Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Google Earth

Obviously a very powerful app. It would be interesting to incorporate Google Earth in a math research project. During the study of exponential and logarithmic functions we look at the Richter Scale used to measure seismic activity: earthquakes. (The Richter Scale is logarithmic.) We could use google earth to locate earthquakes of differing magnitudes to give students a sense of where and how frequently earth quakes occur.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Did some searches on Sarah P. Read a few articles about how she could become a serious Republican candidate for president in the future? Poked around for math stuff. Can't quite see how I would use this in a mathematics classroom. However, the high school leadership team is talking about research projects in all the content areas so maybe before I know it I will be using Marvel in the class room.

Have not looked at Slideshare yet.......

AP Study Guide

Wiki or shared document through google or another file service?

Both would allow collaborative development.

Which would work better?

Perhaps pilot each technology and evaluate.

One concern I have is support for mathematical equations. I do not believe google.docs support any "equation editors". Not sure about a wiki. Hmmmmm.

Need to find some time to explore this. Maybe the day we set the clocks back!

September 29th

Not much news here. Classes are in full swing. We have beautiful fall weather to buoy our spirits. Students are out on the playing field of their choice creating memories they can lie about to their children. And I am drinking a cup of strong, black coffee!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I plan to identify a classroom activity that would support a low-cal application of a wiki. I'd like us to get our feet wet with the tool without getting to tangled up in deep mathematics.

We do have a project coming up that involves the students working in small groups to produce a final product but I do not yet see if it will be a good fit. I will have to give it some more thought.

Another thought is to create a wiki for AP Calculus that can be a study guide for the AP exam. As we pass through the year the students can update the wiki with key concepts, solution processes, etc. All students will have access. All students can contribute. All students can benefit. This might work!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon

So the high school students have all been issued a laptop. The horses are out of the barn!

We better get busy with these web 2.0 tools or ... else...?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Looks to be a very interesting and promising tool. Browsed through several "voicethreads" to view how they were used. Some seemed to be "teacher tutorials" while others were student displays of processes and/or products. Inconsistency of voice comments(volume, clarity, etc) might be a concern for finished products but in a classroom activity it might not be a problem?

On the Road Again

Back to school, back to school.

Things are off to a rapid start.

Onward and upward!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Using Google Docs with Students


sharing digital documents used in the classroom.

medium on which students can collaboratively create products.

projects: planning, creation, publishing.

Google Docs

Very powerful for collaboration.
Central, web-based location accessible from any computer with web access.

Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom

Interesting article delivered to the google reader:

Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom

Day 4

Porta Portal and Delicious both appear to hold great promise: Porta Portal as a repository for web sites with strong ties to class room content and Delicious as a tool to extend the search for those sites.

Still thinking about the architecture. A website might be the correct entry point for the "digital environment" to be created. The website could have pages dedicated to each course. These pages would then provide a repository for all the digital materials associated with a course. The website would also provide a launching point for each class and the materials, blogs, wikis, etc of that particular class.

Hmmm. When do we start classes?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Sounds like a Rap star's moniker! Interesting tool. I will move forward with it as it represents a single location from which to access my bookmarks. Played around with the social aspect a bit: the shared bookmarks. That seems pretty cool and helpful. Looks like a keeper.

Day 3

While this blog is under investigation I will continue to keep it active...covertly.

Today I would like to get a better handle on Delicious: get some bookmarks in place, organize them by topic, access some shared bookmarks, upload some bookmarks from this machine.

Also, what about the igoogle thing? Not sure about creating another environment there that needs attention along with the SPSD email account and the home email account. Is now the time to kill the home email account and move to gmail? A little suspect about following the yellow brick road to the wonderful wizzard of of google.

I am pondering what the architecture should be for for further development. Should there be a blog for each class for each year that contains blog entries, points to student blogs and other student work as well as classroom activities and web based resources? Or should a web page be developed that "contains" a launching point for each class/course? The second option seems more likely to support future growth, more organized and more maintainable.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blogger trouble

This is the 3rd time we've created a blog with this account. Every one has had a "spam warning" attached to it making it impossible to add to our RSS readers among other annoyances. The posts below and their comments have been copied and pasted in to this version to keep the journal going. We may try another way...

Day 3 - RSS Feeds

Productive morning. Worked through the mechanics of establishing some RSS feeds. Got some RSS feeds established for work and pleasure. Fearful of RSS feeds creating a multi-headed monster that I will not care to feed, groom and otherwise be a slave to. Always looking for techniques to simplify: less can be more.

Day 2

Look forward to more conversation and discovery.

Here is an article from last Sunday's NY Times on the "digital classroom". Very topical for the this class:

In a Digital Future, Textbooks Are History

And here is a link to the responses generated and published the next Sunday:

And the Future of the Textbook Is ...

La Premier Post

So far? After poking around this summer looking at some fairly robust blogs maintained by mathematics teachers and their classrooms, I am still looking for the content. The few blogs I have looked through seem to be about engaging the students and teachers in the use of blogs, wikis, flickr, twitter, et al with very little focus on content. Moreover, the time invested in developing these blogs appears to be substantial. Of course students will benefit from exposure to and use of these tools in this environment. But where is the mathematics? Perhaps I am another woolly mammoth stuck in a tar pit on his way to extinction. But if we are going to invest significant effort with this technology I would expect to see more mathematics. Maybe the content is there but I just don't see it? It is early yet. There is a way to integrate these tools and enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics without making it all about the tools themselves.