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Do Your Students Take Good Notes?

Whether — and how — students take notes in class is an evergreen topic in discussions of teaching and learning. Unfortunately, I often find myself frustrated and annoyed when I’m explaining something in class and look out at a room full of students who are, admittedly, paying attention to what I’m saying but writing down not a single thing in their notes. Frustration and annoyance do not make for good pedagogy, though, and my off-the-cuff comments in response to this particular student behavior…

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Back Up Your Files Now

fire

Last week, you might have seen the story of a devastating fire in a residential neighborhood in New Orleans, and how Gideon Hodge, who “describes himself as a playwright, novelist, and actor” ran into his burning home “when he realized that his only copies of two completed novels were on a laptop inside.”
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Have Your Accounts Been Compromised?

LEGO minifigs
Having accounts spread hither and yon across the internet, and the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ approach that’s too often taken toward security and privacy, there’s a pretty decent chance that at some point, a service you use will face a data breach.

Heck, it might have already happened, and you didn’t know about it, either because you were too busy to notice, or maybe you’d even forgotten you have an account on that service!

A quick and easy way to see if your accounts have been included in a data breach is to…

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Virtual Techniques for Co-writing

Over the past year, I’ve found myself involved in more collaborative writing projects. This isn’t really something that came up in my discipline in grad school, where everything I worked on was written alone. These projects are much harder to organize than my solo work: often, they span several platforms, multiple email threads, chats, and files.

I’ve noticed that everyone I work with has a different preference for technologies and strategies. Here are a few I’ve been using, and their advantage…

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Discriminatory Design in Education and Educational Technology

Anti-homeless bench with armrests

Twice this week I have seen images of these benches. Public benches that have dividers or armrests. These are what Mike Caulfield called “hostile design” because they implicitly prevent homeless people from sleeping on these benches and therefore pass on a social message and enforce particular behavior. Ruha Benjamin in her ISTE 2016 keynote called it something I find more accurate: discriminatory design. Because we all recognize that the design is not hostile to everyone. It is only hostile to…

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Switching to a Tiling Window Manager, and Why You Might Want To

Screenshot of i3 window manager

[This is a guest post by Nabeel Siddiqui, a doctoral candidate in American Studies at The College of William & Mary, where his research focuses on personal computers and the intersection of the public/private sphere. You can find him online here.--JBJ]

If you a watch a Mac user use a Windows machine or vice versa, you know how attached people can become to their operating systems. The frustration when people try to switch, however, has little to do with the underlying structure of the systems t…

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Haiku Deck Introduces “Classroom” Option

Back in June of 2013, I wrote a brief post about Haiku Deck, which at the time was simply a free iPad app for creating and showing presentations. In the last 3 years, Haiku Deck has evolved to include web-hosted presentations (and the ability to create presentation through a web-based interface). Unfortunately, if you want to be able to create more than 3 presentations you’ll now have to pay. The most affordable option is signing up for a “Pro” account for $10 a month (though teachers and stude…

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LibGuides: Best Use Scenarios?

I’ve always been kind of ambivalent about LibGuides (and similar tools for helping people navigate topics in the library). If you’re not already familiar with LibGuides, here’s a quick definition courtesy of the Library Success wiki: “A LibGuide is a content management and publishing system created by SpringShare. Libraries may use LibGuides to create subject guides, course guides, information portals, or research help pages to name a few.” You can find many examples across a wide range of topi…

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Dropbox . . . How Could You ?!?

apple crates
Dropbox is a perennial favorite of ProfHacker writers, as folks have used it at one point or another for more or less all the things. That IT departments seemed not to like it was practically a point in its favor as, let’s face it, it works. Really well!

This is why it was so dispiriting to learn last week about Dropbox’s apparently cavalier approach to Mac permissions. (The article’s from July, but it resurfaced on Twitter and on sites like LoopInsight.)

In effect, using the Accessibility tool…

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Tips for Inclusive Teaching

puffin comes out from hiding under a rock

[This post is co-authored with Steve Greenlaw. Steve is a Professor of Economics at the University of Mary Washington, where he is still learning to teach after 30+ years in higher ed.  He blogs at http://pedablogy.stevegreenlaw.org and tweets at @sgreenla.

For context, we both teach at liberal arts institutions so our class sizes are usually between 15-35 students.
]

It started with a blogpost Maha wrote about how we often reproduce marginality in open online spaces. This got Steve thinking abo…