What I Learned at Screencast Camp 2012

During Screencast Camp 2012, I presented as part of three sessions: ·         Technology in the College Classroom ·         The Side Effects of Technology Overload ·         Whiteboarding with Wacom I also learned a lot at Screencast Camp.  But to hear about it, you’ll have to watch my screencast – Screencast Camp 2012 from Jon Oaks   ...
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Matching Activity using Hot Potatoes

This week I was asked about an easy way to make an interactive activity in which students would be able to match equations with graphs or descriptions with graphs.  I knew that there had to be an easy way to do this that didn’t involve having to know anything about java or any other type of code.  My first thought was to use Sharendipity.  However, that didn’t work out because I couldn’t figure out how to build a game from scratch in which I would be able to upload my own images of graphs and equations. After a week-long search, I remembered about a program called Hot Potatoes.  The only other time I had used this program was when I was creating an online course using Moodle in graduate school.  Moodle has Hot Potatoes integration, but the integration didn’t work the way it should have worked.  Thus, I abandoned Hot Potatoes. However, after revisiting Hot Potatoes this week,...
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Teaching the Properties of Addition

Here are some fresh off the press resources that I’ve created for teaching the properties of addition.  One of them is an infographic that I created using Piktochart (I pay for the Pro Version) and the other is a new paper-based game that I’ve affectionately called ASCII for Associative Commutative Identity Inverse.  I plan to use these resources with my Pre-algebra and with my Math for Education classes.   Properties_of_Addition.pdf Download this file   ...
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Traverse City Beach Bums Baseball

While at the MCTM conference in Traverse City, MI, I went to 3-game series at Wuerfel Park between the Traverse City Beach Bums and the Windy City Thunderbolts.  Before this summer, I hadn’t even heard of the Traverse City Beach Bums.  I know, it may seem a little strange, but who really follows the Frontier League anyway? The first night at the park, I arrived about 1-hour early because I didn’t know how crowded the parking lot would be or how long I would have to wait at the Will Call window in order to pick up my tickets.  It turns out that it really wasn’t that crowded at all and 1-hour was more than enough time to find a parking spot, pick-up my tickets, walk around, get some food, and comfortably settle into my seat before the game began.  The parking is only $2 per car, but I found out later that you can park on...
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Indian Mathematicians Library Fair

Since I am new at my college, I was told that it is expected that all new faculty members are on a committee.  Apparently I found out that message a little too late because when I asked if there were any committees that were still open to join, there were none except for the college’s Multicultural Initiatives committee. I didn’t know much about this committee except for what I had heard at department meetings.  We have some faculty in the math department who are all about integrating multicultural initiatives and service learning into the classroom and we have other faculty who could care less.  I always wanted to try integrating some sort of project into my classes, but I wasn’t sure where to start. Joining the Multicultural Initiatives committee helped to give me a different perspective and helped me to realize that we’re not in a want-to-try situation.  We are in a do-or-die situation.  Students need to have...
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MCTM Conference Wrap-Up and Evaluation

This year I went to the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) Summer Conference and Institute in Traverse City, MI.  It was my first year attending the statewide conference and my first time ever driving to Traverse City. Overall, the conference was a good and very profitable experience.  I learned a lot from the presenters.  The sessions that I attended include:  ·         Why People Trust Statistics  ·         Free Algebra II Moodle Course  ·         Parametrics: One of the calculator’s most robust and lesser used modes I also presented during two sessions: ·         Teaching Important Concepts through the Use of Games in the Classroom ·         College Math Curriculum – It is Changing! And I learned a lot from the vendors and exhibitors as well.  As a college instructor, sometimes I feel as if I get more from the vendors than from the presenters.  This is because I get to hear about all of the newest books, software, and products and then I can pass that...
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The Search for a New Learning Management System

We use ANGEL at my college and I’m not happy about it.  I bet you’re not happy with your Learning Management System (LMS), either.   I don’t need to give you my list of grievances, but I’m going to anyway: ·         When I log-in to ANGEL, there’s a ‘What’s New’ panel that shows you what is new (e.g., any new posts by students) since the last time you logged in.  This is nice, except they won’t appear in the list the next time you log-in.  What ANGEL really needs is a ‘What’s unread’ panel that lists everything that is still unread, regardless of if it is new since the last time you logged in.  Or even better, it simply needs to list all of the activity (old or not) in a panel when you log in. ·         ANGEL is not very friendly with math.  My IT department even admitted it.  They told me that the best way to do...
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My Experience at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Note:  This was a trip that I field trip that I took my Math For Education students on during the Winter 2012 semester.  The original reason for the visit is that we were promised that there would be a display about African American Mathematicians at the museum.  However, that display was not there.  My students were asked to leave the group, just as I was. On Saturday, March 24, 2012, I attended the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.  I didn’t know what to expect before I attended the museum.  The only African American History that I can ever remember learning about is through textbooks, television, the Internet, and through African American History Month activities that were done in school.  I had ever been fully immersed in an entire exhibit solely dedicated to African American History.  I didn’t know if I would agree or disagree with the viewpoint of what was presented in the exhibit,...
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Supplemental Instruction Update

This semester I piloted supplemental instruction (SI) sessions for my 2 sections of statistics.  If you’re not familiar with the idea of SI, it is essentially 1 free hour of free help for the students before every class.  There was an SI leader assigned to each of my classes that sat in on the class and then assisted the students during the sessions.  The leaders answered any questions that the students had and encouraged the students to work together to solve the problems. The results of the sessions were staggering and I have summarized them in the infographic below.  The most interesting to me was that 76% of the students who attended the sessions responded that the sessions helped them feel more connected to the college.  Even on this basis alone, if you’re not using some form of SI at your college, you really need to consider using it.  My college seems to agree with me, as...
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The Side Effects of Technology Overload

I am co-presenting a presentation on “The Side Effects of Technology Overload” with another participant at Screencast Camp 2012.  Below is a list of some articles on the topic that are meant to spark discussion within the group.  I will share some notes on the discussion once the session is over. WebMD: When Technology Overtakes Your Life Consumer Reports: Therapists Sees Signs of ‘Technology Overload’ The Culture Connection: Technology Overload? Five Steps to break Free Harvard Business Review: Death by Information Overload Side Effects of the E-Society Kevin Shaw: Why I Don’t Want To Ever Buy a Smartphone Reuters: Technology Overload Can Ruin Relationships Seattle Times: Beware of Digital Overload and Technology Failure Delta Dental: Technology Overload May Benefit Your Health ...
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