CUNY Students’ Technology Stories

We were delighted to present at yesterday’s Teaching & Technology Conference at Baruch College — many thanks to the always awesome Luke Waltzer for inviting us. The other sessions we went to were terrific: I think I will always want to begin a conference morning with pipe cleaners and paper folding, the Baruch students’ who presented were wonderful, and Jim Groom’s keynote was both fun and thought-provoking, an ideal combination (and we appreciate his complementary words about our presentation, too).

We decided to do something a little different this time around and really focus in on individual students, highlighting their experiences with using technology for their academic work as technology stories. We’re happy to share our slides and notes from the presentation — take a look and let us know what you think.

Data Visualization: A Student Timeline

As part of our study we’re creating an interactive online tool to accompany our book which uses dynamic timelines, mapping, and presentation software. While we’re still hard at work on the website, we wanted to share a preliminary example of data visualization of a student timeline. We used Timeline JS to create a timeline that features a typical school day for one of the Hunter College students that we interviewed, and includes the map she drew of her day. Take a look at the timeline and let us know what you think!

Post-Conference Posting and Wrap-ups

We’ve had a great time presenting at a couple of conferences over the past few weeks, and are delighted to share our presentation materials.

First off was the American Anthropological Association meetings in Chicago, where we participated in a roundtable with colleagues at other institutions who are doing similar work: Andrew Asher of Indiana University, Lesley Gourlay of the University of London, Lori Jahnke of Emory University, and Donna Lanclos of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Our session was titled Embedded and Engaged in Higher Education: Researching Student Entanglements with Technology, and we used a Prezi to highlight some of the images and numbers from our projects. We had a fantastic conversation with session attendees, some of which was captured by Donna in her post-conference writeup and a Storify of the Twitter stream that she created. I also blogged about the session, and especially our interactions with attendees, over at ACRLog.

Just last week we presented at the CUNY IT Conference at John Jay, again talking about what we’ve learned in our research specifically about students and academic technology. Many thanks to all who attended — we were flattered that the session was standing room only! Here are the slides (again via Prezi) and notes from our presentation “It’s an internet phone, but I don’t have internet:” Students Using Technology.

A Website Facelift!

We’re prepping to go to the American Anthropological Association meetings later this week and thought that our project website deserved a bit of a redesign before we head out to Chicago. The site now sports four different banners with photographs taken by students during our study, as well as one banner of selections from student research process drawings. Reload this (or visit different pages) to see them all!

Fall Conference Outings

Popping in here (in the midst of putting the finishing touches on our book manuscript, nail-biting awaiting word from publishers to whom we’ve sent our book proposal, and working with our Data Visualization Assistant on our new project website) to say that we’ve got two conference outings planned for this fall semester. If you’ll be at either, please stop in and say hi!

American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Chicago
We’re part of a roundtable session called Embedded and Engaged in Higher Education: Researching Student Entanglements with Technology, which runs from 10:15am – 12:00pm on Friday, November 22. With colleagues from four other colleges and universities who are also working on ethnographic projects in libraries, we’ll explore the role of technology for students in their academic work.

CUNY IT Conference, John Jay College, New York
We’ll also be presenting at this year’s CUNY IT Conference at John Jay. The schedule hasn’t been finalized yet, but it looks like we’re preliminarily slated for 2:15pm on Thursday, December 5 (we’ll update this post when we have the final info). We’ll also be speaking to undergraduates’ use of technology for their coursework, and the ways that student voices add detail about the college experience that can inform faculty and administrative decisions about instructional technologies.

Making the Most of our Visual Data

We’re delighted to report that we’ve won a PSC-CUNY Research Award to enable us to create a companion website to our book. The website will allow us to display (and interact with) some of the rich visual data that students produced during our project, much of which would be difficult to represent in print.

We’re currently seeking a Data Visualization Assistant to work with us on this phase of the project. We have time logs, maps, photographs, and drawings from students, and we’d like to build an online space that will showcase the variety of workspaces and academic strategies that students shared with us. More information is available in the full job announcement here:

http://helpwanted.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2013/05/24/data-visualization-research-assistant-needed/

New Year’s Update

It’s been pretty quiet around here lately, but not for lack of work on the project! We’ve been filling practically every spare minute since last summer finishing up coding and analyzing our data gathered from all of the fascinating students and faculty we interviewed.

We’re also delighted to report that we’ve been busily writing up our results and look forward to sharing them. In fact, there’s so much great data that we’re writing a book this time around, rather than just a brief report as we did early on in the project.

We sent out a book proposal before the holidays so we don’t have a publication date just yet. But the book is definitely taking shape, so we thought we’d share our tentative title and table of contents here:

The Scholarly Habits of Urban, Commuter College Students

Chapter 1: Introduction

Section I: The Scholarly Ecosystem of CUNY Students
Chapter 2: Information and Communication Technologies
Chapter 3: On Campus and in the Library
Chapter 4: On the Commute
Chapter 5: At Home
Chapter 6: Fitting it All In

Section II: CUNY Students and Research-Based Assignments
Chapter 7: Faculty Expectations for Student Work
Chapter 8: The Student Research and Writing Process
Chapter 9: Support and Engagement: Keys to Success

Chapter 10: Conclusions

Appendices
a. Methodology and Participants
b. Recommendations for Librarians, Faculty, and Administrators

We’ll post more updates as we have them. Now back to work with us!

Slides and notes

I’ve just uploaded the slides and notes from our recent presentation at Hunter College’s ACERT Teaching Tuesdays. Many thanks again to all who came to talk with us, it was a great discussion! I’ve also added slides, notes, and our paper from our conference travels last fall: MobilityShifts and the American Anthropological Association meetings. All are available on the Results & Findings page.

“The Campus Doesn’t have a Refrigerator”

Many thanks to our colleagues at Hunter College Libraries for inviting us to present today at the Hunter College Library Faculty Teaching & Research Forum. It was great to have the opportunity to share some of our the data from our student and faculty interviews at Hunter and to discuss our results. Thanks to all who came to the program!

I’ve just uploaded our slides under Results & Findings.

Analyzing and Presenting

The new semester finds us busier than ever with the Undergraduate Scholarly Habits Ethnography Project. We’ve finished collecting data at an additional 4 colleges: Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, City College, and Hunter College. This brings us to a total of 30 student and 10 faculty interviews at each of 6 colleges — that’s a lot of data! Our incredible research assistants have done the lion’s share of transcribing these interviews over the summer, and we are immersed in coding and beginning to analyze our data, both textual as well as photos, maps, and drawings by students.

We’ve plans to emerge from our analytical cocoon a few times this fall and have two conference presentations scheduled. If you’re heading to either of these feel free to swing by and say hello.

Mobility Shifts: An International Future of Learning Summit, The New School, NYC
We’re presenting on Saturday, October 15 @ 1:30pm in a session entitled Progressive Digital Pedagogy: Remix, Collaboration, Crowdsourcing. Our short talk will focus on the integration of mobile technologies into the academic lives of CUNY students.

American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Montreal
We’re part of a session called Library Ethnography: Negotiating Information’s Legacy and Revolutions, which begins at 8:00am on Friday, November 18. Our paper discusses how CUNY students navigate and create their own significant spaces, and the effects on their engagement with their college experience.