All posts by Anastasia Salter

by

Playing at Computational Thinking with The Tessera

Earlier this month, a team of researchers from Brigham Young University and University of Maryland, led by Derek Hansen and Kari Kraus, launched a new free educational game The Tessera: Ghostly Tracks. Funded in part by the NSF, the game is a beautiful way to explore principles of computational thinking in a multiplayer, narrative-driven setting while unraveling a ghost story.

The web-based game works well on any fairly up-to-date browser, and doesn’t require any downloads. To play, just make a

by

Non-Digital Distractions: Backing Away from the Screen


Here at ProfHacker we’ve shared a number of digital distractions, but what about those times when wellness demands time away from the screen? There’s lots of talk (and debate) over limiting screen time for children, but sometimes a break from social media and continual screen-based overload is what we all need. As someone who works digitally, I’m usually guilty of engaging with at least three screens at once, often for hours on end. Often this leads more to fatigue than to action, especially at…

by

Rethinking How Scholarship Works at MLA17

Friday at the Modern Language Association conference, I’ll be presiding at a session entitled “That’s Not How Scholarship Works! Exploring the Process of Multimodal Critical Making.” This panel builds on something I’ve talked about before at ProfHacker: thinking beyond the essay and making interesting, unusual, and playful things as part of academic work. The scholarly works selected for self-reflexive analysis include works drawing on a range of methods and platforms, from comics and visualiza…

by

Academic Resolutions for 2017?

With 2017 upon us, and 2016 thankfully in the rear-view mirror, many of us are making resolutions. Many of us at ProfHacker ponder resolution season: a few years ago, Kathleen Fitzpatrick made some good arguments for making new year resolutions at the start of the academic year rather than the calendar year; George invited readers to reflect on their resolution-making; and Amy Cavender suggested using resolutions as a way to learn from past mistakes. I have a love-hate relationship with resolut…

by

Working Over “Break”

Since early November, I’ve spoken with many fellow academics who have been mentioned a decline in productivity and focus. This is always an overwhelming time of year, between the end of the semester crunch, deadlines, various holidays and family obligations, and an increase in administrative burdens with the ticking clock of the coming new year looming over everything. However, 2016 has been a particularly difficult year for many of us, and I’m finding the need for an effective break far greate…

by

Simple Visual Novel Design with CloudNovel

cloudnovel

In this ongoing series of making games on the classroom, I’ve been taking a look at a number of user-friendly tools for making interactive content, including:

And most recently, Ren’Py, a great flexible tool for making visual novels that is also a bit code-focused. Visual novels have a lot of potential for assignments across disciplines, as the genre is a form of playable narrati…

by

ProfHacker 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again for many of us, and we at ProfHacker have gathered our annual guide with a few suggestions for those of you still looking for gifts for family and friends. 2016 has been a difficult year, and in the spirit of moving forward you’ll notice lots of suggestions centered around giving not only to those close to us but to larger causes and projects that need support. There are also several resources for self-care and wellness, which can be an important and too-often o…

by

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 …

by

Weekend Reading: Post-Election Classroom Resources

The end of the semester is approaching slowly, and the holiday season is almost upon us. I for one am overwhelmed, and focusing a lot on working consistently in short bursts with dedicated time for wellness. But as we look towards next semester, here are a few readings and resources that might provide inspiration:

  • The Trump Syllabus 2.0 by N. D. B. Connolly and Keisha N. Blain is an impressive collection of readings grouped by weekly themes, syllabus-style. Each week addresses a larger issue …

by

6 Games for Talking About the Election

In the wake of the US presidential election, many of us are deciding what comes next in our classrooms and scholarship. There are no easy answers to this question, and the national divisions are echoed on campus with consequences we are only beginning to understand. However, if you do plan to address these topics in your classroom, games can provide a potentially less threatening opening for sharing experiences. Here are a few games with topics and commentary relevant to the election and curre…