All posts by Jason B. Jones

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How Do You Work with Your Tablet?

10053155455_bcc06e19ba_kThis afternoon brings yet another set of Apple announcements–definitely new iPads, a specific release date for the new Mac operating system, and apparently retina displays for the iMac. And whenever Apple releases a product, other folks do also, with Google announcing the Nexus 9 that runs the new Android Lollipop OS..

The run of tablet announcements always makes me a bit curious: Are academics using them for work? In what ways? Obviously, we’ve covered tons of different ways people might use ta…

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Reforming Shared Governance?

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I won’t spend the whole week recapitulating Rice’s De Lange conference on “Teaching in the University of Tomorrow” (see yesterday’s post on “Seeding Social Media”) but I did want to draw folks’ attention to one more thing: William Bowen’s talk on technology and changing American priorities related to higher education.

Bowen describes the financial and demographic challenged facing higher education, and argues for a more technologically coherent platform that would help colleges deliver course…

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Seeding Social Media

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This week, Rice has hosted a fascinating conference on “Teaching in the University of Tomorrow,” which is trying to think about teaching, technology, and the changing higher ed landscape. You can find out more about the conference here or by viewing the conference’s active, boisterous hashtag, #delange9.

I wanted to post about it because of the conference’s design: most of the keynotes are by very elite presenters (system chancellors, college presidents, founders of startups), paired with ver…

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Better Living Through Advanced Tricycling

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Longtime readers (George, mom) will know that I have a giant internet crush on Merlin Mann, who most people outside of Tallahassee first heard about through his productivity-themed website 43folders, then through his Inbox Zero e-mail talk at Google, and most recently as a podcaster on shows such as Back to Work, Roderick on the Line, and You Look Nice Today: A Journal of Emotional Hygiene. (How big a crush? I invited him for a 3-talk visit bac…

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A CFP on Executable Culture

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As a blog, we have always been interested in translating aspects of maker culture into higher ed. (For just a couple of examples, see Erin “On Building” or Anastasia on “Making Games in the Classroom with Scratch”.) Having said that, it is difficult to translate the products and process of making things into quantifiable academic publishing units.

Addressing this problem, Friend-of-ProfHacker Kathi Inman Berens points to a journal that’s calling for “executable” projects:

CALL FOR PAPERS: HYPE…

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Open Thread Wednesday: About Those Software Updates

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At some point at or after 1pm in their local time zone, iOS users will be able to download and install the latest version of the system software. (Well, most users, anyway.) And while I’m sure ProfHacker will cover the utility of different features in the coming weeks–and while Android users will comment, ‘meh–we’ve had that feature for years’–I wanted to focus on a different question today:

Are you a first-day updater? Why / why not? Do you have different approaches for devices you own persona…

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On Politeness as a Strategy

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Despite its fondness for elaborate rituals, higher education really isn’t all that polite. Every campus has its faculty or staff member(s) who are notoriously fractious and hard to work with, and, more generally, higher education doesn’t really select for “playing well with others.” (Indeed, if you Google “academic decorum,” a result on the first page includes musings on whether creativity and collegiality are truly compatible.) Higher education’s traditional employment practices can mean that …

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Weekend Reading: Where’s the Hurry Edition

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Now that it’s the middle of July, the universal cry across college campuses has been, “why does the summer go so quickly?” After all, the Premier League’s season is only a month away–and with Liverpool yet to sign a world-class striker!

Wait–that’s not why, well, except for my 11yo. Many faculty are concerned because their summer plans–whether for writing or course planning or recovering–are starting to run out of days. Likewise, the countdown is on for all of the staff plans for getting their …

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To Become a Writer, Track Your Writing

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The great secret about writing is that there isn’t any particular secret to it: You just have to show up and do it. Again, and again, and again. (There’s a reason there are books like Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, but not any called Writing Your Dissertation in a Single Caffeine- and Adderall-Fueled Week.) If you make writing a habit, then that habitual work pays off in words. Sometimes it even leads to inspiration.

And it’s also not a secret that to form a habit, it help…

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Bad Meetings Are Your Fault

[This post originally appeared in 2009, but we thought it would be a good idea to share it again.]

If you’re consistently in bad meetings, it’s time to look in the mirror.

No one would accept consistently terrible classes. No one would continually repeat research procedures that didn’t yield interesting data. But there’s this weird assumption that meetings are just inherently bad and unimprovable.

Meetings are a problem when no one is accountable for them. Sometimes this is because the group’s …