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Open Thread Wednesday

Often on Wednesday, ProfHacker hosts an open thread discussion. Sometimes a specific topic is announced, and sometimes the discussion is completely open. Please remember to abide by our commenting and community guidelines. Thanks!

Hey, it’s Wednesday! I think you know what that means. It’s time for an open thread!

What’s on your mind? Do you need advice or feedback about something related to life and work in higher ed? Do you have advice or feedback to share about something related to life and …

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Marking up Mobile Photos with Annotable

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Ever since Evernote abandoned Skitch a couple of years ago, I’ve been looking for a good way to mark up photos on my phone, which is a thing I find myself doing pretty regularly, either in documenting issues around campus, or communicating quickly about various issues.. I’ve tried a variety of different apps, but haven’t found one that’s really stuck.

I’d tried Annotable before, but it fell into the “interesting, but maybe not for me” category. Last month, though, Ling Wang released a new vers…

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The Semester Review

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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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Weekend Reading: ‘Here’s to Your Health’ Edition

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As Friday winds down, here are 5 interesting and relevant reads to get you through your weekend:

"Tent Revival," by Amy Woolard in VQR Online:

"For the last seventeen years, during the same late-July weekend, an organization known as Remote Area Medical, or RAM, has offered a laundry list of free dental, vision, and medical services. Over the course of three days, at the Wise County Fairgrounds, an all-volunteer staff builds a pop-up clinic—the largest RAM health clinic in the US—from the …

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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…

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Weekend Reading – Doing it Wrong Edition

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It’s that time of the (academic) year for many of us: we are neck-deep in grading, in stressed-out student, in wondering if we’ll even have a job in the fall and how are going to make ends meet over the summer. Typically, this would be the time to share self-care pieces, but instead I’m sharing a few provocative readings that have prompted me to ask the question, maybe we’re doing this wrong.

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Recent & Upcoming Conversations on Open & Networked Learning

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If you are in the field of open and networked learning, you are likely going through a process of exploring the place of open philosophies and networked/participatory practices in the current political environment, and deciding where your place is in all of this. Thankfully, there have been a lot of spaces for us to discuss these questions together, such as the #OER17 conference which took place in London with the theme “The Politics of Open”. The conference may be over, but there have been…

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Is This Still a Thing? Looking Back at Unroll.me

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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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5 Tips for Designing Course Documents

Here towards the end of the semester, I’m thinking about all of the different kinds of documents I’ve seen left behind on or near the departmental photocopier over the past 15 weeks. And I’ve developed some … opinions about how such documents could be improved.

Here are 5 specific tips I’d like to share with you:

  1. Add the same visible metadata to every document: Remember that each of your documents will have a life independent of the other documents you’re creating for a course. When that docu…