New Videos in the Trigonometry Video Series

Just finished uploading five new videos to my online video lecture series in Trigonometry.  Here’s the first and a link to the playlist on YouTube:

Link to Full Playlist

Newly added:

Peer Instruction (almost) always trumps the “Great Math Performer”

(Submitted as an essay in the MOOC – “History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education” on Coursera)

For the first several years teaching in the undergraduate mathematics classroom, I was convinced that the better my lecture, the better the learning that took place in my Math classes. I was extremely enthusiastic of my presentation of factoring polynomial or row-reducing large matrices, and almost any other math topic you can conceive. I worked hard to provide visually stimulating examples and always received high marks on my student evaluations. And yet, there was no significant difference between those topics in which I was well-prepared and those topics that had less-than-exceptional presentations. Eventually I had to admit and, yes, unlearn that there was any significant connection between my lecture style and my student’s mastery of the concepts. In its place, I learned that a reasonably well presented topic coupled with a great deal of hands-on group work, facilitated by peer instruction/collaboration DID make a significant impact on their demonstrated mastery. Continue reading

New YouTube Channel – SplineGuyMath

I’ve just completed creating a new YouTube channel (SplineGuyMath) specifically to house the videos I created for my online courses.  As early as 2007, I began creating a series of lecture videos for Intermediate and College Algebra.  As part of an agreement with Wayland Baptist University, those videos were incorporated into their online math curriculum and are still the centerpiece of the online courses that we offer in those areas. Those videos belong to the University so you’ll have to look into taking online courses with Wayland to see those…

Taking the same approach, I began developing videos for other courses, from Trigonometry to Numerical Analysis to Differential Equations, and many other topics as the need arose.  For the ones I own the rights to, I’ve decided to just throw them out there for anyone that might be interested.  A quality online college level course is MUCH more than just the content or lectures that might accompany it, it is the guidance and personal instruction provided by the teacher.  Plus, for a math course, it requires you to actually “do the math,” not just watch it be “performed.”

So, I’m giving away my video content to anyone who wants it.  I just hope it’s useful to someone.  You can find my channel here: http://www.youtube.com/splineguymath

Below is the first lecture series that will be going up.  Trigonometry!  There are some “fill-in-the-blank” style notes that go along with it, if you’re interested.  You can order these from Lulu.com here:
Trigonometry: Lecture Notes (Spiral Bound)
Trigonometry: Lecture Notes (ebook)

I’ll keep you posted here with any new series or videos that go up.  Subscribe if you’re interested!

World’s Hardest Easy Geometry Problem

I spent (wasted?) several hours working this problem out years ago but saw it posted recently on Google Plus.  I soon realized that either my solution predated my blog or I never actually posted my solution.

Here’s the problem and my solution is below: (ref: http://thinkzone.wlonk.com/MathFun/Triangle.htm) worlds hardest easy geometry problem

Using only elementary geometry, determine angle x. Provide a step-by-step proof.

You may use only elementary geometry, such as the fact that the angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees and the basic congruent triangle rules (side-angle-side, etc.). You may not use trigonometry, such as sines and cosines, the law of sines, the law of cosines, etc.

Spoiler Alert: Don’t read any further if you want to give this a shot yourself!

MY SOLUTION:

Continue reading

Teaching in the One iPad Classroom

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I have the great privilege of being able to gather with some 60 K-12 educators and lead them in a workshop to learn how to incorporate technology into their classroom.

At the Region 17 Education Service Center in Lubbock on Friday, February 8, 2013, I am leading a technology workshop entitled, “Teaching in the One iPad Classroom”.

Here’s what we hope to be covering: (from the abstract on their website)

In this workshop, attendees will be introduced to strategies for using the iPad to teach in the modern classroom. Software tools and apps will be presented that allow wireless mirroring of an iPad through the projector in the classroom as well as remote control of your desktop computer while teaching. Additionally, a range of apps will be presented that offer a basis for interactivity in the classroom and a powerfully visual presentation of concepts.

Much of the content for this has been taken from the Teacher Quality Grant for which I am the lead instructor.  As part of the Teacher Quality Grant (2012-13), high school and junior high algebra teachers have learned how to integrate the iPad into their curriculum and even use it to develop their own curriculum elements.

Here is the handout that is being made available as part of the workshop: Workshop Handouts

Other Classroom Management Apps

A pastor, a doctor and a mathematician

A pastor, a doctor, and a mathematician were stuck behind a slow foursome while playing golf. The greenskeeper noticed their frustration and explained to them, “The slow group ahead of you is a bunch of blind firemen. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free.”

The pastor responded, “That’s terrible! I’ll say a prayer for them.”

The doctor said, “I’ll contact my ophthalmologist friends and see if there isn’t something that can be done for them.”

And the mathematician asked, “Why can’t these guys play at night?”

– from http://mathjokes4mathyfolks.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/three-its-a-magic-number/

BBWorld 2012 – New Orleans, LA

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This week, I’m attending the BBWorld conference in New Orleans and I can’t pass up a chance to take my camera out for a spin in the Big Easy.

The Fourth in Plainview – 2012

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I put my new Nikon D3100 to the test and shot the fireworks show for the Fourth in Plainview. I think they turned out fantastic. Not bad for an noob.