OER Tutorials Available in July

We invite you to take advantage of the following OER tutorials in July, which are available to you through CUNY’s membership in the CCCOER.  

The spread of COVID-19 has required a rapid response by educators to meet student needs. CSI has transitioned to distance learning for the summer semester, and there is still uncertainty about the nature of instruction for the coming fal semester. Many instructors might find themselves looking for resources that are easily accessible and don’t require an in-person visit to the Library. Open Educational Resources are freely available online, and have been licensed by the creators so that copyright restrictions are not a barrier to open use. At a time of economic distress for many of our students, who may be out of work and/or facing additional financial burdens due to COVID-19, zero-cost OER textbooks and learning materials can make education much more affordable and easily accessible at this time. To learn more about OER, please go online.

By the Division of Academic Affairs

CSI Master’s Student and Urban Park Ranger Explains the Changing Landscape of His Job during the Pandemic

Joe Bushman

Joe Bushman, who is in his final year of the MS in Ecology program at CSI, a Verrazano School alumnus, and also an Urban Park Ranger (UPR) for NYC Parks on Staten Island, has witnessed some changes to his responsibilities in the wake of COVID-19. However, some of the new duties have provided him with the opportunity to help keep people safe.

Pre-pandemic, Bushman said that an average day as a UPR would entail preparing for and developing “Pop-Up” and “The Natural Classroom” programs, where rangers would educate park visitors on a number of topics such as history, stewardship, ecology, conservation, waste management, and more.

Now, additional duties include distributing PPE and ensuring that visitors follow social distancing requirements.

So far, Bushman reported that “There has been a mix of reviews. There are some people who are extremely grateful for the mask distribution and are seemingly more in need than other areas on Staten Island. In other areas, patrons have been very combative about us engaging and educating them on social distancing.”

On the positive side, Bushman stated that “Quite simply, it feels great to be able to distribute PPE in areas of need. It’s a minor, but positive interaction and helps people who may be struggling in these tough economic times. Being able to make someone smile makes it all worth it at the end of the day.”

As would be expected, there are also challenges, as he noted “The rules we have to follow changed almost daily, as this is a relatively novel situation for NYC.” He added that “Patrons, like all of us, experience some sort of ‘Lockdown Fatigue’ or cabin fever and use the parks as a refuge to “get out of the house” and attempt to regain some degree of sanity.”

As NYC begins a cautious reopening, Bushman explained that “we must now involve social distancing into the plan. This can be easily done for some programs like nature walks, but now we need to be more mindful of sanitizing binoculars after every single use. The natural classroom, Pop-Up, and weekend adventure programs will have to be reimagined to limit potential contact and ensure the safety of patrons.

By Terry Mares

Faculty Center Info Hub (CSI): July Blackboard Basics Cohort and Faculty Center Updates

There is still time to sign-up for the one remaining Blackboard Basics cohort. For those of you who would like to complete this prerequisite course but have not yet signed up, there are still spaces available in Cohort 8: 

JULY, Cohort 8 – Begins on Monday, July 13, 2020, enrollment closing at 5:00pm on Friday, July 10.

If you would like to enroll in Bb Basics Cohort 8, please email Kristen Lindtvedt at kristen.lindtvedt@csi.cuny.edu.

In addition to the above, we are currently working hard to complete the next course of this summer’s Online Initiative training program. As a result, due to the implementation activities currently being performed by Faculty Center staff in order to be complete in time for our Monday, July 6 launch, there will be no Virtual Drop-in sessions this week. However, if at any time during this week you need assistance, please feel free to post on the Faculty Center Info Hub Q&A Forum board, or email us at facultycenter@csi.cuny.edu. 

By Kristen Lindtvedt

Summer Fun Activities for Children 1.6 to 5 Years Old

To all CSI families (students, faculty, and staff):

Are you looking for ways to engage your child (age 1.6 to 5 years) during the summer? Then Zoom with the Children’s Center.

Our qualified staff will offer two interactive Zoom meetings per day, Monday through Thursday. Activities include: Arts and Crafts, Music and Movement, Science and Discovery, Gross Motor, Dramatic Play, and Storytime.

Signing up will allow you access to The Children’s Center private Facebook Group where you can find our staff-made videos of activities, stories, and so much more. If you don’t have time to join all the Zooms, you will also receive weekly newsletters and activities that you can easily do with your child.

If you would like to participate, please email us the following:

-Parent name

-Child name

-Child’s date of birth

-Email address where we can send information

Our email address is childrenscenter@csi.cuny.edu.

Limited spaces are available in each age group.

By Margaret Rooney, MS Ed and MS Spec Ed

Technology Training Sessions for the Week of June 29

In lieu of our monthly Lunch and Learn Series, Technology Training will continue to offer weekly training sessions on the applications that will assist you with your telecommuting efforts. 

If there is a topic that you would like to have covered in the future, contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

Please use our Registration page to sign up for this week’s sessions. Please note that this schedule is fluid and we may add or cancel training sessions as needed to better serve the College community.

Day Date Time Class
Monday 6/29/20 9:30am – 10:30am Need Help? Visit with Doriann during a Virtual Office Hour
Monday 6/29/20 11:30am – NoonOffice 365 – (Learn how to use Office 365 to collaborate on Office documents.)
Monday 6/29/20 Noon – 1:00pm Office 365 – One Note (Create shared notebooks for your department and classes.)
Monday 6/29/20 3:00pm – 4:00pm Office 365 – Teams (Learn how to collaborate with coworkers.)
Monday 6/29/20 4:30pm – 5:30pm Excel – (Pivot Tables)
Monday 6/29/20 5:00pm – 6:00pm Technology Overview for Students
Tuesday 6/30/20 8:00am – 9:00am Dropbox – (Learn how to store files in the cloud.)
Tuesday 6/30/20 9:30am – 10:30am Need Help? Visit with Doriann during a Virtual Office Hour
Tuesday 6/30/20 10:00am – 11:00am Technology Overview for Students
Tuesday 6/30/20 12:30pm – 2:00pm Blackboard Collaborate for Faculty
Wednesday 7/1/20 9:30am – 10:30am Need Help? Visit with Doriann during a Virtual Office Hour
Wednesday 7/1/20 10:30am – 11:00am Scanning Documents using your smartphone.
Wednesday 7/1/20 4:00pm – 5:00pm Technology Overview for Students
Wednesday 7/1/20 4:30pm – 5:30pm Google Voice – (Learn how to mask your personal phone number.)
Thursday 7/2/20 9:30am – 10:30am Need Help? Visit with Doriann during a Virtual Office Hour
Thursday 7/2/20 1:00pm – 2:30pm WebEx – (Learn how to conduct virtual meetings.)
Thursday 7/2/20 2:30pm – 3:30pm Technology Overview for Students
Thursday 7/2/20 3:30pm – 4:30pm PowerPoint Basics

We look forward to working with you.

Be well.

By Doriann Pieve-Hyland