Making a WordPress Site Multilingual

A parade of flags from many different countries.WordPress is a favorite tool of many of us here at ProfHacker. It’s great for running a course website, maintaining a professional portfolio, running a blog (ProfHacker runs on WordPress), or managing almost any other sort of website, really.

Every once in a while, there’s a need to present a site’s material in more than one language. If the material in question is really short, the solution is simple enough: just make the page or post a bit longer by including the additional languages right the…


Managing Macs & PCs in Online Courses

When I was in middle school, the lab was filled with Apple computers, including very early versions of iMacs. I worked with the school’s resource teacher and helped out with hardware in the labs, and we continually argued over the merits of Mac versus Windows PC. Macs were winning out in schools due to a push on educational software and their relative ease of maintenance, while PCs offered an ease of upgrading and access to a world of software rarely ported onto Mac’s smaller market share. I na…


It’s Not Too Late: Making Mid-Course Adjustments


On many campuses right now, it’s midterm season. Students and faculty are feeling the strain of heavier workloads, colds and viruses are making the rounds, and the enthusiasm that marked the first few weeks of school seems like a distant memory, at least on certain days.

But if things aren’t going as well as you’d like in one of your courses, it’s good to remember that there’s still almost half a semester left, at least five or six weeks, maybe more depending on your institution’s calendar. Tha…


Making Games for Web and iOS with Stencyl

In this series, I’ve looked at a lot of newcomer-friendly tools for making games in the classroom or as projects with and for students, including Twine, Scratch, Construct 2, inklewriter, Inform 7, and Adventure Game Studio. While some of these tools are successfully cross-platform, many of the best tools for making graphical games are PC-only. This year, I’m teaching an online course that includes game development as part of exploring digital narrative. As students aren’t meeting in a universi…


Tweeting with Collaborators: Group Tweet vs TweetDeck Teams


Have you ever worked with a team of different people, all of you needing access to the same Twitter account (representing an organization or project you all work on) at different times? Of course, the intuitive thing to do is to share the password to the account, and to all be logged on to it. However, this is not optimal for several reasons:

  1. If you are like me in a different country from your collaborators (most of mine are in North America), Twitter gets suspicious and will put you through …


Visualizing Your Searches with Trailblazer

I’ve been writing about my use of as a collaborative annotation tool this semester with the students in our introduction to literature class (see my ProfHacker post from this summer on my selection process). The tool so far has been a huge success and the students have been getting a lot out of the process. But one thing that has stumped me is how to help them navigate the process of actually going online and starting to find the contextual and referential materials they need to fin…


6 Steps to Expanding a Successful Online Initiative – Virtually Connecting

Photo of vconnecting

Photo by Ashley G. Shaw at #altc conference during @vconnecting session
L to R: Martin Hawksey, Martin Weller, Rebecca J. Hogue, Maha Bali

This post is co-authored with Rebecca J. Hogue (@rjhogue), an itinerant scholar and prolific blogger. She is co-founder of Virtually Connecting, and Associate Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Professionally, she produces self-published eBooks, and teaches Emerging Technologies and Instructional Design online. Her research and innovation inte…


Security Housekeeping

Cloud-shaped padlockIn the last few years, we’ve written quite a lot about online security in this space.

One of the keys to security is to use secure passwords. Since really good passwords can be difficult to remember, password managers are really useful, and we’ve reviewed a few, including LastPass (which is being acquired by LogMeIn) and KeePass.

But secure passwords aren’t enough; it’s also important to change your master password regularly and to use two-factor authentication whenever that’s available (as I le…


Automating Writing with TextExpander Scripts


TextExpander is a slightly terrifying key logger a well-designed, intensely useful app for Mac & iOS that does exactly what it says on the tin: it takes little snippets of text and blows them up into arbitrarily longer ones. Ryan wrote about it 5 years (!?!) ago, and George followed up with a post about using it for grading.

The real power of TextExpander comes into focus when you start to reflect on just how many things are text. For example, scripts are just text.

Helmut Hauser, who teaches…


Understanding iOS Diagnostic Logs


One of the irritating things about living in the walled garden that is iOS is that Apple isn’t super-forthcoming with human-readable diagnostic information. Fortunately, the internet is usually a helpful place, and Joe Caiati has written an overview of the system logs stored on your phone.

At its most basic definition, the Diagnostics & Usage Data section is a log of system events that happen on your iOS device. This log isn’t tracking your every move, but it is creating entries whenever eve…