MichMATYC 2010


The Fall 2010 MichMATYC Conference will be at Muskegon Community College on October 15-16, 2010. If you live in the Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin area, this may be a conference you can drive to. The conference is very affordable, at $35 for registration and $65 per night for hotel.

Our theme this year is “Update Your M.I.O.S. (Math Instructor Operating System).” You can find more information about the conference on the website.

There are several FREE Technology Workshops on Friday:

  • Camtasia Basics
  • Wolfram Alpha Workshop
  • Camtasia Advanced Editing (captioning, quizzing, etc.)
  • Using the Internet to Spice Up Your Math Class

The Call for Proposals is available here (due April 26, 2010).

Also of note, we can provide wireless Internet for all participants, and a wide variety of technology for presenters (well, except for overhead projectors – you’ll have to use a document camera instead). Please consider coming up to Michigan to join us in October!

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Best of the Ed Tech Freebies!

In a “pilot” program, we used Camtasia to record several sessions at the 2009 AMATYC Conference in Las Vegas.  Several of these recordings are now available on the AMATYC 2009 Conference Proceedings Website.

In particular, you might want to check out my live presentation “Best of the Educational Technology Freebies” … at least, you can check out the first 24 minutes of it (before my spectacular graphics-overload-induced red-screen-of-death computer crash).  The live presentation starts approximately 1 minute into the video.


There is a Part II (audio with a few PowerPoint slides – all my computer was capable after burning up the graphics capability temporarily), but I guess they haven’t put it up yet.  Update: Part II is now also available here.  Incidentally, this incident sealed the deal on my getting a new tablet PC (I was running with the memory capacity and hard drive maxed on the old one).

Word to the wise: You should not attempt to simultaneously record new audio narrative for a Camtasia video project running in the background, while running that video in a player on the notebook and projecting to a screen.  Sure, it works for 5 minutes, but will it work for 60? [no, unless you have a really powerful computer and graphics card]

The easy way to find all the recorded videos from the 2009 AMATYC Conference is to search the Conference Proceedings website (Ctrl-F for find) for the word “flash” (as in Flash video).

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Teaching Math with Technology (Discussion Panel)

While I was at Wolfram Alpha Homework Day, I participated in a Panel Discussion about the Myths about Teaching with Technology. The panel ran 30 minutes and was mediated by Elizabeth Corcoran. There were three of us (all women, weirdly enough), Debra Woods, a mathematics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Abby Brown, a math teacher at Torrey Pines High School; and myself.

I no longer remembered anything that I said in this panel, so it was fun to watch the discussion from an outside point-of-view. I am glad to see that I talked about the value of play during the discussion, because I am finding more and more that introducing play (and exploration) back into learning makes a big difference in engagement and in retention of the subject.

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2009 MCC Math and Technology Workshop

Last week, 37 math instructors from Michigan, Texas, Illinois, California, New Jersey, South Carolina, Missouri, Washington, Massachusetts, Indiana, Arizona, and Qatar gathered at Muskegon Community College to be participants in the 2nd MCC Math & Technology Workshop.  The conference this year was generously supported with donations by TechSmith, Wolfram Research, Wacom, Plantronics, and MichMATYC.   If it wasn’t for these organizations and their generosity, it is very likely that this workshop would not exist.


Despite some pretty unexpected mishaps (read Thursday’s post), I think I can safely say that everyone went home with a head full of ideas and a technology support network of new friends.

In this week, “Technology Bootcamp” participants learned how to use:

In addition to learning how to use specific software, there were sessions on:

  • using web-based math resources and digital libraries
  • applying learning styles in online courses
  • designing an online math course
  • best practices in using online homework
  • basics of good presentation design
  • playing with SmartBoard technology
  • organizing yourself in the digital world
  • the future of math instruction and higher education

This was the first year we had an “advanced” group (clever name anyone?).  The returning participants wanted lots of time to work on their own projects, so they got that and more:

How much fun did we have this week?  When was the last time you had to tell a room of math instructors not to laugh so loudly?

Yes, we are already thinking about next year’s workshop.  And, yes, I will try to think of some scheme that will allow 3rd-year participants to come and just hang out, help out, and get their digital stuff done.

If all the stars align and we continue to have corporate sponsors (and possibly a few grants), the 2010 MCC Math & Technology Workshop will be Aug. 9-13, 2010.  Official news about registration usually comes out around the time of AMATYC (November) and the workshop filled up fast last year, so clear your schedule and start bargaining for travel funds if you want to go.

Now for my list of  Thank You‘s:

  • Thank you to my college, Muskegon Community College, for playing host to the workshop again.
  • Thank you to the volunteers who provided rides to and from airports and ferries, and between the hotel(s) and the college.
  • Thank you to the faculty who helped out at sessions (especially those that got “drafted”).
  • Thank you to all the staff and faculty at MCC who stepped up to help out with a variety of crazy tasks (often at the last-minute).
  • Thank you to the outside presenters, Sarah Swart, Evert VanderBerg, Przemyslaw Bogacki, Dave McCollom, Harry Calkins, and Derek Bruff.
  • Thank you to Christine Gardner (my assistant) and Pauline Keith (our department secretary) who both spent time on logistics during the last few months to help make this event a reality.
  • Thank you to the participants, for spending your travel funds to hang out in Muskegon, Michigan and for subjecting yourself to technology overload for a whole week!
  • A big thank you to the Office of Information Technology for all their hard work to get the computers set up with an enormous list of software that we don’t usually install on lab computers and for their tech support in general.
  • Another big thank you to Jill Mueller, who gave up at least two weeks of her life to act as the Assistant Director for the 2009 MCC Math & Technology Workshop.
  • A gigantic thank you to the sponsors of this year’s workshop: TechSmith, Wolfram Research, Wacom, Plantronics, and MichMATYC who donated approximately $35,000 in software, hardware, and time.

Finally, thank you to my husband, “Mr. Busynessgirl” who simply says “make a list of everything you need me to do during this week” and then does them.

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2nd MCC Math and Technology Workshop

Back by popular demand! It’s official, we’re going to host another Math and Technology Workshop at Muskegon Community College. The dates will be August 10-14, 2009.

The Basic Workshop (Limited to 30 Participants) will cover:

* Searching the Internet Effectively/Organizing the Results
* Using SnagIt to Capture and Communicate
* Creating documents with math [Read more…]

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