All posts by Anastasia Salter

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Making Games with GameCreator


I’ve never been a Mac user, so when I walked into my HILT 2014 workshop earlier this month and saw row upon row of Apple computers, I admit I panicked. Fast forward three weeks later and I’m writing this on a Mac laptop, thanks to my new university and their decidedly non-Windows campus. My biggest concern with switching to Macs has never really been the hardware (which is admittedly gorgeous). Instead, software has been the limitation. At HILT, we tried to work with Construct 2, a Windows-only…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Tips for a New Campus

7976036483_96c0559ddb_k For most of us, the start of the semester is either underway or looming just around the corner. For those who, like me, find themselves on a new campus this fall, this new beginning is even more dramatic. There are many posts from the archives with ProfHackers offering advice to newcomers on campus: Brian wrote an open letter to new graduate students; Billie offered advice to first-time professors; Jeffrey addressed new departments chairs; and Nels offered tips for the newly-tenured. Taking on …

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Making Worlds with Unity

Unity

When I started getting interested in game development over a decade ago, most of the available options took a lot of coding and–for one kid, working alone–didn’t feel like they could ever lead to much in the way of results. Tools for game-making have come a long way in their accessibility and their results, as I’ve examined throughout this series: Construct 2 offers a building-block environment for building HTML5 2D games; Inform 7 includes a natural language environment for writing interactive…

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Tools for Transitions: Settling In

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In my last few posts, I’ve been blogging about the process of an academic move, from finding a new place to leaving my old campus and packing up. I’m now at a stage far less defined, perhaps because it is the first step without a deadline: trying to settle in to a new state, new home, new job, and new life.

  • Find your local paper (or blog!). For once, I’ve been grateful for still-kicking city papers, community fliers, local Facebook groups, and even weekly ads for giving me a sense of what’s …

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A Game A Day at HILT

paperpusher I’ve been blogging about Games in the Classroom here on ProfHacker for some time, and I’m very excited to be putting some of these lessons together in a week-long institute as part of the Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching institute at the University of Maryland this summer, August 4th–8th. We’ll be taking some of the lessons learned from “game a week” to the next level with a “game a day” workshop. You can see the full breakdown and resources for the workshop here. If you’re interested…

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Tools for Transitions: Preparing to Move

moving I am in the middle of the first real move of my adult life. While I’ve been in and out of dorms and apartments, I’ve never ventured far from my home state for long, and much of my stuff has been accumulating in the same room for twenty years. I’ve been unearthing papers from grade school, papers from graduate school, over-sized clothes, under-sized clothes, books that are falling apart at the seams, unread books, and the occasional unclaimed student project. Being a Profhacker-type, I initiall…

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Tools for Transitions: Leaving Campus Tech Services


Summer is a big time for academic transitions. Last week I talked about tools for finding a new home, but once you’ve found somewhere to go, it’s a lot of work to get there–I’m writing this while surrounded by unpacked boxes and stacks of books. One of the first steps is to clear out of your former campus, which can be complicated depending on how many years you’ve spent invested not only in your physical office but in all of the campus’s digital services.

Here are the big technology tasks that…

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Tools for Transitions: Finding A New Home


For most of us in academia, big transitions are inevitable. We move from graduate school in one state to a postdoc or fellowship in another and perhaps through several such temporary positions in search of permanence. And, even if found, permanence can be an illusion as needs of departments, family ties, and other life considerations get in the way. I’m in the midst of a big transition this summer: I’m relocating to Orlando for a new job at the University of Central Florida. So as I navigate th…

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Survey on Digital Games Use in the Classroom


A survey of grade school educators on using games in the classroom was recently released by the Games and Learning Publishing Council (funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). While this survey isn’t directly applicable to those of us working in higher education, the adoption and success of games methods in K-12 will impact responses to those approaches when we try them in our classes with those students years later.

A few findings that stand out:

  • 55% of the surveyed teachers who incl…
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Are We Solving the Right Problems?

Last week, our technology program brought in a trainer on Agile development methods, which is really an alternative approach to project management that’s particularly brought to bear on large software productions. One compelling aspect of the agile approach is the attempt to reconcile what every member of a team brings to a vision–including the difference between what a customer says and thinks they want, and what they really want. As we worked through strategies for continuous learning and ada…