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Weekend Reading: The End Is Near

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The splashy news here at the tail end of the week is edX & ASU’s announcement that they are going to offer a first year of college. Not for free, or even for “as inexpensively as many community colleges,” but since it’s pass, *then* pay, there’s still a somewhat innovative approach to the business model. Jonathan Rees has described the offering of MOOCs for credit as “weaponized” education technology,” and I’m not sure he’…

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Saying Goodbye to EMiC

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I got an email recently asking me for my final report to wrap up the Editing Modernism in Canada (EMiC) project, which ended April 1. For the past seven years, money from the Federal Government in Canada helped build both a physical infrastructure (Modernist Commons) and capacity (through training opportunities) in order to build a critical community online around Canadian Modernism and beyond. The moto for the project was: “Collaborate. Edit. Learn.”

I have been known to being prone to hyperbo…

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Open-Thread Wednesday: The End of the Semester Approaches!

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Spring has finally arrived in the midwest, and it’s a little more than two weeks after Easter (or only just over a week, if your tradition follows the Julian calendar). For those whose academic calendar follows the semester system, that means the end of the term will soon be upon us, with commencement following.

Between now and then, we’ll be racing to get through the last of our material for our courses, grading assignments and exams, planning for commencement festivities, and saying goodbye t…

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3 Ways to Makeover Your To-Do List

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When you look at your to-do list for the day, week, or month (or lists of projects and actions if you follow David Allen’s GTD distinction), do you feel a sense of clarity and direction? Or do you feel confused, overwhelmed, or frustrated?

If you feel overwhelmed, it may not just be the quantity of the work you plan to do. It may also be due to a lack of clarity about the work you plan to do.

Taking a little time to clean up your to-do list with one or more of the following steps can offer huge…

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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 …