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Technology Day 2015

Mary Sepp, Academic Literacy and Linguistics

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Some topics discussed at BMCC’s 2015 Technology Day were: the possible development of a GPS app for BMCC, designing personal health apps in the classroom, and e-texts as an alternative to costly textbooks. Gone are the days of cynicism or fear over the use of technology in academia. We are moving forward and now asking “Not IF, but HOW.” This was the theme of Technology Day, which took place on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in Richard Harris Terrace and the Promenade. Over 140 members of BMCC faculty and staff attended the event.


Strategies Going Forward

Joseph Spadaro, BMCC’s Vice President of Information Technology, gave the keynote address. He spoke about plans to improve and enhance the functioning and efficiency of technology at the college, including better integration of Degree Works with CUNY First and the possible development of a GPS app for BMCC. 

Two sessions of concurrent faculty/staff presentations followed. Session One featured Prof. Lori Hoepner (Health Education), who spoke in the Promenade on “The Design and Pitch of a Personal Health App,” while in Richard Harris Terrace a panel of three – Janey Flanagan (E-Learning), Prof. Eda Henao (Modern Languages), and Prof. Lisa Rose (Social Sciences, Human  Services and Criminal Justice) – discussed the current state of E-Learning at the college and strategies going forward.  

In session 2, Prof. Chris Stein, Chair of Media Arts and Technology, spoke about some of CUNY’s innovative and successful technology projects, such as CUNY Academic Commons, City Tech Open Lab, and Macaulay e-Portfolio. Next door in the Promenade, Prof. Jean Amaral (Library) presented an alternative to the rising cost of college textbooks in “Getting Started with Open Education Resources.”

Provost and Senior Vice President Karrin Wilks at lunchtime invited everyone to enjoy the pizza and soft drinks. 


Five Minutes of Fame

The Five Minutes of Fame segment began promptly after lunch. There were six presenters, each with five minutes to present and five minutes for questions and just enough time to transition to the next speaker. Presentations were on a wide range of topics, from Maple software for Calculus (Prof. Lina Wu, Mathematics, and Prof. Adam Li, Mathematics) to Online Tutoring (Nadia Sandy- Bruce, Learning Resource Center).

Ruru Rusmin (E-Learning Center) talked about the multimodal software, Voicethread, and how it can enhance students’ online learning experience through both written and spoken feedback.

Prof. Saniye Gokcora (Academic Literacy and Linguistics) spoke about an online bookmarking tool called Diigo and a free discussion group platform, Piazza.

Prof. Marjan Persuh (Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice) introduced PsychoPy, a virtual laboratory for conducting psychology experiments.

Prof. Lori Hoepner (Health Education) talked about how she used wikis in her Human Sexuality course to research and “bust” common myths about human sexuality.


Walk Up and Learn

From 2:15-3:00pm the Walk up and Learn stations opened and an impressive array of exhibits and demos were presented. If you entered Richard Harris Terrace at that point, you may have done a double-take at the door, where Senior College Lab Technician, Persio Pereyra (Nursing), kept watch over his patient – a life-size human simulator that breathes, blinks, and even moans.

A few feet away Prof. Colin Persaud (Computer Information Systems) demonstrated a visualization program to help students read data more easily.

Across the room, a group from Academic Literacy and Linguistics (Saniye Gokcora, Tuvi Voorhees, and Oksana Vorobel) discussed their joint research on the impact of technology on reading development.

Prof. Patrizia Comello-Perry (Modern Languages) demonstrated how she uses Vocaroo in her Italian class. Derek Stadler (Library) showed how EasyBib can be used for note-taking as well as citation formatting. Prof. Robin Brown (Library) talked about Digital Library Guides customized to specific courses.

Prof. Rebecca Collier (Speech, Communications, and Theatre Arts) demoed the Attendance app. Prof. Ching-Song Don Wei (Computer Information Systems) talked about GIS technology as a tool for organizing spatial data. Prof. Jami Carlacio (English) talked about how students can incorporate digital media into their research projects. Staff from the COPE program presented Google Drive as a practical tool for students.

Just when you thought you had seen everything, an unidentified flying object appeared overhead, courtesy of Prof. Ahmet Kok (Computer Information Systems).


One of the Best Technology Day Events

The day ended with the traditional Technology Day raffle. This year one lucky person won an IPad Air tablet.  

As the committee chair Prof. Joshua Belknap (Academic Literacy and Linguistics) remarked, this was one of the best Technology Day events ever, with more than 140 attendees. On behalf of the Technology Day Planning Committee, Prof. Belknap expressed gratitude for the invaluable assistance of those who supported the event. He stressed that “the event certainly could not have run so smoothly-- or perhaps even at all-- without the help of the wonderful E-Learning Center staff, the Media Center, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Student Affairs, Buildings & Grounds, and CETLS.”   

And of course, let’s not forget all the hard work of the 2015 Tech Day Planning Committee:

Committee Chair Joshua Belknap (Academic Literacy and Linguistics); Heather Finn (Academic Literacy and Linguistics); Donna Dickinson (E-Learning Center); Megan Elias (Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship); Gregory Farrell (Learning Resource Center); Janey Flanagan (E-Learning Center); Michael Gillespie (Academic Affairs); Saniye Deniz Gokcora (Academic Literacy and Linguistics); Carlos Hernandez (English); Joseph Lathan (E-Learning Center); Thomas Lew (Instructional Technology Services); Brian Nemeth (E-Learning Center); Alex Pereira (E-Learning Center); Ruru Rusmin (E-Learning Center); Nadia Sandy-Bruce (Learning Resource Center); Mary Sepp (Academic Literacy and Linguistics); Joseph Spadaro (President’s Office); Oksana Vorobel (Academic Literacy and Linguistics).