All posts by Jason B. Jones

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Make a More Inclusive Syllabus with Tulane’s Accessible Syllabus Project

small packages of useful things

Ok, I know it’s still June and so probably a little too early to be thinking about your fall syllabus. But if the alternative is thinking about #Brexit–or, worse, reflecting that “what is the EU?” is a top Google search *in* *England* today–maybe it’s not such a bad thing? I’m teaching a class this fall for the first time in a couple of years, and so I’ve been stealing a few minutes here and there to think about it.

Via Gerry Canavan, a syllabus-design resource that’s new to me is Tulane’s Acce…

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Preparing for the Press: How to Talk to Reporters

LEGO female scientist

Academics and journalists often have an uneasy relationship. Academics love nuance and writing for experts; journalists tend to value a clear, comprehensible story. And while most academics would be thrilled if more people heard about their work, nobody wants to be at the heart of a political controversy–especially when untenured. (And it’s not just faculty who are unhappy about the press–when I was on the AAUP’s Collective Bargaining Congress, one of the things we learned is that the threat of…

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Letting Your Calendar Breathe

flower

A common frustration in academic life is being so fully-stocked with meetings that there is no time or energy to . . . actually do work. Or, to just idly contemplate things, which is often such an important precursor to work.

In a post that surveys a variety of “time management essentials for researchers,” Eva Lantsoght offers a some advice for just this problem:

Concept: Don’t plan more than 75% of your time

Whenever you make a planning, allow for some air in your planning. You need to move f…

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Completing To-Do Lists

abandoned truck overgrown with plants

To-do lists should be so easy and useful: keep a list of things that have to be done, do them, then cross them off the list! And yet they are not: undead items return from one week’s list to the next; we focus so much on recording the things to do that we forget to do All. The. Things, and within a few weeks our to-do list is a source of fear and dread rather than reassurance.

For those academics who have a summer break, the summer can be a time to refocus on one’s list, to keep the halycon day…

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New Keywords on Digital Pedagogy

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In December, I posted about the MLA’s open review process for a new collection, Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments.

To kick off the summer, the editors–Katherine Harris, Rebecca Frost Davis, Jentery Sayers, and Matt Gold–have released a fresh batch of keywords, open for review until July 1. They include: George Williams on “Access”; Diane K. Jakacki on “Blogging”; Joyce R. Walker on “Classr…

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Leaving the LMS to Make Course Remixing Possible

peanut butter truffle

A recurring favorite topic for ProfHacker writers over the years has been alternatives to, or ways to dispense altogether with, learning management systems. No one likes them, no one likes the idea of “managing” learning, and the whole affair feels like a Skinner box designed to teach us the truth of Audrey Watters’s claim that ed tech is basically here to destroy education from within.

A few of us have recently taken a shine to Jekyll, a still-newish way to generate static websites. (In additi…

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Text a Lot from iOS? Why You Might Want to Try Google’s GBoard

wall of surfboards

Alternate keyboards in iOS are one of those things that sound helpful, but can quickly devolve into procrastination engines. For every Text Expander keyboard letting you use your full panoply of text expansion options on your devices, there’s a celebrity-sponsored emoji app.

Last week, though, Google managed to release a keyboard that is simultaneously useful and not creepy: Gboard.

GBoard does four things, each of which is in principle a great addition to typing on iOS:

  • Integrated Google se…
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The Importance of Reflection When Learning Technical Skills

chairs reflecting in the sun

It’s not hard to find books, websites, or videos that will help you learn just about any technical skill you’d like, from making animated GIFs to X. But even with the most hands-on approach, it can be hard to get that knowledge to stick, or to figure out why you’d want to keep with it.

Steven Ovadia, a professor and web services librarian at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), found himself confronting this problem while drafting his forthcoming book, Learn Linux in a Month of Lunches. Faced wi…

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Looking for an Exchange Calendar for Mac? Try Fantastical 2.2

LEGO calendar
Like most of the apps Apple bundles with OS X, Calendar is very . . . eh. The best thing you can say about it is that plays pretty well with the various iDevices, and it can be used as a source of data for other calendaring apps.

Since 2010, one of the nicest calendar apps for OS X (and iOS) has been Fantastical, which has distinguished itself from the start with slick design and very nifty natural language parsing for adding events quickly and sensibly. It started as a menubar app, moved to t…