Category Archives: Productivity

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How to Make a Time Map for the Summer

comic style calendar

At the start of summer, many academics find themselves on a different schedule than during the academic year. Maybe you don’t teach during the summer, or if you do teach, the schedule is probably quite different from your spring/fall semesters. Some service obligations continue during the summer, but others recede into the background for a couple months.

At the start of summer, it’s easy to feel that you’ve got all the time in the world. The weeks stretch ahead, full of promise. But even only t…

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An Easy macOS Script for Converting Images to PDFs

a sheaf of contracts

One of the great conveniences about modern smartphone cameras is that it’s now much easier to submit paperwork of various types. Even if you don’t have a digital copy of the form, you can frequently fill it out, take a picture, and send the photo a long.

Except, as David Sparks explains in this handy post, it’s not quite that easy: images aren’t great to work with, and need to be converted to PDFs. And they typically have a lot of extraneous information, such as color. macOS has a variety of t…

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The Semester Review

magnify clouds

There are many urgent, practical things that need to be done as the semester winds down: administrative reports, meetings, grading, and book orders for the next term. But setting aside a few minutes for reflection offers many benefits. An end-of-semester review process lets you capture important aspects of your experience while they are still reasonably fresh in your mind so that you can learn from them.

Taking time to notice and celebrate the positive aspects of the semester is especially valu…

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5 Posts Looking Ahead to Summer

As I write this I’m on the brink of clicking “submit” on submitting my grades for the semester and starting my summer activities. Like many faculty in higher ed, I’m thinking about how to make the best of the next 3 months. In doing so, I’ve gone into the ProfHacker archives to see what my fellow authors have written on the subject:

  1. "Five Things to Do With Evaluations Before the Summer Really Starts": Jason Jones argues that, before the semester drifts too far into the fog of memory, take a f…

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Annotating Financial Context Automatically with Bloomberg Lens

calculator with financial forms
Despite the fact that the web is a powerful tool for annotation, many news stories and blog posts lack relevant context that would be useful for readers. Especially as a site ages, it can be hard to know how information has changed over time.

Most of us at ProfHacker like hypothes.is as an annotate-everywhere tool. But there are other visions of annotation, and this week, Bloomberg and Postlight jointly announced Bloomberg Lens, an iOS app and Chrome extension that aims to provide on-the-fly f…

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Laptop Ban? Things You Can Do With Just a Smartphone

children looking at a smartphone together

I recently had a conference in London, and I was flying I direct from Cairo. The laptop ban on this route came into effect shortly before my trip and it would have been really inconvenient for me to re-route. I also heard it’s quite risky to check your laptop in the luggage (you risk theft, damage, or at least loss – until the airlines can guarantee these things won’t happen, I won’t check my laptop or iPad in checked luggage). I recently (before the laptop/iPad ban) contributed a light-hea…

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Supermute Twitter

Start or Stop

I’ve been talking a lot about Twitter lately here on ProfHacker, but it’s still one of my favorite places to be online. However, sometimes, I don’t want to see certain things in my timeline. Certainly you can use the Mute function on Twitter, but why use a subtle, flexible, and complex tool when you can use a blunt instrument?

Enter Supermute:

Supermute is a blunt tool. You can define any phrase you’d like to mute for up to 7 days. During that time period, if anyone in your timeline (including …

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End of the Semester: Make a List

3166085824_d93fe8c5c5_b

Here on my campus, we have only 3 weeks of regular class meetings left. I don’t know about you, but the end seems to come more quickly every semester! The more experienced I get the less chaotic these few weeks feel to me, but I still have to work at it to stay organized and to look ahead to what lies beyond the semester’s end.

Back in December of 2009, Ethan wrote up some advice explaining his own end-of-semester checklist. Here’s the overview:

  • Backup my course websites

  • Update my CV

  • Writ…

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New Resource on Open Access, Pedagogy, Learning

The concept of “Open,” particularly when it comes to Open Access, is something that we’ve written a lot about here at Profhacker. In fact one could make the argument that part of our Ethos here is build around the idea of openness; we write openly about our pedagogies, our practices, and our struggles. Increasingly, however, “open” is being turned into the latest buzzword around education and education reform (transformation, disruption, revolutionize, leveraging, etc). The word, then, is losin…

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Save That Hashtag! Twitter Recorder Extension

Got Hash Tag?

We’ve written about Twitter a lot here at ProfHacker. One of the best ways to archive tweets, particularly around a particular search term or hashtag is Martin Hawksey’s TAGS archive, which George recently wrote about. But the TAGS archive works best if you already know you want to archive a hashtag or search term; the archives can only go as far back as the Twitter API will allow, which isn’t all the way back.

I ran into this problem when I wanted to go back and collect all of the #FYCchat arc…