Archive for the ‘Online Math’ Category

Announcing the 2012 MCC Math & Technology Workshop

The 5th annual MCC Math & Technology Workshop will be August 6-10, 2012.  It seems hard to believe that we’ve been welcoming math instructors to Muskegon to learn about technology for four years now, but I guess it must be so.

Registration for the 2012 “Math Tech Bootcamp” (as its affectionately known as) will begin at Noon EDT on November 9.  I’ll be posting a link to the registration information on the morning of November 9 (register fast, this usually books in less than one week).

Thought I would share some of the comments from 2011 participants:

I would definitely recommend this workshop. I’ve attended many workshops and professional development activities over the years and was already using or somewhat knowledgeable using many of the things talked about but I learned SO much! Tips and tricks and more efficient uses along with new ideas for use have been invaluable!

This workshop is great to help instructors bridge the technological gap which opened since their last computer class! No teacher left behind!

I learned all of the things about that ‘I was afraid to ask’ about. I am not alone in being technologically challenged!

This workshop is great value for the money because regardless of your level of experience with a specific item, there is something to be learned. In addition, this workshop truly is a “bootcamp” – it is intense, fast-paced, tough, and ultimately transforming.

This workshop is definitely worth a small investment of time and funds in order to learn more about internet and technology. I was really surprised how much I learned about the tools I already use that improves my experience with them.

It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about new and not-so-new technology in an environment that was supportive and encouraged playing with it.

Before the workshop I knew very little about the possibilities of using technology to enhance student learning, aside from using a graphing calculator in class. Now I feel I will be much more effective as an instructor. I can’t wait to get started with the new technologies that I learned about.

The MCC Math Technology Workshop was excellent. It was well-organized with relevant, useful information. The best feature was the time to work in a lab setting with colleagues from your discipline. A lot of GREAT ideas were exchanged and I left the conference with great free software and hardware, but more importantly a jump drive of ideas, finished work and I am looking forward to implementing as much as I can right away.

One week to learn am amazing quantity of technology. Many different software and hardware are explored. It is definitely the most important and educational conference that I have ever been to in my life. An absolute MUST for mathematical educators.

This MCC work is the best for the money you spend and for the knowledge you learn about technology and teaching. An added feature is the location in Michigan.

Packed with information and hands-on experience. Great coverage of hardware and software to get you up and going RIGHT NOW with using technology in your classes.

There you have it.  If you’d like to attend, mark your calendar to register on Wednesday or as soon as possible thereafter.  We allow one participant per college in the first cut for registration.  The registration fee is $160 (includes lunch and snacks), and hotel runs $69.99 per night (+tax) with free breakfast and wi-fi.  Transportation to/from airports, hotel, and workshop site can be provided.

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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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Podcast Interview about Teaching Online Calculus

Last week I did a podcast interview with Eric and Staci over at “On Teaching Online.” The interview was supposed to go 20-30 minutes, but we talked for about an hour and they are producing the podcast in 2 parts. The first podcast is about all the components of my online Calculus courses.

Dr. Andersen talks about teaching calculus online, using Twitter to support online community, and the differences and similarities between online students and achievement.
Find the Podcast here.


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Math Technology to Engage, Delight, and Excite

Back in May 2010 I presented a keynote at the MAA-Michigan meeting in Ypsilanti.  Even though it sounds like it’s about math, it’s really more about a philosophy of using technology to engage students.  Yes, the examples are in the context of math, but if you’re involved with educational technology in any way, I think much of the talk is applicable to all subjects.

We’re in a recession and so is your department budget.  Luckily for you, there are lots of great programs and web resources that you can use to teach math, and most of these are free.  Use the resources in this presentation to tackle the technology problems that haunt you and capture the attention of your math classes with interactive demonstrations and relevant web content.

Here is the video, audio, and slides from my keynote talk “Math Technology to Engage, Delight, and Excite” from the MAA-Michigan meeting in May 2010.  There is also an iPad/iPod-friendly version here.

In case you’re wondering, the PIP video was recorded from a Flip Video camera that was affixed to one of the seats in the auditorium with masking tape.  It’s not elegant, but it works.

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Whether you’re interested in using Twitter as a teaching tool or not, I think you’ll enjoy this very unique presentation, all built out of an illustration.

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Watch my AMATYC 2009 Presentation

In a “pilot” program, we used Camtasia to record several sessions at the 2009 AMATYC Conference in Las Vegas.  Several of these recordings are now available on the AMATYC 2009 Conference Proceedings Website.

In particular, you might want to check out my live presentation “Best of the Educational Technology Freebies” … at least, you can check out the first 24 minutes of it (before my spectacular graphics-overload-induced red-screen-of-death computer crash).  The live presentation starts approximately 1 minute into the video.


There is a Part II (audio with a few PowerPoint slides – all my computer was capable after burning up the graphics capability temporarily), but I guess they haven’t put it up yet.  Update: Part II is now also available here.  Incidentally, this incident sealed the deal on my getting a new tablet PC (I was running with the memory capacity and hard drive maxed on the old one).

Word to the wise: You should not attempt to simultaneously record new audio narrative for a Camtasia video project running in the background, while running that video in a player on the notebook and projecting to a screen.  Sure, it works for 5 minutes, but will it work for 60? [no, unless you have a really powerful computer and graphics card]

The easy way to find all the recorded videos from the 2009 AMATYC Conference is to search the Conference Proceedings website (Ctrl-F for find) for the word “flash” (as in Flash video).

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Best of the Ed Tech Freebies

The economy is slumping and so is your department budget. Luckily for you, lots of programs can be used for free! Use the resources in this presentation to tackle the technology problems that haunt you – online office hours, course design, avatars, surveys, image-sharing, video-capture, mind maps, website-building, and much more.

Best of the Ed Tech Freebies AMATYC 2009

You can access all the links for all the programs in a Zumlink here.

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My Interview at Wolfram Alpha HomeworkDay

Believe it or not, it was scarier to watch the video than to do the interview!  I think I will tuck my hair behind my ears next time. :)

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Wolfram|Alpha: Recalculating Teaching & Learning

My talk today at the 2009 International Mathematica User Conference:

For at least a decade, we have had the ability to let CAS software perform computational mathematics, yet computational skills are still a large portion of the mathematics curriculum. Enter Wolfram|Alpha. Unlike traditional CAS systems, Wolfram|Alpha has trialability: Anyone with Internet access can try it and there is no cost. It has high observability: Share anything you find with your peers using a hyperlink.  It has low complexity: You can use natural language input and, in general, the less you ask for in the search, the more information Wolfram|Alpha tends to give you. Diffusion of innovation theories predict that these features of Wolfram|Alpha make it likely that there will be wide-spread adoption by students. What does this mean for math instructors?

This could be the time for us to reach out and embrace a tool that might allow us to jettison some of the computational knowledge from the curriculum, and give math instructors greater flexibility in supplemental topics in the classroom. Wolfram|Alpha could help our students to make connections between a variety of mathematical concepts. The curated data sets can be easily incorporated into classroom examples to bring in real-world data. On the other hand, instructors have valid concerns about appropriate use of Wolfram|Alpha. Higher-level mathematics is laid on a foundation of symbology, logic, and algebraic manipulation. How much of this “foundation” is necessary to retain quantitative savvy at the higher levels? Answering this question will require us to recalculate how we teach and learn mathematics.

There are two videos embedded in the slideshow. You should be able to click on the slide to open the videos in a anew web browser. However, if you’d just like to watch the video demos, here are direct links:

Note that I’ve turned ON commenting for these two video demonstrations and I will try to load them into YouTube later this weekend.

There are several other posts about Wolfram|Alpha that you may want to check out:

If you were at the live version of this talk, and you would like to rate the presentation, you can do so here at SpeakerRate.

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eLearning Tools for STEM

For anyone who has ever had trouble convincing your administration to give you the proper tools to teach online, I give you this little gift: eLearning Tools for STEM, published today in eLearning Magazine.


The tools for STEM eLearning

  1. Tablets
  2. Recording & editing software
  3. Jing
  4. Equation software and training
  5. Synchronous communication system
  6. Online homework system

Other head-turning resources for STEM

  • Wolfram Demonstrations
  • Digital libraries (a lengthy list)
  • Video collections (another list)
  • TI-SmartView

Other tips (about accessibility, computer labs, etc) can be found at the end of the article.

You can read about all the tools, and why I recommend them, by going to the article, eLearning Tools for STEM.

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