Tag Archives: ios


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…


Text a Lot from iOS? Why You Might Want to Try Google’s GBoard

wall of surfboards

Alternate keyboards in iOS are one of those things that sound helpful, but can quickly devolve into procrastination engines. For every Text Expander keyboard letting you use your full panoply of text expansion options on your devices, there’s a celebrity-sponsored emoji app.

Last week, though, Google managed to release a keyboard that is simultaneously useful and not creepy: Gboard.

GBoard does four things, each of which is in principle a great addition to typing on iOS:

  • Integrated Google se…

Digital and Analogue Writing with LiveScribe

I still love to write thing by hand, on paper, in a notebook. Call it a holdover from my days (and nights) spent writing in journals and diaries and notebooks. I always had a notebook and pen with me. I was always writing.

Now I have my iPhone with me, and I tweet a whole lot.

But writing out drafts, or brainstorming, or jotting down ideas, those are activities that I miss doing. What I don’t miss doing in transcribing them, or not having access to them if I don’t happen to have the right n…


Keeping Track of People with Status

It’s been almost a year since my family moved, meaning that my husband now has an hour commute to and from work. He was getting tired of me texting him asking if he had left yet or where he was on his route home. He found the app Status that automated the process of letting me know (and vice versa) where he was or what he was doing.

Available for both iPhones and Android devices, it lets anyone you allow to see where you are and what you are doing (according to status notifications that automat…


Outlook for iOS and Android: An Email App Administrators and Staff Will (Really!) Love

Yesterday, Microsoft released Outlook for iOS and Android. This is a real email/calendaring app, not a warmed-over frontend for Office365 or Outlook.com: it supports Exchange Server, Exchange Online, Outlook.com, Gmail, iCloud, and Yahoo! Mail. (Well, real-ish, anyway.) It features all the latest features from apps like Inbox or Maibox: it has a “Focused Inbox,” for emails it thinks you’ll actually interact with, and an “Others” one, for that very important update from X. It also has all the cu…


Weekend Reading: Changing Leaves Edition



Another Friday is here, and that means another edition of Weekend Reading.

Tuesday, October 14 was E. E. Cumming’s birthday. In honor of his birthday, a piece from The New Yorker by Paul Muldoon has been making the rounds on social media. In addition, check out this link for a selection of his poetry, including one of my favorites, “I Have Found What You Are Like”:

i have found what you are like
the rain,

       (Who feathers frightened fields
with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

easily th…


Weekend Reading: Hello October Edition

Happy Friday, ProfHackers!

The Atlantic confirms what many us have known for some time now: “Online Relationships Are Real.” Also from The Atlantic is an interesting look at they way NYU philosopher Helen Nissbaum is shaping national policy on privacy.

It’s football season, which means different things for different campuses: tailgates, crowds, difficulty parking, empty libraries (my personal favorite!), but this year it also means something very different: concussions. Last weekend, the Univers…


Open Thread Wednesday: About Those Software Updates


At some point at or after 1pm in their local time zone, iOS users will be able to download and install the latest version of the system software. (Well, most users, anyway.) And while I’m sure ProfHacker will cover the utility of different features in the coming weeks–and while Android users will comment, ‘meh–we’ve had that feature for years’–I wanted to focus on a different question today:

Are you a first-day updater? Why / why not? Do you have different approaches for devices you own persona…


Simple Journaling on Mac or iOS with Day One

An old, hand-written journalHere at ProfHacker, we frequently talk about how to get your writing done. After all, for many of us, writing is an important part of (keeping) our jobs. We’ve frequently discussed writing software like Scrivener or Google Docs; more recently Konrad covered Draft for collaborative writing and Adeline talked about using Gingko, which is a horizontal outline and writing tool. We’ve covered methods for getting your writing done, from Billie’s look at 750words.com and Erin’s personal Rule of 200 (wo…


Get Real-Time, Social Driving Directions with Waze

6371619037_fd8e11ba7f_bWhen I was planning to move to Atlanta for graduate school, one of the first things that I bought was an atlas for the United States. How else, in 2002, was I going to know how to get from one state to another? When I finally got to Atlanta, the very first thing I did was drive to a CVS to buy an umbrella and a big multi-page map of the city. In 2007, when I was attending my second MLA conference in Chicago, I went with a small folder full of printed-off directions from Google Maps to help me ge…