Category Archives: Editorial

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Weekend Reading: Mid-May Edition

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia

"Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria," by James Somers in The Atlantic.

On March 22 of 2011 the legal agreement that would have unlocked a century’s worth of books and peppered the country with access terminals to a universal library was rejected under Rule 23(e)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. When the library at Alexandria burned it was said to be an “international catastrophe.” When the most signifi…

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Open Thread Wednesday

Often on Wednesday, ProfHacker hosts an open thread discussion. Sometimes a specific topic is announced, and sometimes the discussion is completely open. Please remember to abide by our commenting and community guidelines. Thanks!

Hey, it’s Wednesday! I think you know what that means. It’s time for an open thread!

What’s on your mind? Do you need advice or feedback about something related to life and work in higher ed? Do you have advice or feedback to share about something related to life and …

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Weekend Reading: ‘Here’s to Your Health’ Edition

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As Friday winds down, here are 5 interesting and relevant reads to get you through your weekend:

"Tent Revival," by Amy Woolard in VQR Online:

"For the last seventeen years, during the same late-July weekend, an organization known as Remote Area Medical, or RAM, has offered a laundry list of free dental, vision, and medical services. Over the course of three days, at the Wise County Fairgrounds, an all-volunteer staff builds a pop-up clinic—the largest RAM health clinic in the US—from the …

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Weekend Reading – Doing it Wrong Edition

Streetlights through a rainy window

It’s that time of the (academic) year for many of us: we are neck-deep in grading, in stressed-out student, in wondering if we’ll even have a job in the fall and how are going to make ends meet over the summer. Typically, this would be the time to share self-care pieces, but instead I’m sharing a few provocative readings that have prompted me to ask the question, maybe we’re doing this wrong.

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Is This Still a Thing? Looking Back at Unroll.me

unfurling fern

ProfHacker has been writing posts for a long time now, and in addition to all the evergreen posts about writing and syllabus design and so forth, we’ve also covered a lot of tech. I’ve been kicking around the idea of an occasional series called “Is This Still a Thing?,” in which I look back at an app, service, or gadget we’ve reviewed, and briefly update readers on its status.

For one reason or another, I’ve dithered in getting this off the ground, but recent revelations about Unroll.me have s…

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Weekend Reading: Late April Edition

It’s hard to believe that April is almost over. I know that some campuses still have weeks to go until the academic term is over, but on my campus we start final exams next week (!). Without further ado, here are 5 interesting reads to get you through your weekend:

  • "America’s Great Divergence," by Alana Semuels in The Atlantic: "Half a century ago, economic opportunity and upward mobility were available to many white Americans, regardless of where they lived and what kind of education they ha…

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Fridges and the (Home) Economics of Ed Tech

Billboard advertising gas refrigerators

A maxim even more famous than “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” is “Never make analogies about technology adoption where scholars of refrigeration can find them.” And yet, in “Is Your Edtech Product a Refrigerator or a Washing Machine?,” Julia Freeland Fisher makes just this mistake, when she draws on what she takes to be the comparative adoption rates of these two appliances to argue for more disruptive innovation in educational technology. (Sigh.)

The internet being …

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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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Weekend Reading: A Positive Rage Edition

Craig Finn performing at Brooklyn Bowl with The Hold Steady

Gadget nerds looking to distract themselves from Washington will know that Apple released a tepid batch of hardware updates this week: a red phone, some watch bands, and a low-end iPad. Nothing for the iMac, which hasn’t been updated since October 2015, let alone the Mac Mini, which hasn’t gotten any attention since October 2014.

The hottest take in the wake of Tuesday’s release is that the new low-cost iPad signals that Apple might be ready to take the education market seriously again. Pffft.

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Weekend Reading: Pink Is a Strong Color

It’s Friday! Let’s get to those links that give you some reading material for your weekend!

  • How To Tell Fake News From Real News In ‘Post-Truth’ Era,” by Steve Inskeep: “It’s all right for Americans to be skeptical of what they read and hear. How could I say otherwise? I’m a journalist. It’s my job to question what I hear. While I shouldn’t cynically dismiss everything people tell me, I should ask for evidence and avoid buying into bogus narratives. What we all need, as citizens, is to devel…