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  • SN-0015 Reviewing Technology Platforms for Academic Commons

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Reviewing Technology Platforms for Academic Commons

Please fill in the following metadata about this narrative (and delete this line when finished!):

Collection Date:
Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name: Steve Brier
  • Email:
  • Title: Sr. Academic Technology Officer
  • Institution/Organization: CUNY Graduate Center
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor:

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name: Same as above
  • Email:
  • Title:
  • Institution/Organization:

Notes on Methodology:

Please briefly describe the collection methods used (eg. "self report", "questionnaire", "ethnographic interview")


The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this narrative apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes?
    (e.g. "just this scholar", "many people in the scholar's field of inquiry", "all academics", etc.)
  2. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar?
  3. Who is the intended audience of the processes described?
  4. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals?
  5. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated?

WHAT: As Senior Academic Technology Officer for the CUNY Graduate Center, I participate actively in a CUNY-wide (20 senior and community colleges, spread across the five boroughs of New York City) Academic Technology (A.T.) committee, which is comprised of CUNY faculty from each of our campuses who are actively engaged in using A.T. for teaching and research. We are in the process of setting up an Academic Commons (AC) website which will allow faculty to engage one another using a range of Web 2.0 resources (e.g., blogs and wikis, CMS, etc.) and to push forward a collective conversation about how best to deploy A.T. across CUNY's myriad teaching and research environments.

HOW: We are focused on being able to offer three interrelated "basic functional pieces": information (the AC should make it easy to publish useful information); identity (the AC should be able to easily display customizable profiles and should allow users to build communities through them via social networking tools); and interaction (tagging, collective editing, commenting).

HELPS: We currently use a Moodle site to stay in touch individually and through our sub-committees, but I'm not certain that this is the best environment for the long term.

NEEDS: Our challenge is to identify the best platform(s) to use to accomplish this set of tasks. What are the best/most optimal hardware and software configurations to use, given learning curves and costs, both human and financial? Open source vs. proprietary; Moodle vs. Drupal vs. WordPress Multi-User vs. Plone; PHP vs. Python; Oracle vs. Flash vs. Microsoft? What are the hidden human resource costs (tech support and faculty development) in setting up and maintaining an open-ended system like this that needs to be scalable?

Sections below have not been completed


Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories.

1. Was this story collected for a particular Bamboo working group?  If so, please include, as keywords, the appropriate group(s).

  • Education
  • Institutional Support
  • Scholarly Networking
  • Shared Services
  • Scholarly Narratives
  • Tools and Content Partners

2. Suggested keywords: Does this narrative contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:


Please include the text, documents, media, or other material which comprise this narrative

Other Comments:



Example Link


1 Comment

  1. Unknown User (rjaffe)

    Suggests a new category: ws-scholarly-networking. (Or expansion of ws-collaboration to include social networking tools.)