Tag Archives: ipad

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

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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…

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Curing the Blue Light Blues

As Jason pointed out recently, many of us are suffering from sleep debt — and that’s not only the amount of sleep we know we’re missing, but the additional amount of sleep we would need to move past our usual level of accustomed tiredness to something closer to optimal function:

By this point in the semester, many faculty and students are, if this research is correct, operating at cognitive deficits similar to pulling all-nighters for two days.

One reason we’re staying up at night? Our beloved …

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Weekend Reading: Changing Leaves Edition

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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…

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How Do You Work with Your Tablet?

10053155455_bcc06e19ba_kThis afternoon brings yet another set of Apple announcements–definitely new iPads, a specific release date for the new Mac operating system, and apparently retina displays for the iMac. And whenever Apple releases a product, other folks do also, with Google announcing the Nexus 9 that runs the new Android Lollipop OS..

The run of tablet announcements always makes me a bit curious: Are academics using them for work? In what ways? Obviously, we’ve covered tons of different ways people might use ta…

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A Quick ProfHack: Kindling the Presentation

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A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria. If you haven’t attended (and didn’t have your Twitter stream flooded with #DHSI2014 tweets), DHSI is a week-long Digital Humanities extravaganza, which you can read about in a previous ProfHacker post. I was participating in one of the new “Birds of a Feather” discussions, which asked two provocateurs to make short presentations and then would open up into a discussion wi…

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Microsoft Finally Introduces Office for iPad

After years of speculation from users, Microsoft has finally introduced a version of their Office suite of applications for the iPad. As their description on the product’s web page explains, you can

[v]iew, create, and edit Office documents on your iPad® with touch-friendly Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps. In Word, add comments or track changes while you work together with others. Review and update Excel spreadsheets and add formulas or charts. Change PowerPoint presentations and project them…

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iPad Apps for the Classroom

At the beginning of last month, I asked ProfHacker readers to share their favorite apps for the new year, and there are many great contributions in the comments section of that post. Lately, I’ve been talking with my campus colleagues about ways to use the iPad in the classroom.

For the first couple of years that I had an iPad, I didn’t really consider it an essential tool. I read with interest ProfHacker posts about topics such as using the GradeBook Pro iPad app, grading on the iPad with iAnn…

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Using iAnnotate as a Grading Tool

8167818394_244f97b2a8_bOver the years, ProfHacker has featured several posts about grading. Back in 2010, Nels asked, “Are you locked in grading jail?” and followed up his question with another post that explained “Breaking Out of Grading Jail.” Billie Hara added “On the Comforts of Grading Jail” while Jason wrote about “Grading Triage.” There’s even a helpful Archive post by Natalie on grading. But grading is one part of professorial life that will never go away, and it’s the time of year when we’re all probably up t…

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This Is Not a Book: Thomas Jefferson & Apple’s App Store

Notes on the State of Virginia app[This is a guest post by John O’Brien and Brad Pasanek. John O’Brien is associate professor of English at the University of Virginia, where he teaches eighteenth-century literature. He is the author of Harlequin Britain: English Pantomime and Entertainment, 1690-1760, and is working on a book entitled Literature Incorporated: The Cultural Unconscious of the Business Corporation, 1650-1850. Brad Pasanek is assistant professor of English at UVA. He’s busy revising his first book, a dictionary of…

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1Keyboard to Rule them All

Cobble stones arranged in such a way that they resemble a keyboardLast fall, I finally got a smartphone. There was a lot to like about suddenly being able to get to my email, contacts, and maps while traveling on the New York subway system. And I could suddenly start making use of all those great ProfHacker tips for using my smartphone.

But there was one thing that I didn’t like as much: the keyboard. Despite being dumb, my previous phone had a full QWERTY keypad with physical buttons, and I had been able to send text messages and tweets faster than anyone rea…