All posts by Anastasia Salter

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Digital Distractions: ARGs and Endgame

A new book by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton, Endgame: The Calling, launched earlier this month. The book chronicles twelve players representing ancient cultures who are trying to save their societies with the fate of the world at stake. If you picked it up without knowing the full story, it would seem like a disappointment as a book: the players are presented with clues, but the puzzles and mysteries are left unsolved. This is because Endgame isn’t so much a book as the launching point fo…

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Report from the UNF Academic Technology Innovation Symposium


Last week I joined a group of faculty, instructional designers, administrators, librarians and academic technology specialists at the University of North Florida Academic Technology Innovation Symposium. The symposium represents the type of localized exchange of best practices and pedagogical experiments that is vital to university communities, with ideas on display ranging from Google Glass to 3D printing (like the chocolate-holding keychain pictured above.) I was there to talk about extending…

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Updating Your Web Security


Web security isn’t something we tend to think of on a day-to-day basis. Usually, we only become aware of the security concerns of our accounts once something goes wrong. Recently, I’ve seen several friends fall victim to attacks on their accounts and identity, which has motivated me to take steps towards thinking about my own web security practices. We know that we should have high-security passwords and not reuse them across networks, and yet most of us don’t follow those rules.

Here are a few…

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Ello and Academic Social Networks

If you’ve been on Twitter or Facebook lately, you might have seen the first apparent signs of a migration, with users announcing their new account names on the currently invitation-only social network Ello. This isn’t the first time there’s been a new network apparently on the horizon (remember the short-lived exodus to App.net, the still-on-life-support Google Plus, and the decentralized concept of¬†Diaspora pods? Konrad, at least, certainly appreciated Diaspora.), but it’s caught the attention…

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Building Habits and Routines

 September is always a hectic time in academia: depending on your campus’s schedule, you might be a few weeks into classes or just getting started. As I’ve been starting to get the hang of life at a new university, for a while I let everything else slip: exercise became something I fit in when possible instead of scheduled, and, as one of my friends put it, I regressed to eating like a college student. Getting these types of priorities back on the to-do list can feel impossible when it’s already …

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Games in the Classroom Reading List

 Last week on Twitter, I was asked for some recommendation for critical readings on games and learning. There are lots of enthusiasts for games in the classroom out there (myself included, of course) and tons of great places to start if you’re interested in learning more about bringing games into education. These are only the tip of the iceberg–there’s a particularly rich conversation in game studies surrounding serious and persuasive games, which is decidedly interwoven with educational games.

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What Twitter Changes Might Mean for Academics


If you’re a regular user of Twitter, as many of us at ProfHacker are, you’ve no doubt seen the many posts speculating on Twitter’s impeding demise. Twitter, along with every other social network, gets declared dead on a regular basis. However, earlier this year Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer wrote “A Eulogy for Twitter” in the Atlantic and observed:

“¬†Twitter’s earnings last quarter, after all, were an improvement on the period before, and it added 14 million new users for a total of 255 …

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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…