Category Archives: Software

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Building Habits and Routines

 September is always a hectic time in academia: depending on your campus’s schedule, you might be a few weeks into classes or just getting started. As I’ve been starting to get the hang of life at a new university, for a while I let everything else slip: exercise became something I fit in when possible instead of scheduled, and, as one of my friends put it, I regressed to eating like a college student. Getting these types of priorities back on the to-do list can feel impossible when it’s already …

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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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What Twitter Changes Might Mean for Academics


If you’re a regular user of Twitter, as many of us at ProfHacker are, you’ve no doubt seen the many posts speculating on Twitter’s impeding demise. Twitter, along with every other social network, gets declared dead on a regular basis. However, earlier this year Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer wrote “A Eulogy for Twitter” in the Atlantic and observed:

“ Twitter’s earnings last quarter, after all, were an improvement on the period before, and it added 14 million new users for a total of 255 …

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Visualize Your Promotion Portfolio with Cmap

[This is a guest post by Janine Utell, who is an Associate Professor of English at Widener University in Pennsylvania. She teaches composition and 19th and 20th century British literature; she has also facilitated a number of on- and off-campus workshops on writing, critical thinking, and general education. Previously at ProfHacker, she’s written on “Practical Wisdom and Professional Life” and “How to Study Your Own Teaching (And Why You Might Want To).” You can follow Janine on Twitter: @jan…

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Making Games with GameCreator


I’ve never been a Mac user, so when I walked into my HILT 2014 workshop earlier this month and saw row upon row of Apple computers, I admit I panicked. Fast forward three weeks later and I’m writing this on a Mac laptop, thanks to my new university and their decidedly non-Windows campus. My biggest concern with switching to Macs has never really been the hardware (which is admittedly gorgeous). Instead, software has been the limitation. At HILT, we tried to work with Construct 2, a Windows-only…

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Suggested Edits in Google Docs

Suggesting edits in Google DocsSince ProfHacker first launched (can it really be five years ago?), we’ve written numerous posts referencing Google Docs. One of my own earliest posts dealt with using Google Docs in my writing course when portfolio readers might still need paper copies of students’ work, and Ryan’s written about using it to run a peer-review writing workshop.

Google Docs remains an excellent tool for working with students on their writing skills, and in late June, Google added a new feature that makes it even m…

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Google Classroom: First Impressions

13083732955_007e5ce4de_z The new learning management system (LMS) offered to Google Apps for Education users has recently become fully available: Google Classroom. In its current early incarnation, the option may be attractive for instructors who are not currently using an LMS and want to give one a try, but only if they are already using the Google Apps for Education or have a registered domain that they can configure for its use.

Once Google Classroom app has been added to your account and a class has been setup, the…

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Making Worlds with Unity

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When I started getting interested in game development over a decade ago, most of the available options took a lot of coding and–for one kid, working alone–didn’t feel like they could ever lead to much in the way of results. Tools for game-making have come a long way in their accessibility and their results, as I’ve examined throughout this series: Construct 2 offers a building-block environment for building HTML5 2D games; Inform 7 includes a natural language environment for writing interactive…

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Cross-Platform Applications for Daily Work

Multiple operating systems in actionSometimes our readers give us good ideas for posts. After my post about fully replacing ChromeOS with Linux, a reader asked what Linux software I use for academic purposes. I suggested Zotero for PDF management, and also pointed him to Steven Ovadia’s @steven_ovadia blog — which has an “academic” tag — for further ideas.

In case other readers are interested (or have recommendations of their own to share!), I thought it worth mentioning some other applications academics might find useful.

My firs…

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A Game A Day at HILT

paperpusher I’ve been blogging about Games in the Classroom here on ProfHacker for some time, and I’m very excited to be putting some of these lessons together in a week-long institute as part of the Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching institute at the University of Maryland this summer, August 4th–8th. We’ll be taking some of the lessons learned from “game a week” to the next level with a “game a day” workshop. You can see the full breakdown and resources for the workshop here. If you’re interested…