Category Archives: Reviews

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Preview: Books I’ll Be Reading This Summer

child facing a statute that's holding a book

There are three (open access) books I’ve been meaning to read and review, but I realized if I waited until I finished them, it would take a while, so I thought it would be good to post a “preview” here, of why I hope to dip into these books over summer.

Education and Technology: Critical Approaches

This CC-licensed e-book is edited by Giselle Martins dos Santos Ferreira, Luiz Alexandre da Silva Rosado and Jaciara de Sa Carvalho. The book “brings together texts which question the hypothetical ne…

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Review: The Interactive Past

I frequently write here about the potential for using games in the classroom, and I’m always on the lookout for interesting transdisciplinary engagement with this idea. So I was excited to see the recent open-access Sidestone Press release of The Interactive Past: Archaeology, Heritage & Video Games edited by Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos. The project is interesting both as an academic approach (it was funded via Kickstarter) and as a co…

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Marking up Mobile Photos with Annotable

annotations
Ever since Evernote abandoned Skitch a couple of years ago, I’ve been looking for a good way to mark up photos on my phone, which is a thing I find myself doing pretty regularly, either in documenting issues around campus, or communicating quickly about various issues.. I’ve tried a variety of different apps, but haven’t found one that’s really stuck.

I’d tried Annotable before, but it fell into the “interesting, but maybe not for me” category. Last month, though, Ling Wang released a new vers…

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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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Searching Multiple Libraries with the Chrome Library Extension

The Chrome Library Extension in action

Several weeks ago, I was reading through my news feeds, and came across an interesting post at LifeHacker. That post described Library Extension, a very useful Chrome extension1 that works with Amazon’s site (reports in the comments section of the LifeHacker post indicate that it works with the Goodreads site, too, though I’ve not tested it).

You can see the extension in action in the screenshot at the top of this post. The extension allows you to add whatever libraries you’d like (they curre…

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Simplifying Timeline Creation with TimeLineCurator

Editing a TimeLineCurator timeline

Timelines are a useful visualization tool, and we’ve written about them a lot over the last several years. In addition to Billie’s overview of timeline apps for PCs, we’ve also covered specific applications such as Bee Docs, Dipity, TimelineSetter, and TimelineJS. Of these, TimelineJS is the one I’ve used most frequently, and like the best. The timelines it outputs look great, and are easy to navigate. The tool does, however, require creating a Google Spreadsheet and entering the timeline inf…

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Lower Ed: A (Brief) Review

Lower Ed

 

Just in case you haven’t seen The New York Times review, her appearance on The Daily Show, the endorsement from Roxane Gay and Dr. Beverly Crusher (among many, many others), or one of her many other interviews, including a fantastic one here in The Chronicle, and remain unaware of of Tressie McMillan Cottom’s essential new book, Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, let me add my voice to the chorus and say get this book right now and read it.

I really do hop…

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Rhizcomics and the Future of Scholarly Forms

RhizcomicsEmblemDRC

Last week, the University of Michigan Press / Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative launched the open access version of a new book by Jason Helms: Rhizcomics: Rhetoric, Technology, and New Media Composition. The work (as shown above) takes full advantage of its born-digital composition, making use of images, animation, video, and annotation, and it defies a straightforward linear reading by including a range of asides and diversions (as well as a few intentionally intertwined ch…

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ACI Blog Index: Charging Money for Information About Free Content?

A book opened to its indexLast week, Jeff McClurken posted a query to Facebook: “Why does ACI get to charge people for access to my freely available blog posts?” That post led to a lengthy conversation about ACI’s Scholarly Blog Index. (Readers can view the full conversation, which also included Lee Skallerup Bessette, Sheila Brennan, and Michelle Moravec, here.)

I checked the site out, and discovered some of my own work there, too. I also tried doing a password reset, and, like Michelle Moravec, discovered I already had…

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Build a Habit Streak With Productive

graffiti of habit

Jerry Seinfeld has a well-known piece of productivity advice known as “don’t break the chain.” The idea is simple: you visibly mark on a calendar every day you perform some task–write a good joke, work on squats, write toward an article, learn TEI, whatever–and make sure you do it for several consecutive days. Then, you rely on the power of momentum: just don’t break the chain of days. Keep the streak going, and you will build a habit of prioritizing what’s really important–such as your academi…