Category Archives: Software

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Making Games with Browser-Based Flowlab.io

Last semester was the first time I encountered a new challenge for my online class: some of my students were using Chromebooks as a primary computer. Several ProfHackers have tried Chromebooks out with mixed results, but I find the biggest challenge they present is the limitation on development software options. Picking the right game-making tool to assign for students requires careful consideration: many platforms are limited to either Mac or PC, making picking a tool that all students can use…

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Protecting Your Site with BackWPup

Old floppy disks used for backupRules of computing:

  1. If it’s important, back it up.

  2. Refer to Rule #3.

  3. See Rule #1.

Those are serious rules. Really. There’s nothing more horrifying than losing the only copy of something you’ve spent hours/days/weeks/months on.

The rules apply to websites as well as other information, and we’ve written a lot in this space about ways to back up a site. Julie introduced readers to a few methods of website backup, Kathleen wrote more specifically about backing up a WordPress site, and Mark r…

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Host Synchronous Video Chats with Blab

I spend a lot of my time in synchronous video conversations (even though I still prefer text-based asynchronous communication). Many of those conversations are livestreamed and recorded (especially those done for Virtually Connecting).

In the past, I have used Google hangouts extensively, because they generally work well from a variety of devices (although sometimes Google updates the PC version and one browser or another becomes buggy – usually either Chrome or Firefox). The major advantage of…

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Digital Scholarship with Scalar 2


Creating a work of digital scholarship can be daunting. Last year I published a piece called “Alice in Dataland 2.0″ (Kairos 20.1) that represented an incredible labor of mapping, organizing, and combining platforms from Twine to Construct 2 to hand-coded HTML5 and JavaScript into a fairly massive hypertext. The task is not one I’d recommend to other individuals setting out on a scholarly project, so as I think about my next work I’ve been investigating platforms that can make digital scholarsh…

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Managing References with Paperpile

A pile of journal articlesAh, research. No matter our field, we need to organize our source materials and keep track of our notes. As we write, we need a convenient way to insert citations and manage reference lists.

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink over the years writing about reference managers, such as Zotero and Mendeley, that can help us accomplish those tasks.

I’m a long-time user of Zotero, and I’ve often recommended it to my students (sometimes I’ve even required them to use it for an assignment). I’ll continue…

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What I Like About Hypothes.is

Annotations in a book

Some of us have written on web annotation here on ProfHacker (see Lee’s post last May and the comment thread).

Whenever people have encouraged me to use Hypothes.is for web annotation, my first question had always been, “so how is it different from Diigo?” and Google didn’t seem to have an answer to that (some of us should probably do the world a favor and update the outdated wikipedia page comparing web annotation tools). I recently found a very good use for it, and started testing it, and dis…

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Communicating with Students: A Suggestion About Email

Rendered three-dimensional @ symbol, here used to represent email.

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written several posts about email over the years. I don’t know about you, but it feels like I receive way more email than I know what to do with. And regardless of who is sending them, a significant percentage of the emails that I do receive are, shall we say, constructed in a manner than is less than ideal: vague subject lines, announcements that include all important information in an image attachment, requests for information that take the sender 5 minutes to ask bu…

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Making Live-Tweeting Easier with Noter Live

Got Hash Tag?

Conference season is upon us, with both the MLA and the AHA (among others) coming up this weekend.

Profhacker has a long list of posts about live-tweeting conference panels:

One of the challenges I’ve had in live-tweeting is keeping track of the hashtag, as well as the speakers’ …

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Personalizing Bulk Emails: MailMerge for Gmail vs MailChimp

I remember using MailMerge way back in the day… like when the internet first started. It used to be only possible to use with MS Outlook, and I haven’t used Outlook in a really long time, so I had given up on it. But recently, someone asked me to help them send personalized emails to a large group of people they had surveyed… and I remembered MailMerge. Turns out there is an option to use MailMerge for Gmail and it’s a simple add-on you use with Google Sheets. It is really really simple to use …

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ProfHacker 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Hopefully you’ve noticed the subtle change in the air: the giving way of the aroma of pumpkin spice latte to the onset of the peppermint mocha. With that blessed change from decorative gourd season, mothers everywhere want to know what you’ll be getting them for the slew of holidays that close out the year. Not to fear! It’s the annual ProfHacker gift guide! Whether you’re looking for ideas for mom, your kid, the board gamer, or the reader in your life, we’ve got you covered.

And if for some re…