All posts by Amy Cavender

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Untethering in the Classroom

Projecting to an Apple TV with mirroring
I hate being tethered to the podium computer in my classroom. Seriously. I have a strong preference for being able to move about the room, but I also frequently need to use the projector, which is connected to — you guessed it — the podium in the front of the room. There’s really no simple way around this.

In my ideal world, I’d be teaching in a classroom equipped with a wireless projector. But since I don’t anticipate having access to such a projector anytime soon, I’ve had to look for other s…

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Using Evernote in the Classroom

Cat reading in Evernote on an iPadLast week, Jason asked readers how they work with their tablets. In the comments section, I noted that one of the ways I use it is for keeping my class notes. I keep those in Evernote.

(Yes, we’ve mentioned that app a few times in this space. I also use Evernote for storing information I might want to retrieve later; I recently reorganized my notebooks and notes after reading about Michael Hyatt’s setup, and I’ve found that approach really helpful).

Once my class notes are in Evernote, it’s very…

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Open Thread: Thoughts on Providing Documentation?

A librarian doing bibliographic instruction in a computer labMany of us have had a lot of practice in planning courses and specific classes. We’re experienced at designing assignments, too.

But as more of us experiment with blogging assignments and electronic portfolios, we often find ourselves asking students to do things with tools that they may not be familiar with. They’ll need some instruction in how to use those tools, and they’re likely to appreciate some reference material, even if we devote some class time to hands-on practice.

What kind of refer…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Trying Anything New in Your Teaching?

By now, most of us are at least a week — if not two or three — into the new academic year. If we’re experimenting with anything new in our courses, by this point we might have at least an initial sense of whether the change is having the effect we’d hoped.

So let’s hear from you: Are you doing anything new in your classes this term? If so, what, why, and how’s it working out thus far?

[CC-licensed photo by Flickr user Lokesh Dhakar]

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Suggested Edits in Google Docs

Suggesting edits in Google DocsSince ProfHacker first launched (can it really be five years ago?), we’ve written numerous posts referencing Google Docs. One of my own earliest posts dealt with using Google Docs in my writing course when portfolio readers might still need paper copies of students’ work, and Ryan’s written about using it to run a peer-review writing workshop.

Google Docs remains an excellent tool for working with students on their writing skills, and in late June, Google added a new feature that makes it even m…

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Simple Screencasting Tips

Second Life Tutorial - screencastDoes anyone visit Second Life anymore? Perhaps not, or at least not often. But video tutorials are still very helpful, which makes screencasting a useful skill to develop.

We’ve covered screencasting in this space before, beginning with this introductory guide. It’s still well worth a look, even nearly five years later, and the basic workflow for screencasting hasn’t changed much.

It’s one thing to read through the basics of screencasting, though, and another to actually do it. Over the summer, …

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Cross-Platform Applications for Daily Work

Multiple operating systems in actionSometimes our readers give us good ideas for posts. After my post about fully replacing ChromeOS with Linux, a reader asked what Linux software I use for academic purposes. I suggested Zotero for PDF management, and also pointed him to Steven Ovadia’s @steven_ovadia blog — which has an “academic” tag — for further ideas.

In case other readers are interested (or have recommendations of their own to share!), I thought it worth mentioning some other applications academics might find useful.

My firs…

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All Things Google: A Busy Month

Google logo with Einstein's face addedThere’s been a lot going on for Google lately. Since just before the end of April, Google has made changes to its mobile apps, introduced a new tool for educators, and run into some trouble in Europe. Given the degree to which All Things Google play a role in our lives (for good or for ill), it seems appropriate to offer some brief commentary on each.

Mobile applications

The change to Google’s mobile applications was a pretty significant one. Previously, everything you wanted to do with any docu…

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More Chromebook Fun: Fully Replacing ChromeOS with Linux


Last November, I wrote about running Ubuntu on a Chromebook using ChrUbuntu. In that post, I noted some of the advantages of running ChrUbuntu: I really liked having a full-blown desktop environment to work in, and ChrUbuntu worked much better for me than Crouton.

There were still some issues, though. I couldn’t choose the operating system at startup; switching back to ChromeOS required issuing a terminal command and rebooting the machine. If I wanted to boot back into Ubuntu, I had to issue a …

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A Quick Recap of Day of DH 2014

Book and laptop

This post was originally scheduled to run last week, but then there was Heartbleed.

So it’s only now that we get to look back to this year’s Day of Digital Humanities event, held on April 8 and hosted for the second year in a row by the wonderful team at Matrix, including Ethan Wattrall. For those who may be unfamiliar with the event, it’s a day in which those working in digital humanities publicly document some of their work day and discuss their work.

What is digital humanities? For answers t…