Friday, March 14, 2014

Calling all attendees of LIMACON 2014 at SUNY Old Westbury

Calling all attendees of LIMACON 2014 at SUNY Old Westbury
Please let me know if you find any of the following info useful.

If you were at LIMACON today ( here's the answers to the questions I was asked:
(1) Can you crash the new SAGECELL?
The answer is no!
See my attempt to crash it here. Here's another attempt inspired by PI Day. See SAGE documentation here. Also, this is the original SAGE NoteBook server. If you need even more horsepower, try which is based on a huge supercomputer at the University of Washington with 288 cores1.2TB RAM and 50TB disk space. 
(2) Are Camtasia and Jing the only game in town if you want to screencast for your flipped classroom?
The answer is no!
Take a look at or use Screen Recorder in Smart NoteBook or use a desktop recorder like avconv or ffmpeg. One problem you have to watch out for is that Screen Recorder creates large *.wav files that use up a lot of disk space really fast! Also, Screencast-o-matic takes a while to render an *.mp4 file after you are done recording!
(3) In a flipped classroom, when the students are working in groups, do you have to go old school and stop group work to lecture in front of the room when one or more groups are struggling?
The answer is no!
Goto so you can give each group a portable whiteboard to do their work. Then, if one group has a good solution, they can share it with the rest of the class!
(4) Do your screencasts have to be only 5-10 minutes long and only on simple skills?
The answer is no!
If you are teaching preCalculus, Calculus, preCompSci or CompSci like me, I think your videos need to be a bit more in depth. I do what I call a modified flip. When I cover something new in class, I record the whole 40 minutes. Students can use the recording to help with that night's homework. Students can use the screencast to review later in the year or to make up work missed. Students can fast forward and rewind as needed!

(5) In this day and age of Budget Cuts, Teacher Lay Offs and Huge Class Sizes, do you have to cancel AP Computer Science?
The answer is no!
My intro CS course did not have enough enrollment this year to meet the new class size minimum. So, my intro course was cancelled. What did Guidance do? They rescheduled the intro kids into AP CS! This would not have been my first choice, now I have 10th, 11th and 12th graders in AP and they are doing great!
Please note:

I'm usually a speaker at LIMACON, but this year I took a break! In fact, I spoke last year after an imposed 2 year break. Now LIMACON is imposing a 3 year period before you can speak again. So, I won't speak at LIMACON again until 2016 somewhere near PI Day! BTW, I also spoke for T^3 at Molloy College last November. That conference is held only every 3 years, so I suppose that 2016 will a busy year for me.

As you can tell, I went to lots of presentations about flipping the classroom. The motto seems to be: "You don't have to be the Sage on Stage anymore! Be the facilitator and let the students do their work!" ... no pun intended re "sage."

Finally, this blog post was originally a forum post on in the AP Calculus Teachers' group.
A. Jorge Garcia

Generally Speaking,

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