Tag Archives: iphone


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…


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 …


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…


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…


Ye Olde iPhone Backup Server

Toolboth Tavern 04 by Shadowgate, on FlickrDo you have an old smart phone, tablet, or computer in a drawer or a closet somewhere that you never got around to selling or giving away? You might consider setting it up as a development server as Jason describes here. You can also set it up to act as an extra layer in your backup strategy.

This is what I decided to do with an old iPhone 3GS that still worked, except a testy headphone connection, that had a nice 32GB of space on it. I wanted an extra place to backup my mail and dump larger fil…


Learning Mobile Design with TouchDevelop

Nokia Lumia 900 - 114Last week, I was fortunate to attend the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, an industry-academia event looking at the future of computer science. Mark Sample noted many of the cool projects shared throughout the weekend in his Digital Culture Week post, and you can see a lot of the recorded talks online. One highlight of the summit was a DemoFest  featuring a number of tools both futuristic and current, including TouchDevelop, a platform for scripting on and for mobile Windows devices that offer…


Meet Zite: an iOS News Reader

Last summer, Jason introduced us to Flipboard, an iOS app which gathers content from a variety of social media feeds, including Facebook and Twitter (if you choose to link your accounts). Since then, Flipboard has become one of my favorite apps, both on the iPad and iPhone, because it allows me to see what other people in my circles are reading without having to visit all the different individual sites. It’s a kind of social media one-stop media shop.

So when I learned about Zite, a new reader a…


GradeBook Pro, or One Grading App to Rule Them All

Back in 2009, ProfHacker colleague, Billie Hara wrote about grade keeping programs such as GradeKeeper that might help you to track and manage your assessment of student work. Some of you might prefer to go at it old-school with a paper grade book that you manage by hand. Others might devise spread sheets in Excel or Numbers or a GoogleDoc. Still others might use the software provided by your college or university, be it BlackBoard, WebCT, Moodle, or the like. Last semester, partly inspired by…


Jog.fm to Stay on Track

It shouldn’t be news to our regular readers that many of us at ProfHacker are proponents of exercise fitness, and wellness.  Guest author Meagan Timney has encouraged Nurturing the Mind-Body Connection, Kathleen Fitzparick has written about the importance of Prioritizing Exercise, and Brian Croxall has discussed the benefits of Losing Five Pounds. In addition, readers have weighed in on their Favorite Fitness Tracking Tools, and whether or not they Take Advantage of the Campus Gym.

In my most re…


Accessibility Features of iOS 5

Apple users have long known about the company’s commitment to accessibility in most (if not all) of its devices.

In iOS 5–the latest version of the operating system used by the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch–Apple has provided even more accessibility features for their mobile platform. Apple’s attention to built-in accessibility features allows people with disabilities to use these products right out of the box instead of needing to purchase costly accessibility software.

With the current…