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Consider Perforating Your Meetings

In the past couple of weeks, I presented twice about the concept of “perforating” our classroom, once at #AACU16 with Andrea Rehn, talking about the Twitter game #TvsZ, and once at Nile TESOL with Nadine Aboulmagd talking about using Twitter games in general with people outside the class. I’ve been doing that for a few years now – creating open spaces within my classes so that others outside the class can look in (in Egypt and internationally), and my students get opportunities to interact with…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Conducting Observations in Online Classes

The evidence against the effectiveness of student evaluations as a way to measure instructional success or gather feedback for redesigning courses is mounting. However, while many institutions have established peer or faculty center observation programs for getting more direct feedback on teaching, online courses can feel more isolated. It’s not easy to invite a fellow faculty member to “observe” an online class in the traditional sense, and getting immediate feedback from students can be diffi…

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Protecting Your Site with BackWPup

Old floppy disks used for backupRules of computing:

  1. If it’s important, back it up.

  2. Refer to Rule #3.

  3. See Rule #1.

Those are serious rules. Really. There’s nothing more horrifying than losing the only copy of something you’ve spent hours/days/weeks/months on.

The rules apply to websites as well as other information, and we’ve written a lot in this space about ways to back up a site. Julie introduced readers to a few methods of website backup, Kathleen wrote more specifically about backing up a WordPress site, and Mark r…

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Host Synchronous Video Chats with Blab

I spend a lot of my time in synchronous video conversations (even though I still prefer text-based asynchronous communication). Many of those conversations are livestreamed and recorded (especially those done for Virtually Connecting).

In the past, I have used Google hangouts extensively, because they generally work well from a variety of devices (although sometimes Google updates the PC version and one browser or another becomes buggy – usually either Chrome or Firefox). The major advantage of…

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Digital Scholarship with Scalar 2


Creating a work of digital scholarship can be daunting. Last year I published a piece called “Alice in Dataland 2.0″ (Kairos 20.1) that represented an incredible labor of mapping, organizing, and combining platforms from Twine to Construct 2 to hand-coded HTML5 and JavaScript into a fairly massive hypertext. The task is not one I’d recommend to other individuals setting out on a scholarly project, so as I think about my next work I’ve been investigating platforms that can make digital scholarsh…

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Managing References with Paperpile

A pile of journal articlesAh, research. No matter our field, we need to organize our source materials and keep track of our notes. As we write, we need a convenient way to insert citations and manage reference lists.

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink over the years writing about reference managers, such as Zotero and Mendeley, that can help us accomplish those tasks.

I’m a long-time user of Zotero, and I’ve often recommended it to my students (sometimes I’ve even required them to use it for an assignment). I’ll continue…

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Hospitality for Virtual Presenters

I am finding more and more conferences willing to accommodate me as a virtual presenter. This is probably happening more to me than other people because of my travel restrictions (mom of a young child living halfway across the world from most conferences I want to attend and where most of my collaborators reside), coupled with my refusal to ignore the potential social capital I can gain from presenting internationally, that is different from everyday online interactions. There are many reasons …

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Making Comics as Scholarship

For the last few years, I’ve been collaborating with Roger Whitson on editing Comics as Scholarship, a special issue for Digital Humanities Quarterly. The open-access issue is now available and may be of interest to anyone experimenting with alternatives to the monolithic scholarly essay. The collection includes six comics written and designed by scholars as ways to think about using comics to communicate as part of humanities discourse:

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SLICKS Travel Backpack – Review

When you're stuck in the airport for hours and you notice your backpack trolling you.

Two years ago, I found myself in a situation where I was able to bike to work. The challenge was that I also typically wear dresses to work, and not the kind that you can just throw into a backpack. What I was looking for was a garment bag that was also a backpack. Ryan Cordell has reviewed some of the world of travel bags in this space, but this was a very specific need on my part.

It was a harder to find than a thought it would be, with most options being either unsuitable (haha) for anything…

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Scaling Up Courses

With the new semester upon us, many people are getting ready to try out new course preps or revisit familiar classes. The too-brief break of the holiday season doesn’t provide much time for preparation, so I find the last days before the semester begins can be a frantic time for revision and planning. I’ve previously addressed strategies for revising a past course, which can be particularly helpful if the dynamics of the course remain generally the same. However, increasing demands on universit…