How to use QR codes in research and teaching

Nowadays it is hard to not see QR codes printed in advertisements, on products, and everywhere else. QR codes are one of the biggest trends in marketing right now, and you might wonder: can QR codes be of any use for academics? I say yes, and I urge you to use your own QR code everywhere it makes sense. That is, whenever there is an opportunity to supply an offline audience with additional online information including, but not limited to, your personal webpage, a research paper that accompanies your talk, or web resources that supplement your lecture.

This post is about the basics of why, where and how to use QR codes in your research and teaching. In addition, it will also suggest a few design tweaks that allow you to blend QR codes with the surrounding context (e.g., the keynote slide or a poster). And if you invest some time you can even closely integrate a QR code with your overall self-branding efforts. [Read more…]

academiPad has a brand new design

academiPad got a brand new design which makes finding new ways of how to use your favorite gadgets in research teaching and learning much easier. The biggest changes you will notice right away are in the design of the homepage. But it’s more than just the layout that changed: academiPad also got a new menu structure and other improvements under the hood that will greatly enhance the reading experience. [Read more…]

Overcoming writer’s block with OmmWriter

OmmWriter for iPadThere are many reasons why you might be stuck with your writing, and there is even more advice out there how to break the block. One of the best advice I have seen is to write your way out: write even when you are not quite sure yet how to write it, heck, even write when you have nothing to write about! How can technology help you doing that?

I am a great fan of distraction free writing apps and I am using a couple of them (see my post on iA Writer). Distraction free writing apps are great even when you don’t have writing troubles, because their minimalistic interface will keep you in the flow. But when I am stuck, my greatest weapon (next to Kombucha drinks and good coffee) is OmmWriter! [Read more…]

Add some ZEN to your desktop

When Mac OS 10.7 Lion came out, one of the most exciting features for me was Misson Control. Basically, Mission Control wants to give you an overview over all your open applications and spaces, and it also gives you easy access to your Dashboard. What does Mission Control have to do with academia? The answer is simple: With a few and easy tweaks to Mission Control, you can add some ZEN to your computing experience that might help you to focus, relax, and be more productive.


Meet Lion Designer

Lion Designer is a small little Mac OS 10.7 app that you can download for free and that allows you to exchange the background images in Mission Control and other Lion specific places (e.g., Dashboard, Launchpad folders, Login Screen, and some other tweaks). Don’t be irritated by the somehow cluttered design and the free price tag: Lion Designer performs well once you have figured it out, and I had no problems so far. And if you don’t like your tweaks, you can revert to the original settings. The developer accepts donations for his efforts. [Read more…]