All posts by Jason B. Jones

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Managing Slack

Photo of a street sign: "Slack End"

Over the past couple of years, the on-trend communication tool among technology types has, no doubt, been Slack. Lee wrote an introductory post about it in August, and Maha followed up a couple of weeks later with some thoughts about when to use it.

The past week saw two interesting posts that look at Slack from very different “management” angles:

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E-Portfolios Are Not the Fitbit of Higher Education

sketchbook

This month Jeff Young, Goldie Blumenstyk, and friends have launched a new section of the Chronicle, called “Re:Learning: Mapping the New Education Landscape”, which looks at some of the recent technological, economic, and political challenges to higher education. I think–and not just because it would be on brand to say so–that this is a potentially interesting refresh of the Wired Campus focus.

On their Facebook page yesterday, they shared a Forbes article arguing that e-portfolios are the Fit…

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Doing Focused Work in Distracted Times: Cal Newport’s Deep Work

Cat, staring intently

Although the book didn’t quite arrive in time for New Year’s resolutions (which are junk anyway), 2016 has already seen the publication of Cal Newport’s eagerly-awaited new title, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (Grand Central Publishing), which promises to offer research-driven guidelines for doing meaningful work. And it’s pretty successful at this goal!

Cal Newport is the prior author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work…

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Starting off in Markdown with Word-to-Markdown

Piece of paper with Markdown formatting

Over the years, we’ve written a lot about Markdown–the simple, human-readable language for formatting text–here at ProfHacker. Lincoln wrote an introductory post about it a few years back, and followed that up with one on Pandoc, a tool that lets you convert all manner of text documents ond another on Markdownifier, a tool that lets you grab plain text from (almost) any web page. We’ve had several posts on tools for writing in Markdown: Cory on WikiPack, Mark on Gonzo, me on TextDrop, Natalie o…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Conference Season FOMO or JOMO

Photo of a big crowd

Early January is definitely one of the peak conference seasons, as scholarly organizations such as the MLA, the AHA, the AAS, and others take advantage of the US winter break to convene large meetings.

But no matter how big the conference is, most people don’t go, whether from lack of money, lack of interest, competing priorities, traumas from previous conferences, or just a need to recharge between semesters. For those of us who aren’t attending a major conference this week, watching waves of…

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Open Review for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities

screenshot of MLA website

The MLA is publishing a collection of keywords on Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, which features curated sections on a variety of topics related to digital teaching methods. (I am on the advisory board for this collection.)

One of the interesting aspects of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities is that the keywords are available for open peer review and public comment. This is being staged in batches, both as a sanity-preserving mechanism and to make sure eac…

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Automating Writing with TextExpander Scripts

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TextExpander is a slightly terrifying key logger a well-designed, intensely useful app for Mac & iOS that does exactly what it says on the tin: it takes little snippets of text and blows them up into arbitrarily longer ones. Ryan wrote about it 5 years (!?!) ago, and George followed up with a post about using it for grading.

The real power of TextExpander comes into focus when you start to reflect on just how many things are text. For example, scripts are just text.

Helmut Hauser, who teaches…

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Understanding iOS Diagnostic Logs

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One of the irritating things about living in the walled garden that is iOS is that Apple isn’t super-forthcoming with human-readable diagnostic information. Fortunately, the internet is usually a helpful place, and Joe Caiati has written an overview of the system logs stored on your phone.

At its most basic definition, the Diagnostics & Usage Data section is a log of system events that happen on your iOS device. This log isn’t tracking your every move, but it is creating entries whenever eve…

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Who Speaks at Meetings? Find Out with GenderTimer

Complex Balance

Nobody really likes meetings, but, at the same time, one has to work with other people. (How unpopular are meetings? It looks like US Office of Strategic Services used typical meeting strategies as guidance for how to sabotage enemy organizations.) The fact that nobody likes meetings, of course, doesn’t mean that we don’t like them in quite the same way.

A topic that I’ve tried to become more aware of recently is gendered differences in meeting behavior. Although it frequently comes labeled wit…