Category Archives: Profession

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Why I Record my Conference Presentations

record stop buttons

While I was attending the ADHO Digital Humanities conference this summer, I wound up talking with several people about the shifts we’ve noticed in presentation styles within our respective disciplines. Although presenter habits vary by discipline, by field, and by conference, in my own fields of literature and digital humanities I’ve certainly noticed a shift away from the reading of written papers towards a more flexible presentation style, often accompanied by projected slides.

Back in the pr…

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Tools for Transitions: Preparing to Move

moving I am in the middle of the first real move of my adult life. While I’ve been in and out of dorms and apartments, I’ve never ventured far from my home state for long, and much of my stuff has been accumulating in the same room for twenty years. I’ve been unearthing papers from grade school, papers from graduate school, over-sized clothes, under-sized clothes, books that are falling apart at the seams, unread books, and the occasional unclaimed student project. Being a Profhacker-type, I initiall…

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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 …

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Tools for Transitions: Leaving Campus Tech Services


Summer is a big time for academic transitions. Last week I talked about tools for finding a new home, but once you’ve found somewhere to go, it’s a lot of work to get there–I’m writing this while surrounded by unpacked boxes and stacks of books. One of the first steps is to clear out of your former campus, which can be complicated depending on how many years you’ve spent invested not only in your physical office but in all of the campus’s digital services.

Here are the big technology tasks that…

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On Deadlines

hourglass wrought iron

Some hard (and sometimes hard-won) truths about deadlines, academic and otherwise:

Some deadlines are really, truly, firm. And some are not.

Some deadlines come with negative consequences for not meeting them in a timely fashion. Some do not.

Some negative consequences take physical or visible forms, such as late fees, delayed diplomas, or cancelled accounts. Some negative consequences are psychological and emotional, such as feelings of embarrassment, guilt, or shame.

Deadlines and their flexi…

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Tools for Transitions: Finding A New Home


For most of us in academia, big transitions are inevitable. We move from graduate school in one state to a postdoc or fellowship in another and perhaps through several such temporary positions in search of permanence. And, even if found, permanence can be an illusion as needs of departments, family ties, and other life considerations get in the way. I’m in the midst of a big transition this summer: I’m relocating to Orlando for a new job at the University of Central Florida. So as I navigate th…

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Are We Solving the Right Problems?

Last week, our technology program brought in a trainer on Agile development methods, which is really an alternative approach to project management that’s particularly brought to bear on large software productions. One compelling aspect of the agile approach is the attempt to reconcile what every member of a team brings to a vision–including the difference between what a customer says and thinks they want, and what they really want. As we worked through strategies for continuous learning and ada…

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Tom Bihn’s Travel Bags for Conference Travel

TB0940_01bWhen I moved to the Boston area and began commuting two years ago, I asked ProfHacker readers to recommend a good backpack for commuting. So many recommended Tom Bihn backpacks that I got one, and I loved it. So when I was preparing for a series of work-related trips this spring, I wanted to test out Tom Bihn’s travel bags for these 2- or 3-night trips. The company provided me with an Aeronaut, a Tri-Star, and a Pilot bag so I could test them all, along with a set of packing cubes and pouches to…

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All Things Google: A Busy Month

Google logo with Einstein's face addedThere’s been a lot going on for Google lately. Since just before the end of April, Google has made changes to its mobile apps, introduced a new tool for educators, and run into some trouble in Europe. Given the degree to which All Things Google play a role in our lives (for good or for ill), it seems appropriate to offer some brief commentary on each.

Mobile applications

The change to Google’s mobile applications was a pretty significant one. Previously, everything you wanted to do with any docu…

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Why #NetNeutrality Matters to Higher Ed

image of link to a generic web addressThis is a joint post by Adeline Koh and Siobhan Senier (@ssenier), Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire.  Siobhan’s current research and teaching interests include Native American Studies, Digital Humanities, Sustainability Studies, and Disability Studies.  Find out more about her research on her website, Writing of Indigenous New England. 

 

If you work in the digital humanities–or for that matter, in higher education–net neutrality is an issue that calls for a conc…