October 7, 2011, 8:00 am
I tend to think about things in a very mechanical sense. I like making Linux scripts for repeated tasks, my routines are strict and emotionless, and when I usually spend time trying to figure out the most efficient way to do things before being able to move on it (which might be a post unto itself, but I digress).
These are some of the reasons why Zotero is such a useful tool: it allows me to organize lots of my web-based research in a machine grokkable (but also MLA compliant) list that can easily be imported into a paper or saved for future reference on Zotero proper.
This worked tremendously well for born-digital articles (and the existence of Zotero 3.0, with a plug-in for Chrome as well as a standalone version, makes me the happiest person in the tri-state area) but it faltered a little when it came to actual physical texts. This may sound like a first-world problem (and…
May 18, 2011, 8:00 am
A while back, I wrote about pursuing something called Techno-bliss. I had described it as a system where you imagined a perfect technological system built around a primary goal My own version of Techno-bliss was a workstation that could live on several machines, using the majesty of the cloud and google docs. In the time since, my needs have gotten a little more specific, and recently I’ve discovered a home-brew, mobile, lightweight and (most importantly) free word processing system that I find very useful. Before I describe it, I should explain why the existing solutions don’t cut it for me, and what I want in a “perfect” system.
Up until recently, I’ve been exclusively using Google Docs as my primary word processor. It fulfilled a few of my criteria for the perfect word processor: Instant Saving, Cloud Storage, and Exportability. When introducing Google Docs to a new student or…
February 4, 2010, 8:00 am
I’ll admit that I bought into the Android idea early: I was an avid user of Google, liked the idea of an open-source handset, and really wanted something powerful other then the iPhone (mostly just to spite my faculty advisor). Since my January 2009 purchase, the Google Android mobile phone platform has matured significantly. It has gone through three (humorously pastry themed) major updates, and has spread from the original hardware on T-Mobile to encompass a wide range of devices on almost every major cellphone network in the United States (the holdout is AT&T, but I’m sure they aren’t too worried about their smartphone selection). I had started out with a G1 – not the most rugged or powerful phone, but a decent device – and have recently upgraded to the Nexus One. In my two semesters using it, It has become clear that Android is ready for the classroom arena.
Android is for…
November 12, 2009, 2:00 pm
RateMyProfessors.com is a website – now owned by MTV – that fills a strange space in the mindset of the academic community. At its best, it is a forum for students to honestly and anonymously evaluate their Professors. At its worst, it is a place for gossip, ridicule, and a tool to choose the path of least resistance on your way to a degree.
At my university, RateMyProfessor is often seen alt-tabbed in another window next to the University’s class selector software, students fervently cross-referencing available classes with their assigned professors . It’s not uncommon for students – faced with a large set of potential electives – to use RMP to choose their class solely on the ratings of the teachers found there. This is not neccessarily a bad thing at all – all other things equal, I can understand the willingness to choose a teacher that your peers have…
October 13, 2009, 2:00 pm
Here at ProfHacker, one of the things we like to do is share ideas about what’s working for us. A good number of us on the team find that we regularly use all things Google.
This post, the first in a series titled “All Things Google”, provides a quick overview of which Google tools two of us use, and a brief explanation of why we use them.
Future posts in the series will explore some of these tools in more detail.
A student’s perspective: Alex
What I use:
- GMail: Hub of organization such as labeling, filtering, etc.
- Google Calendar: Great for syllabus management, reminders for upcoming assignments, organizing and recording work hours
- Google Documents: Where I have written almost all of my papers for my entire college career!
- An Android-based mobile phone: More a sort of “away from computer hub” than a audio communication device.
- Google Wave: Still feeling this one out,…
August 28, 2009, 11:21 am
Whether or not we are approaching any grand Singularity, technology continues to change in new and interesting ways. Users continue to stress the limits of any given system, and creators expand the system to accommodate new growth. Nevertheless, many professors – even, or perhaps especially, younger professors – still seem to be at odds with the idea that technology can be integrated into the classroom with any manner of success. It seems that for every tech-savvy edupunk soldier, there is a techno-phobic professor unwilling to consider that the shiny, beeping, distracting things that have invaded their classroom and have been shoved down their throats might actually be useful.
However, there are simple, easy ways to entice even the most techno-skeptical professor, and to make our gadgets a welcome friend in the classroom.
- Always, always ask, and respect the answer given. I am often…