Tuesday, August 16, 2016

TWIC: generators, productivity, teaching and academic writing

Greetings all! I have returned home from a three week, very intense, science camp in Gangwon Province.  I've been home for a few days, resting and job hunting.  I now have some time for blog posting.  The title of this post should probably be This Month In Creativity; it is not bigger than similar posts but the gap between posts makes 'month' better than 'week'.

Earlier I posted a link for a Simpsons script and meme generator.  I don't have a link to that post handy but this new Futurama script and meme generator has a link to it anyway.
Via Kottke
There is also the 'totally useful loot generator', good for, um, maybe D & D? If the text is too small (or am I too old?), click to embiggen.
I have described before that I think I have enough ideas but I don't do well at following through or motivating myself to do the work.  Sci-Am has two introductory articles on productivity.  To read the details, you need a subscription.
The science of working smarter and happier:
Behavioral research is coalescing around the idea that being productive and happy actually go hand in hand. As the writers in this three-part special section explain, many of the same tactics that foster an employee's fresh thinking and improve time management and performance also bolster his or her social support, autonomy and job satisfaction. Each story offers practical, research-backed advice on matters such as how to promote greater collaboration through technology, how to work more effectively from home, and how to boost creativity with mental and physical breaks.
Follow the link to find the three parts mentioned.

Work Smarter, Vote Wiser and Sleep Better
This is another introduction to other articles:
In “No Workplace Like Home,” journalist Rachel Nuwer explores the growing trend of telecommuting, examining research that shows how distance workers can exceed their office-bound peers in both productivity and job satisfaction. And in “Give Me a Break,” contributing editor Ferris Jabr looks at solutions to what may be the single biggest stressor for the modern desk jockey: the failure to unplug from the always on, always connected workplace.
Larry Ferlazzo has made a list of handy website for manipulating images and such for educational purposes. It is a well-organized list.
In order to make it on this list, web tools must be:
* accessible to English Language Learners.
* able to provide a learning opportunity.
* available at no-cost.
* able to be used to easily create engaging online content within minutes.
* willing to host user-created work indefinitely on the website itself.
* appropriate for classroom use.
* accessible without requiring registration.
As an ESL teacher, this one looks particularly interesting:
Google’s Peanut Gallery lets you create subtitles for a variety of old silent movies. The special twist, though, is that you create the subtitles by speaking into a computer microphone and they will then magically appear. You have to speak very clearly though, so it may, or may not, work well for English Language Learners. One negative, however, is that it only works in the Chrome Browser.
The Art of Storytelling is a site from the Delaware Art Museum that allows you pick a painting (they don’t use photos, but the site is so good I decided to include it in this list anyway), write a short story about it, record it with your computer microphone, and email the url address for posting on a student website or blog.
...Ten minutes after finishing a a test story, it has not appeared in my email.  If/when it does, I'll post it here.
Laura Portwood-Stacer completed her PhD and chose to publish a book based on her dissertation.  She made a few mistakes and describes them so you don't make the same ones. Without having published anything myself (yet), her mistakes and suggestions look like they are more widespread than simply the academic publishing industry.
Mistake #1: Not spending more time on the cover copy
Cover copy is that paragraph-or-two that appears on the back of the paperback consumer edition of the book. I think I always assumed that publishers had a staff of copy writers who would carefully read the books and generate snappy, engaging blurbs for the backs. Um, duh, that is not how it works. Authors write their own cover copy. When I was asked to do this, I dashed off a few paragraphs and sent them to the publisher, now making the erroneous assumption that someone would vet this draft, edit it, and let me know if it sucked as cover copy. Once again, nope! What I gave them is what ended up on the book, and I cringe every time I see it and imagine potential readers picking it up in the bookstore and then… putting it right back down, with a combination eye-roll/yawn.

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