All posts by Jeffrey W. McClurken


A Report from EduCon 2.4

EduCon 2012 Opening Panel

As I wrote in a post two years ago, K-12 education matters to those of us in higher education for many reasons, but especially because our missions are at core the same, and because we are reliant on K-12 teachers sending us students prepared for our classes.  This past weekend I attended EduCon 2.4, the fifth iteration of this conference that is put on by the students, parents, and teachers of the Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a magnet high school in Philadelphia that is partnered with the…

by Beta Launches logo

We here at ProfHacker are big Omeka fans.  Julie and I have written about its value for individuals, for institutions, and for teaching.  This open-source, free, web-based publishing tool is both a digital repository and a way to build online exhibits. Created to be used easily by non-programmers, it is also flexible and powerful enough to meet large institutional needs.

Up until this point, however, Omeka users have needed to install Omeka themselves, either on their own server or on a web hos…


Teaching with Omeka

omeka student example[Editor's Note: Although this is a post by ProfHacker author Jeffrey McClurken, we would like to acknowledge the assistance of super friends-of-ProfHacker Amanda French and Jeremy Boggs in the creation of this post.]

Now that Julie has told you what Omeka is and what it does, it’s my job to talk about working with students using Omeka. I’ve done so twice as part of a senior undergraduate seminar on Digital History. In both cases I didn’t require students to use Omeka, but introduced it as one …


Open Letter to 2010-2011′s New Department Chairs

chairsAs with the two previous posts in this series (new tenure-track and newly tenured professors), this piece is intended to offer advice to people moving into a new position in their academic lives. In this case, of course, we’re talking about a position that many academics never take on in the course of their careers, and it’s a transition that many academics don’t ever want to make. Rarely do people go into graduate school thinking, “Gee, I can’t wait until I’m a department chair.” And yet, at mo…


Hacking an Alternative Department Site with WordPress

Department Web SiteThe department website, standardized across an institution, has become a common feature of the digital landscape of higher education. Although it is possible to create something useful with a great deal of work, passionate advocates, and skilled people, in most cases the static, limited department site, often with a single gatekeeper or two, restricted formatting options, and limited multimedia usage doesn’t do a good job of meeting the main goals of a department site.

These sites should, at a …


Where’s the Prof?: Twitter Feeds for Your Office Door

The Problem: I schedule at least five office hours per week. [I'm there a LOT more, but these are scheduled hours, the same from week to week throughout a given semester, when people can more or less count on me to be there.]

The problem is that as chair of my department, I’m involved in a number of on and off-campus committees, many of which, of necessity, conflict with those office hours.  Although I try to let students and department faculty know about these changes in advance, the fact…


Student Contracts for Digital Projects

Like many ProfHackers, I’m constantly tinkering with my syllabi and assignments, looking to improve the experience for the students (and for myself).  For many of my writing assignments, this tinkering has meant that the guidelines have grown longer and longer (as I address specific issues that have come up in previous iterations).  However, in my senior undergraduate seminar, Adventures in Digital History, I’ve taken the opposite approach, giving students the broadest of guidelines and p…


Redesigning the Classroom: Let’s Start with the Wall

Following Jason’s request for help in redesigning a campus computer lab, this post looks at one piece of cutting-edge technology to begin to suggest some ideas about our campus classrooms and what we might want from them going forward.

The Big, Cool Wall

This conversation about the classroom begins with what I found to be among the most thought-provoking sessions at the recent EduCon 2.2 conference, those led by Jeff Han and Toby Sanders of Perceptive Pixel.  Han is the inventor of th…


EduCon 2.2 — A ProfHacker Perspective

Though ProfHacker is focused on higher education, we recognize the vital importance of K-12 education (both in the sense of shared endeavor and in terms of the reality that we need K-12 teachers if we have any chance of succeeding in our own educational mission).  In that spirit, this post explores an increasingly important K-12 education conference, EduCon.  This conference, in its third iteration (version 2.2), is held every year at the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphi…


Why Not to Set Up a Formal New Faculty Mentoring Program

ProfHacker’s series on mentoring has already included a number of gems of advice that I wish I had been privy to as I began my academic career.  I’ve been fairly fortunate, however, to have good mentors at almost every level of my academic career, from my undergraduate days to that year “off” working two full-time jobs to graduate school to my early days as an adjunct and then as an assistant professor.  Even as a tenured faculty member and chair of my department, I have been able to …