Archive for the ‘My Publications’ Category

Abandon the Red Pen!

I have a new Teaching with Tech column published in MAA FOCUS about digital grading. In particular…

  • Why would you want to grade papers digitally?
  • What kind of hardware/software would you need?
  • How do you manage the files and workflow?
  • How to use custom stamps to give more detailed feedback (more details on that one on an older blog post)

Abandon the Red Pen, MAA FOCUS, October/November 2011

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Hard-learned Tips on Screencasting

My latest column for MAA Focus, Becoming a Screencasting Star, is now available online.  In this post, I include a collection of “Hard-Learned Tips” on screencasting – these are things I wish someone had told me before I recorded my first set of videos.  For example …

Mind Your References. Don’t mention specific texts, sections, or page numbers in your screencasts. If you do, then switching to a different text or a new edition will suddenly make all your videos out of date. If you must reference a section or page number, do it in the text that accompanies the link to the video. It’s easy to change text, but very time-consuming to reproduce all the videos. I learned this one the hard way!

There is also advice for choosing the right type of software and dealing with storage of screencasts.  If you’ve got additional tips you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. :)

You can view all my past Teaching with Tech columns here.

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Year in Review 2010

Clearly, the best of 2010 is yet to be published (happy to report that the last two chapters of my dissertation have been turned in to my advisor).

Time seems to bend towards the end of the year in a way that I don’t actually remember all the things I’ve done in this year (every year feels like three years to me).  So, it’s always useful to me to reflect on what I accomplished during the actual calendar year.

Places I visited (for speaking engagements, conferences, meetings or fun*):

  • Arizona: Scottsdale, Phoenix (twice), and Sedona*
  • California: Mountain View
  • Florida: Orlando
  • Georgia: Savannah
  • Indiana: Indianapolis (twice) and Bloomington
  • Illinois: Chicago
  • Massachusetts: Boston (twice)
  • Michigan: Ypsilanti, Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor
  • Missouri: Kansas City
  • North Carolina: Raleigh
  • Oklahoma: Oklahoma City (twice)
  • Texas: Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso (all different trips)
  • Virginia: Fairfax
  • Washington: Seattle
  • Wisconsin: Madison
  • International: Germany, Belgium*, The Netherlands*

Presentations I built this year (at 20-30 hours per presentation, this is no small task):

  • Algebra is Weightlifting for the Brain (slides or video)
  • Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age (mindmap)
  • Math Technology to Engage, Delight and Excite (slides or video)
  • Mathematweets (Prezi)
  • Playing to Learn Math? (Prezi or video)
  • Playing to Learn? (Prezi)
  • Play and Learn (mindmap)
  • Levers of Change in Higher Education (Prezi or video)
  • Future Proof Your Education (Prezi)
  • Learning is the Future of Math (mindmap)
  • Digital Learning Projects for Math (slides)

Conferences I attended:

  • TeamUp in El Paso, TX (January)
  • Tech Tools in Scottsdale, AZ (February)
  • ITC eLearning in Ft. Worth, TX (February)
  • Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges, Oklahoma City, OK (February)
  • TeamUp in Indianapolis, IN (March)
  • TexMATYC in Houston, TX (March)
  • ICTCM in Chicago, IL (March)
  • TeamUp in Austin, TX (March)
  • TeamUp in Orlando, FL (March)
  • MAA-Michigan in Ypsilanti, MI (May)
  • Innovations in eLearning in Fairfax, VA (June)
  • Games, Learning, and Society in Madison, WI (June)
  • World Future Society in Boston, MA (July)
  • MCC Math & Technology Workshop in Muskegon, MI (August)
  • TEDxDetroit in Detroit, MI (September)
  • Kansas City Regional Math Tech Expo in Kansas City, MO (October)
  • ETOM in Flint, MI (October)
  • TEDxFlint in Flint, MI (October)
  • Geekend 2010 in Savannah, GA (November)
  • AMATYC 2010 in Boston, MA (November)
  • MichMATYC hosted in Muskegon, MI (October)

One-day Math & Technology Workshops

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Ft. Worth, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Muskegon, MI

Major Learning Areas for 2010

  • Game design
  • Learning Analytics
  • Futuring
  • Social Media
  • Data Visualizations

Publications this year

Other notable events from this year:

  • The Calculus Tweetwars (which got a mention in The Chronicle of Higher Education)
  • Several presentations featured in a Dutch book on Prezi (translated to English next)
  • Several presentations featured in the Slideshare and Prezi showcases
  • 3rd MCC Math & Technology Workshop in August 2010 at MCC with 42 participants
  • We hosted MichMATYC at MCC (and that was no small deal)
  • Launched Themed Studies program at MCC
  • We built two Math ELITEs at MCC
  • Launched The LIFT Institute at MCC (working on that website)
  • Carried out dissertation research and turned in all chapters of dissertation
  • Gold Medallion status on Delta Airlines
  • Launched new blog for my futurist and learning-related posts (see EdgeOfLearning)

I’m sorry I’m not posting as often as I used to (only 113 posts in 2010), but hopefully you’re still interested in what I do take the time to share.  If I could figure out a way to pay for an assistant, I would have more time to write.  I will tell you that if you’re not following along on twitter, you’re missing a lot of the great resources I find.  If you haven’t taken the plunge yet … well, it IS time for New Year’s Resolutions. :)

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Mastering Your Document Camera

My latest “Teaching with Tech” column is now out in MAA Focus.

Take Another Shot at your Document Camera

So, what can you do with that document camera?

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What is SOCRAIT?

SOCRAIT is my name for the SRSLS (spaced-repetition socratic learning system) that we need to push learning into the digital age.  The name SOCRAIT (pronounced so-crate) is a play on Socratic (because it’s based on Socratic questions), it contains SOC for social, AI for artificial intelligence, and IT for information technology.

Since July,  I have been preoccupied with this idea.   Many technology and learning experts who have read or talked with me about SOCRAIT have told me that they believe that our learning future has to at least look something like SOCRAIT.  They say (and I agree) that the simplicity of it just makes it feel “right.”  In fact, it’s such a simple idea, that I spent the last four months wondering if I was crazy – after all, if you’re the only one with the idea, then there must be something wrong with it, right?  As more people read the article and prodded at its weaknesses, the idea grew more robust.  The text of my article, The World is my School: Welcome to the Era of Personalized Learning, published today in The Futurist (read it as a PDF or read it online) has been finalized for some time, and at this point, I could probably write another article just about the game layer that SOCRAIT will need.

Now I need your help.  Someone or some company needs to step forward and build SOCRAIT.  I’ve pursued as many avenues as I could, but as a community college professor from an obscure city in recession-occupied Michigan, it’s hard to get taken seriously.  So, here’s your assignment:

  1. Read the article (the whole thing).  You can’t stop halfway, or you’ll get the wrong impression.  Every sentence matters.  Print it and read it.
  2. Agree or disagree, please share your thoughts and ideas (and if you have a public space, please use it) … tweet, blog, write, discuss.
  3. Send the article on to others through email, Facebook, and discussion forums.

If you believe in the power of a new way of learning (even if it doesn’t turn out exactly like SOCRAIT), please help me spread a new (positive) vision for what education could look like in the future.  Thanks!

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MAA Column: Teaching with Tech

I am really pleased to announce I’ll be writing a column for MAA Focus called Teaching with Tech.  You can read the first (official) column on the MAA website … RSS is a “Really Simple Solution” to Information Overload.  My goal is to try to alternate between computer technology and classroom technology for as long as I can.  So the next column will be on a technology that many of us find in our classrooms right now.  I’ll leave it as a surprise.

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MAA Focus Column “Really Simple Solution”

My new column is up in the latest issue of MAA Focus: The “Really Simple Solution” to Information Overload” (it’s a play on RSS, you see?)

If you don’t know what RSS is, or don’t know how you would use it for math, this column is for you!

Go to p.16 to read the article.

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Community Site for Algebra Activities


I rarely talk about the books I’ve written on this blog, but the Community Site for my new book, Algebra Activities,  just launched and I think it’s pretty cool.  Also, I now have an author page.  Yay!

The basic philosophy for the book is to provide easy-to-use classroom activities to instructors so that they can easily replace lecturing time with more active learning.  The book also provides instruction tips and lesson plans so that any algebra instructor, especially new ones, can have a “mentor” to guide them and help them reflect on how students learn.

If you go to the Samples section of the Community Site, you can print and use some of the activities from the book in your classes.  You can also see some of the fantastic new algebra cartoons that were commissioned as part of this project.

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Algebra is Weightlifting for the Brain

This was my presentation on Friday in Austin, Texas at the Developmental Education TeamUp Conference.

The process of learning algebra should ideally teach students good logic skills, the ability to compare and contrast circumstances, and to recognize patterns and make predictions. In a world with free CAS at our fingertips, the focus on these underlying skills is even more important than it used to be. Learn how to focus on thinking skills and incorporate more active learning in algebra classes, without losing ground on topic coverage.

Algebra Is Weightlifting For The Brain

View more presentations from wyandersen.
UPDATE: By popular demand (this presentation has been viewed 2,000+ times in 3 days), I’ve loaded the uncut, unedited video that I took of the presentation to my Screencast account.  I’m not going to claim the video recording is great (recorded with a Flip Video Camera sitting on a table), but you’ll get to hear the audio and more of the details.  View it here.

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Glass Wall Study Guide

Next fall I will be teaching Math for Elementary Teachers again. I haven’t taught this class since winter of 2007, so I haven’t extensively blogged about resources for this class. For those of you who teach this class – you have this to look forward to.

For several years, I have used the book, The Glass Wall: Why Mathematics Can Seem Difficult as supplementary reading for Math for Elementary Teachers. I’ve found that the students found it to give them insight about why they and their students have difficulty learning math. Reading the book makes them think about things like notation, abstraction, and context.

When I taught with this book the first time, I wrote a study guide for the students. Some of the questions are just to verify that they have done the readings and thought about the ideas. However there are also questions in the study guide that correlate directly with the material that is typically taught in the course (like alternate-base number systems).

I offered The Glass Wall Study Guide to Teacher’s College Press to consider publishing as a supplement to the book, but they weren’t interested. It seems silly to leave the Study Guide sitting on my desktop when some of you might find it a good supplement to your classes, so I’m just putting it out there (here’s the link) with a share-alike non-commercial license. Use it if you’d like. In addition, there is a file full of in-class group questions (here’s that link).

Put the study guide in your online course shell, make copies for students, have students make their own copies – with my blessings. However, if your bookstore is going to make copies of the study guide to sell, then the bookstore is going to have to contact me for permission.

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