All posts by Anastasia Salter

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Open Thread Wednesday: Online Class and Virtual Attendance Challenges

Like many of you, I’m in a moment of rapid transition, with spring semester grades barely posted and summer classes already underway. For students who are motivated by their graduation pace, funding, or other needs, summer classes are a great way to move forward: when I was an undergraduate I regularly embraced the format. As a faculty member I have more mixed feelings, particularly with the rising popularity of online summer classes.

This summer I’m revisiting a difficult format that I’ve onl…

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Review: The Interactive Past

I frequently write here about the potential for using games in the classroom, and I’m always on the lookout for interesting transdisciplinary engagement with this idea. So I was excited to see the recent open-access Sidestone Press release of The Interactive Past: Archaeology, Heritage & Video Games edited by Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos. The project is interesting both as an academic approach (it was funded via Kickstarter) and as a co…

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Weekend Reading: Goodbye March Edition

I’ve been exchanging emails with a lot of fellow academics this week and we’ve commiserated over the difficulty of March. Whether you were on spring break or not, there’s something about this month and its placement in the already-fast spring semester that I always find dizzying. Here’s a few links to reading while catching one’s breath this weekend:

  • The University of Guelph Library is making fun use of one of my favorite tools, Twine, for a short interactive experience “Manage Your Research:…

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Switching to Atom for Web Coding

As a web developer I am in many ways a creature of habit: I started making websites back when the “blink” tag was still cool, under construction GIFs were all the rage, and every site declared with images whether it was designed to land on the Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator side of the browser wars. At the time, there weren’t many options of great tools for working with HTML and JavaScript: WYSIWYG, or “what you see is what you get” editors, produced convoluted and messy code if used f…

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Going Digital With Annual Review, Tenure & Promotion Materials

The ubiquitous tenure binder, serving as documentation of one’s academic endeavors, is gradually being replaced by digital processes that involve significantly fewer hours spent on printing and copying. If your university has recently switched over to a digital system, or if you’ve just started at an institution with a digital materials submissions process, you’re probably in a position where you’ve got a lot of papers and files sitting around in need of scanning and organizing. This was my pos…

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Rhizcomics and the Future of Scholarly Forms

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Last week, the University of Michigan Press / Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative launched the open access version of a new book by Jason Helms: Rhizcomics: Rhetoric, Technology, and New Media Composition. The work (as shown above) takes full advantage of its born-digital composition, making use of images, animation, video, and annotation, and it defies a straightforward linear reading by including a range of asides and diversions (as well as a few intentionally intertwined ch…

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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

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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…

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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…

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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…