The internet is full of people creating amazing things and getting very little monetary compensation in return. Though they will probably always trail behind in number, there are also many of us out there who would love to give a little back. A guest posting here by Courtney Danforth has introduced some of the many ways to give, and both Jason and George have talked about crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter that bring support for proposed new projects to a new scale.
If crowdfunding is larger in scale, and project-centric, then microdonations and microfunding are starting to make their mark in supporting things like online content creation. Services like Flattr make it easier to make small one-off donations on websites that contain the Flattr button. So far, the most innovative entry into the world of microdonations I have seen, however, is Gittip. Gittip is not a site for single…
So, it turned out to be the wrong week to be teaching a post-apocalyptic novel as a way to lighten things up in the British survey. Yikes. (Former ProfHacker Alex was in the 7/11 the suspects robbed minutes before it all went down!) All our thoughts are with those in Boston and Texas this weekend.
Katie Floyd shows “How I Organize Documents in Evernote”: Evernote also has the ability to “tag” documents with keywords which I use occasionally, but the practice of tagging never really caught on with me. As a longtime Mac user, I’ve much more comfortable using a nested files and folders system. Evernote uses the concept of “notebooks” to organize documents. Notebooks function…
This year, spring break has brought a surprise guest, as a variety of factors combined to add a new boxer (from a rescue service) to our house. This is a mostly good thing, but it also makes it hard to get adequately caught up on all the other things. Good thing there’re about 60 hours of break left . . .
On to this week’s links!
Friend-of-ProfHacker Virginia C. McGuire has a great essay on an important topic–“Saving for Retirement as an Act of Wild Optimism”: I confess, I did a little therapeutic overspending after my cancer returned. I bought a fancy ice cream maker and made plans to take Leo to Hawaii. But there is a frenzied feeling to that kind of self-indulgence, a fatalistic, forced happiness that made me feel sad underneath.
If you want to learn methods, techniques, or technologies that are outside your usual scholarly ambit, then you often have to learn them in small sections as you find time. That’s why I was glad to learn about R Twotorials.
R, according to the R Project’s website, “is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.” It’s a programming language useful for analyzing data and creating graphics, especially if you’re using statistical methods.* It’s also the language that Matthew Jockers suggests you learn if you’re interested in digital humanities.
R Twotorials is a set of some ninety screencasts, each two minutes long, that teach you how to use R. Created by graduate studentAnthony Damico, a statistical analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the screencasts are fast-paced and entertainingly bombastic. You can get a flavor for the screencasts and a sense of how…
I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done five or six years ago, and it has more or less shaped the way I organize my work since then. I say more or less, because the elaborate system of projects, next actions, someday/maybe lists, and processing that makes up GTD is easy to slip away from. That’s probably for the best, since undue obsession with planning your work can take away from actually doing the work. I’ve noticed that I go through long cycles, at the end of which I return to organizing my work according to GTD.
I’ve recently gotten back to the Getting Things Donesystem, thanks to a series of episodes in the podcast Back to Work. Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discuss the high points of GTD, especially the sticking points where your system can fall apart. (A caveat: the hosts spend a lot of time talking about things that are off topic, especially comics. If you enjoy that,…
It’s no accident that Jason and Konrad wrote about AppleScript, as OS X’s scripting language offers a user-friendly, yet powerful way to get your computer to help you. This is especially true when combined with the Automator, which offers a drag-and-drop interface for scripting workflows.
In today’s post, I wanted to show how easy it is to get into scripting by demonstrating a much simpler use case than did Jason or Konrad. This script will grab whatever’s in the clipboard, and append it to the end of a specific text file.*
I’m teaching in an almost awesome computer classroom this semester. The software and hardware is all new. The room is in the same building and on the same floor as my office. There’s plenty of room for students to move around if they need to. The only problem is that the new furniture–which is going to better allow for collaboration among students as well as better class discussions–has not yet replaced the existing cubicles, which isolate students from each other and make it difficult to discuss topics as a group.
Ah, well. So far, this is not an insurmountable problem, but I’m considering coming in one weekend soon and…
The preposterously easy-to-use Google+ Hangouts, which among other features, allows you to record video directly to YouTube, has lowered the barrier to entry enough to allow for the creation of a ProfHacker podcast. (Technically, this is the *return* of the ProfHacker podcast, as there was an “episode 1″ three years ago, featuring Merlin Mann, but three years is a pretty long break, even by academic standards.)
In this installment, Amy, Brian, Jeff, Natalie, Ryan and I discuss back-to-school: what we’re doing to get ready, what we’d like to be different this year, and so forth:
It’s a first effort, so there’s, um, room for growth, but hopefully it’s interesting to folks. And while it’s foolhardy to make public promises after a single instance, we’re currently scheduled to be back in two weeks to talk about syllabuses,…
Last year, I’d asked for some examples of creative syllabuses from ProfHacker readers. We got in some really outstanding ones, although I probably ran that post too late to be very helpful.
This year, I’d like to remedy that by asking again for syllabuses that you think are particularly well-designed. Feel free to send them to me as an attachment or as a link, and I’ll post some next week. Also, there will be a ProfHacker post or three about syllabuses over the next couple of weeks, so if you have questions about something in your syllabus, ask below in comments.
On to this week’s links . . .
Forget MOOCs (viz.). David Wiley argues that “The No Textbook Degree” will drive a meaningful shift toward genuinely open education, and it’s more possible than you’d think: There is currently a sufficient amount of high quality OER in…
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