guest talk and workshop I gave with CUNY Graduate Center students. The students were asked to use the site and jumped right in! – You can see that post here! (the results from the workshop are still flowing in as we speak)

 

I then got busy creating, playing and generating the examples below:

 

Here is the first series of my experiments made with mmm.page 

(click each URL and take a tour – most pieces are made via the desktop version but the last two links were made via mobile)

 

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.main

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.multi_drama

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.forward_motion

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.art_history_remix

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.parttwo

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.revolutions

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.MobileFlow

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.Mobilized

 

Do you like what you see above? Great, I thought so! Now, below you will see how things can be expanded upon further. The images below are full page screen shots taken with “GoFullPage” which is a free google chrome web browser extension that allows one to, well, get a full page screen shot. You can save the screen shot as a .PNG or a .PDF file. I began doing this with my mmm.page creations and then opening them in Adobe Illustrator to live trace them into vector files (I know, fancy fancy). As you know, vectors are scalable, you can make them and use them as small or as big as you wish, and they print really well too. So, mmm.page became both a creation and teaching tool as well as a catalyst to push things further. And of course adobe illustrator allows for infinite recoloring potentials.. Perhaps these pieces below will become 1/1 edition NFTs? Hmmm, lets see.. In the meantime, scroll below. PS – I may re-use these as background image settings for my next mmm.page creation. (fist bump)

More to come!

 

Teaching Website Examples Via WordPress & the Commons

This blog post is a contribution that I made for the CUNY BMCC Open Pedagogy website here on the Academic Commons. I am lucky to be a part of the BMCC teaching and learning team this summer!

This blog post will serve as a series of examples to help inspire, format and display the myriads of potentials that wordpress based websites offer for teaching, learning, presenting, publishing, archiving & sharing. I am drawing from my own courses and examples here, please feel free to leave comments below or in the forum. My examples range from my courses on the academic commons, the Openlab, and a self-hosted private website. All of which use the wordpress interface.

The question I continue to ask myself through these experiences is; “what are the ongoing potentials of this website/ blog  /blog post(s) as an experience?”  How can I offer more value?  I start with a draft and build/generate content over time as I go. For me, this is a really fun process, I enjoy creating and curating my courses and course content! By all means, be experimental, ask questions, and most of all have fun with the process. 

Lets jump in! Perhaps you will click on each example and take a brief tour of each site listed below as you read through here. you can always open each link in a new tab and compare and contrast them as well.

1. https://ct101.usCT101 – Digital Storytelling. (This is the example that I share at the workshop)  This website is a good example of how the course functions as both a repository of content, course calendar and assignment bank with students contributing as authors to the website. The course calendar page is populated with many creative projects that you can follow along with on your own. CT101 is a hybrid course, it is meant to be accessible for distant learners.

 

2. https://bmccmma100.commons.gc.cuny.eduThis is a foundation graphic design course that places an emphasis on learning the elements and principles of design in relationship to industry standard software applications (Adobe CC). The website serves as the course guide and calendar. Weekly blog posts are published to share assignments, assignment descriptions, research, resources, examples, videos and student contributions via the comment section.

 

3. https://netart.commons.gc.cuny.edu Net Art is a CUNY-Wide open source course, collaborative exhibition space, research project and experimental “such-ness” created specifically for the Commons. The course is a template and repository for animated GIFs, digital art and video art projects. Contributions come from other CUNY professors, students,  courses and beyond! You are welcome to participate and or use any of the projects for yourself and your courses! Submit!

 

4. Creating presentation content in the blog post format – https://bit.ly/2IZN76O This example will most likely be published as its own blog post here later but I also wanted to include it as a part of this post for contrast. Sometimes an individual blog post can inspire the building of an entire website. This is what this post has inspired for myself. In March of 2019 I was in invited to conduct a workshop at the Graduate Center for the Digital Humanities Initiatives program. The workshop was an introduction to graphic design in relationship to applying it to content created for websites, especially those teaching on the commons and with wordpress. (There are tons of resources here! Enjoy!)

5. Piloting on the OpenLab – https://openlab.bmcc.cuny.edu/mma100-seslow-spring-2019/For the spring of 2019 I was invited to pilot my BMCC MMA100 Graphic Design class on the OpenLab – there are many similarities between the Commons and the OpenLab. I am placing this link and example here for visual contrast. Many of you may find yourselves also working with both platforms as you move forward developing courses at BMCC and in CUNY.

Thoughts and feedback? Feel free to leave a comment and or visit us in the learning lounge during our summer hours!

PS- if you would like to see another creative example of a wordpress blog / portfolio website that mixes together a series of different things, check out my blog here –  https://ryanseslow.com 🙂

PSS – Do you see typos? Help me out 🙂