All posts by Billie Hara


Teaching Multiple Sections of the Same Course

As educators, most of us place content at the center of our courses. After content has been organized, we then focus on ways to teach that content to students and how we will assess their learning.  We think about learning styles, teaching styles, numbers of students, room space, and available technology.  We think about whether we need to deliver content via lecture, discussion, overhead slides, or course management systems.  We think about how (or if) we can make our courses interactive.  …


Teaching Carnival 5.06

[February’s Teaching Carnival is compiled by Billie Hara, a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Texas at Arlington.  You can reach her via email or on Twitter. ProfHacker has become the permanent home of the Teaching Carnival, so each month you can return for a snapshot of the most recent thoughts on teaching in college and university classrooms. You can find previous carnivals on Teaching Carnival’s home page. –Billie Hara]

Know of a blog post (perhaps your own) that shou…


Vlingo: The Virtual Assistant for Smartphones

Vlingo Open ScreenFinding new tools to improve productivity is one of the things we do best around here at ProfHacker, and Vlingo might be one of those tools even though it’s not exactly new.  Vlingo, a voice recognition program for many smart phones, is billed as a “virtual assistant” that can “turn words into action.”  Vlingo uses accurate voice recognition technology to help users stay connected with the people, businesses and activities through texting, emailing, and searching.  Vlingo can also connect users…


See Something / Say Something

Sunglasses by BatgirlBobWe’ve heard this statement a lot lately, “see something / say something,” but we’ve heard it in a context that most of will never face.  But how often do we see something on our college or university campuses– something that is questionable, something that is odd, something that is just plain wrong– and we don’t say anything to anyone about it?  The situations we witness might not involve minors, but the situations could still be wrong, could still be abusive, or could still be illegal.  It…


iWrite Assistant

iWrite Assistant LogoAcademic publishing—traditional publishing in hard copy journals—is not a quick process.  It can take months (years?) to have a piece published.  In fact, I heard someone mention once that she had received an acceptance from a journal for a manuscript she’d forgotten that she’d submitted.  Forgetting that we have submitted a manuscript for possible publication may not be something that most of us would experience, but it is possible given the long lead-time for many journals.

Keeping track of th…


Scrivener (finally available for Windows!)

Scrivener LogoThose of us around ProfHacker headquarters who use the Windows operating system (and we are in a clear minority) have been waiting well over a year for the official release of Scrivener for Windows.  Scrivener is an enhanced word processor from the folks at Literature and Latte that, until today, has been a MAC program.  But today, Scrivener is available to both MAC and PC users, and this is an opportunity to cheer.  Scrivener for Windows is finally here.

Scrivener for the MAC has been available…


What’s in YOUR lunchbox?

"Super Powers" metal lunch boxBack in the early days of ProfHacker, we had a weekly column, “What’s for Lunch?”  This column provided ways to hack the noonday meal.  After all the hacking we do to remain productive, sustain technological acumen, and become  awesome teachers, professors still need to eat.  We supplied recipes, tools, tips, and tricks to helps us remember to eat healthy foods, foods that we could bring to work with us.

Our first post in this series set up a scenario that most of us face on occasion:

You oversl…


WordPress Plug-Ins: A Roundup of Favorites

Electrical PlugIf you have read ProfHacker for any length of time, you know that we are big fans of WordPress as an alternative to a Course Management System (CMS) or as a platform for professional and personal websites.  WordPress is a powerful content management and blog publisher with hundreds (thousands?) of themes, styles, and functions that help writers create and publish content.  One of the ways WordPress is so powerful is by user developed plug-ins.   (A quick aside:  WordPress is open-source blo…


Think Before You Tweet (or Blog or Update a Status) redux

It’s mid-term, and we are tired, and maybe we aren’t doing our best teaching.  Students are tired, and maybe they aren’t doing their best work.  Maybe all of this explains the increasing number of complaints about students in online forums.  The complaints are popping up in all sorts of places online.  Twitter?  Facebook?  Blogs?  The complaints are in all those places.  About six months ago, I wrote Think Before You Tweet (or Blog or Update a Status) about, well, thinking before you post online…


Disruptive Faculty? (The Politics Edition)

perspective by kevin dooleyIn this ongoing ProfHacker series, we write about complex issues. We write about situations that cause disruption in classes, student behavior that can be disruptive, and occasionally, we even admit that professors can exhibit disruptive actions. We profile these issues so that we—those of us who teach or administer in higher education—have a space to discuss the problems and solutions associated with these issues. Primarily, however, we choose these subjects because they can, in sometimes extre…