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From the Archives: Wrap Up the Semester

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Sooner or later, all semesters end. And each is soon followed by another academic term close upon its heels.

Here are some tips from the ProfHacker archives for ending your term so as to be in good shape when you return to your office in a week or two.

Look Backwards

Think about what worked and what didn’t work so well this semester. Write down some ideas for what habits or practices you want to continue and what you want to change next semester.

Update your cv and your annual review/promotion …

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Why You Should Use an Email Vacation Responder

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How often do you check your email? Do you love checking email? Is answering email your primary mission in life? Do you ever wish you could just get away from email for a little while?

Well, you can, by using an email vacation responder. Even if you don’t consider your holiday plans to be “vacation,” maybe it’s worth designating a couple of email-free days sometime in the next couple of weeks.

How it Works

When you have the vacation responder turned on, when someone emails you, they receive an i…

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Hour of Code


December 8th through 14th marked Computer Science Education Week, along with a week-long push for Hour of Code, an initiative in procedural literacy through beginner-friendly tutorials with particular attention to groups that remain underrepresented in STEM. While many of the community events and initiatives are aimed at K-12, the tutorials and resources from the project and the initiative itself can be valuable for us to take a look at in higher education.

Obama kicked off the week of code by

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Weekend Reading: Allllllmost Done Edition

So much youth soccer this weekend!

As I understand it, virtually every faculty member in the US is currently grading their fingers off right now, or procrastinating by prepping for midwinter conferences. (Except for those on sabbatical during the fall . . . they might well be quietly weeping at what remains to be done in the time remaining of their leave!) So I won’t prattle on in this space, but will simply wish everyone very well indeed, and the strength to get through whatever challenges you’re facing right now.

  • During the …
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Using IFTTT To Track Twitter Participation

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[This is a guest post by Dan Royles, a visiting assistant professor of history at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He’s previously written for ProfHacker on “Researching the Recent Past Online” and “Digital Workflows for the Archives.”You can follow him on Twitter at @danroyles.–@JBJ

Much digital ink has been spilled on ProfHacker about using Twitter in academia, and Mark Sample has offered prac…

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#TAGS: New Homepage for Twitter Archiving Google Sheet

Screen shot of "TAGS" home page.

Here at ProfHacker we’ve written quite a bit about Twitter over the years (as our archive of posts with the twitter tag reveals). One Twitter topic that we’ve addressed often is how best to maintain an archive of Tweets, whether your own or those associated with a particular hashtag. In two different posts, Mark introduced readers to what is, arguably, the best free solution for this: Martin Hawksey’s TAGS, “a free Google Sheet template which lets you setup and run automated collection of searc…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Productivity for the Holidays

For most of us, the end of semester is either at hand or fast approaching, and with it the prospect of a couple weeks of unscheduled time. Of course, this time isn’t truly unscheduled: even if you’re lucky enough not to have any meetings, there are probably many deadlines and projects looming, possibly an annual conference, not to mention family gatherings and holiday fun and obligations. I’ve realized lately that it’s actually easier for me to schedule my life and work when classes are happeni…

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ProfHacker 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Round trees at night, lit with holiday lights Why is this post different from all other posts? Because it’s the annual ProfHacker gift guide! If December is a busy time for most people, it’s always seemed that much busier to me since becoming an academic: there’s finals, grades, and all those department parties competing for my attention when what I really need to do is figure out what I should get my wife. That’s where this guide comes in. We’ve got the recommendations you need for the coffee / exercise / tech enthusiast in your life, as …

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Open Thread Wednesday: Favorite Higher Ed YouTube Channels?

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Today I am/will be in New York at something called a YouTube Educator Lab, in order in part to learn more about building out YouTube channels for my college.

But that led me to realize that I don’t think I subscribe to any explicitly higher-ed related YouTube channels myself. There are a couple of topic-specific ones I follow, but otherwise I rely on search.

So, if I could draw on the experience of ProfHacker readers: Do you subscribe to any YouTube channels about higher ed-related topics? Whic…