Posts by Billie Hara
February 24, 2012, 11:00 AM ET
- First: I...
October 4, 2011, 03:00 PM ET
January 27, 2011, 03:00 PM ET
October 6, 2010, 08:00 AM ET
Last Friday night, the reality TV show Teach aired. Tony Danza “stars” (if one can star in a reality TV show) in this program as a first-year 10th grade English teacher at Northeast High School in Philadelphia. The premise of the program is simple: Danza, at one time, wanted to become a teacher (majored in History Education), but he became famous as an actor. Life moves on, and he decides to explore a path he had not taken, so he pursues this path--being a teacher--and puts the whole affair on national television.
Easy enough. Maybe.
When I first heard of Teach, I thought the reality TV show phenomenon has reached a new level. “Who is this clown dressing up like a teacher and ‘performing’ for students?” “What could he possibly ‘teach’ them?” “What kind of training could he have?” “What about the kids?!?!?!” my idealist self wailed.
After watching the first ...Read More
September 30, 2010, 11:00 AM ET
For about a year, we at ProfHacker have offered advice about writing, as it’s such a large part of our work in higher education. We’ve provided many tips, but you, dear readers, you have provided many more. As we know, writing is hard work, but it’s harder from some people and not so difficult for others. We are here to help, though, and to offer encouragement...no matter where you in the process or no matter the struggle you might have. Here’s a down and dirty list of many useful writing tips. Hopefully some of them will be useful to you.
- Have an objective for your writing task.
- Plan your time – setting aside time specifically for writing.
- Join a writing group.
- Share your deadline with others (peer accountability).
- Break a large project down into manageable pieces.
- Just Do It!
- Find inspiration that will help you create text.
- Give yourself rewards for effective /...
September 21, 2010, 08:00 AM ET
Here at ProfHacker, we know how much of your time is spent writing, and we are always on the lookout for tools that will help you (and us) in that important aspect of our work. Writer's Cafe, a downloadable writing program, is one of those tools that helps us partion longer writing projects into manageable pieces, or it allows us to collect data that will be repeated across texts.
[The caveats: Occasionally, I read software reviews of Mac-only programs and those program seem just awesome. I wish I could trade in my PC equipment just so I could use the awesome program. One such software/program was Scrivener, which Ryan reviewed for ProfHacker back in March. Writer's Cafe is the (unofficial) PC version of Scrivener, but it does have a Mac version. Additionally, I am a new user of the Writer's Cafe.]
Writer's Cafe is intended as a fiction writing tool, but you can also use it ...Read More
September 16, 2010, 11:00 AM ET
Many of us at ProfHacker are football fans. In fact, if you were to walk down the virtual hallways of PH Headquarters, you'd hear a number of us shouting out cheers for our favorite teams. Heather would be chanting, "Go, Commodores!" and Kathleen would yell back in response, "Geaux, Tigers!" Amy and I would have a shout down over "Go, Irish!" and "Go, Frogs!" Erin and Ryan would be battling it out with their pro team favorites: "Go Pack Go!" and "Here we go Steelers, Here we go [clap clap]." (That clapping gets a bit annoying, but, you know, it's part of the cheer.) Lastly, George and Amy would have the ultimate college football championship t-shirt slogan contest. George's "USC Upstate Spartan Football! Still Undefeated!" pales in comparison to Amy's "Saint Mary's College Football: Undefeated since 1844."
We have a lot of fun around here.
But what does all...
September 7, 2010, 08:00 AM ET
Recently, I stumbled upon a web application that has simplified my life significantly. PDFMyURL is a useful tool that converts webpages (or URLs) to downloadable PDF documents. You might wonder why a web application is necessary for this action, as you can simply print any webpage or capture (via Jing or SnagIt) any web content you like. Occasionally, though, when I print a webpage, something strange happens: the printed version doesn't not always look like the original website. Somehow the formatting gets lost, images don't print, and because of wonky website construction, a two-page website turns into a 12-page printed document. There are times I want a printed webpage that looks the same as the original. PDFMyURL gives this to me.
PDFMyURL makes the conversion process simple. Insert the URL you wish to have printed as a PDF into a box on PDFMyURL website and press "go." ...Read More
September 2, 2010, 11:00 AM ET
Today's ProfHacker post will provide scenarios about how the "Disrepecters"—David, Debbie, Donald, and Desiree—can challenge your authority in a classroom and impede learning for others. You've certainly had a student or two who have exhibited disrespectful behavior in the classroom. You know the ones: students who ask questions that are supposed to put you in your place? Yes, those students.
Maybe these students don't realize how disrespectful (and downright rude) they come across. Maybe they do realize this and that's their aim. Maybe they are asking sincere questions. Then again, maybe they aren't. In context, however, you understand by tone, inflection, and body language that the students mean disrespect. (Or for the sake of this post, let's believe they do.)
How do you deal with these questions and with these students when you encounter disrespectful behavior? ...Read More
September 1, 2010, 08:00 AM ET
Here at ProfHacker, we devote about one-third of our posts (and our time) to teaching-related issues and activities. Our posts have covered, among other things, pedagogy, students, colleagues, tips, tricks, books, and lectures. We understand the importance of teaching in higher education. Nevertheless, we are not the only ones who understand it. At ProfHacker, we believe in collaboration in and the sharing of knowledge.
Back in April, George Williams (re)introduced ProfHacker readers to the Teaching Carnival, a round-up containing teaching related posts from around the blogosphere, or, what George has termed, "a traveling collection of constantly updated links to blog entries about teaching in higher education." From 2005 to 2009, academics from all ranks and disciplines hosted the Teaching Carnival on their personal blogs. To peruse previous carnivals, head on over the Teaching Carnival...Read More