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Rediscovering Ulysses

Screenshot of Ulysses applicationA few weeks ago, George suggested using a blogging client as a backup method.

I’d actually stopped using one some time ago. It wasn’t really a conscious decision; I simply had fewer occasions for cross-posting and after my 2012 experience of a plugin gone bad, I got a lot more careful about redundant backups.

George’s post piqued my curiosity, though. What blogging clients are available these days? I knew about MarsEdit, of course, but I didn’t know what else might be out there, so I did a lit…

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Gamify Your Writing Group

close-up of Sorry[This is a guest post by Emily Johnson, a Texts & Technology postdoc at the Games Research Lab at UCF. Her work focuses on gameful learning, motivation, serious games, and embodied learning. You can find her online at https://ekjphd.wordpress.com or @ekjphd.–@JBJ]

What do you get when you ask members of a Games Research Group to each commit to 30 minutes of scholarly writing a day? A game, of course! The Summer Writing Challenge began as a motivating way for members to make themselves accountabl…

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Making Room

empty room

One of my favorite questions for reflection and conversation at this time of year is:

What do you want to make room for this fall?

I like this question because not only does it encourage you to think about what you would like more of in your life, but also about how you can make that happen.

Sometimes making room is literal: clearing a bookshelf for materials for a new project, or decluttering a closet to bring ease to your daily routine.

Sometimes making room needs to happen in your schedule: …

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Student-Centered Design Within an LMS

Last year, I started teaching large online courses for the first time. While teaching online still has a lot of limitations and challenges, I’ve enjoyed approaching it as a design problem, and I’ve been trying to improve my online course materials every semester. Updating material isn’t just a matter of refreshing content: I recommend using each new class as an opportunity to check your organization, clarity, and menu design. Here are a few of the strategies I follow when trying to take a stude…

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Weekend Reading: Semester Gets Underway Edition

On my campus we just finished the first week of the semester, involving the usual combination of faculty meetings and classes. Whether you’ve also already started or you’re still putting the finishing touches on your semester prep, here are a few readings to consider over the weekend.

Robert Epstein dismantles the “vacuous” idea that the human brain can be understood by considering it a sort of organic computer:

Our shoddy thinking about the brain has deep historical roots, but the invention of…

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Switching from Evernote to OneNote, part 2

Book with notes flagged on pagesLast week, I explained why I made the decision to switch from Evernote to OneNote. This week, I want to give a brief overview of the how.

There are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Tags work wonderfully well in Evernote, and they’re highly customizable. OneNote has pre-defined tags. While some customization is possible, they simply don’t function the same way they do in Evernote. And for Mac users, at least, there’s no way that I’ve yet found to search tags (the function is available in t…
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Open Thread Wednesday: Strategies for Summer-Fall Transitions


This is my last week of summer, despite the fact that Florida heat won’t be going away anytime soon. Depending on your university’s calendar, if you’re on a 9 month contract you might also be staring down the first day of classes or savoring a last few weeks of summer research time. Either way, fall marks a time of transitioning that those of us in academia experience as our own new year’s, usually coming with its own resolutions and regrets. With course prep, syllabus writing, and in some cas…

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From the Archives: Preparing for the New Semester

classroom

It’s that time again . . .  here are some tips from the ProfHacker archives.

Designing/Revising Your Syllabi

If you’ve only got a few minutes, check out 11 Fast Syllabus Hacks for useful updates to your course documents.

Konrad’s Citing Syllabi suggests some best practices for citing the work of other instructors whose syllabi you’ve consulted and for ensuring your own syllabus can be shared and remixed if that’s your intent.

Jason’s Creative Approaches to the Syllabus provides links to a numbe…

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CAST Figuration Seeks to Make Bootstrap More Accessible

Last summer I published a post about learning to use Bootstrap, “a free and open-source collection of tools for creating websites and web applications, [containing] HTML- and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components, as well as optional JavaScript extensions” (Wikipedia entry on Bootstrap). Bootstrap is an extremely useful, free framework for web developers.

This summer, I was pleased to see the Center for Applied Special Technology (C…

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Weekend Reading: End of Pokemon Summer

With the close of summer comes the end of easy Pokemon hunting on campus: the imminent arrival of students means that gyms professors like me have been momentarily capturing will soon be dominated by high-level dragons. As you prepare for the oncoming semester, here are a few weekend reads:

Celeste Tuong Vy recently shared her job talk on digital humanities and class design, It’s great for both the insights and the model of a job talk:

I’d like to reiterate the value of making explicit resear…