“If I had an hour to save the world I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions”
- Al Einstein

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaching in absentia...

So, I missed three days of class to attend a wedding in Belize... feel bad for me? Three days is a lot, and I really wanted them to be somewhat productive. For my Precalculus classes, I designed some worksheets that just barely pushed the boundaries of what we'd been doing. We'd been translating graphs, and I inched them into some dilation (or "scale-change" as our text book calls it) on top of that. I think they were productive, mostly because I didn't try to go too far.

In Calculus, I was ready to push the class a little harder, so I recorded a video introducing them to related rates. This is the first time I've ever done this, and it was (eventually) pretty easy. I used CamStudio (free), and didn't even bother with any editing. A single take... eat your heart out, Scorcese.

I think the video got pretty boring, but I like the idea, and might try it some more. I know there are tons of this type of thing out there, but I like making my own and I'm interested in tips for making them better. For instance, if anyone has any recommendations for editing software?

As for the effectiveness of the video, I think it worked well as an introduction. I didn't push things too far (no substitution of variables from another equation, for example) and I tried to hammer on the idea that this is just the chain rule. This is just the chain rule. This is just the chain rule. Now I've been back for a couple of days, and  we can start to explore those realms. But the video helped me at least feel like I had a head start in making up for the three days I fell behind.

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