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Email Overload? A Review of Sanebox, an Email Management Tool

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I often refer to my inbox as the abyss from which few return, given how overwhelmed I generally am. Faced with a constant email deluge, I’m always worried that I will forget to answer important emails (I do), or even non-urgent ones that may fall off the face of the earth once they get buried at the bottom of my to-answer pile.

I’ve been trying out Sanebox, an email overload solution, for the past month and have been using it enough to warrant forking out money for their paid services. Sanebox …

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“Know Thy Selfie”: A Selfie Group Discussion Assignment

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“Selfies,” or self-taken photographs, have become as ubiquitous as the smartphone. Their popularity has even spurred the formation of an academic group, The Selfies Research Network. Your students take selfies, you probably do as well. But how do we encourage our students to think critically about the selfie as cultural artifact?

Mark C. Marino, associate professor (teaching) of Writing at the University of Southern California, came up with this admirable assignment titled “Know Thy Selfie”, in…

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Making Story Games with Twine 2.0

I’ve written about many game tools here at ProfHacker, including Inform 7, Construct 2, and Inklewriter. One of my favorite platforms to work in personally is Twine. As I wrote previously, Twine is a powerful platform for building HTML5 games that can be played in the browser, and it works in a card-based model that’s very friendly to non-programmers. It’s very quick to pick up and go, so it’s something that can be brought into any discipline as a new way of engaging and expressing material. Re…

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Weekend Reading: Blasted Daylight Savings Edition

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Welcome to the weekend, ProfHackers! I don’t know about the rest of you, but it seems to me like every year, adjusting to Daylight Savings is more difficult. But we’ve made it through the week, and some of us are enjoying Spring Break or have started to count down the days.

If the news about Sweet Briar wasn’t disturbing enough last week, The Atlantic published an article about “The Unfortunate Fate of Sweet Briar’s Professors” Spoiler alert: “Unfortunate” is an understatement. Meanwhile, Insid…

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Teaching with Wikipedia? The Wiki Education Foundation Wants to Help!

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I’ve written a number of ProfHacker articles on integrating Wikipedia into your classroom, such as this post on tips and tricks for teaching with Wikipedia and how to organize your own Wikipedia edit-a-thon. One of the biggest obstacles most instructors report facing, however, is simply learning how to use Wikipedia to the point where one feels comfortable enough to teach with it.

If this describes you, The Wiki Education Foundation wants to help. This separate arm of the Wikimedia foundation i…

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Managing Photos on Flickr

A Flicker (bird) on FlickrA lot of us here at ProfHacker have been using Flickr for quite a while. I like it well enough that I used to subscribe to Flickr Pro for the extra storage space, though I dropped the subscription when Flickr gave everyone a full terabyte of storage. I keep my personal photos there, as well as photos that I use for this blog. Every once in a while I have occasion to take a snapshot of the whiteboard in my classroom and share it with my students on our course website, and Flickr’s handy for that,…

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Stay Focused with the Momentum Extension

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One of the most important things you can do to enhance your productivity is to keep focusing on your highest priorities, the big important things, which can easily be obscured by the rush of urgent demands and everyday maintenance tasks. Even when you’ve taken the time to reflect on your roles and define your priorities, it’s easy to lose sight of them during the day.

The Momentum personal dashboard extension for the Chrome browser offers an appealing way to set a clear focus for the day and be…

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Report from the EURECA Conference on Research and Creativity

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I’ve recently returned (jetlag and all) from Egypt, where I had the opportunity to speak at the American University in Cairo’s EURECA conference, an event that offers a showcase for undergraduate research as well as events focused on the intersection of research and creativity, a topic many of us at ProfHacker are passionate about. For me it was also an education, as I was able to witness some of the approaches to research and undergraduate education on display and participate in discussions su…

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Weekend Reading: In Like a Lion Edition

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Welcome to the weekend, ProfHackers.

The higher ed landscape was rocked this week with the news of the imminent closure of Sweet Briar College. Inside Higher Ed broke the news on Tuesday afternoon. In the aftermath of the announcement, many questions are being askedThe Christian Science Monitor asks, “Are Women’s Colleges Still Relevant?” (Disclosure, I teach at a women’s college, so for me the answer is a resounding YES). Bloomberg View asserts that Sweet Briar is closing “the right way.” In…

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What Software Does Your Institution Provide Free or Cheap?

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The other day I was working on a project that required some image editing power. That’s not a typical requirement in my work, and so I didn’t have a good image editing program installed on my work computer. My first instinct was to download GIMP, a free alternative to Photoshop. I also spent some time exploring cheaper Photoshop alternatives, wondering if there was a good program with a solid user interface that wouldn’t cost too much.

Then, however, I remembered something I seem to forget ever…