Saturday, March 20, 2010

...darned red tape!

Congrats to Maria and Gary Litvin on their great MP3 text! 
I'm going to see if my Chairperson can ram this new text through for approval ASAP. You have no idea how much red tape I have to go through to get a new course or a new text approved.  I have to write a whole new course proposal, etc. I have to get together a textbook adoption committee, etc.  And more.... 
BTW, the Graphing Calculator culture has hit its apex I think. Even TI sees the end of the TI-83/89, that's why they came up with the TI-Nspire.

The Nspire is a hardware version of there TI-Interactive software that works well with SmartBoard and as CAS. So, even TI is moving toward the PC desktop. Why not embrace the CAS on the desktop paradigm? The migration to this new/old paradigm is even more pressing with all the free software out there. 

Mathematica/MATLAB/Maple are all closed source and expensive but have been around for a while. If this were not the case, the Graphing Calculator culture may not have thrived so.... 

The only benefit to the Graphing Calculator now is the portability and compatability issue for schools to have a standard they can use on regents exams and SAT, etc.  

I just went through all this with a course I originally called "Scientific Computing Lab" which was subsequently renamed by my Superintendent as "Calculus Research Lab," like a science lab meeting every other day in addition to class, using SAGE (FLOSS Mathematica) to enhance the learning of Calculus.

My argument will be that, for all intent and purpose, the current Computer Math course and the "new" Computer Math course are basically the same course and that the text is nearly the same text as my home grown text, we are just modernizing the language used.  If I can't skip all the bureaucracy, I may not be able to order this book until a year from now. I think I'll try to use iPython that's built into SAGE for this course too.  

You know, I could really use a text like this for my "Calculus Research Lab!"  Just saying.... 

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