October 24, 2012, 8:00 am
Last year, November was
AcBoWriMo (short for Academic Book Writing Month), a month in which, as Charlotte Frost proposed, “We are going to wear comfy clothes, drink a lot of coffee, probably nap in our offices at strange hours and see how close we can get to writing 50 thousand words in one month.” (Incidentally, it turns out that
AcBoWriMo has earned its very own Wikipedia entry!)
Well, Frost has announced that November of 2012 will be
AcWriMo (short for Academic Writing Month), which will be similar to
AcBoWriMo but with a few changes: “This year’s event will focus on ALL aspects of academic writing, and will encourage participants to set their own (wild) goals.”
Essentially, these are the rules for next month:
- Set yourself some crazy goals.
- Publicly declare your participation and goals.
- Draft a strategy.
- Discuss what you’re doing.
- Don’t slack off.
- Publicly declare…
October 23, 2012, 8:00 am
October 22, 2012, 3:00 pm
This morning we published Adeline’s interview with with Brian Hole of Ubiquity Press (@ubiquitypress), “a small new London-based digital publisher of peer reviewed, open-access academic journals.”
The timing of this interview is perfect–(see also Konrad’s post from last week)–since this is Open Access Week, “an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.”
To quote Jason from his 2010 post on Open Access Week, “Open Access scholarship allows researchers and universities to fulfill their public mission–and also to do more and better research.”
Check out the Open Access Week site for a schedule of events taking place worldwide, a variety of blog…
October 19, 2012, 3:00 pm
On my campus we’re halfway through the semester, and the air has turned cooler… on most days.
Pumpkins have appeared on many front porches in my neighborhood, but it’s still unusually warm every once in awhile.
I have a pile of grading that I should be attending to, but instead I’ve put together some links to what I hope are interesting reading selections for the weekend:
October 17, 2012, 8:00 am
As we’ve written many times here at ProfHacker, it’s absolutely essential that you maintain a backup of (at least) your most important data. There are many ways to do this, of course, from using an external hard drive (or a redundant external storage system like a Drobo), to subscribing to services like Cloudberry, Backblaze, SpiderOak, Syncplicity, or (a ProfHacker favorite) Dropbox. You should, of course, always be mindful of the limits to stability and security in the cloud, but online services like those just listed are incredible convenient.
Dropbox provides extra free storage space for users with EDU email addresses, and this week they’ve announced another way for academic users to score extra free GBs: the Dropbox “Space Race”:
Earn points by referring your classmates, friends, and professors to Dropbox (they just need to sign in with their school email and install Dropbox…
October 16, 2012, 11:00 am
To quote the Finding Ada web site, “Ada Lovelace Day is an international day celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and maths.”
As I have written before, Ada Lovelace is an early nineteenth-century example of a hacker, and I don’t just mean in the sense of someone who enjoys working with computers but also in the sense of someone who enjoys tinkering with things, finding solutions, looking for perhaps unconventional workarounds to problems.
This year, a particularly noteworthy event is the Ada Lovelace Edit-a-thon happening today on Wikipedia: “[p]articipants from around New England are invited to gather together at Harvard Law School to edit and create Wikipedia entries on women who have made significant contributions to the [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] fields… If you cannot make it to Harvard in person but would…
October 15, 2012, 3:00 pm
October 12, 2012, 11:00 am
Launched in September of 2010, Digital Humanities Questions & Answers is a joint venture of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH) and ProfHacker. (See Julie Meloni’s launch announcement.)
Digital Humanities Questions and Answers (@DHAnswers on Twitter) is designed to be a free resource where anyone with an interest in the digital humanities can pose a question to the community of folks working in the field.
Since we last checked in with the site, many interesting threads have been launched and several “best answers” have been provided. Below, I’ve provided links to a few of the threads with best answers:
- Founding staff for a new DH Center? “If you were charged with such a task–as perhaps you have been–what would be your priorities–especially in terms of staffing the center–in the first year? Would you most want a project manager? Designer? Programmer?”
October 10, 2012, 11:00 am
Although it’s possible to get carried away, it’s still helpful sometimes to discuss what we carry with us for our work.
Your teaching tools don’t have to be digital, and they don’t have to be especially sophisticated. In fact “sophisticated” tools sometimes turn out to be “complicated” tools, and complicated tools can be the ones that are the most likely to malfunction. For me, the simplest little things can be the most powerful.
What do you keep in your bag for the classes you teach, regardless of which classes you’re teaching? I always make sure to have the following:
- a small notebook for jotting down reminders to myself and recording contact information,
- a few pens in different colors for my own use but also to loan (or give) to students as necessary,
- a couple of inexpensive flash drives also for my own use but also to loan (or give) to students,
- my beloved dry-erase…
October 10, 2012, 8:00 am
For many of us, the semester is almost half over. Now might be a good time to ask your students to provide you with a mid-semester course evaluation. (Brian has even suggested conducting your midterm evaluations publicly with GoogleDocs.)
We’ve written several posts about evaluations here at ProfHacker, and we’ve even written a few posts specifically about mid-semester course evaluations. For example, Billie has explained that “[b]y conducting mid-term teaching evaluations, you have the students’ perspective once they’ve experienced enough of the course to provide constructive feedback, but while there is still enough time in the course to make some substantive changes (if needed).” And Amy has written that “[s]uch evaluations can provide an opportunity to step back, take a deep breath, and reflect on how things are going.”
These evaluations don’t have to be extensive or…