Ian’s one-paragraph project ideas

1. So, my number one idea is still creating The Linguist’s Kitchen—a suite of tools for analyzing language in the home and community—because (1) I’m really getting attached to the name and (2) it would be a tremendous resource for teaching, learning, and the discipline. In the end, I’d like the suite to have tool sets for syntactic, phonetic/phonological, and morphological analysis, but for now I think it’s only realistic to consider building a subset of these. Considering the project feasibility and its usefulness, it might be best to start just with a web-based application with the ability to upload recorded speech, a place to transcribe it, some capability to categorize sentences by type, label words by syntactic category, and compare word order across sentences, as well as storage and sharing capabilities. My main concern is figuring out how/where to get free storage space for speech and analysis files and how to make the interface ‘drag and drop’.

2. Number two is a reworking of my original idea to create a database for research participants. I know CUNY Academic Commons is all about collaboration and community, but I haven’t been able to find any kind of ‘help wanted’ board. I’m wondering if it’s possible to create some kind of Commons ‘collaborators needed’ board or an add-on that functions to connect Commons members looking for individuals with expertise in some area or qualified research participants with those willing/able to offer assistance. This could be for all kinds of work, and could help community members connect with individuals that have particular skills or knowledge. I definitely see a need for something like this. The lab I work in is always looking for CUNY people with certain language backgrounds for experiments and paid RA positions, but it’s always so difficult to find people because word of mouth only goes so far.

3. Number three is a shift in my thinking about modifying CommentPress to better suit the needs of my small writing group. We’re on the verge of using CommentPress now, so I don’t yet have any additional insight into how the functionality of CommentPress might be enhanced for a small writing group dynamic. The shift is this: Our writing group has been helpful and I know that another two or three have popped up in the department, so what about creating a Writing Group Theme for Word Press? It would be a simple theme with just the necessary writing group functionality: a calendar, a log book for recording writing goals, and CommentPress. (Currently, we each use our own recording systems and Google docs). I don’t know if this project would be adequate in terms of scope, but I believe creating a ready-to-use package for writing groups would useful to individuals interested in starting one and may even encourage them to engage in writing as a social process.

1 thought on “Ian’s one-paragraph project ideas

  1. Maura A. Smale (she/her)

    Ian, it’s interesting that you bring up a Help Wanted board, because there is one on the Commons. But I think unless you know it’s there *or* happen to see it slide by on the homepage slider it might be hard to find (that’s a particularly sticky issue with WordPress more generally, actually — WP’s built in search leaves lots to be desired). A research collaborators board (if found) could be really useful, though.

    Re: your #1 idea, there are a bunch of ethnography apps that might be inspirational/useful, not sure if you’ve seen any of them? I’m in an analysis phase in my own project right now so I haven’t delved too deeply into those apps, but I keep thinking that an app would be really useful for me the next time I collect data on what students are doing away from campus (or even on campus). One that I have on my iphone right now is called Ethos.

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