Category Archives: Editorial

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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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Weekend Reading: Frazzled New Semester Edition

10600430_10203382112931120_4665268041150610272_nWith the new semester comes inevitable busyness and exhaustion, so I’m going to keep this introduction brief, saying only that there is no common thread along which this week’s selections are strung.

  • Natalia Cecire’s “Everybody’s Authority” offers a necessary and nuanced analysis of how most readers’ transition from RSS readers to social media has also shifted the dynamics of “semi-public” academic writing online.

    Cohen’s suggestion—explicitly made in the context of RSS’s then-rising prom…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Trying Anything New in Your Teaching?

By now, most of us are at least a week — if not two or three — into the new academic year. If we’re experimenting with anything new in our courses, by this point we might have at least an initial sense of whether the change is having the effect we’d hoped.

So let’s hear from you: Are you doing anything new in your classes this term? If so, what, why, and how’s it working out thus far?

[CC-licensed photo by Flickr user Lokesh Dhakar]

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Weekend Reading: September Already Edition

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Another Labor Day is behind us, and I saw the first few autumn leaves this week, incongruous amidst temperatures in the upper 80 degree range. we hope you’ve have a good week and look forward to an even better weekend.

This week, Yale launched a massive web-based platform called Photogrammer that allows users to search and access a collection of 170,000 Depression-era photographs. The actual collection is housed in the Library of Congress and contains work by several prominent photographers …

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Weekend Reading: Back in the Classroom Edition

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Today’s image is a tableau titled “Classroom with Three Figures” by Lavern Kelley, painted white pine, plywood, brass, and plastic, 1979, 1984–87. I originally had something else in mind for this space, but when I came across it in my Creative Commons searching, I couldn’t not use it.

TGIF ProfHackers! This was the first week (back?) for many of us, and we hope it went well for you. For those of you who start after Labor Day, savor these final hours of freedom.

Like many of you, my social media…

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From the Archives: the First Week of the Academic Term

Classroom The ProfHacker archives are full of useful ideas, tools, and advice relevant to the first week of a new academic semester or quarter. In addition to the posts highlighted below, you may want to check out some previous From the Archives posts on New Semester, New Year, Creating Syllabi, and Grading.

Teaching: the first week

  • Brian’s So Now You’re A Teacher is aimed at new instructors, but contains useful reminders for anyone heading back into the classroom.

  • The ProfHacker team assembled a li…

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Weekend Reading: August & Everything After Edition

7976509870_fd12524842_z As summer, for many of us, speeds towards its inevitable end, I am reminded of the ebb and flow that marks this time of year: the daylight has begun waning sooner, and our daily habits and patterns will shift (or may have already shifted) to accommodate the demands of a new term, a different course, the same course but on a different day, new or returning service work, and the everyday responsibilities of family, friends, and our own selves.

Like many of you, over the last two weeks, I’ve becom…

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Five Things That Helped Us Survive Summer 2014

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With the new academic season right around the corner, the ProfHacker team thought we’d share some of the things that we found especially useful, enjoyable, or interesting during the Summer months.  We hope you’ll find something useful or entertaining for the months ahead, especially since the weather will stay warm in many places for a few weeks. (You may also want to check out our 2010 and 2011 Things That Helped Us Survive Summer posts.) Let us know your favorite summer items in the comments…

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Weekend Reading: Back to School Countdown Edition

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TGIF, ProfHackers! As the beginning of the semester looms, many of us are trying to enjoy the last moments of freedom while others are finalizing syllabi and trying to meeting writing deadlines before classes begin. Amidst all of this preparation, the world has had a very busy week, and if your social media feed is anything like mine, it has been on constant overload for several days now.

One of the biggest stories to break over the last six days comes out of Ferguson, Missouri. The St. Louis s…

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Weekend Reading: Poppies in London Edition

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Happy weekend, ProfHackers!

Over the course of the summer, historians have observed the centennial anniversaries of the First World War. This weekend, one hundred years ago, Europe stood poised on the brink of war. France and England had been issued ultimatums by Germany on July 31, 1914, and mobilization had begun along the Russian and German borders. The Telegraph has outlined the main eventsNewsweek ran a photographic feature titled, “The Scars of World War I Battlefields a Century Later …