All posts by Anastasia Salter

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Tools for Transitions: Reflections on Year One

The first year is the hardest. This is a familiar warning, and one that I’ve personally found applies in many academic endeavors: college, graduate school, a new job, a new administrative role. This year was my first year at the University of Central Florida, a move that brought with it many transitions, including a new state, house, job, and program, not to mention new students and colleagues. Over the last year I’ve written about finding a home, preparing to move, leaving campus tech services

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Playful Browsing with Chrome Extensions

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Ever since reading Natalie’s post on the Momentum Chrome extension, I’ve been paying more attention to the Chrome browser app marketplace. I was immediately converted to Momentum, as it’s built in to-do list tool and simple aesthetic make it a really easy way to stay on track. Chrome extensions fit in an odd space between app and websites: some of them simply offer things that could easily be found elsewhere on the web in a more convenient, integrated bookmark, while others include app-like fe…

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Making Mini Games with Twiny Jam


Twine is my favorite tool for working with would-be game designers new to interactive media: as I’ve noted in the past, both the original Twine and Twine 2.0 are newbie-friendly and flexible platforms for building hypertextual experiences. However, embarking on a Twine project can be daunting: the possibilities of building choice-driven narratives can lead down infinite paths. It can be tricky to build an assignment or workshop structure that keeps Twine texts down to scale without cutting off …

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Tools for Transitions: Starting the Tenure Process, Again

Last summer, I began a series of posts here on my transition from a tenure-track job I’d held for several years to a new state, a new university, and a new tenure process. I’m now most of the way through my first year, and it’s the season for preparing progress toward tenure reports. While this is process I’ve been through many times, it caught me by surprise here. It feels very weird to have just gone out to buy a new, empty black binder waiting for me to sort the files of the last eight-ish m…

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Making Story Games with Twine 2.0

I’ve written about many game tools here at ProfHacker, including Inform 7, Construct 2, and Inklewriter. One of my favorite platforms to work in personally is Twine. As I wrote previously, Twine is a powerful platform for building HTML5 games that can be played in the browser, and it works in a card-based model that’s very friendly to non-programmers. It’s very quick to pick up and go, so it’s something that can be brought into any discipline as a new way of engaging and expressing material. Re…

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Report from the EURECA Conference on Research and Creativity

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I’ve recently returned (jetlag and all) from Egypt, where I had the opportunity to speak at the American University in Cairo’s EURECA conference, an event that offers a showcase for undergraduate research as well as events focused on the intersection of research and creativity, a topic many of us at ProfHacker are passionate about. For me it was also an education, as I was able to witness some of the approaches to research and undergraduate education on display and participate in discussions su…

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Sharing Learning with Working Examples


One of my favorite parts of writing for ProfHacker is having a space to share experiments, ideas, classroom strategies and, yes, occasionally failures. Thus I’m always excited when I find spaces with that same philosophy of collaborative learning and give me new ideas to spark my next project. I recently was introduced to one such platform, Working Examples. Working Examples is a community site for sharing educational projects while they are still in progress: it’s somewhat a collection of blog…

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Lessons from Teaching with Games


The latest issue of Syllabus, an open access journal that explores the syllabus as a piece of scholarship that should be annotated and shared with the educational community, is entirely dedicated to Teaching with and about Games. As an advocate of games in the classroom, I was very excited when I first saw the call for this issue from editors Jennifer deWinter and Carly A. Kocurek, and I’ve just finished reading through it. There are a number of ideas from the collection (which is practically a…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Revisiting Travel Computing


Several years ago, I started my quest for the perfect travel computing solution. Academic travel places a lot of demands on our technology: often, we rely on computers for presentations at conferences, taking notes, and keeping up to date on other projects and meetings. For a few years I was able to rely almost entirely on an iPad and keyboard case for all my conferences, which offered a lot of portability if not much computing power.

Sadly, I was parted from my iPad this year, and I had to mak…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Teaching for Night Owls and Early Birds


One of my favorite parts of being a professor is this continual reset. Every semester there are new classes and new students along with a completely new schedule. While this is mentally exhilarating, it can be difficult to rebuild a routine every few months. A few years ago, I found myself teaching classes regularly that met until nearly 11pm at night. As someone who is usually ready for sleep at 10, that took a lot of adjustments and new strategies to keep both the students and myself fully en…