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Weekend Reading: Almost Home Edition

a dog playing in water

If you’re teaching on the semester system, there’s a pretty good chance you’re in its dying embers, so I will get out of your way and usher you directly on to this weekend’s links!

  • Preventing cheating in multiplayer video games turns out to be around as challenging as preventing plagiarism: Given that cheating is surprisingly widespread, and to many, perfectly acceptable, an entire culture of self-entitled habitual video game cheaters has sprung up. In these social circles, cheating at video g…
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New Wayback Machine – Beta

DeLorian

While the adage goes that nothing ever disappears from the internet, anyone who created a Geocities site, or used their old university servers (or forgot to pay to renew domain registration) knows that more often than we’re led to believe, stuff goes away and we can’t find it anymore.

The Wayback Machine has been a go-to for those looking for lost content and sites on the internet, but until now the search feature has required you to know the exact URL for the site you are trying to track down….

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Securing Your Data

locked door

William Gibson has a lovely meditation on privacy, encryption, and history in the New York Times, as he considers the necessary difficulty of linking these terms:

In the short term, the span of a lifetime, many of us would argue for privacy, and therefore against transparency. But history, the long term, is transparency; it is the absence of secrets. So we are quite merciless, as historians, when it comes to the secrets of the past, the secrets of the dead. We come to know them with an intimac…

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Trailblazer Chrome Extension Tracks Your Research Path

trailblazer-grab

For a while now I’ve been meaning to share a post about Trailblazer, a Chrome web browser extension I learned about from my friend and colleague Cindy Jennings. Trailblazer is a tool that allows you to track your web-based research path, much in the same way that an explorer will mark a path through a territory. As Clive Thompson writes, in a 2015 Wired essay, the Trailblazer extension puts into practice something that Vannevar Bush imagined in 1945 in his now-famous “As We May Think“: the abil…

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Alphabetizing Books Quickly: QuickSort, Insertion Sort, and Bubble Sort

piles of books

Sometimes, the video that would’ve been helpful for you arrives right after you’ve completed a task. Over the past few months, I’ve been gradually relocating my books from my basement at home to my office at work, thus symbolically completing a move that’s now 3+ years old. Once I got them all to work, they were piled on my shelves, and so I needed to quickly sort them.

Shortly after finally getting them all organized, I discovered that Chand John and Anton Trofimov have a video (via Open Cul…

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Weekend Reading: Searching for Hope Edition

fire

I am terrified of fire. I still wake up from nightmares of burning, and when I was a kid, I used to wake from these nightmares and have to go through the entire house ensuring that nothing, in fact, was at risk of catching fire.

In response, I learned all I could about fire, particularly how to do a pretty good campfire. I know how to get it started (with a reliable match or lighter; I’m not that fancy), know how to keep it going, know how to effectively put it out. I’ve sufficiently impres…

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Listening to Student Voices at Academic Events

students at MUN with headset

We rarely ever have student voices represented at academic conferences and events, and yet, when they are there, I often hear faculty and faculty developers feeling there should be more of these. I am talking about undergraduate students, not PhD students who have careers and present at conferences in their professional capacity. I have been in several conversations recently (mostly via Virtually Connecting at OpenEd16, OLC Accelerate and a missed conversation with David Wiley after OpenEd16). …

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What’s your favorite note-taking app?

9017948184_99960bfa9f_k

Many of us these days use a tablet for taking notes — and for a lot of us, that tablet is an iPad. We’ve explored some note-taking apps for the iPad before:

I’ve also tried two other applications over the last fe…

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6 More Games for After the Election


Earlier this month, I shared six games for facilitating conversations in the wake of the US presidential election. Several designers and educators reached out to share other suggestions, particularly for related political discourse that may be relevant over the coming months. All of these games are free unless otherwise noted, but many of the designers accept donations to support their practice.

  • Jana Reinhardt’s strangely escapist game Solitude (2 dollars to play) is a beautiful metaphorical …

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Are You on Mastodon Yet? Social Network of Our Own

Mastodon homepage

Have you heard of Mastodon.social? Several of the edtech/digped people started appearing there over Thanksgiving weekend, thanks in part to this article, touting Mastodon as the open source alternative to Twitter. According to their “About” page:

“Mastodon is a free, open-source social network server. A decentralized alternative to commercial platforms, it avoids the risks of a single company monopolizing your communication. Anyone can run Mastodon and participate in the social network seamle…