Sunday, May 24, 2009
In the Beginning?
In the beginning it was dark – I was surrounded in my math classroom, black slate chalkboards were everywhere! Then there were a few computer rooms and marker boards, just a glimmer of the light….
Then there were SmartBoards! Of course, I did not have a SmartBoard in my classroom, but I could use the SmartTech software that was licensed to my school. So, I began the year recording my lessons with Smart Recorder as videos in windows media format. The problem was I could not write notes freehand as you could on a Marker Board as Smart Notebook is very hard to use with just a mouse. So, I wrote my notes with equation editor in MS Word. I emulated a TI-89 graphing calculator with VTI. Sometimes, I showed a calculus demo using free materials online using Mathematica Player. I even found some funny math related youtube videos to show from time to time! However, I only had a standard PC Mic, so needless to say, I was stuck in the back of the room at the teacher PC (that was hooked up to the PC Projector) to give my lectures.
In the middle of the year, I finally got a Smart Airliner Slate which is like a small portable SmartBoard. Its really a tablet you can draw on with a magnetic pen that is designed to work with Smart Notebook software and connects to the PC via a BlueTooth USB transmitter. I combined this with a Radio Shack 170 Mhz Lapel Mic so I was finally not a prisoner to the back of the room!
I’ve been recording my AP Calculus BC class in this manner all year. I have a video record of every single class. If a student was absent or wanted to review an old topic, he or she could still see the class at home after school! I also save all my Smart notebook files as pdfs or ppts so the students can download any notes they missed. Aside from the usual classroom handouts, I save all this information on an ftp site I set up that my students can access on or off campus.
You may view a sample class:
A. Jorge Garcia,