Category Archives: Teaching

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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 …

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Sticky Notes and Small Groups: Digital Work in the Classroom

I’m one of those humanities professors who is increasingly introducing technology-intensive assignments and activities into what would otherwise be more conventional, analog courses on writing and literature. And if you teach a large or largish class that involves in-class, hands-on work with digital tools, you would do well to come up with teaching strategies appropriate for that particular situation.

I recently stumbled across a very useful post from Miriam Posner about this very topic: “A be…

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6 Games for Talking About the Election

In the wake of the US presidential election, many of us are deciding what comes next in our classrooms and scholarship. There are no easy answers to this question, and the national divisions are echoed on campus with consequences we are only beginning to understand. However, if you do plan to address these topics in your classroom, games can provide a potentially less threatening opening for sharing experiences. Here are a few games with topics and commentary relevant to the election and curre…

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Teach Access Tutorial: Best Practices for Digital Accessibility

I recently came across a solid teaching and learning resource devoted to giving designers, developers, and writers a better grounding in creating accessible content. The “Teach Access Portal” is a new-to-me tutorial that provides interactive lessons, much in the same way that Codecademy does. It’s a product of the Teach Access project, which (I have to admit) I don’t know much about.

From the introductory paragraph to the tutorial:

This resource is part of the Teach Access Initiative, and provi…

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On Digital Literacies

This post is co-authored with fellow Prof Hacker Lee Skallerup Bessette and Autumm Caines, Associate Director of Academic Technology in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at Capital University in Columbus Ohio, and co-director of Virtually Connecting. Caines blogs at autumm.edtech.fm and DigCiz.org.

 “Buying into a system doesn’t automagically make you, or a University, digitally literate or creative” — Sheila MacNeill

The New Media Consortium recently released a Strategic Bri…

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Simple Guidelines for Speaking at Conferences

a man setting up a microphone

Academics ought to be great at public speaking, or at the very least pretty comfortable with it, but it doesn’t often seem that way. While I’m sure everyone who reads this can think of some presenters they admire (hi, Bethany), it’s probably also easy to conjure up images of suboptimal lectures or conference presentations one’s seen over the years.

And we’ve certainly written about speaking tips quite a bit: Heather has suggested recording oneself speaking (for practice), and Natalie has affirm…

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Tips for Effective Online Learning – Community Edition

people working on laptop together

I am working on a project (outside my institution, targeting adult learners), and was asked to provide tips for effective online learning. I expected to find good, concise, accessible ones out there already. There are (well, I only looked at this, this, and this), but I felt they were missing something, so here are mine. For adults learning online, whether it’s for credit or for free, be(com)ing a self-directed learner is key (here’s a quick overview of heutagogy which centers around self-direc…

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What We Learned from Co-Teaching

Mountain Prairie reflection

[This post is co-authored with my colleagues, Hoda Mostafa (@hodamost), Associate Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching, American University in Cairo and Sherif Osman (@the_sosman), senior officer, pedagogy and assessment at the Center for Learning and Teaching, American University in Cairo]

Co-teaching means sharing your students, sharing your resources and sharing the joys and challenges of each step of the learning. The authors of this article have co-taught courses and workshops …

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What Does Facebook Think It Knows About You?

Facebook

Audrey Watters shared this link to a ProPublica Series, Machine Bias, with a post on understanding Facebook and all that they know about us. I was particularly interested in the Chrome plugin that lets you know what Facebook thinks you like. They are inviting people to share their experiences, as well, to try and better understand what Facebook thinks it knows about us, its (proverbial) users.

I was particularly interested in how I could integrate this reading and exercise into my Introduction …