They're getting more sophisticated. I'll be keeping a closer eye on my students.
HT: ISTP Dad
I just learned about questdlg, a very cool little command in Matlab that I plan on making great use of. HT: blinkdagger
. . . if we use the following code, we can create a window that queries the user for their favorite color [or anything else]. Go ahead and copy and paste the following code into the Matlab command prompt.%this example comes directly from the Matlab help ButtonName = questdlg('What is your favorite color?', ... 'Color Question', ... 'Red', 'Green', 'Blue', 'Green');
Math class is not terribly different from shop class. Both are all about tools and toolboxes. Math class is no more about mathematics than wood shop is about craftsmanship and design.
Okay, I confess upfront to being a Google fanboy. How can I not be when they get so many things right.
Here's one more thing I just discovered that has made my day:
I use Google Reader to keep track of all the blogs that I read on a regular basis. I have a number of tags ranging from bioinformatics to edublogs to math and science. My most populated category is my Personal tag which has blogs of friends and even the facebook status updates. I was just complaining the other day that I don't really ever see what is going on at a persons actual site. The way that Google Reader works (and just about any RSS feed reader works) is that it periodically checks a particular feed (which is just a text file in xml format). If there is new data, say a new entry, it is downloaded into the reader and I can go through a read all new blog entries.
There are two problems with this system that I wanted a nice, elegant solution to. The first is that I never actually see the blogger's page because only the content is downloaded. Some pictures are download and some embedded videos will play but not always. Plus I'd like to see the design of the sign. It helps me to associate with the blogger who I am reading. In any reader, you can click on the name of the blog entry or even the title of the blog and visit their website directly. But this is a hassle because then you have to go back and forth between the blog and the reader. I'm kind of a one track mind so I often get lost.
In comes the Google Reader goodies. Under Google Reader, you can go into Settings and click Goodies. I have been using a bookmarklet to subscribe to new blogs. I just discovered a new bookmarklet that I can place on my toolbar called "Next>>". When clicked this will take you to the next unread blog at the original site. No going back and forth. You can even customize using different links for different tags. So I could have a "Next>>" for my bioinformatics tag and a separate one for my personal tag. Each time it just takes me to the next unread entry in the feed.
I'm trying out Google Docs as a method for posting to my blog. If this is all screwy, it is because this is my first attempt. See here for more details: Publishing Google docs to your blog.
Don't forget to mark you calendars for the upcoming holiday this Friday. What holiday, you say. Well, it's Pi Day, of course. March 14. (3/14, as in 3.1415926...)
We mathematicians will celebrate anything, I tell ya.
In honor of Pi Day, I am reposting my favorite pi song. Enjoy:
I dropped off on Saturday's post and there were a few remaining talks I attended, shoving a few fresh concepts into my already overflowing noggin.
1. There was a sparsely attended talk on using concept maps in blogging which I attended mainly because it was pointed out to me earlier in the day. I am intrigued by concept maps but haven't master the concept, as it were. The basic premise was that the instructors used a common approach across two different disciplines for students to integrate and connect the ideas across topics as well as within subjects. The students developed concept maps and posted images of them onto a class blog. Apparently, the students disliked making them and claimed they gained nothing from them, but the instructors claimed their was demonstrable improvement. I did not see how they demonstrated the advantage of using concept maps other than the students made improvements in making the concept maps, themselves.
I like the idea of using concepts maps to help students to connect concepts and organize their understanding of a particular area but I didn't get a whole lot out of this talk that I will put in place. I am motivated to put "landmarks" or "signposts" up at different points in the semester where students are encouraged to assimilate the skills and knowledge from the course by communicating the most challenging ideas they've faced. This communication might come in various ways, including blogs or discussion board entries, oral discussions, presentations of material or even concept maps.
2. Tweaking Online Calculus: continued. This presentation was an impromptu (or encore) performance by Maria over at Teaching College Math Technology Blog. I attended one of her earlier talks and she was pushed and pulled into various topics that were outside the realm of that talk. This was her opportunity to delineate some of the specific technologies she is using in her courses: Avatars, Jing (for screen capture), discussion boards, tablets, live classroom,digital pen technologies. Certainly, these technologies are providing excellent ways of taking the classroom to the student wherever they are and whenever they want. My favorite good idea from this session was to have a different student each class use a digital pen to take the notes of the class and then upload those notes to the course website.
How about this for cutting edge technology: Livescribe: a digital pen which not only created a digital version of hand written notes from class but also voice records the professor while the notes are being taken. You can then click on any part of the notes and it will replay what voice recording when that was originally written.
I skipped the Gala because I reached my social limit for the weekend. I slept a little too well and woke up later than I wanted but I still made it home for dinner on Sunday. It's good to be home!
"Cowabunga!!" I know that the name of the following song is no where close to this but it is the closest word in my vocabulary (and no, this is not a regularly used word)
This video was captured by Robert over at CastingOutNines during my recent visit to San Antonio. You can see me up front gettin' jiggy with it. Maria is also there snapping some photos. We had a couple other guests with us too. Hopefully it won't be long before they're convinced to join the blogosphere (when did that word start to sound old?)
Thanks to Robert for posting.
I have to admit that I was a little disappointed when I checked in to my hotel, the Econo Lodge Central. It's lower end (2 star at most). It's not disgusting but there are no frills whatsoever. I should say, no frills except one. I have free wireless internet access which is something that the folks here, at the Marriott Rivercenter who are paying at least three times as much per night as I am, cannot say. But of course, I am paying the 10 bucks a day so that while I am here I can check email and find out just how far behind I am on everything.
Remember the view from the Marriott hotel:
Here's the view out my window: