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To Test for Accessibility, Try Navigating Without Your Mouse

A significant percentage of those who use your web pages are people with disabilities, and many of those people can’t use a mouse to navigate through the information they find there. For example, for people who are blind or have low vision a graphical user interface is useless, so they rely on their keyboard alone. Those of us who are sighted might find it difficult to imagine what it means to navigate information by keyboard alone, but there’s an easy way to learn: stop using your mouse for an…

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Synchronous Online Classes–With a Little Help From My Friends

tunnel of books

[This is a guest post by Rebecca J. Hogue (@rjhogue), a multi-affiliated (aka adjunct/contingent) online lecturer (University of Massachusetts-Boston, Brock University) and avid blogger. She teaches Digital Citizenship and Instructional Design online. In addition, she works as a consultant helping to develop and produce self-published eBooks. Her research and innovation interests are in the areas of online collaboration, social media, and ePatient blogging.--JBJ]

It was with trepidation that I …

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Rome in a Day: A Report from the Annual Meeting of the American International Consortium of Academic Libraries

Dimitris Tzouris Maha Bali and Jim Groom 4life

As the mom of a young child, I’ve developed my own creative ways to attend conferences without leaving my child behind for long. Usually that means virtual participation, but it also sometimes means one-day minimalist conference participation. On Friday, May 13, I went to Rome for just one day to participate in the annual AMICAL conference (held at the American University of Rome), but my participation was anything but minimal, thanks to some really clever (and generous) scheduling by the confe…

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Six Tips For a Successful First Year as a Writing Program Administrator

stylish office desk
[This is a guest post by Dr. Leigh Graziano, who is an Assistant Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Her work focuses on writing program administrator, first-year composition pedagogy, and assessment. She teaches first-year writing classes as well as upper-level classes in visual rhetoric, classical rhetoric, and convergence culture. You can find her online at leighgraziano.net.--JBJ]

I love being a WPA, but it’s a little challe…

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4 Suggestions for Planning a Productive Summer

Depending on your school’s academic calendar, summer might be upon you or at least close at hand. I’m already a week into the summer semester, and looking ahead at several weeks of teaching, grading, and conferencing. Every summer I set out with inflated goals and unrealistic deadlines: three months away from the normal schedule of meetings looks so promising on paper! However, it’s easy to end up with less progress than expected. Here’s a few strategies I use at the beginning of summer to make…

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Leaving the LMS to Make Course Remixing Possible

peanut butter truffle

A recurring favorite topic for ProfHacker writers over the years has been alternatives to, or ways to dispense altogether with, learning management systems. No one likes them, no one likes the idea of “managing” learning, and the whole affair feels like a Skinner box designed to teach us the truth of Audrey Watters’s claim that ed tech is basically here to destroy education from within.

A few of us have recently taken a shine to Jekyll, a still-newish way to generate static websites. (In additi…

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GAAD 2016: Raising Awareness About Accessibility

Today is the 5th annual Global Awareness Accessibility Day. The purpose of this day “is to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) accessibility and users with different disabilities.” Who is GAAD for?

The target audience of GAAD is the design, development, usability, and related communities who build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use. While people may be interested in the topic of making technology accessible and usable by persons w…

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Teaching While Learning: What I Learned When I Asked My Students to Make Video Essays

[This is a guest post by Janine Utell, who is a Professor of English at Widener University in Pennsylvania. She teaches composition and 19th and 20th century British literature; she has also facilitated a number of on- and off-campus workshops on writing, critical thinking, and general education. Previously at ProfHacker, she’s written on “Practical Wisdom and Professional Life”, “How to Study Your Own Teaching (And Why You Might Want To),” “Visualizing Your Promotion Portfolio with Cmap,” an…

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Text a Lot from iOS? Why You Might Want to Try Google’s GBoard

wall of surfboards

Alternate keyboards in iOS are one of those things that sound helpful, but can quickly devolve into procrastination engines. For every Text Expander keyboard letting you use your full panoply of text expansion options on your devices, there’s a celebrity-sponsored emoji app.

Last week, though, Google managed to release a keyboard that is simultaneously useful and not creepy: Gboard.

GBoard does four things, each of which is in principle a great addition to typing on iOS:

  • Integrated Google se…
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Converting Courses for Accelerated Summer Sessions


This summer I’ll be teaching during our accelerated summer session: that means we have six weeks to cover material normally addressed in sixteen weeks of the semester. Compressing a course for summer session isn’t as simple as trying to cram everything into the new box, unfortunately: trying to cover every assignment, project, text, lecture, and activity at breakneck pace doesn’t end well for us or our students. However, it’s essential to still meet the learning objectives of the full semester….