Category Archives: Profession

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Weekend Reading: Fading Summer Edition


Sundial, Perranporth flickr photo by Tim Green aka atoach shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Summer is moving quickly, especially for those of us with semester start times looming just around the corner in August. This is the time of year when deadlines on the calendar are definitely closer than they appear. I for one have found myself increasingly focused on the calendar, but it’s important to take a break and find time in summer for recovery and reflection. With that in mind, this …

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Changes to Photo Site Unsplash

Unsplash, a popular website for free-to-use high-quality “stock” photographs, has recently changed their licensing for using their photos, going from CC0 to something more bespoke.

Much confusion ensued, and is continuing to ensue.

Full disclosure, I love(d) using their photographs for the other blog I run and write for.

But…

I had been, earlier in that same week, Tweeting about browsing the Unplash website, using certain search terms to see what kinds of results I got.

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Twitter Continues to Fail at Handling Harassment

man with head in sand

[This article is co-authored with Kate Bowles. Dr Bowles is Associate Dean International in the Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts at the University of Wollongong. She writes online at musicfordeckchairs.com and tweets @KateMFD.]

Note: we are intentionally not sharing specific examples we have seen in order to protect those who have been recent targets of harassment.

Imagine this. You use Twitter in teaching, or for professional development, or at conferences. It’s been an important environmen…

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International Travel: A Good Reason to Have Two Google Accounts

One Google icon pointing to another

We’ve heard quite a lot over the last few months about travelers being asked to unlock their mobile phones—and, in some cases, provide their social media passwords—when entering the United States.

We’ve also heard tips on traveling abroad with a phone; over at The Verge, the suggestion is to delete our data before leaving the country if we really want to protect it.1 We can then install and sign into our accounts when we get where we’re going, and repeat the process before returning to the U.S.

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Thinking Digital with External Review Materials

For many, the academic tenure process begins over the summer. Even if your institution’s internal review process and material submissions seem to be lurking months away in August or September, the process of preparing for and submitting materials for external review is likely already underway or on the summer to-do list. Just picking a list of external reviewers can be a challenge: Nels wrote a great post a few years ago discussing the process of selecting appropriate reviewers, and Karen Kelsk…

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Why and How to Make Your PDFs Searchable

An annotated PDF in the iAnnotate app on an iPadAs I noted last week, PDF is my preferred file format for document sharing, for a number of reasons. Not all PDFs are created equally, though. I’ve found that it’s really important for files to be run through OCR (Optical Character Recognition).

Why? There are two main reasons, in my experience:

  1. Searchability. Kathleen wrote about this several years ago, in “OCR Those PDFs.” Increasingly, I find myself working with journal articles and other documents in digital format, and I need to be able…

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Openness, Permission, Courtesy and Nuances of Licenses

bee about to land on flower

I don’t know how common it is for folks to have to explain Creative Commons licenses for others, but it often feels like a “continuously negotiated” thing (to use Catherine Cronin’s term). So I recently had a conversation that went something like this, with a professor who wants to create an open textbook (the actual discussion was slightly more complex and with more people involved):

Me: so what kind of license do you want on the book?
Prof: I am happy for people to reuse it as long as they at…

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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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Open on Whose Terms?

I’m planning to teach a course with a big digital literacies component next semester inshallah, and as part of the brainstorming of that course, I plan to do some exercises related to having students reflect on Terms and Conditions and privacy policies of various apps before we use them. This was inspired by Jason Jones’ recent post about how Unroll.me was selling customer data to Uber, a link shared by Christian Friedrich written by Unroll.me’s co-founder, and a lesson idea for integrating Ter…

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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.