Category Archives: Teaching

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Visualize Your Document Changes with Draftback

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Recently, I was introduced to this cool Chrome extension called Draftback. It works with your Google Docs to track the changes you (or your students or collaborators or whoever) have made in the document and allows you to visualize them.

When you click on the Draftback box now located in the top right corner of your Google Doc, you can generate a playback of the changes. I chose a collaboratively-written document that my students wrote last year. As you can see, there were almost 3500 changes m…

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Pedagogy of Imperfection

Imperfectly shaped strawberry
[This post is co-authored with Autumm Caines and Rebecca J. Hogue. Together we are the co-directors of Virtually Connecting.]

They say perfect is the enemy of done, but there may be more value to imperfection in pedagogy than just getting things done. Learning is an imperfect process and the situation is few and far between where we see someone getting it perfect the first time. Many times perfection is a self-defined construct that we ourselves cannot even precisely articulate, though we know …

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New Keywords on Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities

Manifesto for Teaching Online

I’ve made note before (in December 2015 and last June) about the open review process for the Modern Language Association’s project, Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, “a curated collection of reusable and remixable pedagogical artifacts for humanities scholars.”

There’s a new batch of keywords open for review, and they’re pretty great:

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Collecting Student Work with Google Forms

File folders organized in a file boxA good number of us here at ProfHacker prefer to avoid paper whenever possible. When I teach my writing course each fall, I have my students use Google Documents so that it’s easy to see an essay’s development over time.

For classes where it’s not essential that I see a student’s revisions, I prefer that essays be submitted in PDF format, so that I can comment on essays using my iPad. (My current favorite app for this purpose is PDFExpert; Jason and Erin have both made use of iAnnotate.)

What I…

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Hoaxy Visualizes the Spread of Online News

Hoax

As I seem to have become the resident “fake news” writer here at ProfHacker, I feel like I would be remiss not to review the new tool Hoaxy, developed by Filippo Menczer, a professor of informatics and computer science at Indiana University at Bloomington (you can read an interview with him here).

According to the FAQ on the website,

Hoaxy visualizes the spread of claims and related fact checking online. A claim may be a fake news article, hoax, rumor, conspiracy theory, satire, or even an acc…

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From the Archives: Closing Out the Fall Semester

sunset

Because of the ways academic calendars are constructed, the dates for the end of fall term classes, exam period, and final grade entry at different colleges can be spread out from late November to late January. Regardless of where you are in that sequence of events, this can be a hectic time of year, particularly if you have travel or holiday plans coming up. So here are a few tips from the ProfHacker archives to help you close out this semester or academic quarter. (You might also want to look…

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Combatting Digital Polarization

Cross Polarization

I’ve already written about the spread of fake news and how to work to stop it. And given what happened this weekend is D.C. and that most people who see fake news believe it, it is imperative that we work to improve the way we read and consume media and “news.”

Mike Caulfield, whose research and efforts I mentioned in my last post, has just launched a new tool and resource for educators and students: The Digital Polarization Initiative. The initiative is supported by the AASCU’s American Demo…

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Simple Visual Novel Design with CloudNovel

cloudnovel

In this ongoing series of making games on the classroom, I’ve been taking a look at a number of user-friendly tools for making interactive content, including:

And most recently, Ren’Py, a great flexible tool for making visual novels that is also a bit code-focused. Visual novels have a lot of potential for assignments across disciplines, as the genre is a form of playable narrati…

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Trailblazer Chrome Extension Tracks Your Research Path

trailblazer-grab

For a while now I’ve been meaning to share a post about Trailblazer, a Chrome web browser extension I learned about from my friend and colleague Cindy Jennings. Trailblazer is a tool that allows you to track your web-based research path, much in the same way that an explorer will mark a path through a territory. As Clive Thompson writes, in a 2015 Wired essay, the Trailblazer extension puts into practice something that Vannevar Bush imagined in 1945 in his now-famous “As We May Think“: the abil…

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6 More Games for After the Election


Earlier this month, I shared six games for facilitating conversations in the wake of the US presidential election. Several designers and educators reached out to share other suggestions, particularly for related political discourse that may be relevant over the coming months. All of these games are free unless otherwise noted, but many of the designers accept donations to support their practice.

  • Jana Reinhardt’s strangely escapist game Solitude (2 dollars to play) is a beautiful metaphorical …