Scheduling Tweets? On Mobile?

For years, I have been using Tweetdeck to schedule tweets. Yesterday I suddenly wondered why I couldn’t just schedule tweets from an app on my mobile. So I searched and found this Mashable article recommending 3 free tools (it called them apps so I thought they were mobile apps, but they’re actually web-based) and I thought they worked better than Tweetdeck for some things but worse for others.

I schedule tweets for the following purposes:

  1. To pre-tweet questions or notes during a conference …


Open Thread: Start Thinking About Next Semester

Now that many of us are at the mid-point of the semester — Wait! How did that happen? — it’s a good time to take stock of how things are going this semester and consider what we might want next semester to be like. What lessons have you learned? Do you want to do some things differently? Do you need to make room by letting go of (or throwing out) certain things?

Please share your thoughts (and plans) in the comments.

[CC-licensed Flickr photo by Robert Couse Baker]


Translate Open Access Resources with Annotran

Life is Sharing

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written here previously about the collaborative online annotation tool and about the Open Library of the Humanities, and we have long been proponents of Open Access resources. A few weeks ago, OLH co-founder Martin Eve introduced a new tool, called Annotran. It’s part of the mission of OLH to provide Open Access and accessible scholarly materials, but, as Eve points out:

However, the paywall barrier is only one dimension of closed access. If you are a monol…


Iced Coffee? Iced Coffee!

I love coffee, and I conveniently generally agree with research that shows evidence of coffee’s positive health benefits (even though said benefits seem to vary widely depending on your genes). However, I don’t drink coffee because I think it might help me live longer or improve my quality of life; I drink it because it tastes good, gives me a boost of energy, and enables a little extra focus. In this way, it’s the perfect academic drink for the slump that can come mid-afternoon.

My favorite co…


Open Doors: A New Take on Teaching Observations


I’ve long been in favor of teachers visiting each other’s classrooms, and not just for the purpose of evaluation. For many of us in higher ed, what we do in the classroom is professional activity observed only by our students, and we seldom (or never) get to see how our colleagues go about the work of teaching. Sometimes we’ll be able to read others’ assignments, if they’re posted online or — as in my department — accidentally left in the photocopy machine. But actually watching and learning fr…


Making Visual Novels with Ren’Py

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:

Every tool I’ve examined has different strengths, and ultimately choosing the right tool for your own project or a class assignment can determine its success. I’ve been looking for ways to change up my digital narrative & c…


How I Learned to Stop Resenting Blackboard and Start Using BB Grader


I’ve never been a fan of Blackboard, the monolithic learning management system that’s the standard at so many schools. I’ve always found it slow, poorly designed, and very awkward to use. Recently, however, my attitude changed (slightly) when a colleague introduced me to BB Grader, a free iPad app for Blackboard designed to make the grading process in Blackboard mobile-friendly.

As an English professor, most of what my students produce for me are essays. I long ago switched to a mostly paper-fr…


Get Your Internet Connection’s Speed from Google

speed limit sign

As I type, the Google doodle says that it’s the search engine’s 18th anniversary, which is a very long time of continuing to provide relevant search results on the internet. Google’s search engine, though, has long done far more than that, which brings me to the topic of today’s post: internet speeds.

From time to time in everyone’s life, it can be useful to know just how fast your connection to the internet is. Maybe you’re trying to decide whether to prep for class by reviewing a video, or to…


MLA Commons CORE and Open Access

The Modern Language Association recently announced an exciting open-access project, Humanities Core, funded by the NEH. The project is very ambitious and promises to be a valuable asset for researchers, particularly those without access to the expensive databases of large universities. The announcement explains the project:

The MLA and Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Center for Digital Research and Scholarship are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a $60,000 sta…


Do Your Students Take Good Notes?

Whether — and how — students take notes in class is an evergreen topic in discussions of teaching and learning. Unfortunately, I often find myself frustrated and annoyed when I’m explaining something in class and look out at a room full of students who are, admittedly, paying attention to what I’m saying but writing down not a single thing in their notes. Frustration and annoyance do not make for good pedagogy, though, and my off-the-cuff comments in response to this particular student behavior…