November 30, 2012, 11:00 am
I know most of us are worried primarily about the end of the fall semester, but lately the spring has been on my mind as I begin prepping for its courses. I’m pretty sure one of my classes for the spring will not make—there aren’t enough students registered at the moment and the rush of registrants has ended. I think it’s partly a function of being a new faculty member at this institution: students here can access data about teachers’ student evaluations, for instance, but I have none yet by which potential students could evaluate me. But I think it’s also partly my own fault, for trying to be too clever with the course title. It was to be an upper-level, undergraduate seminar, and I tried to give it a title that would speak to its content—in this case, nineteenth-century popular print culture—but in a cheeky, slightly irreverant way. Looking at the course title again, I realize it…
November 20, 2012, 11:00 am
Last month I wrote about beginning an experiment using a standing desk at work. My reasons were simple. Standing desks seem like healthier tools for long days at work: better on the back, more conducive to stretching and light movement through the day, and aids to alertness. Full disclosure reminder: GeekDesk generously sent me a review unit of their GeekDesk Max for this experiment. And before I update you on my progress, let me note that the comments on my last post are well worth reviewing. They include many use cases for standing (or not) at work and also recommendations for other standing desk solutions.
Okay. I’m now about 6 weeks into my standing experiment, and have begun noticing significant changes as a result:
- My legs are (usually) no longer tired at the end of the day. In my first post I noted that my body was not yet used to standing, but that has definitely changed. …
November 12, 2012, 11:00 am
Yes, this is another post about Twitter. ProfHacker readers know how fond we are of the social media platform. That fondness perhaps explains why I’m writing an entire post to recommend the new Tweetbot for Mac, a Twitter client that runs a costly $20 on the Mac app store.
If you’re an occasional Twitter user, you probably don’t need such an expensive client for checking in on the service. If, however, Twitter has become central to your academic life, Tweetbot for Mac includes a number of features that might make it a worthwhile investment. My favorite features of Tweetbot are:
- Its beautiful design. Perhaps aesthetics might seem less important than functionality, but if you use your Twitter client frequently it certainly doesn’t hurt to use an attractive, responsive interface to do so. Tapbots (the designers) carried the design from Tweetbot for iOS—which I also recommend highly…
October 23, 2012, 11:00 am
Last year I wrote about my modest moves toward a standing desk at work; I was using a lectern to stand up when reading. As I wrote then,
it’s pretty obvious that sitting at a desk, hunched over a computer, is not the healthiest way to spend eight hours (or more) of every day. The human body isn’t optimized for such immobility. Standing desks alow you to stretch and move while you work—you burn more calories than sitting.
Because of these benefits, I decided when I began my new job to move to a standing desk for the bulk of my work. Full disclosure: GeekDesk generously sent me a review unit of their GeekDesk Max for this experiment. I will review this specific product at the end of the review time. The GeekDesk Max can be adjusted electronically, and preprogrammed with up to four set heights. This allows me to transition easily from standing to sitting as I need to during the day …
October 11, 2012, 11:00 am
A few months ago, as I was preparing to move to a new job in Boston, I asked colleagues on Twitter to recommend a good backpack for commuting. In the ProfHacker 2011 Gift Guide I wrote of my love for the Mulholland Brothers briefcase I received as a graduation present. I still love that bag, and it’s still in great shape, but I knew I’d be taking the train to work and walking more than in my previous job, and so I wanted something with two straps that would be better for my back. Many of my colleagues on Twitter recommended I check out Tom Bihn‘s backpacks. I took their advice and I have been using the Tom Bihn Smart Alec for several months now. I’m ready to sing its praises along with those who recommended it. Full disclosure: I’ve based this article on a review unit provided by Tom Bihn. I attempt to review the product fairly, but I understand these bags are expensive—perhaps…
October 3, 2012, 8:00 am
As with my post last week about the job market, today’s post emerged from a workshop I put together for grad students here at Northeastern. This one focused on “Creating and Maintaining a Professional Presence Online,” and the post rounds up many useful articles from ProfHacker and elsewhere on the topic. As before, my Twitter community helped greatly in putting this together. The Storify at the end proved particularly interesting to the students in the workshop.
Before moving into the post itself, I should note that I started this workshop by asking participants to Google themselves and reflect on the “person” that emerged from the search—whether the results that emerged were actually about them or not. This exercise proved very useful for thinking about how online identity might shape the perceptions of job search committees, conference panel attendees, or even new students—all people…
September 26, 2012, 8:00 am
Last week on my personal research website I published a link roundup, “Useful Resources for the Academic Job Market.” I prepared this list for a job market workshop offered to graduate students in my department. The post was well received both at Notheastern and on Twitter, and I thought ProfHacker readers might also find it useful. While tailored to graduate students entering the market for the first time, I suspect these resources will be useful to others braving the market as well. This could be considered a “From the Archives” post, as I link to many of my ProfHacker colleague’s best posts on the job market.
This post was prepared for a workshop aimed at graduate students in Northeastern University’s English Graduate Program who are making (or considering) a run on the job market. As a recent survivor of the market I hope I can offer some insight into its quirks and vicissitudes. …
September 18, 2012, 11:00 am
We love WordPress at ProfHacker, and many of us use WordPress to manage course websites. I’ve written about using ScholarPress Courseware to manage classes (and avoid LMSes like Blackboard). In my classes, the course website—built in WordPress—is the syllabus, and I ask students to refer there for course policies, the schedule, and assignments. However, I always have a few students who want an easily printable syllabus. When a syallbus was built in and for WordPress, however, that can be a challenge. At the very least cutting and pasting into a word processor would require significant reformatting of the website’s text; alternatively, I could remove the HTML tags I used when writing the syllabus by hand.
Enter Anthologize, “a free, open-source, WordPress-based platform for publishing” developed during the NEH-sponsored “One Week, One Tool” workshop at the Center for History and…
September 10, 2012, 11:00 am
If you’re a ProfHacker reader who works in a humanities discipline, there’s a good chance you’re interested in the digital humanities. Last week Brian, Adeline, and I pointed you to three DH workshops at this year’s MLA Convention in Boston that might help you get started in the field. If you’re interested in learning even more about DH, you might also consider requesting a mentor from the Association for Computers and the Humanities’ (ACH) mentoring program. The ACH and DHCommons—a hub for DH collaboration—are proud to announce a new partnership that will make seeking an ACH mentor (or volunteering to be a mentor) simple. You can now request a mentor when you set up a new profile on the DHCommons site.
Here’s the announcement from the ACH and DHCommons:
The Association for Computers and Humanities (ACH) and DHCommons are pleased to announce a partnership meant to broaden the ACH…
August 21, 2012, 11:00 am
As school begins I thought I would review the Mac desktop applications that I will most need during the semester. I hope my Mac-using ProfHacker colleagues will chime in with their own picks in the comments. Other posts for Windows and Linux apps will appear here in the coming weeks.
So, looking in order down my dock (which, for completeness’ sake, I will note that I organize vertically on the left side of my screen), we have:
- Things: I just reiterated my love for Things in a recent post about the to-do manager’s 2.0 update. I won’t gush more. It’s a great (though pricey and by no means the only great) OS X and iOS task manager. Mac app price: $49.99
- Postbox: another ProfHacker favorite. Amy reviewed Postbox, Mark discussed Postbox add-ons, and I recently announced a price-drop for the OS X Mail alternative. I love Postbox’s hotkeys for organizing mail and I love the social media …