The first two weeks of class are over. So far the class seems pretty engaged with the content and are doing a few more labs/investigations than last year but still most of them tend to watch the videos in class rather than at home. (Note that one student with a Windows 8 tablet was unable to watch the embedded videos in the moodle pages but could watch them directly from youtube???).
A couple of students tried to do the internal resistance lab during the first week. When I asked them why they said because it seemed to be the hardest and they wanted to get it over with. They did not seem to understand the concepts so I encouraged them to view the videos first or start with the uniform motion lab.
Another student who has already completed physics 12 once jumped around the whole course. First asking questions about torque, then conservation of energy, conservation of momentum, and then finally projectile motion. At first I was concerned that he was unfocused but then I realized that this is why I designed the course this way. If he wants to start looking at torque on the first night so be it.
I still struggle with not lecturing. It just feels like I’m not teaching. A few students ask questions throughout the night but so far no one has taken my offers of tutorials on specific topics. Perhaps things will change next week after the first test.
Tonight was the first class this semester. 16 registered students but only 14 showed up tonight. It was close, the class was canceled again earlier last week but a couple of last minute registrants saved the day.
Tonight I went over the course structure with the class and got pretty positive feedback. With such a small class size the school district is concerned about attrition. We need to retain as many students as possible to get funding for them. So the district administrator came to the class to emphasize that point and to check to see if there were any students worried about the format and wanting to drop out.
So far it seems like a good start.
I really enjoyed the conference. My talk was very well attended…standing room only. Lots of interest from the other attendees and lots of positive feedback about what I’ve done so far. People seemed amazed that I’d managed to put together so much information in such a short period of time.
I attended some really good sessions. Karl Lindgren-Streicher gave a great presentation about his flipped experience. I especially liked that he included slides with resources.
I went to Graham Johnsons class about interactive videos. Unfortunately the videos have to be hosted on the TechSmith website so I don’t think I’ll be going down that route but it got me thinking about the Lesson module in Moodle. I could use it to allow students to move through different paths/videos in each lesson.
The last session I went to was Andy Miller’s Apple Apps talk. The two things I took away from his session were 1) the Reflector App which allows you to mirror your iPad display on your Mac which could then be projected in class and 2) MyScript Live which I can see me using in class a lot.
Ramsay Mussallum gave a fantastic keynote talk on Friday morning. The highlight for me was his use of The Karate Kid in emphasizing that we should hope that our students learn to do the things we don’t teach them and not just the things we do.
Hopefully they run this conference again next year.