April 30, 2013, 11:00 am
As Mark observed last week, ProfHacker has a whole series of posts dedicated to Health and Wellness. In addition to running with/from zombies, we have featured posts on managing stress, fitting in fitness, and even recipes from time to time (granola and pizza!). Well, in most parts of the United States and in many places across Europe, spring has sprung. The Eliot scholar side of me is fairly confident that the opening phrase of The Waste Land is not a reference to hay fever, but since moving to South Carolina a few years ago, the part of me that suffers from seasonal allergies is less sure. In any event, here are a few strategies for managing the symptoms of your seasonal allergies in an attempt to make April at least a little less cruel:
April 25, 2013, 8:00 am
In the fall, I reviewed the Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad. A few weeks ago, Belkin contacted ProfHacker and asked if we would consider reviewing their Ultimate Keyboard Case. I’ve been putting this keyboard through the paces for three weeks now (disclosure: Belkin provided me with a pre-production model for review). Available in May, this bluetooth keyboard case will retail at $99 ($129 for the white version).
Out of the box, set up was very easy. The iPad snapped into the protective case, and the bluetooth pairing was intuitive (though instructions are provided). One of the features I find most attractive about the Belkin keyboard case is the fact that it protects the back of the iPad. The Logitech case, if you will recall, left the iPad aluminum backing naked and vulnerable to dings, scratches, and other catastrophes. Not so with the Belkin. The iPad fits nicely…
April 19, 2013, 11:00 am
ProfHacker has featured several posts about various mobile apps. See for instance the Open Thread Wednesday dedicated to (y)our Favorite Weather Apps, guest author Ian MacInnes’s post on “Finding the Best iOS App for Annotation and Note-Taking,” and my previous post on GradeBook Pro to name just a few.
But once you have all of these apps, what do you do with them? Or how do you organize them so that you can access them quickly and easily? Are you someone who has a dozen different screens that you must weed through on a regular basis? Or do you have a system?
I have a system. I adopted it a year or so ago, and it has worked wonders for me. One of the reasons I was reluctant to switch to iOS in the first place was the overwhelming number of different apps available for even the simplest of tasks. Most iPhone users I knew had screen after screen of apps, with no apparent rhyme or…
February 4, 2013, 11:00 am
While we have written posts about various kinds of classroom disruptions, until now ProfHacker hasn’t covered what to do in the event of a medical emergency in the classroom. How would you deal with a student who has an epileptic seizure in class? What if a student passes out, or she suffers a severe allergic reaction? I generally think of myself as prepared in the classroom, but when one of these situations happened to a student in one of my classes, I realized that being prepared academically and pedagogically is not the whole picture. When it came to being prepared for a medical emergency, I was anything but. But how do you prepare for the unexpected?
While absolute preparation is impossible (unless your Magic 8-Ball is a heck of a lot more accurate than mine), there are a few easy things we can all do to minimize disruption for all of our students and get help quickly if it is…
December 3, 2012, 11:00 am
While I generally don’t buy into the whole, “You can never be too rich or too thin” mentality, in the case of iPad accessories, it might just be true. Or at least, it’s certainly the case that the cost of Apple accessories can add up rapidly once you start to factor in cases, covers, dongles, adapters, and chargers. As for thinness, I’ll confess to being a sucker for those accessories that preserve the sleek Apple aesthetic. At $80, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Case for iPad (compatible with all iPads except the 1st generation and the Mini) does just that and manages to pack quite a lot of features into an attractive and compact package.
I began to integrate the iPad 2 into my academic workflow over the summer of 2011. When the fall semester started, armed with Gradebook Pro and iAnnotate, I began to attempt a paperless classroom, or at least paperless grading. There was much to…
February 17, 2012, 8:00 am
TGIF. It’s been one of those weeks. Classes are in full swing. Committees are meeting regularly. Papers are coming due. Deadlines loom. And we’re smack-dab in the middle of cold and flu season.
It may seem like for every item we cross off our to-do list, two more spring up in its place like some kind of task-based Hydra. Most of us, no matter where we find ourselves on the academic ladder can feel overwhelmed from time to time. There’s always another batch of essays to grade, another class to prep, another student to meet, another email to answer.
It’s okay to give yourself a time out.
In fact, it’s not only okay, but it can often help you be more productive and efficient, not to mention happier and healthier to take a break every once in a while. We cannot function at 110% all the time, and if we try we can end up doing more harm than good. We might push ourselves to…
February 6, 2012, 8:00 am
ProfHacker first wrote about Wordle back in October 2009, when Julie Meloni called it “the gateway drug to textual analysis.” George Williams followed her post with another in November of 2009 that further considered ways to “[Use] Wordle in the classroom.”
Inspired by a Twitter conversation last week with Caleb McDaniel (@wcaleb), I decided to revisit it here.
I recently used Wordle in an assignment for my January Intersession class (on F. Scott Fitzgerald) and found it very useful for introducing students to close-reading and the basics of textual analysis. As an English professor, textual analysis is one of the most fundamental skills that I teach, and as a result, it can feel like the bane of my existence. The source of my frustration (and that of my students) is trying to get from summary and/or description to analysis. Students are often very good at describing what is…
January 20, 2012, 8:00 am
Back in 2009, ProfHacker colleague, Billie Hara wrote about grade keeping programs such as GradeKeeper that might help you to track and manage your assessment of student work. Some of you might prefer to go at it old-school with a paper grade book that you manage by hand. Others might devise spread sheets in Excel or Numbers or a GoogleDoc. Still others might use the software provided by your college or university, be it BlackBoard, WebCT, Moodle, or the like. Last semester, partly inspired by Mark Sample’s post on “Going Paperless in the Classroom,” I bit the bullet and purchased GradeBook Pro for my iPad.
GradeBook Pro isn’t cheap by my standards–I prefer my apps to be free, but on occasion, I’ll cough up the $.99 if something comes recommended by a friend or colleague. GradeBook, priced at $9.99, then was a bit of a tough sell for me at the time, especially because I didn’t…
November 10, 2011, 11:00 am
It shouldn’t be news to our regular readers that many of us at ProfHacker are proponents of exercise fitness, and wellness. Guest author Meagan Timney has encouraged Nurturing the Mind-Body Connection, Kathleen Fitzparick has written about the importance of Prioritizing Exercise, and Brian Croxall has discussed the benefits of Losing Five Pounds. In addition, readers have weighed in on their Favorite Fitness Tracking Tools, and whether or not they Take Advantage of the Campus Gym.
In my most recent post on the topic, The Rule of 200: Fitness Edition, I talked about the difficulty of maintaining an fitness routine once the semester hit its stride with the typical whirlwind of obligations, responsibilities, and unanticipated crises. As I mentioned in that post, I resolved to try something different this semester: I registered for a half-marathon thinking that having a fixed goal…