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  1. rybakc

    Google’s Inbox (Zero)



    [Tim Lepczyk is the Director of Faculty Instructional Technology at Hendrix College. You can follow him on Twitter at @thirdcoast.--@JBJ]

    Google’s new app and interface for Gmail, concisely named Inbox, tries to streamline email and thus make “inbox zero” more attainable and less something one needs to chase. Currently, the app is available through invitations only, but one can request an invite through a friend or through Google.

    The idea behind Inbox is that email is a task and the goal is to...

  2. rybakc

    Microsoft Office for Android (Beta)


    Last week, Microsoft announced that they’re expanding the “preview” — formerly only available to a limited number of users — of their Office apps for Android tablets:

    We want more feedback from more users to ensure that Office apps work well on a range of different Android tablets before launching the official apps. To participate in the preview, you can use an ARM-based Android tablet running KitKat or Lollipop, with a screen size between 7″ and 10.1″. Starting today, anyone can go to Google P...

  3. rybakc

    A History of the MLA Job List



    Jonathan Goodwin was going to give a talk at last weekend’s Modern Language Association convention on “Jobs of the MLA,” a look at the history of the MLA’s Job Information List. Unfortunately, he got sick and was unable to travel; happily, he was able to post the talk online. The MLA gave him almost 50 years of page-scans of the JIL, which were then OCRed for ease of searching. As he read the ads to plan how to make a database of them, he began tweeting s...

  4. rybakc

    2014: 5 Games to Learn From


    As the year winds to a close, it’s a great time to take a look back at some of the games that stood out in serious and educational gaming. If you’re thinking about picking a new game for a class, keep an eye on the coming game awards season. There are a number of venues that showcase great educational games each year. The Serious Games Showcase & Challenge highlighted several winners this year, including National Geographic’s game The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom and University of ...

  5. rybakc

    From the Archives: Wrap Up the Semester



    Sooner or later, all semesters end. And each is soon followed by another academic term close upon its heels.

    Here are some tips from the ProfHacker archives for ending your term so as to be in good shape when you return to your office in a week or two.

    Look Backwards

    Think about what worked and what didn’t work so well this semester. Write down some ideas for what habits or practices you want to continue and what you want to change next semester.

    Update your cv and your annual review/promotion ...

  6. rybakc

    Why You Should Use an Email Vacation Responder



    How often do you check your email? Do you love checking email? Is answering email your primary mission in life? Do you ever wish you could just get away from email for a little while?

    Well, you can, by using an email vacation responder. Even if you don’t consider your holiday plans to be “vacation,” maybe it’s worth designating a couple of email-free days sometime in the next couple of weeks.

    How it Works

    When you have the vacation responder turned on, when someone emails you, they receive an i...

  7. rybakc

    Hour of Code


    December 8th through 14th marked Computer Science Education Week, along with a week-long push for Hour of Code, an initiative in procedural literacy through beginner-friendly tutorials with particular attention to groups that remain underrepresented in STEM. While many of the community events and initiatives are aimed at K-12, the tutorials and resources from the project and the initiative itself can be valuable for us to take a look at in higher education.

    Obama kicked off the week of code by ...

  8. rybakc

    Weekend Reading: Allllllmost Done Edition


    So much youth soccer this weekend!

    As I understand it, virtually every faculty member in the US is currently grading their fingers off right now, or procrastinating by prepping for midwinter conferences. (Except for those on sabbatical during the fall . . . they might well be quietly weeping at what remains to be done in the time remaining of their leave!) So I won’t prattle on in this space, but will simply wish everyone very well indeed, and the strength to get through whatever challenges you’re facing right now.

    • During the ...
  9. rybakc

    Using IFTTT To Track Twitter Participation


    [This is a guest post by Dan Royles, a visiting assistant professor of history at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He's previously written for ProfHacker on "Researching the Recent Past Online" and "Digital Workflows for the Archives."You can follow him on Twitter at @danroyles.--@JBJ

    Much digital ink has been spilled on ProfHacker about using Twitter in academia, and Mark Sample has offered prac...

  10. rybakc

    #TAGS: New Homepage for Twitter Archiving Google Sheet


    Screen shot of "TAGS" home page.

    Here at ProfHacker we’ve written quite a bit about Twitter over the years (as our archive of posts with the twitter tag reveals). One Twitter topic that we’ve addressed often is how best to maintain an archive of Tweets, whether your own or those associated with a particular hashtag. In two different posts, Mark introduced readers to what is, arguably, the best free solution for this: Martin Hawksey’s TAGS, “a free Google Sheet template which lets you setup and run automated collection of searc...

  11. rybakc

    DH Toe Dip: Pecha Kucha

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak Okay, so this really isn’t a DH thing, since presentations are presentations. Still, inspired by Eric Rettberg (whose overall work is fascinating and unique—there’s no one like the guy), I decided to assign my students to create Pecha-Kucha presentations that were close readings of Emily Dickinson poems. (Again, this assignment is from the […]
  12. rybakc

    DH Toe Dip: PRISM

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak I am currently teaching an upper-level poetry course (hooray!), and given how tricky poetry can be for undergraduate students, I figured this was the perfect time to use PRISM in class. PRISM is a digital, collaborative reading tool created by the inspiring people at the University of Virginia Library Scholars’ Lab. We happened […]
  13. rybakc

    DH Toe Dip: Character Networks in Gephi

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak A Beginner’s Guide to Gephi and Character Networks Last fall, inspired by Franco Moretti’s must-read pamphlet over at the Stanford Literary Lab, I decided to turn my students loose on character-network assignments created in Gephi: a free, open-source visualization tool. As with most technology I was initially hesitant, fearing that curricular objectives would be sacrificed on […]
  14. rybakc

    DH Toe Dip: The Serendip-o-matic

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak   Dramatic Intro As the new academic year begins, I thought a quick look at Digital Humanities (DH) projects, tools, and resources was in order, especially those that might prove useful for students, teachers, staff members, and researchers alike. (In other words, I hope to write a lot more of these.) My motivation […]
  15. rybakc

    A Few Words on Faculty “Textbooks”

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak Yesterday, Slate ran an interesting piece on what is an important and contentious issue: faculty assigning self-authored texts. When I was a member of my campus’s faculty senate, let’s just say that we had one or two mildly contentious discussions about this. There are things to be concerned about: in the worst cases, a […]
  16. rybakc

    On Teju Cole’s “Hafiz”

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak I like Teju Cole. His willingness to speak with power and simultaneously experiment with his craft largely define the term “artist.” Like many, I was very interested when Cole published “Hafiz” on Twitter, specifically incorporating retweets as his narrative, point-of-view vehicle. Twitter, much like other social media, is a space where genius is […]
  17. rybakc

    A One-Item List for Tenure-Track Faculty

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak On the very first day of 2014, I waved the white flag on people pitting adjunct faculty against tenured/tenure-track faculty, largely because 99% of the resulting discussion was completely unhelpful to anyone and demonstrated one clear trend: a lack of knowledge about power in institutions of higher education. I can’t rehash that in […]
  18. rybakc

    In a Lonely Place (Uncreative Writing)

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak As someone who teaches creative writing, I recently did my professional duty and explored the “uncreative writing” ideas of Kenneth Goldsmith. This led me to his companion anthology, Against Expression, co-edited with Craig Dworkin. Since much of my writing has been labeled uncreative before even hearing of this movement, imagine my relief. Marjorie Perlof […]
  19. rybakc

    The (Next) Next Poet Laureate

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak It is common knowledge that The Library of Congress hangs on my every word. If there’s a week that passes without someone over at the LoC calling me up and asking for direction, then I certainly don’t know about it. Still, it appears that James Billington, the actual librarian of Congress, has gone […]
  20. rybakc

    Teaching in the Shiny Future

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak Last week was wonderful: I attended the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) in Victoria, British Columbia, where I met gaggles and flocks of geniuses, played Canadian kickball with Scott Weingart, and tried to learn as much as I could about how I might apply network theory to my teaching. I’m interested in […]
  21. rybakc

    Pedagogy and Digital Humanities (for a change?)

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak Digressive Intro! The writing production here at Sad Iron has always been slow, and that’s left me wondering if I should shut this blog down. There are competing versions as to why: Version 1: What I’ve discovered over the last two years is that academics with a public voice—blogs, Twitter, Facebook—are professionals […]
  22. rybakc

    Yes, Let’s Talk ROI and the Myth of ‘Accountability’

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak As all nine readers of this blog can attest, I tend to focus on language and our increasing inability to use it in any serviceable manner when discussing higher education. Nearly all buzzwords emerge from ulterior dog whistles, with “accountable” and “accountability” being major offenders in this regard. With the release of […]
  23. rybakc

    The Vanishing Academic

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak The three or four readers who visit this blog know how frustrated I am with how we talk about education in America, specifically higher education. This is not a unique feeling—get in line, right? My boilerplate take is that voices who consistently miss the big picture overwhelm those who understand that our […]
  24. rybakc

    Waving the White Flag on Tenured vs. Adjunct

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak Here’s is an instructional video that preps all three of my readers for this post: It’s not even past noon on the first day of 2014 and the worst blog post/commentary on higher ed labor has already been written. Close the voting people, because that baby is over! If you thought Sharknado […]
  25. rybakc

    A Quick Word on the Crappy Job Market

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak I specialize in the obvious. It’s a gift. With this gift comes the compulsion to share what is obvious, if just to explicitly annunciate something for the sake of reminder, of seeing it acknowledged publicly, you know, like when you turn to friends and say, paved roadways are fantastic; we can go […]
  26. rybakc

    Staying “Relevant” in the Humanities

    by Chuck Rybak/@chuckrybak   I just had the pleasure of sitting through the tenure hearings of three dedicated, brilliant colleagues. The event was strange for me because, even though I am now tenured at my current institution, I’ve actually been there for less time than those who were under consideration. Given that, I went in […]

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