All posts by George Williams

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A Simple Way to Get Student Feedback Regularly

Longtime readers of ProfHackers might remember that I’m a fan of the simple solution: from putting labels on your stuff to carabiners for my keys to rubber bands around my dry erase markers to a multitool on my keyring to velcro ties around everything to a holster for my smartphone. I’m always looking for simple, relatively inexpensive solutions to everyday problems.

Recently, I’ve started doing something new in the classroom. It’s a simple little thing that I do every single time my class meet…

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Cemmento Addresses the Problem of Preserving Digital Annotations

Here at ProfHacker, we’re interested in digital tools for annotation. Over the years our authors have covered such tools as Google SideWiki, CommentPress and digress.it, Reframe It and Diigo, Scrible, and Hypothes.is. And as the comments to this post asking “How Do You Annotate in Your Class?” reveal, our readers are very interested in digital tools for annotation, too.

One sticking point with such tools, however, is that the annotations that are made on a published online may become useless if…

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Firefox Focus Browser Provides Privacy and Content Blocking

For a few months now I’ve been intermittently using Firefox Focus to browse the web on my iPhone. It’s a free web browser for iOS, created by the Mozilla Foundation, the same folks behind the Firefox browser. What makes Firefox Focus different, however, is the fact that it’s designed to be “a dedicated privacy browser with tracking protection and content blocking.

In other words, if you don’t want your Amazon shopping history (to cite one potential scenario) being communicated to the other webs…

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Archiving Information in a Digital Age

The Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” is an essential resource for anyone who wants to find information that used to be available online but that has disappeared or to find how a particular webpage has changed over time, perhaps because information was deleted or added. (The Wayback Machine is also quite useful for many other reasons.)

Recently, a number of easy-to-use tools have appeared that make it easier to find information in the Internet Archive or to save current information into the …

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Weekend Reading: A New Beginning

ProfHacker’s “Weekend Reading” posts give you 5 links worth reading plus a video. This week, let’s get right to it!

How to Fight for Federal Support of Cultural Research and Why It Matters,” by Jason Rhody:

With modest grants from NEH, scholars help us better understand our cultural inheritance; they fill in the gaps of our collective histories and educate the public by teaching our teachers and our college students, while other grants support major exhibitions and library forums in small town…

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Trailblazer Chrome Extension Tracks Your Research Path

trailblazer-grab

For a while now I’ve been meaning to share a post about Trailblazer, a Chrome web browser extension I learned about from my friend and colleague Cindy Jennings. Trailblazer is a tool that allows you to track your web-based research path, much in the same way that an explorer will mark a path through a territory. As Clive Thompson writes, in a 2015 Wired essay, the Trailblazer extension puts into practice something that Vannevar Bush imagined in 1945 in his now-famous “As We May Think“: the abil…

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Sticky Notes and Small Groups: Digital Work in the Classroom

I’m one of those humanities professors who is increasingly introducing technology-intensive assignments and activities into what would otherwise be more conventional, analog courses on writing and literature. And if you teach a large or largish class that involves in-class, hands-on work with digital tools, you would do well to come up with teaching strategies appropriate for that particular situation.

I recently stumbled across a very useful post from Miriam Posner about this very topic: “A be…

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Teach Access Tutorial: Best Practices for Digital Accessibility

I recently came across a solid teaching and learning resource devoted to giving designers, developers, and writers a better grounding in creating accessible content. The “Teach Access Portal” is a new-to-me tutorial that provides interactive lessons, much in the same way that Codecademy does. It’s a product of the Teach Access project, which (I have to admit) I don’t know much about.

From the introductory paragraph to the tutorial:

This resource is part of the Teach Access Initiative, and provi…

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New Version of Omeka Released

tryomekas

Here at ProfHacker, we’re fans of Omeka, the content management system for scholarly projects (from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. See, for example, Julie Meloni’s “A Brief Introduction to Omeka,” Jeffrey McClurken’s “Teaching with Omeka” and “Omeka.net Beta Launches,” Konrad Lawson’s “Omeka 2.0 Is Here” and “Add Space and Time to Your Omeka Exhibits.”

Well, now we learn from a recent announcement by Sharon Leon that there’s a new version of Omeka available: Omeka S. So wh…