Just a few days until graduation, and then it’s time to get back into screencasting…
Dick Peller, Northfield Mount Hermon School
14 May 2013
I am just about done writing “scripts” for a series of about twenty videos on trigonometry that I’ll be creating over the next few weeks. Explain Everything has been updated a fair amount since I used it last summer; it will be fun to see how the changes work.
10 May 2013
It’s been a while since I posted here, but I think I have just seen the future of textbooks at ck12.org.
Information is grouped by topic, customizable “books”, mastery exercises, in-line videos. If I worked at a textbook company, I would be VERY scared right now!!
Today we celebrate the life of Jackie Robinson, #42, on the 66th anniversary of the day he became the first Black man to play baseball in the major leagues.
He was a great ballplayer; he won the Rookie of the Year in 1947,the MVP in 1949, and was the driving force behind the Brooklyn Dodgers only World Championship in 1955. Jackie was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.
Jackie is the only player to have his number (42) retired by every major league team. This was done on April 15th, 1997, on the fiftieth anniversary of Jackie’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The only major leaguer still permitted to wear that number is Mariano Rivera, who was wearing #42 before it was officially retired in 1997.
Jackie’s son David is a member of the Mount Hermon Class of 1970, and Jackie was the MH graduation speaker that year.
David’s daughter Ayo is a member of the NMH class of 1998.
The Northfield Mount Hermon Baseball Award is given in Jackie’s name “to that member of the team who best exemplifies sportsmanship and good team spirit”.
It is worth taking some time today to think about and to honor this remarkable man, who did so much to help address and combat racism in the United States.
25 Jan 2013
At the suggestion of some colleagues, I purchased and read this book by Sal Khan. It is definitely worth a read for educators, and anyone who is eager to best serve our students in the 21st century.
Classes of 100 with four teachers? Vacations when YOU want? A blend of human instruction and on-line videos and testing?
9 Jan 2013
Working to develop mastery of WebWork and Desmos calculator…
Cool web apps…
What took them so long?!
Maybe now I’ll get back to being more diligent about posting…
19 December 2012
I got excited last year when Apple announced inexpensive and cool textbooks. The big drawback was the requirement that the only work on an iPad. I didn’t think that my school was ready then- or now- to require all students to purchase an iPad.
My math department tabled the idea of e*books for what we thought would be a year or two. And then, we discovered open source (read “free”) e*books, that are essentially pdfs.
We quickly stepped off the textbook cliff, and began using e*books in about one-third of our courses this year. The basic response from our students has been “ho-hum- what’s the big deal?” These books are very simple, vanilla books, that contain all the course content that we have ordinarily taught. Some even have complete solutions manuals- all this for free.
Beginning in our spring semester, and continuing next year, we will look at expanding our offerings into low-cost texts that include built-in videos and supplemental material. By “low-cost”, I am talking under $20.
We’ve moved on this front faster than I would have thought, but it seems the right thing to do. When I spoke with one of my book reps, with whom I have done business for over twenty years, he kiddingly replied that he expected to be selling used cars by the end of the year.
I am very interested to see where this revolution in electronic book publishing will lead. No student should be paying the exorbitant fees that textbooks cost these days.
13 November 2012
A few NMH folks traveled to Holderness at the beginning of the month to learn how their transition was to a Google school.
The account is that it was easier than we would have thought. They also transitioned from First Class, and simply changed over to GMail (leaving the FirstClass server up for a year), without trying to port data over from FirstClass.
They were enthusiastic about the advantages of shared googledocs, and the advanced features of GMail.
I am hopeful that NMH will begin planning for a transition to Google. Our virtual desktop model, which runs using Citrix, has been very successful for about ten years, but it is probably time to retire it and go Google.
28 Oct 2012
With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on us, I thought I would get in one last blog before power is lost forever… :-)
I haven’t been good about keeping up with this blog. My school year has been going well, with both my “blended” classes (BC Calculus and Algebra 2) making full use of the screencasts that I have prepared. Too often, I find myself wandering around the classroom, trying to find a way to be useful, while my students are hard at work in small groups.
Once, a good question led me into an impromptu fifteen minute lecture on tangent line approximations in my calculus class. When I finished, I asked if there were any questions. Politely, one student said thanks, but she had gotten what she needed from my screencast the night before. Several other students nodded in agreement.
I am lucky to have an HD TV and Apple tv in my classroom. I can mirror with my iPad and new MacBook Air; I am convinced that this will be the next way of sharing information at least in classrooms.
Soon, I will be visiting Holderness School, which has recently become a Google school. NMH is looking to make this leap, and we are gathering information on what is entailed.
That’s it for today- stay safe, everyone.