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2012-2013 ePortfolio Student Showcase Now Live!

SPS is delighted to present our 2012-2013 ePortfolio Student Showcase! The showcase, which is hosted on an SPS ePortfolio site, highlights student work in individual courses, programs, and capstone projects at both the bachelors and masters level.

tyoes of eportfolios

ePortfolio provides a window into our students’ lives: who they are and who they aspire to be. While reviewing nominations to this year’s showcase, we were delighted to learn that we have a published children’s book author and a video/film/TV producer enrolled in our programs.digital badge

Thanks to all of the instructors who nominated students for inclusion in the showcase and to the ePortfolio Team for encouraging students to self-nominate. This year we were able to award $100 Amazon gift cards to students whose ePortfolios were selected for inclusion in the showcase as well as digital badges to display on their ePortfolios.

If you have a student who is interested in submitting their ePortfolio for an opportunity to be selected as one of the “Featured Studies ePortfolios,” they still have plenty of time to do so – the nomination deadline for next year’s showcase is May 24, 2014.

Feel free to browse the showcase website or visit the featured ePortfolios directly below:

Related Posts:

SPS Faculty Development Day, March 30th

Hold the date of March 30, 2012 for our faculty development workshop event organized around the theme of using technology to promote writing in all disciplines. This on-site event is open to and appropriate for all SPS faculty, whether teaching face-to-face, online or hybrid courses.

Activities will include a morning plenary session which will focus on the common challenges and creative approaches to designing effective student writing for all disciplines, a lab session (offered twice– in the morning or afternoon) that will explore how a variety of different technology tools can enhance student writing assignments, and a lunchtime panel featuring faculty presenters. There will also be an opportunity for you to learn more about Blackboard 9 through a lab session available in either a morning or afternoon session.

Faculty are welcome to attend one or more of the sessions during the day, but we ask you to register for your preferred lab sessions and lunch so that we are able to accommodate as many faculty as possible.


9:00-10:50 am                     Plenary session

11am-12:25 pm                    Technology for Writing Lab (morning session)

.                                              Intro to Blackboard 9 Lab (morning session)

12:30-1:25 pm                     Lunch and faculty panel

1:30-3 pm                            Technology for Writing Lab (afternoon session)

.                                              Intro to Blackboard 9 Lab (afternoon session)

WHERE: Murphy Institute, 25 W. 43rd St. (between 6th and 5th Ave), 19th floor.

Hurricane Irene: SPS Supports NYC’s Coastal Storm Plan

evacuationcenterFollowing Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) partnered with SPS to help prepare for the potential impact of a large coastal storm. This preparation included the development and delivery of in-person and online training programs and field guides for opening and operating emergency evacuation centers, as well as enhancing the capacity of its web-based disaster management tool, Sahana.

Sahana is a free and open source software application that manages common coordination functions during a disaster.  These functions include managing aid, managing volunteers, finding missing people, and tracking information among government agencies, non-profits, and victims.   SPS has been adapting this software application for OEM to provide basic functions for managing the NYC Coastal Storm Plan Emergency Sheltering System.  SPS provided OEM with the current product solution on August 2nd, just in time for the start of the hurricane season, and, to date, the School has provided emergency sheltering training to over 25,000 city employees.

When it became clear that Hurricane Irene was likely to make landfall in the New York City region, the NYC OEM called upon the SPS team to support its deployment of Sahana. The core Sahana team, led by Washington Hernandez and including Chad Heuschober, Clayton Kramer, and Shirley Chan, worked around the clock from Tuesday, August 23rd through late Sunday, August 28th, deploying and adjusting the Sahana application as necessary during the various phases of implementation on site at the School’s West 31st Street offices. In addition, Andrew Boyarsky, SPS’s Project Director for the Coastal Storm Plan training initiative, was deployed to several evacuation centers in Queens and Brooklyn to help oversee its operation. Before Irene arrived, NYC OEM was able to open 81 evacuation centers throughout the city, many of which were located on CUNY campuses. Andrew chronicled his experience during his 30 hour shift on his blog: Stop Playing Games.

Many thanks and acknowledgements are also due to Brian Peterson and Jill Hyland, for their leadership, and to Paul Russo, Shawn Abraham, Cristina Finan, Pradeep Vijagiri, Z. Lobley, and Joe Vehling, for their support of this application’s deployment. SPS made a real difference during this time of city-wide crisis. We can be extremely proud of each other, our accomplishments, and the help we were able to provide.

Photo (from left to right): Shirley Chan, Washington Hernandez, Andrew Boyarsky, Clayton Kramer, Pradeep Vijagiri, and Chad Heuschober

SPS Participates in Random Hacks of Kindness

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) is delighted to announce that its Sahana Agasti Team was honored this past weekend at the New York City arena of Random Hacks of Kindness: Hacking for Humanity (RHoK), an international weekend-long event focused on producing technological solutions to issues in the humanitarian and crisis management professions. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon honored RHoK’s mission and its organizers at the event’s opening reception on Friday, December 3rd at the United Nations.

According to its Web site, RHoK, the brainchild of a dedicated team from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA, and The World Bank, “brings software engineers together with disaster risk management experts to identify critical global challenges, and develop software to respond to them. A RHoK Hackathon event brings together the best and the brightest hackers from around the world, who volunteer their time to solve real-world problems.” At over 20 international locations, developers, designers, crisis managers, academics, and others worked together to find answers to the nearly 80 problems posed by the worldwide community.

Several members of the CUNY SPS Sahana team represented their work on the Sahana open source project and competed with other teams to make a difference. Charles Wisniewski, Ilya Gulko, Usman Akeju, Chad Heuschober, and Darlene McCullough worked with other members of the Sahana community, including President and CEO Mark Prutsalis, to make Sahana a more modular and scalable application suitable for the management of emergencies on the scale of New York City and beyond.  At the event’s closing ceremonies, the SPS Sahana Team was honored with a special award recognizing that their work optimizing the Sahana database and building a module manager and query reflector was not only technically challenging, but vitally important to the field of crisis management. To learn more about the Sahana Agasti Project please visit their unofficial blog: http://blog.agasti.org/.

SPS Sahana Agasti Team

From left to right: Usman Akeju, Charles Wisniewski, Darlene McCullough, and Chad Heuschober

Energy Management and Indoor Air Quality Certification at CUNY

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the CUNY Building Performance Lab at City College to provide courses in energy management and indoor air quality to more than 1,000 custodial engineers, building managers, and other select staff who are responsible for managing energy use in New York City’s public school buildings.  The program, sponsored by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Department of Education (DOE), is designed to provide DOE staff with the knowledge and skills needed to reduce energy use and improve indoor air quality as part of the city’s overall sustainability plans.

Michael Bobker, Director of the CUNY Building Performance Lab at City College notes that “the City Administration is showing great leadership by making such a significant investment in training the school facilities managers … the Building Performance Lab and SPS are very pleased to be able to collaborate in delivering the largest energy efficiency training initiative in the country right now.”

After completing 90 hours of coursework, participants will be eligible to receive the nationally-recognized Building Operator Certification (BOC) credential and the Indoor Air Quality credential sponsored by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).   They will also be better prepared to manage mechanical and electrical systems to conserve energy for the city and to provide healthier learning environments for students.  The project is led by Bobker and Patrick Dail, CUNY School of Professional Studies Project Director.

SPS Bolsters Online Training Curriculum for Emergency Responders

With 3,000 City managers to train for a variety of secondary emergency responder roles, SPS has expanded the online training curricula for the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Some of these new cutting edge online courses replace those in the classroom, providing comprehensive and highly interactive online courses for those assigned as Evacuation Center and Hurricane Shelter Managers. The courses cover everything from setting up the facility and assigning staff to dealing with difficult situations in emergency sheltering.

The new online courses also cover the Logistics Center, the City’s procurement arm during emergencies, and the Lead Team for the Family Assistance Center for mass casualty events. These courses use a backdrop of simulated emergency scenarios based on real life events. The courses bring the plans to life through the use of video and engaging graphic interactivies and guide learners through critical decision making.

(IS 187 in Brooklyn and the virtual IS 187 in Second Life)

SPS has employed a new state-of-the-art technology, using the virtual world platform of Second Life, to develop a 3D learning environment for training Hurricane Shelter Managers. Based on an actual middle school designed as an emergency shelter, learners guide their avatar through the virtual facility, selecting rooms for shelter areas, moving emergency supplies into place, assigning and directing staff and managing the facility through the storm. This 3D learning environment allows for multiple players and can be repurposed for other emergency simulations. Initial feedback from test users has been highly positive and use of this training medium is being explored for further possibilities.

Photo copyright of Google Maps, source: maps.google.com

Become a Fan: Facebook

1. What is Facebook?
2. How do I join?
3. Facebook 101: The Fundamentals

4. What is a ‘Fan Page’ on Facebook?
5. How do I post a status update?
6. How do I share a link?
7. How
is CUNY SPS doing on Facebook?

1. What is Facebook?
Facebook is the largest online social networking site and currently has over 400 million active users. Facebook allows people to interact, share photos, and find people. In addition to using Facebook for social purposes, many people use it professionally for business networking.

2. How do I join?
By visiting www.facebook.com, you will be able to sign up by providing your full name, e-mail address, birthday, and desired password. If you are part of one of their supported high school, college, or work networks, you will be given instructions on how to affiliate yourself. If you are not a member of one of those networks, you can join one of their regional networks after registration. After you complete the sign up form, they will send an e-mail to the address you provided. Click on the confirmation link within the email to complete the sign up process.

3. Facebook 101: The Fundamentals
Use the Facebook button or the Home button to return to your Facebook homepage. Your Facebook page displays information about your Facebook friends. A series of tabs are displayed at the top of the screen that allows you to easily navigate through your Facebook page. Accompanying these tabs are applications that you can find to the left of the screen.

a. News Feed – This tab displays stories about your friends such as when they add friends, post updates or write a friends wall. The amount of information displayed about a friend depends on their privacy settings. You can customize the amount of news that you receive about a particular friend in your News Feed.
b. Messages – This tab displays all of your private incoming and outgoing messages. It does not include other stories about your friends, such as when they join a group or add a new friend.
c. Events – This tab displays all upcoming birthdays, events that you have been invited to, and upcoming events your friends are planning to attend.
d. Photos – This tab displays your friend’s photo albums. The photo albums displayed in this tab depends on the privacy setting selected for the photo album.
e. Friends – This tab displays all friend requests, as well as friends with recent updates, Use the Profile button view and edit your profile.

Your profile is the place where you share information with your friends, such as photos, information and messages. You can use privacy settings to determine who sees your profile. You can set your profile to public to so that everyone on Facebook can see your profile. You can restrict your profile to only friends that you have approved. You can also restrict specific friends from viewing specific information in your profile.

There are four default tabs for your Profile page.

a. Wall – This tab displays messages that your friends leave for you. You can use Wall to Wall to write a message back to your friend.
b. Info – This tab displays your personal information that you’ve posted such as schools you’ve attended, where you are employed, etc.
c. Photos – This tab displays pictures that you posted.
d. Videos – This tab displays videos that you posted.
You can add additional tabs to your Profile page by selecting the (+) sign button at the far right of the tabs. From the drop down list, select the applications you want displayed on your tabs. The tabs are added to your Profile page.

4. What is a ‘Fan Page’ on Facebook?
Facebook Fan Pages can be thought of in much the same way as normal profiles on the site. Business entities cannot create Facebook pages, instead they can create fan pages to share information about the organization. Through the use of a Facebook Fan Page, we have the ability to accumulate fans. By choosing to ‘like’ the page, individuals are listed as a supporter of the page. These fans can add pictures, and there are walls that they can post on. Pages communicate by “updates” which show on the update tab or a person’s wall if they’re a fan and have allowed the page to show updates. Pages can have applications as well.

5. How do I post a status update?

a. A status update tells your friends what is going on with you and is posted to their newsfeeds. In the update status field, enter your status update.
b. Click the Post button.
c. Your status will be posted to your friends newsfeeds.
d. To clear a status, click Clear to the right of your current status.

6. How do I share a link?

a. If there is a webpage that you think a viewer would be interested in, you can share the link.
b. In the Share a Link field, enter the link that you want to share.
c. Click the Preview button.
e. If you do not want to share this link, click Remove.
f. If you do not want to the picture displayed, select No Picture.
g. Enter a comment about the link.
h. Click the Post button.
i. The link is posted.

7. How is CUNY SPS doing on Facebook?
As of April 2010, 150 people ‘like’ the CUNY SPS fan page.

*Excerpt from the SPS SocialMediaGuide Apr2010, for more information, please visit:
http://www.facebook.com http://mashable.com/guidebook/facebook