All about math department projects and events.

Sleep Stats

Ms. Baldwin is using one of the boards in the math hallways to collect stats from students and faculty members. How much sleep do you get each night? Pick the proper sticker color and add it to the chart! Add one each day! Here’s the data growing over the last few days:

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Student Screen Recording on the Surface

For the past several weeks I’ve had my BC Calculus students create screen recording. Here are 20 of the videos they have created so far:

The two main purposes of the videos are to get my students to think more carefully about why they are taking each step in a problem and also to give them a way to share off their work to each other and the world. Explaining what they are doing in the videos also gives my students another way to verbally express themselves, a key skill that every math student needs to master. Additionally, by watching their own videos, each student learns a tremendous amount about how to improve their own work and general expression of mathematical thoughts.

Also, we’ll be working to create a master database of student videos that can be leveraged not only by my students to study for upcoming assessments, but also by anyone else in the world, at any time. Think a Khan Academy of student made videos for students. To get a better idea of what I’m talking about, check out this site created last year by my Algebra 1 students at St. Johnsbury Academy.

Here are a few specific ways I have used student videos:

1) We’ve played several of them to start off class. We’ll then talk about what we liked about the video, what content the video helped us learn, and how the video could be improved. I feel as though communication between my students has become more open and frequent because of these all-class viewing discussions.

2) Two days before a test I had the students share, via a PollEverywhere poll, which topic they were having the most trouble with. They then grouped up with other students that had chosen the same topic, and worked through some practice problems. Each group was then tasked with having each group member choose a specific problem from that topic that they would solve and record. The task was the same class-wide, but specifically tailored to optimally support each individual student.

Here are a few things I have learned about screen recording on the Surface:

1) I highly recommend updating the audio drivers on your Surface before you begin recording. By updating, you’ll gain more audio recording options and also solve some huge static issues that some Surfaces seem to have.

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 2.54.42 PM2) Two free ways to create screen recordings are to use the websites Screencast-O-matic.com or Screenr. Both sites are Java reliant free sites that allow anyone with a browser and an internet connection to record their screen. While the Screenr site is a bt more slick and polished, my students have, almost universally, Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 2.54.32 PMpreferred to use Screencast-O-matic (SOM). They have found SOM to be easier to use and more stable. Also, you don’t need to create any kind of account on SOM in order to download the videos you create. That being said, I have a couple student who do like to use Screenr.

3) I have been having students upload their completed videos to an assignment dropbox on Schoology. This system has worked well. You can watch the videos in your browser without the need to download the file to your computer directly. That being said, Schoology does provide a direct link you can use to download each file, something you’ll need to do if you’re going to post any of the videos on YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video sharing system/service.

4) While Screenr and SOM do work and are free, they do take a bit of setup (Java… grrr…), and don’t have too many options. Eventually, my plan is to transition all of my student to using SnagIt, a really fantastic screen recording program that I use to record all of my classes and flipped lessons. It’s super stable, very easy to use, and has the perfect balance of features. It’s also not free. My hope is that the program will be folded into the image that’s used on all student Surfaces at Williston. Considering the value of student screen recordings, this should be an easy sell.

Math @ Williston App

EulerI just put the finishing touches on the first version of the Math @ Williston App for my classes. You can check out and install the app right here: MyApp.is/WillistonMathematics

You can load the app in any mobile device as well as in your browser. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Here’s what the app looks like:

@MrJoshSeamon Twitter Feed
@MrJoshSeamon Twitter Feed: A live stream of all things Williston, math, education, and more.
The class voting interface is now much easier to access.
The class voting interface is now much easier to access.
Videos can be watched inside the app. No need to go to any specific location. Just load the app and watch away.
Videos can be watched inside the app. No need to go to any specific location. Just load the app and watch away.
A very simple way for kids to send in their questions.
A very simple way for kids to send in their questions.
I will be adding content as time goes on. Right now kids also have easy access to several important links ad well as a couple important news streams.
I will be adding content as time goes on. Right now kids also have easy access to several important links ad well as a couple important news streams.

Trustee Tech Presentation

Last night I had the honor of giving a short technology integration presentation to the trustees. In it I talked about what I do with technology in my classroom, why I do it, and where technology integration is heading. The presentation slides, which include embedded video, can be viewed right here:

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Here are the materials I referenced/sampled in the presentation:
SAMR in 120 Seconds (Video)
SHIFT Happens Home (Website)
Iowa, Did You Know? (SHIFT Happens 5.0 – Video)
The NMC Horizon Report: K-12 Edition (Document)

New Surface Pro Resources

I just posted five new Surface Pro resources on the Surface Pro Resources page:

Videos:

Surface Pro: How to create a picture (gesture) password: Want to unlock your Surface by drawing a gesture? Here’s how you can set it up.

Surface Pro: Recreate the shortcut back to your desktop: Lose the button that brings you back to desktop mode? Here’s how to get it back.

Surface Pro: How to bring back the start menu: Missing that helpful little button? Here’s how to bring it back.

Windows/OSX: How to reopen an accidentally close browser tab: Shift-Control-T to the rescue!

Article:

Change your SkyDrive name from “Someone” to your name: This worked for me but took a couple days to take full effect

Surface Pro Resources

As the math department spends more and more time working with the Surface Pros, everything we learn will be posted to this site. Our goal is to keep a master list of resources on the Surface Pro Resource page that just went online (link in the upper toolbar) with these three items:

Help Videos
Surface Pro: Draw with touch
Surface Pro: How to change your power settings

Miscellaneous
Master list of all Surface Pro drivers with download options

All about math department projects and events.