Friday, March 18, 2011

MACUL Conference Day Two

And my adventures continue.

My presentation went off without a hitch and I talked to an absolutely packed (standing room only) room.  It was a blast, and everyone was interested and engaged.  It was some of the most fun I've had as an educator outside of watching you guys learn.

As to the rest of my day.....

My first session this morning was on Google Earth and Google-Lit Tours.  It wasn't overly applicable to teaching math or Algebra, but it was interesting to see what's out there as an option.  I'm chewing on a way to create some practice activities on Google Earth as a "tour".

I also talked to some people who are in the know of "iTunes University".  This is a freaking AMAZING free resource ~Right In ITUNES!~ full of podcasts and video-casts of content.  It is all free, and searchable.  Expect links and advice to follow.

I also checked out a service called Learning Island, which was a set of tutorials and practice problems.  They have some games but after watching a demo I was struck by how much we already have through the Holt website.  It really begs the question:  If you don't have the grade you want, how much have you used that resource?

I also had a chance to look at some other video capture and editing software and other animation tools.  I'm interested in exploring better ways to prepare and record tutorial videos in class to help you guys with follow up. So far though I'm mostly finding people going over things I already have a good handle on.

But the ending keynote was simply amazing and empowering.  Imagine a text book that did this:

  • Was customized to ~your~ likes.  If you're into sports then all the story problems are tailored to your sports interests.  Prefer fashion and society?  No problem, how about some questions that focus on celebrities?
  • Speaking of, what if you could upload pictures of yourself to be the illustrations in the book?  In stead of "some kid" looking in a microscope, that's YOU looking at it?
  • While we're at it, who picks the color scheme for these things anyway?  Wouldn't it be better if you got to chose between the Maize and Blue as a scheme or Silver and Honolulu Blue?
  • And then I get to add in things that I find interesting as sidebars for you to explore!  I'm a huge history buff so everytime we do a formula there's a little pop up about the guy (or girl) who invented it.  And a teacher more into application, his book would have pop ups with architecture.
  • And what if you've got me but you want the application?  No problem.  Just click a few buttons and you can have both at your fingertips.
Imagine how much easier it would be with all that to help rope you into the learning.....

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