by

Six Simple Meals for Your Busy Semester

asian noodle soup

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written a lot about how we can use technology to “hack” our professional lives, with occasional ventures into exercise and general wellness. Today I’m bringing you six very simple meals that you can generally put on the table in less than fifteen minutes (beat _that_ Rachael Ray :) ) and which are still tasty and relatively healthy. Below are some of my (and my friends’) tried and true favorites.

  • Crab and Avocado Bowl. Combine a cup of shelled crab (preferably fresh…

by

Strategies for Going Paperless

Papers to scanThe paperless life: it’s a dream for a lot of us here at ProfHacker, and we’ve certainly covered a fair number of paperless strategies for various aspects of academic life in this space before.

I’m not convinced a fully paperless life is possible; somehow, the stuff still keeps landing on my desk and in my mailbox (yes, I do still have mailboxes that collect paper mail, both at home and at work). I try, though, (a) not to generate paper and (b) to be sure that paper that comes my way doesn’t sta…

by

Open Thread Wednesday: Teaching for Night Owls and Early Birds


One of my favorite parts of being a professor is this continual reset. Every semester there are new classes and new students along with a completely new schedule. While this is mentally exhilarating, it can be difficult to rebuild a routine every few months. A few years ago, I found myself teaching classes regularly that met until nearly 11pm at night. As someone who is usually ready for sleep at 10, that took a lot of adjustments and new strategies to keep both the students and myself fully en…

by

Live-Tweeting Assignments: To Use or Not to Use?

twitter in the classroom

We’ve written a great deal on using Twitter in the classroom at ProfHacker. Ryan has written on creating disposable accounts for classroom use, Erin on how to choose hashtags, Jason on how to disable retweets, George on twitter archiving strategies, and my post on suggested guidelines for livetweeting a class.

This post explores some of the benefits and drawbacks to one of my most successful teaching exercises using Twitter—getting students to “live tweet” films. “Live tweeting” basic…

by

25 Verbs to Use Instead of Email

laptop

Many people talk to me about the stress that email causes them. Often we think about email stress as caused by sheer quantity: many professionals receive 50–200 emails a day which can easily pile up and cause stress if they’re not efficiently handled.

But email itself is not the problem.  Email is just the communication tool we happen to currently use.

A powerful way to remind yourself of the deeper purpose behind your communications is to stop using email as a verb, when you’re writing somet…

by

Access Monitor: WordPress Plugin to Monitor Accessibility

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written several posts over the years about accessibility, about WordPress, and about WordPress and accessibility. (As many of you already know, there are significant differences between sites run on WordPress.com and those run with WordPress.org software. Among those differences are the availability of certain themes and plugins. You can read more about the differences on this support page.)

For a variety of reasons, it’s important to make digital resources usable by…

by

Examining Design through the Prezi Awards

Prezi, a Flash-based tool for “zooming” presentations, has been divisive among academics since it was first introduced in 2009. The platform has  come a long way over the years–when I first used it for my dissertation defense visuals in 2010, it was impossible to do much to change fonts, colors, or backgrounds outside a few preset themes, but I still thought there was potential in the interface’s ability to juxtapose ideas on what amounted to a virtual whiteboard. It now has a much more customi…

by

A Scavenger Hunt Exercise to Teach Research Methodologies

Stockholm Library

This semester I’ve been assigned to teach one of my program’s core courses: an introduction to research methodologies. This is the second time that I’ve taught the class. My first time teaching research methodologies didn’t go so well. My students looked listless and unengaged the entire semester. Wanting to learn from that past experience, I’ve decided to try out a whole bunch of different approaches to teaching the class this time including getting students involved in more hands-on…

by

Weekend Reading: Cyberpunk Future Edition

It’s been a great few days for those of us ready for a cyberpunk dystopia. Microsoft’s Windows 10 announcement came hand-in-hand with a demo of Microsoft HoloLens, their prototype of a holographic platform for computing. The project is only one of many headsets currently exploring augmented and/or reality, with new rumors on Oculus Rift (now supported in the Firefox browser), Google’s MagicLeap, Samsung’s Gear VR, and many others all vying to be the first to take VR and AR from ill-fated ga…

by

Are those files really final?

cemetery

A recent post by Charlie Harvey, titled The word final should never appear in filenames points out that when you’re sharing files with colleagues,creating a clear system for filenames reduces a lot of potential frustration:

There is a file you need to read. Maybe it has some important stuff in it. A contract that went through a bunch of revisions. That sort of thing. Only, when you go to the directory on your company samba share there are 30 files that it could be.

Inevitably at least 3 of thes…