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Weekend Reading: Trick or Treat Edition

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Happy Halloween ProfHackers! We hope that your day is full of treats and light on tricks.

For your weekend reading:

Apparently, Craigslist is not just for hook-ups and used furniture anymore. The Atlantic reports that people are also using it to list cemetery plots: “Shopping for Secondhand Graves on Craigslist.” While we are on the topic of burial, NPR ran an interview with mortician Caitlyn Doughty, author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory, a couple weeks ago. I…

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Digital Distractions: ARGs and Endgame

A new book by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton, Endgame: The Calling, launched earlier this month. The book chronicles twelve players representing ancient cultures who are trying to save their societies with the fate of the world at stake. If you picked it up without knowing the full story, it would seem like a disappointment as a book: the players are presented with clues, but the puzzles and mysteries are left unsolved. This is because Endgame isn’t so much a book as the launching point fo…

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Untethering in the Classroom

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I hate being tethered to the podium computer in my classroom. Seriously. I have a strong preference for being able to move about the room, but I also frequently need to use the projector, which is connected to — you guessed it — the podium in the front of the room. There’s really no simple way around this.

In my ideal world, I’d be teaching in a classroom equipped with a wireless projector. But since I don’t anticipate having access to such a projector anytime soon, I’ve had to look for other s…

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Report from the UNF Academic Technology Innovation Symposium


Last week I joined a group of faculty, instructional designers, administrators, librarians and academic technology specialists at the University of North Florida Academic Technology Innovation Symposium. The symposium represents the type of localized exchange of best practices and pedagogical experiments that is vital to university communities, with ideas on display ranging from Google Glass to 3D printing (like the chocolate-holding keychain pictured above.) I was there to talk about extending…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Favorite Podcasts & Podcast Players?

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Every so often, we like to check in and see what podcasts people like to listen to. These might be for work, for self-improvement, or just for fun. Whatever the motivation might be, it’s always interesting to find out what other people are listening to.

I almost always listen to podcasts at two times: driving to/from work or the 11yo’s soccer practice, or while doing the dishes. On balance, that means I *subscribe* to fewer podcasts that are directly about work-type topics and more that are fun…

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Seeing Full URLs in Safari

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Last week saw the release of Apple’s newest version of OS X, Yosemite. It has a refreshed visual design, several cool new feature–including, at long last, the ability to share documents, photos, and links between iOS devices and OS X devices via AirDrop. And I’m sure we’ll cover many of these in due course.

Today I want to talk about one of the most aggravating features: In Safari, the combined address/search bar no longer displays the full URL of webpages. Instead, it just shows the domain nam…

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Using Evernote in the Classroom

Cat reading in Evernote on an iPadLast week, Jason asked readers how they work with their tablets. In the comments section, I noted that one of the ways I use it is for keeping my class notes. I keep those in Evernote.

(Yes, we’ve mentioned that app a few times in this space. I also use Evernote for storing information I might want to retrieve later; I recently reorganized my notebooks and notes after reading about Michael Hyatt’s setup, and I’ve found that approach really helpful).

Once my class notes are in Evernote, it’s very…

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Weekend Reading: Changing Leaves Edition

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Another Friday is here, and that means another edition of Weekend Reading.

Tuesday, October 14 was E. E. Cumming’s birthday. In honor of his birthday, a piece from The New Yorker by Paul Muldoon has been making the rounds on social media. In addition, check out this link for a selection of his poetry, including one of my favorites, “I Have Found What You Are Like”:

i have found what you are like
the rain,

       (Who feathers frightened fields
with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

easily th…

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How Do You Work with Your Tablet?

10053155455_bcc06e19ba_kThis afternoon brings yet another set of Apple announcements–definitely new iPads, a specific release date for the new Mac operating system, and apparently retina displays for the iMac. And whenever Apple releases a product, other folks do also, with Google announcing the Nexus 9 that runs the new Android Lollipop OS..

The run of tablet announcements always makes me a bit curious: Are academics using them for work? In what ways? Obviously, we’ve covered tons of different ways people might use ta…

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Reforming Shared Governance?

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I won’t spend the whole week recapitulating Rice’s De Lange conference on “Teaching in the University of Tomorrow” (see yesterday’s post on “Seeding Social Media”) but I did want to draw folks’ attention to one more thing: William Bowen’s talk on technology and changing American priorities related to higher education.

Bowen describes the financial and demographic challenged facing higher education, and argues for a more technologically coherent platform that would help colleges deliver course…