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Slowing Down: 6 Strategies for Deep Listening

[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),” and “Visualizing Your Promotion Portfolio with Cmap….

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Open-Thread Wednesday: Anything New?

FireworksThe new academic year has arrived (or soon will, for those who start after Labor Day). Though there may be a certain sadness to the end of summer, a new academic year can also bring the excitement of a fresh start. It’s a time for meeting new people and trying new things, for faculty no less than for students.

Some new things may be major: a new course, or perhaps a new project. In my case, the new is something small. I’ve changed the first essay assignment in my writing course. For several year…

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How (and Why) to Generate a Static Website Using Jekyll, Part 2

[This is a guest post by Alex Gil, the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Columbia University Libraries. Among other collaborations, he is also vice-chair of the Global Outlook::Digital Humanities (go::dh) special interest group of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, where he has been an advocate of (and instructor in) minimal computing. On Twitter, Alex is @elotroalex.]

In Part 1 of this 3-part tutorial, I made the case for building a static website, and I showed you how to insta…

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Playing Cards in the Classroom for Student Collaboration

In my courses, I often put students into small, temporary groups for collaborative work that takes place in class or over the course of a few days. This work ranges from analysis of an assigned reading to researching a local issue to creating a digital resource to conducting an interview with a faculty or community member. We cover how to ensure effective collaboration and communication in small groups, including assigning and managing tasks (something for which an online tool like Basecamp can…

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How (and Why) to Generate a Static Website Using Jekyll, Part 1

[This is a guest post by Alex Gil, the Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Columbia University Libraries. Among other collaborations, he is also vice-chair of the Global Outlook::Digital Humanities (go::dh) special interest group of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, where he has been an advocate of (and instructor in) minimal computing. On Twitter, Alex is @elotroalex.]

In this 3-part tutorial I will be covering the basics of my site generator of choice, Jekyll. Alas, Jekyll only…

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Four Chemistry-Approved Ways to Stay Awake Without Caffeine

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Now that the fall semester has either started, or is looming ominously, there’s a pretty good chance that you’lll occasionally find yourself in need of a pick-me-up. And while coffee/tea are great, sometimes, you need something a little less shocking to your system. Fortunately, the American Chemical Society has you covered, and they bring amazing news (via Lifehacker):

That’s right: You’re not procrastinating by watching viral cat or puppy videos: you’re improving your alertness and attention…

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Your Favorite Browser Extensions?

Internet Explorer’s got ’em. Firefox’s got ’em. Chrome’s got ’em. Safari’s got ’em. Just about every major browser’s got ’em: extensions.

What’s a browser extension? I’m guessing you already know this: it’s a free add-on tool designed to supplement or customize the built-in functions of your Web browser. You can use extensions to do such things as

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Slack: When It Makes Sense to Use It

[Maha Bali is Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Her primary role is a faculty developer but she also teaches educational game design to undergrads and ed tech to in-service teachers. She is a co-facilitator of edcontexts.org and columnist at Hybrid Pedagogy. She blogs at http://blog.mahabali.me and tweets @bali_maha.]

My first thought when I heard of this tool was: why would someone call a productivity tool “sla…

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Move Easily Among Browsers with Browser Fairy

Cosmic Fairy Lights

It used to be so easy to answer the question, “Which browser should I use?” First, the answer was always “not Internet Explorer.” Firefox and Chrome were great, but they got real bloated and crufty. (And Chrome is murder on battery life for MacBook users.) Safari isn’t bad, at least on the Mac side–but it uses the keyboard shortcut “CMD-number” (CMD–1, CMD–2, etc.) to open a bookmark, instead of shifting among your open tabs–and, really, who wants to live like that?

In the interest of battery l…

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Designing Engaging Course Documents with Piktochart

syllabus

This is a guest post by Julie Platt, currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. She researches and teaches about writing centers, creative writing studies, professional writing, and technical communication. On Twitter, she’s @Aristotlejulep.–@JBJ]

It’s sometimes a struggle to get students to carefully read course documents. Many student questions, especially at this time of year, can be answered with “Please check the syllabus!” However, when I c…