Saturday, October 24, 2009

Don't drink the Kool Aid!

I'm going crazy trying to get ready for a conference day I'm presenting at the High School on election day.  My problem is that I'd like to end the session with a little hands-on activity whereby the participants can each login to a PC and try out for themselves.  However, this online version of Sage is optimized for use with a Mozilla like browser.  Now, I have Mozilla in my LInux partition, but the Linux Lab has no internet access!  Further, Mozilla is not installed in the Windows lab as the kids can use it to bypass some of the school's content filters.
To paraphrase the Great Lobachevsky, "What I am going to do?"  So, I'm trying some Linux liveCDs such as Fedora 11 or even the Sage 4.1.1 CD.  The Fedora CD has Mozilla on it and when it boots it defaults to the "windows lan" so I get internet access so that's an option.  The Sage CD has a full working version installed on the CD, but its hard to save or print your work. 
BTW, the presentation is entitled "Look Ma, No Calculator" as its a show-and-tell session where I will discuss how I use technology in the classroom.  So, I subtitle the talk "Don't drink the Kool Aid" as I will show how to use Smartboard technology differently than the Smattech trainers would have you do it!  Also, part of the discussion will feature VTI (the Virtual TI graphing calculator), Mathematica Player and Sage - thus no physical calculators...
Note, this is a practice run for LIMACON 2009.0416 where I asked for a room with a PC podium so I can hook up my laptop.  In this venue, I don't think I'm getting a full blown PC lab where the partitipants can do any hands-on work.
Decisions, decisions, ....

Teaching with Technology,

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