February 10, 2012, 8:00 am
As educators, most of us place content at the center of our courses. After content has been organized, we then focus on ways to teach that content to students and how we will assess their learning. We think about learning styles, teaching styles, numbers of students, room space, and available technology. We think about whether we need to deliver content via lecture, discussion, overhead slides, or course management systems. We think about how (or if) we can make our courses interactive. Once all this has been defined and planned, we are set to go. That is, we are set to go until we learn we will teach multiple sections of that same course . . . during the same semester.
Teaching more than one section of the same course sounds easy, doesn’t it? It means one less preparation for a semester, as we can just teach that content two or three times instead of just once. Yea, easy….
February 1, 2012, 8:00 am
[February’s Teaching Carnival is compiled by Billie Hara, a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Texas at Arlington. You can reach her via email or on Twitter. ProfHacker has become the permanent home of the Teaching Carnival, so each month you can return for a snapshot of the most recent thoughts on teaching in college and university classrooms. You can find previous carnivals on Teaching Carnival’s home page. –Billie Hara]
Know of a blog post (perhaps your own) that should be included in the next Teaching Carnival…?
- Email the next host directly with the address to the permalink of your blog post, and/or
- Tag your post in Delicious (or Diigo or other bookmarking service) with
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
The start of the spring semester brings many new ideas to the university and college classrooms. Grab some coffee (or…
December 1, 2011, 3:00 pm
Finding new tools to improve productivity is one of the things we do best around here at ProfHacker, and Vlingo might be one of those tools even though it’s not exactly new. Vlingo, a voice recognition program for many smart phones, is billed as a “virtual assistant” that can “turn words into action.” Vlingo uses accurate voice recognition technology to help users stay connected with the people, businesses and activities through texting, emailing, and searching. Vlingo can also connect users with third party applications, like Facebook and Twitter.
Why all the interest in Vlingo (since it’s been available since 2006)? Interest in Vlingo has spiked since Apple released the iPhone 4S with its voice-controlled personal assistant, Siri. Siri, as you might know, carries out commands on other applications, sends messages, schedules meetings, makes telephone calls, and …
November 18, 2011, 12:15 pm
We’ve heard this statement a lot lately, “see something / say something,” but we’ve heard it in a context that most of will never face. But how often do we see something on our college or university campuses– something that is questionable, something that is odd, something that is just plain wrong– and we don’t say anything to anyone about it? The situations we witness might not involve minors, but the situations could still be wrong, could still be abusive, or could still be illegal. It’s important to recognize, too, that we may not just see these situations; we may be experiencing them ourselves.
A little over a year ago, I wrote a post for ProfHacker, Sexual Harassment Scenarios: What Would You Do? This post, like many of the situational posts I’ve written here, outline sexual harassment scenarios we might encounter on a university or college campus. The…
November 15, 2011, 8:00 am
Academic publishing—traditional publishing in hard copy journals—is not a quick process. It can take months (years?) to have a piece published. In fact, I heard someone mention once that she had received an acceptance from a journal for a manuscript she’d forgotten that she’d submitted. Forgetting that we have submitted a manuscript for possible publication may not be something that most of us would experience, but it is possible given the long lead-time for many journals.
Keeping track of these submissions is easier with iWrite, a hosted web application designed to help keep track of manuscripts sent for publication. iWrite doesn’t just help writers track where they have sent their manuscripts, but it also helps track where the manuscripts are in the process of publication. For example, using iWrite allows users to start the tracking publication process when a…
November 7, 2011, 8:00 am
Those of us around ProfHacker headquarters who use the Windows operating system (and we are in a clear minority) have been waiting well over a year for the official release of Scrivener for Windows. Scrivener is an enhanced word processor from the folks at Literature and Latte that, until today, has been a MAC program. But today, Scrivener is available to both MAC and PC users, and this is an opportunity to cheer. Scrivener for Windows is finally here.
Scrivener for the MAC has been available since 2007, and it’s been met with rave reviews from users engaged in many kinds of writing tasks. In fact, Ryan has written extensively about the MAC version of Scrivener for ProfHacker. In March 2010, Ryan penned, “Scrivener, Scrivening, Scrivertastic!” and in October of 2010, he followed up with “Scrivener 2.0 Released for Mac and (gasp) Windows.” Additionally, in…
November 1, 2011, 3:00 pm
Back in the early days of ProfHacker, we had a weekly column, “What’s for Lunch?” This column provided ways to hack the noonday meal. After all the hacking we do to remain productive, sustain technological acumen, and become awesome teachers, professors still need to eat. We supplied recipes, tools, tips, and tricks to helps us remember to eat healthy foods, foods that we could bring to work with us.
Our first post in this series set up a scenario that most of us face on occasion:
You oversleep. You don’t have time to make breakfast, so you grab a Pop Tart as you rush out of the house, hoping you won’t be late to work. Lunchtime rolls around, and you’re starving hungry, so you…
- …buy something from the fast food outlets on campus
- …steal someone else’s lunch from the departmental refrigerator
- …scrounge for left over crackers and salad…
October 28, 2011, 11:00 am
If you have read ProfHacker for any length of time, you know that we are big fans of WordPress as an alternative to a Course Management System (CMS) or as a platform for professional and personal websites. WordPress is a powerful content management and blog publisher with hundreds (thousands?) of themes, styles, and functions that help writers create and publish content. One of the ways WordPress is so powerful is by user developed plug-ins. (A quick aside: WordPress is open-source blogging software that is available to Internet users with a free WordPress.com account. A more robust WordPress option comes from WordPress.org. With WordPress.org, a user needs to install the software on an owned server or with a 3rd party provider. Plug-ins are only available to WordPress.org users.)
We’ve written about plug-ins in the past: Earlier this year, Cory wrote about Access…
October 20, 2011, 8:00 am
It’s mid-term, and we are tired, and maybe we aren’t doing our best teaching. Students are tired, and maybe they aren’t doing their best work. Maybe all of this explains the increasing number of complaints about students in online forums. The complaints are popping up in all sorts of places online. Twitter? Facebook? Blogs? The complaints are in all those places. About six months ago, I wrote Think Before You Tweet (or Blog or Update a Status) about, well, thinking before you post online, and this post garnered many insightful and useful comments from ProfHacker readers. Maybe it’s time for a refresher.
Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written before about the networking wonders and creative collaborations that can happen via online forums. We have written extensively about creating an online presence that is positive and professional. In online interactions, …
October 13, 2011, 8:00 am
In this ongoing ProfHacker series, we write about complex issues. We write about situations that cause disruption in classes, student behavior that can be disruptive, and occasionally, we even admit that professors can exhibit disruptive actions. We profile these issues so that we—those of us who teach or administer in higher education—have a space to discuss the problems and solutions associated with these issues. Primarily, however, we choose these subjects because they can, in sometimes extreme cases, impede student learning. Today’s topic in this disruption series concerns when, or if, a professor should expose her own ideological or political beliefs in undergraduate education. We are discussing both the perceived bias by undergraduates toward their professors and the explicit bias professors demonstrate to undergraduate students.
As other posts in this series, the scenarios come…