Category Archives: Teaching

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Participating in the Digital Polarization Initiative is now ‘Ridiculously Easy’

When I was at the Domains 2017 conference earlier this summer, Jon Udell issued a challenge – what are you doing to help the fight again digital polarization, “fake news,” and general media illiteracy? He has been working hard with Mike Caulfield on the Digital Polarization Initiative (which I’ve already written about), and they’ve come up with a new way to make it easier for teachers to incorporate the project into their classes.

(By the way, my part is using the platforms that I have access t…

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On Writing: Anne Lamott

laptop and notebook

One of the things that most frequently causes writers to feel stuck or frustrated is trying to write and edit at the same time. These are two very different cognitive activities, and examining your last three sentences for flaws is a sure way to block the creative impulse that might lead to the next sentence.

The answer, of course, is to write what Anne Lamott calls “a shitty first draft” in Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life:

Very few writers really know what they are doing un…

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Learn About Digital Accessibility This Summer

Looking to add to your digital skill set this summer? Interested in digital accessibility? Via Anne Janhunen comes word that Microsoft is offering a "Web Accessibility Fundamentals" course on edX. The course is free to audit and $99 if you’d like a "Verified Certificate."

From the landing page for the course:

In this course, we will teach you the guidelines and best practices required to create a new web application from scratch. You’ll also learn how to repair inaccessible sites as they exi…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Online Class and Virtual Attendance Challenges

Like many of you, I’m in a moment of rapid transition, with spring semester grades barely posted and summer classes already underway. For students who are motivated by their graduation pace, funding, or other needs, summer classes are a great way to move forward: when I was an undergraduate I regularly embraced the format. As a faculty member I have more mixed feelings, particularly with the rising popularity of online summer classes.

This summer I’m revisiting a difficult format that I’ve onl…

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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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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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How to Learn Better with Ulrich Boser

Ulrich Boser, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, strongly believes that learning more about learning can benefit everyone, no matter their goals or stage in life. Learning how to master new skills and relate new information to existing knowledge is especially important as technological and societal change continually alter the kinds of work we perform throughout our lifetimes.

In his new book, Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, H…

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The Semester Review

magnify clouds

There are many urgent, practical things that need to be done as the semester winds down: administrative reports, meetings, grading, and book orders for the next term. But setting aside a few minutes for reflection offers many benefits. An end-of-semester review process lets you capture important aspects of your experience while they are still reasonably fresh in your mind so that you can learn from them.

Taking time to notice and celebrate the positive aspects of the semester is especially valu…

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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…