Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Died and Gone to Heaven!

I’m taking the show on the road this summer!  At Nassau Community College, the Math Dept is in Cluster B.  Cluster B is a three story building, more of a tower really, with offices and classrooms. In the center of the tower is a large lecture hall taking up space on both the second and third floors.  I’ve taught my summer courses in there before and it was very nice as lecture halls went.  We could seat 125 students, there were comfortable chairs, tables and balconies!  The instructor would teach at the front of the room which was a pit on the second floor with overhead projectors and plenty of chalk boards and marker boards (and A/C).  The only problem with this room was that it was getting a bit old (several chairs and tables were in disrepair) and there was no technology to speak of except for my trusty TI-84 overhead!
This room, B218, has undergone a huge renovation for this summer.  This room has become a multimedia center.  All the tables, chairs and carpeting have been replaced.  All four walls have 50” HD LCD monitors.  The front of the room has a huge marker board (10’ high x 20’ wide) with a large pull-down PC projection screen and two PC Projectors.  The teacher’s desk has a PC with BlueRay DVD player, audio system and control system that lets you integrate all of this into your lessons!

I installed Smart Notebook 10 on my laptop as well as VTI and BlueTooth so I could use the Smart AirLiner Slate.  I hooked up my laptop to the media control system and now I am in Nirvana!  My AirLiner lessons can now be projected on the PC projector and all 4 HD monitors.  I can play videos, I can record my classes and I can see what I write!  From the teacher’s desk, I cannot see the HD monitors on the 4 walls ahead of me (oriented toward students facing me).  Neither can I see the PC projection behind me.  However, I have my laptop and AirLiner in front of me, so I can see what I write on the laptop screen – almost like having a tablet PC! 

At Baldwin, I did not have this kind of feedback.  To see what I wrote I’d have to look up at the PC projection at the front of the room as I wrote from the back of the room.  I got used to this, but it took a lot of practice!

Hoping you got some food for thought,
A. Jorge Garcia, 

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