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Playful Browsing with Chrome Extensions

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Ever since reading Natalie’s post on the Momentum Chrome extension, I’ve been paying more attention to the Chrome browser app marketplace. I was immediately converted to Momentum, as it’s built in to-do list tool and simple aesthetic make it a really easy way to stay on track. Chrome extensions fit in an odd space between app and websites: some of them simply offer things that could easily be found elsewhere on the web in a more convenient, integrated bookmark, while others include app-like fe…

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Weekend Reading: Snow is Gone Edition

13018821955_93f93233af_bThough many of you have been enjoying spring for awhile now, here in New England the snow is just now (mostly) melted, though a few of the storeys-tall piles will be around for awhile yet. In celebration of warmer weather, I’ve compiled a list of aspirational readings for your weekend enjoyment or edification:

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Managing Expectations

Dog on roof, asking how we manage expectationsFinding appropriate work-life balance seems to be a never-ending quest in many lines of work, and academia is no exception. It’s all too easy to work far too late into the evening, grading, preparing classes, or (everyone’s favorite!) answering email.

This year, I’ve been reminded of just how important it is to manage both my own and other’s expectations about communications and working hours if I’m to have a hope of attaining something at least resembling balance. There are a few practices I’ve…

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Share URLs Quickly with ShoutKey

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Imagine you’re in a meeting, seated around a table with eight other people. You want to share a URL with them, but it’s several levels down in the hierarachy of the particular website. What do you do?

If you’re all already connected online via a shared document or text messaging, then you could just drop the URL into a message for them to click on.

But what if you’re not all connected, or you don’t know the names and email addresses of all the people you want to share the URL with? ShoutKey is …

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New Features on the DiRT Directory

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DiRT (formerly known as Bamboo DiRT) is a repository of digital tools, organized, and curated by users. The idea behind its creation — as explained in this 2013 post by Seth Denbo — was to try and eliminate the re-creation of digital teaching and research tools that already existed. It has always been my go-to resource for finding tools, as well as sending students and faculty there so they can begin to explore and imagine ways that they might integrate digital assignments into their classrooms…

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Making Mini Games with Twiny Jam


Twine is my favorite tool for working with would-be game designers new to interactive media: as I’ve noted in the past, both the original Twine and Twine 2.0 are newbie-friendly and flexible platforms for building hypertextual experiences. However, embarking on a Twine project can be daunting: the possibilities of building choice-driven narratives can lead down infinite paths. It can be tricky to build an assignment or workshop structure that keeps Twine texts down to scale without cutting off …

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Introducing the Digital Pedagogy Lab

Digital Pedagogy Lab

If you’re itching to brush up your digital teaching chops over the summer, the journal Hybrid Pedagogy is offering a Digital Pedagogy Lab this summer. Slated to take place at the University of Wisconsin, Madison from August 10-14, 2015, the lab is a five-day practical institute that will combine discussions of digital pedagogy theory with hands-on practice.

Digital Pedagogy Lab will offer three tracks, each capped at 25 students:

  1. Praxis, by Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris, is an examina…

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Digital and Analogue Writing with LiveScribe

I still love to write thing by hand, on paper, in a notebook. Call it a holdover from my days (and nights) spent writing in journals and diaries and notebooks. I always had a notebook and pen with me. I was always writing.

Now I have my iPhone with me, and I tweet a whole lot.

But writing out drafts, or brainstorming, or jotting down ideas, those are activities that I miss doing. What I don’t miss doing in transcribing them, or not having access to them if I don’t happen to have the right n…

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Open Thread Wednesday: the Cloud

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The Cloud is where it’s at. This is probably not news to anyone who reads ProfHacker. We’ve talked about cloud storage for years: Dropbox, Spider Oak, Google Drive, and Copy. There are also other options like Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Now Amazon is upping the ante. Amazon Prime membership ($99 or $49 for students) already includes unlimited photo storage and an additional 5GB for video and files.  Now, for an additional $60 a year, Amazon Cloud Drive is offering “Unlimited Everyt…

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Tools That Stay Out of the Way

A drawing showing an assortment of hand tools

Picking the right tools for our work is important. I’ve written about some of my favorite tools in this space before, including in this post from — gulp! — five years ago. (I’m still using Dropbox and Google Documents; I’ve abandoned the Rollabind for my iPad and I don’t use the whiteboard much anymore.)

Others have written about the importance of making prudent choices about the tools we use and about lessons learned from being an indiscriminate tool adopter.

As we choose our tools, it’s good …