Josh’s Project ideas

Really interesting ideas that people have, and I’ll try to respond to specific posts– time permitting– soon. Below are my project ideas… so far. I might be able to work on more than one of these in the future as well. We’ll see!

  1. The first project idea that occurs to me is neither earth-shattering nor particularly interesting per se. It will, however, serve a useful purpose for students at BMCC where I work, immediately upon implementation. I want to revise, revamp, renovate, re-tool, reorganize, restore, rebuild, repair, remake, and/or otherwise improve the wiki page that I have created for the ESL Lab, which I oversee at BMCC. I created the page on a wiki platform site called Wet Paint, which has since been bought, and the site’s been renamed; it’s now called Wiki Foundry. Anyway, the ESL Lab wiki functions more like a website than a wiki, in that it’s not particularly collaborative (other than some of the faculty who contribute/write/edit), the reason being that the site is meant to be a repository of information, links, materials and interactive exercises/activities for English language learners at BMCC rather than a student-created/collaborative wiki. I would like to partner with English and Developmental Skills faculty at the college to create some new content for the site, and also introduce more interactive elements and/or games. We actually get a lot of traffic to the site already, CUNY wide, particularly from students looking for information about how to prepare and practice for taking the CATW Writing exam which allows them to pass out of remediation into credited English classes. I think we will get a lot more hits, though, if the wiki is improved. It is possible that the Wiki Foundry interface is too constrictive to substantially improve the site, but if it is possible to stay at the same web address I’d prefer it, as it is already an existing destination for a lot of people (at CUNY at least).
  2. On a related note, I would like to create, and hopefully improve upon, a site comparable to John Jay College’s E-Resource Center with unique content, and affiliated with BMCC. The John Jay site is wonderfully useful in many ways, but consists of mainly Flash animation slideshows, which make for a slow experience and handcuffs the visitor to the site, as she waits for the timed slides to present at their own pace. I am interested in creating something perhaps both CUNY-specific and more general, providing interactive composition/grammar/reading comprehension activities helpful (hopefully) to any college student. I know that the John Jay site was grant funded [the E-Resource home page notes: Funded by the U.S. Department of Education (Title V) and the New York State Education Department (Perkins III)]. I feel like if I could get hold of some grant money, faculty will be interested in collaborating. This project could/would be built from scratch.
  3. I have no idea how, but I would like to learn how to create an app, again to assist students to improve their English writing/grammar skills, perhaps for ELLs (English Language Learners), perhaps for native writers/speakers of English. This could be a game-based app or not… I know so little about what this potential app would look like, or what it would entail to build it, that I will stop here, so we can discuss this in class.




2 thoughts on “Josh’s Project ideas

  1. Joshua Belknap (He/him/his) Post author


    Thank you for your response. These are all important things to think about/condsider. I am thinking that if it’s not too ambitious I’d like to try and both improve the existing wiki I’ve created and build a new, stand-alone tutorial/resource site as well. If the “calculate the time to complete, then triple it” formula applies here, then I’m in for a challenge! We should discuss further. Thanks again.

  2. Maura A. Smale (she/her)

    These are interesting ideas, Josh. As you can probably imagine we do a lot of work in the libraries gathering together/creating the kinds of resources that your first two ideas discuss (though ours are focused on research and information skills, as you can probably imagine). One question I have is how to bring visitors to those websites. Sounds like you’ve already got lots of traffic to the BMCC wiki; I’d be curious to know how much traffic the John Jay site gets.

    You’re absolutely right to stay away from Flash, which is no longer being developed and is on its way out. There are lots of alternatives for doing screencasts that might be helpful to you — Camtasia and Adobe Captivate are paid options, though there are free options like Jing as well. In my experience these kinds of tutorials/resources sites are not too expensive to create once you’ve secured server space, though they can be fairly time-intensive.

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