Category Archives: Software

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Making Accessible Games with Twine Audio

I’ve written about both Twine and Twine 2 as platforms that are very friendly to completely new developers and those who haven’t previously programmed, but Twine is also a platform that can offer accessibility from the user end. All text-based games build with well-structured HTML have a strong potential to be fairly easily manipulated through adaptive technologies, including screen readers. Whenever we’re thinking about integrating a new technology into teaching and learning, it’s important to…

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How Do You Annotate in Your Class?

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I’m teaching Introduction to Literature (with a Digital Humanities slant) in the fall, and I’m deciding on tools and approaches to use. One of my favorite activities is annotation, moving towards thinking about critical editions. But I’m at a loss now for what tool or tools to use in my classroom for this activity.

What am I looking for? A annotation tool that allows for collective and collaborative readings of a text and that can also handle multimedia, as well as linking (in theory) to other …

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Learn Another Language During Your Commute with Duolingo

I live in the Boston area, which means (as for many) I have a decent commute to work every day. I hate fighting traffic in the car, so I make this commute by train. I’ve written in the past about why I started carrying a Kindle rather than an iPad on this commute, so that I could read without being distracted by email, Facebook, and so forth.

I still keep the Kindle for my commutes home, but recently I’ve taken up a new activity on my commutes to work—the language-learning app Duolingo, which i…

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Playful Browsing with Chrome Extensions

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Ever since reading Natalie’s post on the Momentum Chrome extension, I’ve been paying more attention to the Chrome browser app marketplace. I was immediately converted to Momentum, as it’s built in to-do list tool and simple aesthetic make it a really easy way to stay on track. Chrome extensions fit in an odd space between app and websites: some of them simply offer things that could easily be found elsewhere on the web in a more convenient, integrated bookmark, while others include app-like fe…

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Share URLs Quickly with ShoutKey

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Imagine you’re in a meeting, seated around a table with eight other people. You want to share a URL with them, but it’s several levels down in the hierarachy of the particular website. What do you do?

If you’re all already connected online via a shared document or text messaging, then you could just drop the URL into a message for them to click on.

But what if you’re not all connected, or you don’t know the names and email addresses of all the people you want to share the URL with? ShoutKey is …

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New Features on the DiRT Directory

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DiRT (formerly known as Bamboo DiRT) is a repository of digital tools, organized, and curated by users. The idea behind its creation — as explained in this 2013 post by Seth Denbo — was to try and eliminate the re-creation of digital teaching and research tools that already existed. It has always been my go-to resource for finding tools, as well as sending students and faculty there so they can begin to explore and imagine ways that they might integrate digital assignments into their classrooms…

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Making Mini Games with Twiny Jam


Twine is my favorite tool for working with would-be game designers new to interactive media: as I’ve noted in the past, both the original Twine and Twine 2.0 are newbie-friendly and flexible platforms for building hypertextual experiences. However, embarking on a Twine project can be daunting: the possibilities of building choice-driven narratives can lead down infinite paths. It can be tricky to build an assignment or workshop structure that keeps Twine texts down to scale without cutting off …

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Tools That Stay Out of the Way

A drawing showing an assortment of hand tools

Picking the right tools for our work is important. I’ve written about some of my favorite tools in this space before, including in this post from — gulp! — five years ago. (I’m still using Dropbox and Google Documents; I’ve abandoned the Rollabind for my iPad and I don’t use the whiteboard much anymore.)

Others have written about the importance of making prudent choices about the tools we use and about lessons learned from being an indiscriminate tool adopter.

As we choose our tools, it’s good …

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Keeping Track of People with Status

It’s been almost a year since my family moved, meaning that my husband now has an hour commute to and from work. He was getting tired of me texting him asking if he had left yet or where he was on his route home. He found the app Status that automated the process of letting me know (and vice versa) where he was or what he was doing.

Available for both iPhones and Android devices, it lets anyone you allow to see where you are and what you are doing (according to status notifications that automat…

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Revisiting Mailbox for Managing Emails

Just over two years ago, I wrote about my early experiences with the Mailbox email application. Since then a lot has happened with Mailbox: it was acquired by Dropbox, for one, and it has released openly-available apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android Phones, as well as a beta desktop application for OS X. I’ve been using Mailbox since then—save one brief flirtation with Inbox for Gmail, which borrows many of Mailbox’s ideas and about which I may write soon—and wanted to write a brief followup.

Fi…