Category Archives: Software

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Access Monitor: WordPress Plugin to Monitor Accessibility

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written several posts over the years about accessibility, about WordPress, and about WordPress and accessibility. (As many of you already know, there are significant differences between sites run on WordPress.com and those run with WordPress.org software. Among those differences are the availability of certain themes and plugins. You can read more about the differences on this support page.)

For a variety of reasons, it’s important to make digital resources usable by…

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Examining Design through the Prezi Awards

Prezi, a Flash-based tool for “zooming” presentations, has been divisive among academics since it was first introduced in 2009. The platform has  come a long way over the years–when I first used it for my dissertation defense visuals in 2010, it was impossible to do much to change fonts, colors, or backgrounds outside a few preset themes, but I still thought there was potential in the interface’s ability to juxtapose ideas on what amounted to a virtual whiteboard. It now has a much more customi…

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Google’s Inbox (Zero)

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[Tim Lepczyk is the Director of Faculty Instructional Technology at Hendrix College. You can follow him on Twitter at @thirdcoast.--@JBJ]

Google’s new app and interface for Gmail, concisely named Inbox, tries to streamline email and thus make “inbox zero” more attainable and less something one needs to chase. Currently, the app is available through invitations only, but one can request an invite through a friend or through Google.

The idea behind Inbox is that email is a task and the goal is to…

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Microsoft Office for Android (Beta)

Last week, Microsoft announced that they’re expanding the “preview” — formerly only available to a limited number of users — of their Office apps for Android tablets:

We want more feedback from more users to ensure that Office apps work well on a range of different Android tablets before launching the official apps. To participate in the preview, you can use an ARM-based Android tablet running KitKat or Lollipop, with a screen size between 7″ and 10.1″. Starting today, anyone can go to Google P…

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2014: 5 Games to Learn From

As the year winds to a close, it’s a great time to take a look back at some of the games that stood out in serious and educational gaming. If you’re thinking about picking a new game for a class, keep an eye on the coming game awards season. There are a number of venues that showcase great educational games each year. The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge highlighted several winners this year, including National Geographic’s game The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom and University of …

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Hour of Code


December 8th through 14th marked Computer Science Education Week, along with a week-long push for Hour of Code, an initiative in procedural literacy through beginner-friendly tutorials with particular attention to groups that remain underrepresented in STEM. While many of the community events and initiatives are aimed at K-12, the tutorials and resources from the project and the initiative itself can be valuable for us to take a look at in higher education.

Obama kicked off the week of code by

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#TAGS: New Homepage for Twitter Archiving Google Sheet

Screen shot of "TAGS" home page.

Here at ProfHacker we’ve written quite a bit about Twitter over the years (as our archive of posts with the twitter tag reveals). One Twitter topic that we’ve addressed often is how best to maintain an archive of Tweets, whether your own or those associated with a particular hashtag. In two different posts, Mark introduced readers to what is, arguably, the best free solution for this: Martin Hawksey’s TAGS, “a free Google Sheet template which lets you setup and run automated collection of searc…

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ProfHacker 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Round trees at night, lit with holiday lights Why is this post different from all other posts? Because it’s the annual ProfHacker gift guide! If December is a busy time for most people, it’s always seemed that much busier to me since becoming an academic: there’s finals, grades, and all those department parties competing for my attention when what I really need to do is figure out what I should get my wife. That’s where this guide comes in. We’ve got the recommendations you need for the coffee / exercise / tech enthusiast in your life, as …

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Batch Convert Word Documents to PDF in Google Drive

pile of paper

PDF format is very useful for any documents that are going to be shared with others, whether by posting online, via email or printed as hard copies. Using PDF means that you can control not only the content but also the presentational formatting, and ensure that what you create will remain consistent for your audience. PDF was designed to be cross-platform and is accessible from a variety of machines and devices.

Recently, I was reminded of a simple approach to batch converting Microsoft Word d…