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My Favorites of the Week: The 2010 Blizzard Edition!

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Hello CUNYs and welcome to my last “my favorites” of the year — brrrr!!! I hope none of you were among the 400 stranded on the A train yesterday! I also hope that everyone was able to share the holidays with the ones they love. Speaking of which, I wanted to show some love for my last favorites of 2010…

Starting off the ‘2010 Blizzard Edition’ is a blog post from Anthony Picciano (@apicciano), in which he shares some great pics from his POV of the epic blizzard of 2010.

Blizzard 2010 New York!
Although I was visiting upstate, NY during the actual blizzard, I experienced the aftermath of delayed trains and saw lots of abandoned cars while utilizing ill-equipped mass transit services. I had to walk home from the subway with bags around my ill-equipped boots, but at least I had some fully-equipped southern Brooklyn style pizza to welcome me back!
I'd rather be holding this box of pizza than stuck in that stranded minivan!

I'd rather be holding this box of pizza than stuck in that stranded minivan!

My next favorite is an update from Daisy Dominguez (@daisilla) where she sends Maura Smale (@msmale) a public message about incorporating the Academic Commons feed into her RockMelt Web Browser.

Having never heard of RockMelt, I was eager to do some exploring. I was a little bummed to learn that I couldn’t download the web 2.0 enhancing web browser immediately, but happy to read a conversation between Maura and Daisy in which Daisy explains:

RockMelt keeps me from having to log onto FB & Twitter multiple times since I can kind of see what’s going on with their navigation. They even have a navigation thing on the right for CUNY Academic Commons so I can see what other people are up to kinda like on FB so I like that, too. I have trouble logging onto it sometimes, though, especially from my PC at work.

Thanks for posting about this time saving web 2.0 tool, Daisy. I look forward to receiving my invitation and posting about my experience as well.

My next favorite this week is an update from Guila Guarnieri (@giulia), inviting members of the Commons to view materials developed for the BCC podcasting program.
Podcasting at BCC
I’m quite impressed at the scope of this project and I’m looking forward to learning more about it this upcoming spring semester. If you get a chance, be sure to check out BCC’s podcasting resources and provide some feedback.

Next up is a forum topic from the Open Access group entitled: OA presentation at the CUNY IT Conference.

Maura Smale (@msmale) shares some slides and handouts from the Open Access presentations at the #CUNYIT Conference held at John Jay College on December 3, 2010. Many thanks for sharing some great OA resources, Maura! If you want to learn more about the Day 1 session, please check out @valeriefutch’s terrific blog post where she highlights different sessions throughout the day.

Speaking of conferences (or rather “unconferences”), my last favorite of this week (and year) is a forum topic in the Digital Humanities Initiative group entitled: THATCamp New York.


In this post, grad student Jonathan Eskew (@toomanywords) reaches out to fellow CUNYs to find out who would be interested in putting together a cross-university THATCamp in New York. From the looks of the THATCamp website, the “unconference” will take place November 11th & 12 of next year and from the looks of the forum thread, there are a lot of interested CUNYs!

Well, that’s all for 2010… May you all have a wonderful New Year!

See you next year!! = )

Favorites of the Week: Thanksgiving Edition

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Thanksgiving has come and gone and this year I am thankful for many things — including my favorites of the week!

The first favorite I am thankful for is an update from Donna Gruber (@dygruber), linking to Queen College’s Hybrid Bootcamp Winter 2011: Call for Participants page.

Queens College’s Center for Teaching and Learning is inviting faculty to participate in the second round of their mentoring program that focuses on the development of hybrid courses to be taught Fall 2011.  If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Fraboni (@mfraboni,, 718.997.5324). The deadline is Wednesday, December 15th so be sure to mark your calendar!

Speaking of of which, you should also mark your calendar for my next favorite posted on the CUNY Games Network — a demo of an Emergency Shelter Course in Second Life.

On Wednesday, December 15th Andrew Bowarsky from CUNY School of Professional Studies will co-present with Anders Gronstedt from the Grondtedt Group on NYC’s Emergency Management course, which utilizes the Second Life platform. Second Life is a 3D virtual world where multiple users can connect in real time. Attend the presentation either  in-person at the Graduate Center or participate online as an avatar in Second Life at 11a.m. on December 15th. Those interested, please contact @aboyarsky at

My next favorite this week is from Maura Smale, who also posted on the CUNY Games Network

Maura started a forum thread about a recently launched Web site called Play the Past ( This collaboratively edited site is:

dedicated to thoughtfully exploring and discussing the intersection of cultural heritage (very broadly defined) and games/meaningful play (equally broadly defined).

Authors not only span many academic fields, but across the entire country — representing multiple perspectives on complex cultural and technological issues. Thanks for sharing @msmale!

Next up this week is a helpful post from Shawn M. on the WordPress HELP!! forum.

Soon after member @shirablum posted a question about problems she was experiencing installing the Google Calendar plug-in on her WordPress blog, Shawn and I worked together on the forum to trouble-shoot. Shawn posted some great instructions which laid out how to activate the plug-in as a sidebar widget and I explained how to display events on a specific page. If you’re interested in activating this plug-in on your blog, I would highly recommend reading this helpful forum thread. Many thanks @shawnm!

The last favorite activity that I am thankful for a wiki edit from Lee Hachadorian (@leehach) on the Educational Blogs wiki page.

Many thanks Lee for not only have a fantastically great profile picture, but for contributing some great links to the Education Blogs wiki!

And now for some Cherpumple Monster Pie – is your stomach turning too?!

Favorites of the Week: Episode 2

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Hello CUNYs and welcome to the second installment of “Favorites of the Week” (minus the video bonus). With so many great activities running rampant on the Commons I admit that it took some time to narrow my favorites down to five this week… so I decided to go with seven!

First up is an update posted by CUNY’s University Director on Academic Technology, George Otte.

George posts about the Agenda for Day 1 and the Agenda for Day 2 for the 9th Annual CUNY IT Conference. I’m certainly looking forward to presenting at John Jay on 12/3 and attending the 12/14 event at the Grad Center. Thanks for posting @gotte, hope to see you there!

Next up is an update from Donna Gruber, who posted an update about a Tech Tuesday presentation at Queens College on 11/9.

In her update, Donna links to a fantastic presentation from Rowena Lee @rowenali. Professor Lee’s presentation highlights social media’s role in reshaping instruction — from communication transformation to challenges facing both instructors and learners (and much more). Even though I was not able to attend the presentation at Queens College, I’m grateful that Donna posted this update so I could view this wonderful presentation. Thanks @dygruber!

My next favorite this week is an update posted by, well… me. I posted an update in which I mentioned @msmale, thus sending her a public message on the Commons.

I wrote to Maura about not being able to attend the Rip: Remix Manifesto film screening during Open Access Week 2010 and, because Maura is awesome, she replied to my update posting a link to the film that I missed. You’re a champion for the cause @msmale, thanks for sharing!

Next up is a forum post from CUNY Academic Commons Project Director Matt Gold to the group Creative Commons & Copyright: Resources for Teaching Faculty.

In this forum post Matt explains to the group members that their group is now the featured group on the Commons home page, thus bringing some well deserved attention to the wiki page: Creative Commons Copyright  Resources WIKI. This wiki page is a collaborative resource that was started by the LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning and the Library. Of course there’s always room for more resources on any wiki page, so feel free to add to this list!

My next favorite this week is a wiki edit from Charlie Edwards called Blogs to Follow.

I’m very grateful to have come across this page, which was created as part of the Digital Humanities Resource Guide. This wiki page includes a brief selection of assorted bloggers, blogs for Center/Institutions, and CUNY blogs. I’m definitely going to add some of these to my blogroll! Readers, please help build out this list, by discipline/area of focus.

The next favorite on my list is a blog post from Rob Laurich called Pat’s Papers – a unique scanning of today’s newspapers.

Rob posts about NY1’s Pat Kiernan bringing his In the Papers segment to the Web. The website Pat’s Papers delivers the best daily stories ranging from international news to domestic politics to science to gossip. Thanks for sharing @madlibrarian!

Wrapping up my favorites this week is a forum post by John Boy to the group Open Access Publishing Network at CUNY.

Posting the topic “A Free Culture chapter at the Grad Center?“, John reaches out to other Graduate Center students, academics and activists passionate about creating a participatory and innovative society. For more information, visit: If anyone is interested in getting involved, please send a message to @jboy or post a reply to the group.

Well that covers my seven favorite activities this week (but not necessarily from this week). So, why seven instead of five? In case you don’t remember my answer from the beginning of this post, I’ll let Jerry Seinfeld explain…

Favorites of the Week: Episode 1

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One of the nifty features that @boonebgorges added to the CUNY Academic Commons towards the end of last semester is called My Favorites. This BuddyPress plug-in allows members to go through the activity stream of “My Commons” and the News page marking items of interest for further reading — thus extending their personal learning network.  

I like to take a few minutes each day to look through the news activity stream and bookmark group updates, wiki edits, forum threads, blog posts and mentions so I can look at them more closely when I have some free time. And, now that I have some free time, I wanted to share with you my favorites this week. Please feel free to watch the webisode, read the blog or both!

(click here to subscribe to the iTunes podcast)

 First up is a forum post for the CUNY Games Network, posted by Kimon Keramidas. 

Cutting to the chase, Kimon posts some great resources about “gamification”. The article from the Chronical of Higher Education explains,  

“it’s hard to deny that structuring learning experiences around frustration/reward dynamics can lead to engaged learners”.  

The second article from challenges the notion that gamers are typically lazy and unmotivated, indicating,  

  “The “gamer brain” is rather good at getting things done. We’re mentally trained to hang in until we accomplish our objectives.” 

Both of these articles discuss the benefits of “gamification”, which utilizes game design concepts to get people to participate and enjoy things that they normally wouldn’t. The second article, written by Leigh Alexander, highlights her fear about people not being able to exist spontaneously because they will become too dependant on these receiving positive feedback for everything. 

Great forum post, thanks for sharing @kkeramidas! 

My next favorite is a blog post written by our very own community facilitator Brian Foote entitled “Statement of Purpose“.   

In his ideological post, Brian states that “open source” is not a new idea, explaining: 

  “I don’t think it’s a stretch to think back to CUNY’s free days as something akin to analog open-source.” 

While CUNY is no longer “free” for New Yorkers, open-source has found a new expression at CUNY in the form of the CUNY Academic Commons. Brian also stresses the importance of feedback noting, 

“your feedback on the site tells us the directions to go in and what we can do to make things better.” 

  Well put @brianfoote! 

While we’re on the topic of open-source, my next favorite is a forum post by Rebecca Brown Cesarani from the group, Open Education at CUNY.Rebecca shares and summarizes the NYTimes article “Why Innovation isn’t a Matter of Left of Right” written by Steven Johnson. The author subverts the conventional wisdom that market forces drive innovation. Johnson notes the importance of the “fourth quadrant”, which is: 

“the space of collaborative, nonproprietary innovation, exemplified in recent years by the Internet and the Web, two groundbreaking innovations not owned by anyone.”    

Johnson explains that while the incentives for innovation in the fourth quadrant are low so are the barriers — noting,  

“The Internet is the ultimate example of how fourth-quadrant innovation actually supports market developments: a platform built by a loosely affiliated group of public-sector and university visionaries that has become one of the most powerful engines of wealth creation in modern times.”    

Very insightful @rbcesarani! 

Next up is the activity of Scott Voth, who edited the wiki page “Privacy on the Commons“. 


This wiki page in the “Help” category has a lot of great information for members about Wiki Privacy, Blog Privacy and Group Privacy. Now if I need to get information about privacy on the Commons I know just where to go, thanks @scottvoth! 

I’ll end my Favorites of the Week on a blog post written by Rob Laurich entitled “Will Newsweek Survive?”. 


In his post, Rob explains that the magazine Newsweek was recently sold for an entire dollar to 92 year old tycoon Sidney Harman. He also links to New York Magazine’s article “Newsboy“, where author Steve Fishman explains the drama behind the deal and leaves us wondering about Newsweek’s uncertain future. 

Thanks for blogging about this @madlibrarian! 


In staying with the whole “sharing is caring” theme of this blog, what are some of your Favorites?? Please feel free to share one by adding your comment below!

These are a few of MY FAVORITE(S) things…

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Well it’s officially November — do you know what that means? A new project of mine called MY FAVORITES of the Week — a series of posts and podcasts which will highlight my favorite things happening on the CUNY Academic Commons.

My Favorite things — a familiar term, not simply because you’ve memorized all the lyrics from The Sound of Music movie, but because MY FAVORITES is a feature on the CUNY Academic Commons! Watch the video below to learn more about this time-saving aggregating plug-in…

Be sure to check back this weekend for my first MY FAVORITES of the Week post!

MY FAVORITES of the Week

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