Category: Edge of Learning

Dimenxian: “Learn Math or Die Trying”

This was a featured article in What is it? It’s an algebra game produced by Tabula Digita called Dimenxian. You can download a demo of the game on the Dimenxian website. They also provide a list of alignments to NCTM Standards for Algebra with the game. For the record, the website says there is a trailer for the game… but I can’t get it to work, so if someone else figures it out, please comment on how to do it. I have downloaded the demo and tried the first “mission” … but I think I need more practice moving around and navigating in the game. From my five minutes of trial, it seems 90% game and 10% algebra, but perhaps that’s just because I’m not good at it yet. I’ve got some time trapped in airports this weekend, so I’ll give it another go and see if I can’t find more algebra in it. The game also does not encompass all of the topics we teach in algebra (really, it seems to focus on topics related to graphing). But it does engage the students and they learn algebra (read the article, research on middle school students). However, I’ve been saying for a while now that college textbooks are only a few years from becoming multimedia experiences first, and books second (or not at all)… here is my evidence...

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“Out of Control” blogger

Like my brother-in-law Chris, I am joining the “Out-of-Control” bloggers with two blogs … aiming for a different readership on this one. The Teaching College Math Technology Blog [Update: No longer online]  will be devoted to teaching math online and technology that you can use to teach math both online and in the classroom. Those of you who are technology afficianados might like to follow along even if you don’t teach math… some of the technology is pretty cool after all. For those of you who insist on watching and listening to the “purple-skinned bald math teacher with yellow sunglasses” more than once, you should know that you will be limited to only 2 listens per week (hey – it costs money to have an avatar and you are limited to a certain number of streams per month). Would you go to online class more often if your instructor’s appearance and location changed daily? Possibly Related Posts: Learning at Scale Slides from ICTCM The Four Processors: A Neogeneralist Problem? Clickety Click Click: Awful Measures for Learning Why high contextual interference? Recorded Webinar: Teaching Math in...

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We (the world) feel better

Most of the time I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of technology and the Internet and “what’s out there” but sometimes I am completely blown away by something I find. Tonight is one of those nights. I am sitting at the computer, posting assignments for my fall classes while simultaneously browsing/watching/listening to stuff on the Internet (this is why I have so much viewing space). Keep in mind that I have been at it for several hours and it is now 1 a.m. (for those of you that think that instructors don’t do any work in the summer). I was perusing the new Ted Talks and watched this talk by Jonathan Harris about two of his websites, We Feel Fine and Universe. To truly understand just how amazing these sites are, you really have to watch the talk, browsing will probably not do them justice. The We Feel Fine website is constructed using up-to-the-hour blog data and computer programs that scan blogs for specific phrases about feelings. The software is absolutely stunning. For example, in the interaction below I discovered that at the current moment (in the world) there are 7,544 people feeling “special” and 128,155 people feeling “better.” You can also find really specific blogs… like from all the people 30 years of age in 40 degree celsius weather in Montenegro in 2007 (for example)....

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Peer pressure has forced me to blog…

When my husband (who generally does not advocate me doing any more than I already do) suggested that it was time for me to start blogging and stop sending mass emails with funny pictures of “what the dog did,” I finally decided that it was time to dive into the blogging world. (what did the dog do? She ate my husband’s Master’s diploma… which was framed and under glass.) Blogging is a strange beast in academia. The Chronicle of Higher Education has logged several stories related to how blogging might damage the credibility of academicians during their job searches. So their advice to the blogging academic might be to remain completely anonymous, with nothing to link your blog back to the school that you work for. However, I don’t see how it’s possible for me to divorce myself from my academic life. Nor is it appropriate to separate myself from my business (Andersen Algebra Consulting LLC) or my other web presence ( So, I’ve decided to launch an experiment in careful blogging. I hope I can find a way to strike a balance between sharing the events in my life (for those that would like to read) without damaging my credibility or getting myself in trouble at the institution that I currently work for (Muskegon Community College). Why “Busyness Girl”? At a birthday party long ago, when I was...

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