Category Archives: Teaching

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Open Thread Wednesday: Teaching for Night Owls and Early Birds


One of my favorite parts of being a professor is this continual reset. Every semester there are new classes and new students along with a completely new schedule. While this is mentally exhilarating, it can be difficult to rebuild a routine every few months. A few years ago, I found myself teaching classes regularly that met until nearly 11pm at night. As someone who is usually ready for sleep at 10, that took a lot of adjustments and new strategies to keep both the students and myself fully en…

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Live-Tweeting Assignments: To Use or Not to Use?

twitter in the classroom

We’ve written a great deal on using Twitter in the classroom at ProfHacker. Ryan has written on creating disposable accounts for classroom use, Erin on how to choose hashtags, Jason on how to disable retweets, George on twitter archiving strategies, and my post on suggested guidelines for livetweeting a class.

This post explores some of the benefits and drawbacks to one of my most successful teaching exercises using Twitter—getting students to “live tweet” films. “Live tweeting” basic…

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A Scavenger Hunt Exercise to Teach Research Methodologies

Stockholm Library

This semester I’ve been assigned to teach one of my program’s core courses: an introduction to research methodologies. This is the second time that I’ve taught the class. My first time teaching research methodologies didn’t go so well. My students looked listless and unengaged the entire semester. Wanting to learn from that past experience, I’ve decided to try out a whole bunch of different approaches to teaching the class this time including getting students involved in more hands-on…

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Are those files really final?

cemetery

A recent post by Charlie Harvey, titled The word final should never appear in filenames points out that when you’re sharing files with colleagues,creating a clear system for filenames reduces a lot of potential frustration:

There is a file you need to read. Maybe it has some important stuff in it. A contract that went through a bunch of revisions. That sort of thing. Only, when you go to the directory on your company samba share there are 30 files that it could be.

Inevitably at least 3 of thes…

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Using IFTTT To Track Twitter Participation

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[This is a guest post by Dan Royles, a visiting assistant professor of history at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He’s previously written for ProfHacker on “Researching the Recent Past Online” and “Digital Workflows for the Archives.”You can follow him on Twitter at @danroyles.–@JBJ

Much digital ink has been spilled on ProfHacker about using Twitter in academia, and Mark Sample has offered prac…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Harvard, Attendance, and Acountability


Last week, Harvard made the news thanks to a study conducted through secret photographs of lecture halls as a way to monitor attendance. The debate over ethics in the study is ongoing, and of course the reality is that with all the course management tools dominating our education system we’re all subject to much more monitoring than we are aware of. However, this study made me think about something I’ve struggled with in my first semester at a big university: what does a great attendance policy…

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Untethering in the Classroom

Projecting to an Apple TV with mirroring
I hate being tethered to the podium computer in my classroom. Seriously. I have a strong preference for being able to move about the room, but I also frequently need to use the projector, which is connected to — you guessed it — the podium in the front of the room. There’s really no simple way around this.

In my ideal world, I’d be teaching in a classroom equipped with a wireless projector. But since I don’t anticipate having access to such a projector anytime soon, I’ve had to look for other s…

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Report from the UNF Academic Technology Innovation Symposium


Last week I joined a group of faculty, instructional designers, administrators, librarians and academic technology specialists at the University of North Florida Academic Technology Innovation Symposium. The symposium represents the type of localized exchange of best practices and pedagogical experiments that is vital to university communities, with ideas on display ranging from Google Glass to 3D printing (like the chocolate-holding keychain pictured above.) I was there to talk about extending…

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Using Evernote in the Classroom

Cat reading in Evernote on an iPadLast week, Jason asked readers how they work with their tablets. In the comments section, I noted that one of the ways I use it is for keeping my class notes. I keep those in Evernote.

(Yes, we’ve mentioned that app a few times in this space. I also use Evernote for storing information I might want to retrieve later; I recently reorganized my notebooks and notes after reading about Michael Hyatt’s setup, and I’ve found that approach really helpful).

Once my class notes are in Evernote, it’s very…

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Open Thread: Thoughts on Providing Documentation?

A librarian doing bibliographic instruction in a computer labMany of us have had a lot of practice in planning courses and specific classes. We’re experienced at designing assignments, too.

But as more of us experiment with blogging assignments and electronic portfolios, we often find ourselves asking students to do things with tools that they may not be familiar with. They’ll need some instruction in how to use those tools, and they’re likely to appreciate some reference material, even if we devote some class time to hands-on practice.

What kind of refer…