All posts by George Williams

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Open Thread Wednesday: How Fitness-Friendly Is Your Campus?

Bicycling Magazine just published their list of “9 Great Colleges for Cyclists,” and it’s got me thinking about the extent to which a campus does — or doesn’t — make infrastructure choices that encourage cycling or walking (or running) as a means of getting from place to place.

For example, when I went to a conference at Stanford University a few years ago, I was especially impressed by what seemed to be a very robust campus bike community. As the above linked article explains,

The California s…

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Open Thread Wednesday: How to Keep Your Energy Level Up

It’s June, the weather’s getting warmer in South Carolina, I’m teaching a summer course, and by early afternoon I’m ready to take a nap for pretty much the rest of the day. This experience has me thinking about how to do a better job of managing my energy. Over at WebMD, Peter Jaret shares “9 Ways to Get Your Energy Back,” straightforward suggestions involving such things as food, sleep, and exercise. I’m considering this month a personal experiment into this topic, so I’m going to make a few c…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Breathe


For many of us, it’s the time of semester when everything seems to be piling up at once: committee reports, grading, planning for the summer, planning for the fall, book orders for upcoming classes, last-minute student advising, as well as all of the regular responsibilities that are a part of our personal lives.

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve often encouraged our readers to remember to take a break. In this week’s open thread, we’d like to hear your best suggestions for how to go about doing just t…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Favorite Podcast Apps?

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Back in February I asked you to share your favorite new podcasts. Today, I’d like to learn what your favorite app for listening to those podcasts. (Obviously, there are several candidates to choose from.)

What software do you use — mobile or otherwise — to listen to your favorite podcasts? And what do you like about that software? Please share in the comments!

[CC-licensed Flickr photo by Thomas Kamann]

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5 Things to Love About Coffee

Whether you’re a Starbucks loyalist or a member of the rebel alliance, the chances are pretty good that you’re a regular consumer of coffee. I, for one, am certainly doing my part to keep the coffee business going strong. Recently, a great local coffee bar opened here in downtown Spartanburg, and it’s become my semi-regular hangout of late thanks to free wireless Internet access, low prices, and the high probability that I’ll run into friends and acquaintances there. To be honest, I’ve been a l…

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Simple Little Tricks

Sometimes it’s the simplest little tricks that can make a big difference in our work. For example, I’ve written about using carabiners on my backpack to help me keep track of my keys. I like having this smartphone holster for my iPhone, keeping a simple little multitool on my keyring, and wrapping all kinds of things with velcro cable ties.

And for a few years now, I’ve been using rubber bands with my colored whiteboard markers.

Brian and many others may love teaching with chalk, but it’s no bi…

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How to Run a Group-Authored Blog


Independently of each other, a small number of people have recently asked about the workflow involved in publishing a group-authored blog like ProfHacker.

Now I don’t pretend that the way we do things is the best way possible, but I’m happy to describe how we go about publishing 2 posts a day, 5 days a week.

If you’re involved in a similar project that uses a different workflow, feel free to share the details in the comments to this post.
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Open Thread Wednesday: Taking Stock and Thinking Ahead


On my campus the semester has just about a month of regular classes left, which means that it’s time to start taking stock of what’s been done, what’s almost finished, and what still needs to be wrapped up. Committee deadlines approach, student projects near completion, and research tasks need to be completed over the next month or so. How much time is left in the term on your campus? What kinds of plans are you making? How do you make sure that everything that needs to get taken care of actual…

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Microsoft Finally Introduces Office for iPad

After years of speculation from users, Microsoft has finally introduced a version of their Office suite of applications for the iPad. As their description on the product’s web page explains, you can

[v]iew, create, and edit Office documents on your iPad® with touch-friendly Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps. In Word, add comments or track changes while you work together with others. Review and update Excel spreadsheets and add formulas or charts. Change PowerPoint presentations and project them…

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30 Days of Biking in April

I’ve been looking for a structured way to start getting more exercise, and it looks like the “30 Days of Biking” project–which starts tomorrow, April 1–might be just what I’m looking for. As the associated website explains, “Very simply, it’s a pledge to ride your bike every day in April, however far you want, no matter the weather! Next, you share your adventures online, with #30daysofbiking. That’s all there is to it.”

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