All posts by Jason B. Jones


Weekend Reading: Let’s Just Go to Mars Instead


Another awful day in higher education, so I will just point to the blog of Ryan Martin, an anger researcher who once had to a teach a class with police officers stationed outside his class:

When class was over, I went back to my office (still aware of the fact that I wasn’t really any safer now that class was over) and all I could think about was what a ridiculous world we had created. How is it that we live in a world where students who want to learn and teachers who want to teach have to do…


Dropbox’s File Request Eases Receiving Files and Assignments


At a conservative estimate, ProfHacker writers have posted eleventy-billion times about Dropbox, the popular near-ubiquitous service for saving, syncing, and sharing files. And with good reason! It’s a great service, fast, and convenient–especially for people who use several different computers and devices over the course of a day, it’s frequently the glue that makes that work cohere.

This summer, Dropbox released two new features–one of which might be particularly appealing to academics: file …


Four Chemistry-Approved Ways to Stay Awake Without Caffeine


Now that the fall semester has either started, or is looming ominously, there’s a pretty good chance that you’lll occasionally find yourself in need of a pick-me-up. And while coffee/tea are great, sometimes, you need something a little less shocking to your system. Fortunately, the American Chemical Society has you covered, and they bring amazing news (via Lifehacker):

That’s right: You’re not procrastinating by watching viral cat or puppy videos: you’re improving your alertness and attention…


Move Easily Among Browsers with Browser Fairy

Cosmic Fairy Lights

It used to be so easy to answer the question, “Which browser should I use?” First, the answer was always “not Internet Explorer.” Firefox and Chrome were great, but they got real bloated and crufty. (And Chrome is murder on battery life for MacBook users.) Safari isn’t bad, at least on the Mac side–but it uses the keyboard shortcut “CMD-number” (CMD–1, CMD–2, etc.) to open a bookmark, instead of shifting among your open tabs–and, really, who wants to live like that?

In the interest of battery l…


Browse More Privately with the Privacy Badger


Do you like privacy online? Do you like adorable–if fierce–animals? Of course you do! So you will probably be interested in the fact that, earlier this month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (previously) announced that Privacy Badger, their anti-tracking browser extension, has officially reached 1.0 status, and is now available in a stable release for Chrome and Firefox users.

Privacy Badger differs from adblockers in that it does not block ads as such; instead, it blocks a specific behavior…


Weekend Reading: Almost Back Edition


Mid-late August is an odd time in the higher ed calendar, as some schools have already started their semesters, while at other places, people are either clinging to the last two weeks of summer or franticly working to finish things before everything begins again. Whichever applies to you, I hope that your weekend is a great one, and that it contains absolutely no beet salad. (Unless it turns out to be delicious? But that seems like a stretch, right?)

  • It turns out we don’t just choose bad pass…

Weekend Reading: Summer Camp Edition


What with all the news from Wisconsin and North Carolina and, let’s face it, the whole world of public higher education, it can seem legitimately overwhelming/despairing. One concrete thing to do would be to improve one’s faculty activism skills, and the best place to do that is the AAUP’s Summer Institute. It’s a three-day boot-camp in organizing one’s colleagues, talking to the media, pressuring senior administrators, and much else. It’s also a good way to keep up with news about the legal co…


A Bill of Rights for Student Collaborators


One exciting aspect of digital humanities work is its openness to collaboration, including collaboration with students. As someone who used to coordinate an undergraduate research program, I’ve always been particularly excited about opportunities to involve students in meaningful research–and participating actively in an ongoing research project certainly counts!

But undergraduate participation in research also raises a whole host of thorny questions–around compensation, around acknowledgment, …


Schedule Meetings Anywhere with Meet


In May, Amy wrote suggested Sunrise as an interesting cross-platform calendar option, right before it was bought by Microsoft. I don’t use Sunrise myself (Fantastical for life), but their most recent version does have a feature that led me to install it: The ability to send invitations via any iOS or Android app that accepts text input.

This happens via a 3rd-party keyboard, which is called Meet. (This is ever-so-slightly confusing, as Meet is part of the Sunrise app, not a separate installat…


Weekend Reading: The End Is Near


The splashy news here at the tail end of the week is edX & ASU’s announcement that they are going to offer a first year of college. Not for free, or even for “as inexpensively as many community colleges,” but since it’s pass, *then* pay, there’s still a somewhat innovative approach to the business model. Jonathan Rees has described the offering of MOOCs for credit as “weaponized” education technology,” and I’m not sure he’…