Category Archives: Reviews

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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…

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New Wayback Machine – Beta

DeLorian

While the adage goes that nothing ever disappears from the internet, anyone who created a Geocities site, or used their old university servers (or forgot to pay to renew domain registration) knows that more often than we’re led to believe, stuff goes away and we can’t find it anymore.

The Wayback Machine has been a go-to for those looking for lost content and sites on the internet, but until now the search feature has required you to know the exact URL for the site you are trying to track down….

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Weekend Reading: Searching for Hope Edition

fire

I am terrified of fire. I still wake up from nightmares of burning, and when I was a kid, I used to wake from these nightmares and have to go through the entire house ensuring that nothing, in fact, was at risk of catching fire.

In response, I learned all I could about fire, particularly how to do a pretty good campfire. I know how to get it started (with a reliable match or lighter; I’m not that fancy), know how to keep it going, know how to effectively put it out. I’ve sufficiently impres…

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What’s your favorite note-taking app?

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Many of us these days use a tablet for taking notes — and for a lot of us, that tablet is an iPad. We’ve explored some note-taking apps for the iPad before:

I’ve also tried two other applications over the last fe…