Friday, April 16, 2010
Taking the show on the road!
LIMACON 2010 went well. I attended a great talk in the morning by Al Cavalaro who spoke about important figures in math history. He sure knew his stuff! He included some very funny anecdotes and some little known stories. We talked about Galois, Fermat, Pascal, Ada Lovelace and Grace Murray Hopper just to name a few. I wanted to see his brother, Ron, who usually gives a nice talk about math and computers, but his talk was scheduled opposite mine.
My presentation was going to be at the end of the day. I noticed in the schedule, however, that the computer room was not to be used the hour before. So, I figured I'd setup early to make sure I didn't have any technical difficulties at the last minute! Lucky I did that, because I ended up debugging all sorts of connectivity and audio problems....
Anyway, I recorded a small part of the presentation as you can see above. I showed everyone how I setup my "youtube recording studio" and how I render a screen-cast for upload. In the process I explained how I use Smart Notebook and my tablet to save notes as pdfs. Also, I compared and contrasted teaching a math lesson with VTI vs SAGE.
The only problem I had, was near the end when I wanted to have a hands-on workshop using SAGE. I got everyone to login to sagenb and make an account. Then everything went to hell! The internet connection was so slow that I could not demo much beyond the 7 operators (+,-,*,/,//,%,**) used in python.
I mentioned that every Wednesday I show a youtube for 5 or 10 minutes if my students are up to date on their work. I call it "Youtube Wednesday." I show a funny or educational video related to math or computing. So, we ended the session by some of sharing our favorite youtubes: I Will Derive, Mathematicious, Mathematical Mystery Tour, Mechanical Universe, MIT Lectures, Grace Murray Hopper on 60 Minutes, etc.
Oh well, I think I got my points across and my participants got something out of my talk. They can play with SAGE at their leisure using the CD I burned for them. Hopefully, things will go more smoothly for my T^3 presentation on the same topic in November at Molloy College. 50 was way too short a time frame to do what I wanted, at Molloy I think I get 90 minutes!
BTW, I go to conferences like this to "show and tell." In other words, I like to share my experience teaching with technology with other teachers. I also want to advertise my website, blog and youtube channel. So, yes it is flattering, but please don't try to recruit me! I don't know how many people were trying to recruit me for their schools. I've had a full time job teaching AP Calculus and Computer Science at a local High School for nearly 30 years now and don't plan on starting over somewhere else at this stage. I also teach part time at the local college at night. All my other time is reserved for the wife and kidz....
Teaching with Technology,