Tech Talks 

In 2010, the Queens College Center for Teaching & Learning in conjunction with the Ed Tech Lab launched a series of teaching, learning, and technology. Some of those presentations are available here (select from the accordion menus below).

For future presentations, check our events calendar or subscribe to Socrates, our email list.


  • Open Access: The Basics, Oct. 21, 2013

    Nancy Foasberg, Humanities Librarian, Benjamin Rosenthal Library
    Kelly Blanchat, Electronic Resources Librarian, Benjamin Rosenthal Library

    Open access is a publishing model in which readers have free access to the full text of scholarly journal articles online. The open access movement arose in response to the rising costs of academic journal subscriptions, and provides many benefits to scholarly authors, including wider distribution of their work, less lag time between writing and publication, and a greater opportunity to retain the rights to one’s own work.

    This workshop was part of Open Access Week at CUNY. For more Open Access Week events, please see the Open Access @ CUNY blog

    Recorded presentation
    Open Access Publishing: Guide



  • Computer Simulation “Games”: Examples from the Social Sciences - April 3, 2102

    Rob Garfield (Center for Teaching and Learning)
    Tucker Harding (Columbia University)

    The Millennium Village Simulation -- Rob Garfield, Instructional Technologist, Center for Teaching and Learning
    Created as an investigative study tool for students in a core undergraduate course in sustainable development, the Millennium Village Simulation is a web-based simulation of economics and survival for one family and their village in a sub-Saharan African village. In a virtual world of extreme poverty, disease, and environmental variability, students are challenged to help a family of two survive and prosper over a fifty-year period. By making decisions regarding the family's allocation of time and financial resources, students develop a greater understanding of the manifold disciplines -- such as agronomy, nutrition, economics, epidemiology, public health and development management -- that constitute sustainable development and how those disciplines interact with each other in "real world" scenarios. By immersing themselves in the daily life of a family, students also tend to identify more deeply with the local experience of extreme poverty.

    Country X -- Tucker Harding, Educational Technologist, Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (Columbia University)
    Country X is a web-based educational simulation created in response to challenges surrounding the training and education of prospective genocide prevention practitioners and is designed to integrate with class discussions facilitated by an instructor. The simulation, developed in partnership with Professor Aldo Civico of the Center for International Conflict Resolution, takes place in a fictitious nation experiencing rapid instability called Country X. Students work in groups of four, with each student assuming the identity of one of four characters representing the perspectives of diplomatic, intelligence, military, and civil society communities.

    Recorded presentation

    Additional resources:
    CountryX Project Description
    CountryX Discovery Page
    MVSim Project
    MVSim Encyclopedia
    MVSim Project Description
    MVSim Design Page

  • Metaphors of Embedding - March 9, 2012

    Speaker: Rob Garfield (Center for Teaching and Learning)

    In this Tech Lite Talk we discussed what it means when people say they are “embedding” a video, image, or audio file into a document (e.g. web page, PowerPoint or Word file) as opposed to “inserting” a media file into a document. What are the implications of embedding? When does it make the most sense to insert rather than embed?

    Recorded presentation.

  • Rubrics - February 21, 2012

    Speaker: Abe Walker (Sociology)

    This presentation covers the use of rubrics as a tool for evaluating student writing assignments. When used in conjunction with long-form evaluations, rubrics allow faculty to offer feedback that is targeted, precise, and clearly indicates areas for improvement. In writing-intensive courses and other situations where written work is a major component of the course, rubrics can rationalize the grading process and ensure uniformity across large classes. The merits of rubrics and a variety of rubric tools are presented, with an emphasis on free online resources.

    Recorded presentation

  • Digital Composing - November 15, 2011

    Kevin Ferguson (English & Writing at Queens)
    Ted Kesler (Elementary & Early Childhood Education)

    Why Digital Writing? -- Kevin L. Ferguson, English & Writing at Queens
    Kevin will discuss his experimental class "Introduction to Literary Study," which meets on Mondays face-to-face and on Wednesdays digitally. Especially challenging is the fact that this is a "W" or writing-intensive course, and Kevin will demonstrate some of the ways that technology enhances the teaching of writing. The title "Why Digital Writing?" is thus not so much a justification of incorporating digital technologies into the classroom (why you should use digital technologies in general) as it is a question of rationale (why specific digital technologies can help you achieve writing-based learning goals).

    Using Technology to Promote Writing and Response to Literature -- Ted Kesler, Elementary & Early Childhood Education

    In this presentation, Ted discusses work he does with his preservice graduate students and with public school students in upper elementary and middle school grades to integrate technology for the teaching of reading and writing in purposeful ways. Ted will connect these uses of technology with multimodal and new literacies theories. Participants will come away with ideas for using technology to promote their own students' literacy development.

    Recorded presentation

    Tools for Creating Rich Media

    Xtranormal -- You supply the script, Xtranormal will create an animation. Watch this example on YouTube.
    Glogster -- Build an online scrapbook. See Ted Kesler's Glog.
    Animoto -- Create videos with images, music and text. Educators can apply for a free Pro account to make videos of unlimited duration.

    Digital Composing Rubrics
    Assessment of Social Action Writing
    Digital Storytelling Rubric
    Group Presentation Grading Criteria
    Personal Digital Response Grading Criteria


  • ePortfolios - April 27, 2011

    Gina Foster (Lehman College)
    Jean Darcy (Queensborough Community College)
    Mercedes Del Rosario and student mentors (LaGuardia Community College)

    Our speakers discussed how ePortfolios are used at their campuses to stimulate student engagement in specific courses and beyond. Drawing on Dewey's essay "Art as Experience", Jean Darcy discussed ways students are using wikis to engage in multichannel communication, employing words, sounds, and images to exchange unique perspectives on personal and shared experience. Student mentors from LaGuardia detailed the myriad forms of technological know-how and professional development they have gained from their participation in peer education in the use of e-portfolio technology.

  • Ways of Podcasting - March 23, 2011

    Franklin Turner (Elementary & Early Childhood Education)
    Janice Smith (Aaron Copland School of Music)
    Rowena Li (Graduate School of Library & Information Studies)
    Jean Kelly (Center for Teaching & Learning)

    A showcase of different ways to podcast your class. Our faculty presenters will show us how to use Jing and Screenr, QuickTime and iTunes U, and a range of other tools to capture and release audio and video.

    Recorded presentation

  • Digital Storytelling: Capturing the Minds and Souls of Students - February 23, 2011

    Speaker: Andrea Mosenson, (Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator of Family & Consumer Sciences Education, Queens College Department of Family, Nutrition & Exercise Sciences)

    Digital storytelling is the 21st century method of combining multimedia technology with written pieces of work to create compelling, memorable stories. It is a process that allows students to manipulate digital images, voices, text, and sound to create vivid stories that can be shared both locally and around the world. This presentation envisions how digital storytelling can be integrated into any discipline, capturing the minds and souls of your students in the powerful stories they will tell.

    Recorded presentation

  • Games-based learning - December 7, 2010

    Carlos Hernandez (Deputy Chair, English, Borough of Manhattan Community College / CUNY)
    Maura Smale (Assistant Professor, Information Literacy Librarian, New York City College of Technology, CUNY)

    Since the turn of the millennium, a growing number of researchers in the humanities, social and natural sciences have begun to investigate the ways in which games, particularly video games, can effect better learning. Far from being a stultifying experience, games and simulations have been found by researchers to encourage their players to retain a great deal of complex information and apply that information in novel and challenging ways. This presentation--created by the steering committee of the CUNY Games Network, an interdisciplinary and inter-campus organization investigating the theories and best practices of using games and simulations in the classroom--will explore the research behind games-based learning and provide practical pedagogical applications of some of the discipline's most fundamental tenets.

    Recorded presentation

  • Teaching QC’s Future for the Tomorrow Ahead: A Presentation on Service Learning - November 15, 2010

    Joe Bertolino (VP for Student Affairs)
    Grace Davie (History)
    Alice Sardell (Urban Studies)
    Christina Calixte and Jonathan Vazcones (Student Leaders)

    Moderator: Emanuel Avila (Student Affairs)

    Recorded presentation

  • Traditional to Hybrid: Social Media's Role in Reshaping Instruction - November 9, 2010

    Speaker: Rowena Li (Graduate School of Library & Information Studies)

    Rowena Li will demonstrate the use of social media tools in adapting traditional courses to hybrid learning environment. She will examine for us the transformed role of both the instructor and the students, and as a consequence, the ever-changing instructional needs of the instructor as well as the social and psychological needs of the students. She will also demonstrate how these tools can be used to meet the challenges of online as well as hybrid instruction.

    Recorded presentation

  • What Will Happen, What Could Happen, What Should Happen - October 12, 2010

    Speaker: George Otte (University Director of Academic Technology and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the School of Professional Studies, CUNY)

    With specific reference to online and hybrid learning, but with more general reference to the use of academic technologies in higher education, some thoughts (and caveats) about where we're heading -- and how we might make general drifts in directions significantly better for all concerned (or worse).

    Recorded presentation

  • Are Our Students Ready for Learning Online? - September 28, 2010

    Amy David (Accounting)
    Sunghee Shin (Elementary & Early Childhood Education)
    Carole Rhodes (Secondary Education & Youth Services)
    Vivek Upadhyay (CUNY Central)

    Our panelists have diverse forms of expertise in promoting online learning readiness. They will describe diagnostic tools, will discuss student preconceptions of online courses (including false preconceptions), and will provide advice on how to help students get up to speed not just for dealing with technology but also for developing the study skills and learning dispositions necessary for success in college courses that range from web-enhanced to fully online.

    Recorded presentation

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