All posts by Anastasia Salter

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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…

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Examining Design through the Prezi Awards

Prezi, a Flash-based tool for “zooming” presentations, has been divisive among academics since it was first introduced in 2009. The platform has  come a long way over the years–when I first used it for my dissertation defense visuals in 2010, it was impossible to do much to change fonts, colors, or backgrounds outside a few preset themes, but I still thought there was potential in the interface’s ability to juxtapose ideas on what amounted to a virtual whiteboard. It now has a much more customi…

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Weekend Reading: Cyberpunk Future Edition

It’s been a great few days for those of us ready for a cyberpunk dystopia. Microsoft’s Windows 10 announcement came hand-in-hand with a demo of Microsoft HoloLens, their prototype of a holographic platform for computing. The project is only one of many headsets currently exploring augmented and/or reality, with new rumors on Oculus Rift (now supported in the Firefox browser), Google’s MagicLeap, Samsung’s Gear VR, and many others all vying to be the first to take VR and AR from ill-fated ga…

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2014: 5 Games to Learn From

As the year winds to a close, it’s a great time to take a look back at some of the games that stood out in serious and educational gaming. If you’re thinking about picking a new game for a class, keep an eye on the coming game awards season. There are a number of venues that showcase great educational games each year. The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge highlighted several winners this year, including National Geographic’s game The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom and University of …

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Hour of Code


December 8th through 14th marked Computer Science Education Week, along with a week-long push for Hour of Code, an initiative in procedural literacy through beginner-friendly tutorials with particular attention to groups that remain underrepresented in STEM. While many of the community events and initiatives are aimed at K-12, the tutorials and resources from the project and the initiative itself can be valuable for us to take a look at in higher education.

Obama kicked off the week of code by

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Open Thread Wednesday: Productivity for the Holidays

For most of us, the end of semester is either at hand or fast approaching, and with it the prospect of a couple weeks of unscheduled time. Of course, this time isn’t truly unscheduled: even if you’re lucky enough not to have any meetings, there are probably many deadlines and projects looming, possibly an annual conference, not to mention family gatherings and holiday fun and obligations. I’ve realized lately that it’s actually easier for me to schedule my life and work when classes are happeni…

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Exploring Interactive Texts through IFComp


Every year, a number of game designers and storytellers share new works through an annual Interactive Fiction Competition, IFComp. Interactive fiction is, broadly put, any type of story that allows the user to take a role or control the narrative experience. There are several interfaces for this type of narrative: parser based IF uses verbs and nouns as a way to enter commands, and parses them into action, while hypertextual IF offers links and is often compared to Choose Your Own Adventure boo…