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…

by

Google’s Inbox (Zero)

442433_61c142b5da_o

[Tim Lepczyk is the Director of Faculty Instructional Technology at Hendrix College. You can follow him on Twitter at @thirdcoast.--@JBJ]

Google’s new app and interface for Gmail, concisely named Inbox, tries to streamline email and thus make “inbox zero” more attainable and less something one needs to chase. Currently, the app is available through invitations only, but one can request an invite through a friend or through Google.

The idea behind Inbox is that email is a task and the goal is to…

by

Microsoft Office for Android (Beta)

Last week, Microsoft announced that they’re expanding the “preview” — formerly only available to a limited number of users — of their Office apps for Android tablets:

We want more feedback from more users to ensure that Office apps work well on a range of different Android tablets before launching the official apps. To participate in the preview, you can use an ARM-based Android tablet running KitKat or Lollipop, with a screen size between 7″ and 10.1″. Starting today, anyone can go to Google P…

by

A History of the MLA Job List

8137040782_b902a7358e_b

Jonathan Goodwin was going to give a talk at last weekend’s Modern Language Association convention on “Jobs of the MLA,” a look at the history of the MLA’s Job Information List. Unfortunately, he got sick and was unable to travel; happily, he was able to post the talk online. The MLA gave him almost 50 years of page-scans of the JIL, which were then OCRed for ease of searching. As he read the ads to plan how to make a database of them, he began tweeting s…