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Get Involved In Classroom Design: A Grant to Upgrade Your Classroom

Have you ever been frustrated by the largely immobile set-up of a typical classroom? Have you ever wished for the opportunity to redesign the space in which you teach?

Here’s an opportunity: if you teach grades 8–12 or at an institution of higher education, Steelcase – a company that sells products and services for corporate offices, classrooms, and healthcare settings – is offering some substantial grants for you to redesign your classroom into an “active learning center.” The awards range…

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Lessons from Teaching with Games


The latest issue of Syllabus, an open access journal that explores the syllabus as a piece of scholarship that should be annotated and shared with the educational community, is entirely dedicated to Teaching with and about Games. As an advocate of games in the classroom, I was very excited when I first saw the call for this issue from editors Jennifer deWinter and Carly A. Kocurek, and I’ve just finished reading through it. There are a number of ideas from the collection (which is practically a…

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Cross-platform Calendar Management with Sunrise

Acadian SunriseLast week I fielded a question from someone who was having difficulty syncing calendar events between her Google account and her iOS device. She was finding that events were syncing only one way, which of course was problematic.

I suggested some ways to fiddle with her settings to try to resolve the problem, but I also had a recommendation to make to her, and to anyone who uses multiple accounts and/or platforms: try Sunrise Calendar.

Why the suggestion? Sunrise can handle iCloud, Google, and Ex…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Revisiting Travel Computing


Several years ago, I started my quest for the perfect travel computing solution. Academic travel places a lot of demands on our technology: often, we rely on computers for presentations at conferences, taking notes, and keeping up to date on other projects and meetings. For a few years I was able to rely almost entirely on an iPad and keyboard case for all my conferences, which offered a lot of portability if not much computing power.

Sadly, I was parted from my iPad this year, and I had to mak…

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Integrating Wikipedia in Your Courses: Tips and Tricks

screenshot of adeline koh's feminist theory wikipedia course page

Wikipedia is the seventh most-popular website on the Internet and is the web’s most popular and largest reference resource. Many instructors decry student reliance on this online encyclopedia open to anyone to edit, but I am part of a growing movement of teachers who integrates student editing of Wikipedia pages into our pedagogy. There are many pedagogical reasons for this; integrating Wikipedia editing into your courses

  • teaches students to navigate the rules and social norms of an online co…

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Analog Distractions: Cooperative Board Games Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert

If you’ve ever read one of our ProfHacker holiday gift guides, you’ll know that lots of us are big fans of board games, and in particular of the new breed of smart board games that have appeared in increasing numbers in the past decade or so. Board games are oddly hip, and for good reason—there’s more variety and complexity in the genre than ever before.

Board games are a big part of my family life; my wife, kids, and I love to play in the evenings and especially on the weekends. We’re always lo…

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Pause, Clarify, Decide

Bucket of rocks

Professionals in every field today often find themselves overwhelmed by the flood of incoming information, opportunities, and tasks. Most of us want to do more than just keep up with the inbox — we have larger projects and goals we want to pursue, which sometimes get pushed to the side when we’re under the pressure of urgent deadlines and requests.

Stephen Covey’s classic productivity tool, the Urgent/Important matrix can be helpful in distinguishing between those activities that are urgent and…

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Weekend Reading: Be My Valentine Edition

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Happy Valentine’s Day, ProfHackers! If you are haven’t gotten flowers yet for that someone special, Time gives us “5 Things to Know About Buying Flowers on Valentine’s Day.”

For the cynics among us, “6 Totally Unromantic Truths About Valentine’s Day Spending.” Here’s a hint: if you wait until February 15, you can buy those conversation hearts for half price.

If you are looking for a movie to watch: 9 Movies on Netflix to Match Your Valentine’s Day Mood. In addition to the list, you might cons…

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Getting Started with Linux: Another Look at UberStudent

UberStudent's welcome screenTime flies. It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been four years since I first took a look at a Linux distribution called UberStudent. Back then it was in its 1.0 release, called “Cicero.” The latest release, “Epicurus,” came out in mid-January, with a version number of 4.1.

There are a lot of Linux distributions out there. What makes this one worth checking out?

As with previous releases, what makes UberStudent unique is its target audience, and the software and little added touches it has as a re…

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Finding the Best Thing with Wirecutter and Sweethome

Blue ribbon prize.

If you’re like me, when shopping for…well for almost anything…you can be paralyzed by choice. If you need a new set of headphones, there are just so many options out there, and so many blogs or forums in which experts and consumers will discuss in detail the pros and cons of any given choice. We do a bit of that here at ProfHacker, of course, and we hope our recommendations are good ones.

But choosing can still be exhausting. Barry Schwartz calls this problem The Paradox of Choice in his book o…