Friday, November 5, 2010

Teachers Teaching with Technology at Molloy College 2010

Welcome to Molloy College and T^3 2010!  Here's the program: and  This is the third T^3 Conference, sponsored by and and at Molloy.  I've presented at all three speaking on the following topics.

2004: Programming the TI-83 for Fun and Profit! (using TI-83/84)
2007: Never Fear, Slope Fields Are Here! (using TI-89/92/200)
2010: Look, Ma, No Calculator! (using SAGE)

T^3, or T Cubed, stands for Teachers Teaching with Technology.  T^3 grew out of a Texas Instruments out-reach originally called T-FAST (Technology For All STudents).  Now, T^3 is there to help train teachers to use the latest TI hardware and software in math and science classes.

The keynote speaker was Frank Sobierajski (  Frank is a math teacher after my own heart!  He's retired now, but he has been teaching with technology since 1979, much as I have.  He really set the tone for the rest of the conference!  His presentation was all about using technology in the classroom more and more since we are teaching "digital learners!"  This presentation dovetailed perfectly with my own.  He used a nice Lenovo X201 Tablet PC, "gotta get me one of these!"  He demostrated examples of using cell phones (ie: txt messaging to gather data) and iPods (math apps like a graphing calculator in full color on a high resolution, high contrast screen - imagine that!) constructively in and out of class.  He even discussed the "inverted classroom."  In this model, the teacher records the lesson and puts it on iTunes, TeacherTube or YouTube for the students to view BEFORE class.  Then the students are free to do the "homework" in class with the teacher or the students have more time for an exploratory activity or lab or group work, etc.

I attended a couple of great presentations in the morning.  The first talk was given by Jo Ann Miltenberg ( and was about a PC application called TI-Interactive which turns your SmartBoard into one big computing platform!  It's funny, she reminded me of myself when she said, "I'm the one that dragged my whole department out of the dark ages kicking and screaming into the 21st century using technology in the classroom!"  We even used TI-Interactive in combination with the new CBL2 and CBR2 probes.  So, even TI is moving toward the PC Desktop....

The second talk was given by Ann Davidian ( and was a great intro to using the TI-Nspire in Algebra 2 & Trig classes.  I don't know if this is true, but it seems to me that the TI-Nspire was, in fact, inpired by TI-Interactive.  The TI-Nspire seems to me to be a hand-held implementation of TI-Interactive. Is TI scared of losing the hand-held market to the PC Desktop?

My presentation was entitled "Look, Ma, No Calculator!"  I've been using a combination of Virtual TI (VTI) and SAGE for some time now, so I really don't use a hand-held calculator anymore!  I spoke about the transition from hand-held Graphing Calculators with and without a Computer Algebra System (CAS) to Scientific Computing and CAS using PCs and which I can even use on my iPod Touch!  The only drawback to using SAGE on an iPod is that Safari does not support Java (JRE) or Flash.  SAGE uses Java to render 3D graphs.  There's a way of making 3D graphs on SAGE without Java, using Tachyon, so its not a big deal.  The absence of Flash on the iPod does not affect SAGE either, it just bugs me as it affects YouTube and a lot of other sites on the web.  I use SAGE instead of Mathematica, Octave instead of MATLAB and R instead of S-plus.  BTW, SAGE can be used offline as well via a live Linux CD or by installing SAGE on your own Linux box.  All of this is FLOSS (Free Linux Open Source Software) available free for the download.  Just surf over to and download a CD image (ISO) or the full installation package!

I also demonstrated how I use to record my lessons for YouTube!  I had a few minor glitches:

(1) my son Skyped me during my introduction (blogging for 1 year, youtubing for 2 years, screencasting for 3 years and smartboarding for 4 years; teaching programming since 1975, teaching high school math and science since 1984 and teaching college math since 1990; started teaching AP Computer Science A/AB in 1988 and AP Calculus AB/BC in 1993),
(2) my Smart Airliner Tablet was not charged and I left the power cord at home (I really, really need that Lenovo = one device with an integrated mic and tablet) so I actually used a chalkboard for the first time in at least 12 years and
(3) Molloy's wifi (PC Podium) and LAN (Student PCs) were a bit slow.

Otherwise, all went well. 

Wow, come to think of it, I've been a bit busy speaking at conferences and presenting at art shows these last few years, maybe its time to sit back a little?

1980s: AP Computer Science Round Tables (Wheatley High School)
1990s: AP Calculus Round Tables (Valley Stream High School)
2001: AP Computer Science Round Table (Massapequa High School)
2002: Never Fear, Slope Fields Are Here! (Limacon, SUNY Old Westbury)
2003: DiffEqs, Graphical, Numerical, Analytical and Numerical! (Limacon, SUNY Old Westbury)
2004: Programming the TI-83 for Fun and Profit! (Teachers Teaching with Technology, Molloy College)
2005: Programming the TI-89 for Fun and Profit! (Limacon, SUNY Old Westbury)
2006: Programming the TI-89 for Fun and Profit! (AP Calculus Round Table, Oyster Bay High School)
2007: I-CON 26 Art Show (SUNY Stony Brook)
2007: Never Fear, Slope Fields Are Here! (Teachers Teaching with Technology, Molloy College)
2008: I-CON 27 Art Show (SUNY Stony Brook)
2008: Programming the TI-83 for Fun and Profit! (Limacon, SUNY Old Westbury)
2008: PI-Day Art Show (Suffolk County Community College, Grant Campus) 
2009: I-CON 28 Art Show (SUNY Stony Brook)
2009: Look, Ma, No Calculator (Staff Development Day, Baldwin SHS)
2010: Look, Ma, No Calculator (Limacon, SUNY Old Westbury)
2010: I-CON 29 Art Show (SUNY Stony Brook)
2010: PI-Day Art Show (Suffolk County Community College, Grant Campus) 
2010: Intro to SAGE (Staff Development Day, Baldwin SHS)
2010: Look, Ma, No Calculator! (Teachers Teaching with Technology, Molloy College)

A. Jorge Garcia

Teaching with Technology, 


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