Register for the 2012 MCC Math & Tech Workshop

Nov 9, 2011 by


Registration for the 2012 MCC Math & Technology Workshop opens today at Noon EDT.  Participants from all over the world are welcome, as long as you can speak English. 🙂

You can find information on the workshop and registration information at the website:

2012 MCC Math & Technology Workshop

The cost for the 2012 Workshop is $160.  Hotel is very reasonable at $69.99/night (+tax).

The registration is two-tiered.  First you’ll need to submit your information, and then after a quick check to make sure you’re the first registrant from your institution, we’ll confirm that you can continue on to complete the payment portion of registration.  If you are not the first person from your institution to register, we’ll place you on the waiting list.  As plans change over the next year, there are usually 3-5 positions at the workshop that become available to the waiting list.

Each participant has to complete a final 5-minute presentation on the last day, and I thought I’d share one of the best presentations from last year (with Karen’s permission), called Once Upon a Time in Technologyland.

Hope to see you at the 2012 MCC Math & Technology Workshop!

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Announcing the 2012 MCC Math & Technology Workshop

Nov 6, 2011 by

The 5th annual MCC Math & Technology Workshop will be August 6-10, 2012.  It seems hard to believe that we’ve been welcoming math instructors to Muskegon to learn about technology for four years now, but I guess it must be so.

Registration for the 2012 “Math Tech Bootcamp” (as its affectionately known as) will begin at Noon EDT on November 9.  I’ll be posting a link to the registration information on the morning of November 9 (register fast, this usually books in less than one week).

Thought I would share some of the comments from 2011 participants:

I would definitely recommend this workshop. I’ve attended many workshops and professional development activities over the years and was already using or somewhat knowledgeable using many of the things talked about but I learned SO much! Tips and tricks and more efficient uses along with new ideas for use have been invaluable!

This workshop is great to help instructors bridge the technological gap which opened since their last computer class! No teacher left behind!

I learned all of the things about that ‘I was afraid to ask’ about. I am not alone in being technologically challenged!

This workshop is great value for the money because regardless of your level of experience with a specific item, there is something to be learned. In addition, this workshop truly is a “bootcamp” – it is intense, fast-paced, tough, and ultimately transforming.

This workshop is definitely worth a small investment of time and funds in order to learn more about internet and technology. I was really surprised how much I learned about the tools I already use that improves my experience with them.

It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about new and not-so-new technology in an environment that was supportive and encouraged playing with it.

Before the workshop I knew very little about the possibilities of using technology to enhance student learning, aside from using a graphing calculator in class. Now I feel I will be much more effective as an instructor. I can’t wait to get started with the new technologies that I learned about.

The MCC Math Technology Workshop was excellent. It was well-organized with relevant, useful information. The best feature was the time to work in a lab setting with colleagues from your discipline. A lot of GREAT ideas were exchanged and I left the conference with great free software and hardware, but more importantly a jump drive of ideas, finished work and I am looking forward to implementing as much as I can right away.

One week to learn am amazing quantity of technology. Many different software and hardware are explored. It is definitely the most important and educational conference that I have ever been to in my life. An absolute MUST for mathematical educators.

This MCC work is the best for the money you spend and for the knowledge you learn about technology and teaching. An added feature is the location in Michigan.

Packed with information and hands-on experience. Great coverage of hardware and software to get you up and going RIGHT NOW with using technology in your classes.

There you have it.  If you’d like to attend, mark your calendar to register on Wednesday or as soon as possible thereafter.  We allow one participant per college in the first cut for registration.  The registration fee is $160 (includes lunch and snacks), and hotel runs $69.99 per night (+tax) with free breakfast and wi-fi.  Transportation to/from airports, hotel, and workshop site can be provided.

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2011 MCC Math & Technology Workshop

Oct 25, 2010 by

Enough volunteers have stepped forward to allow us to go forward with a 2011 Math & Technology Workshop.  This will be the fourth year running for this workshop, which (for the record) is run entirely by volunteers.  The dates will be August 8-12, 2011.

We will only do ONE LEVEL this year, Math Technology Bootcamp, but this will free up space for more participants at this level than in previous years (45 instead of 27).  I’m announcing this now so that you can a) clear your schedule, b) clear your funding, and c) fight with your colleagues over who gets to go.  We will open registration for the conference on Wednesday, November 10, 2011 at Noon EDT.

Only one participant per college may register in the first round.  Last year, Math Technology Bootcamp booked up (with a waiting list) in 8 days.

The costs (based on last year) are $150 registration, $65 per night for lodging (at conference hotel), and your standard food and travel expenses.

Comments from the 2010 Workshop:

The MCC Math and Tech Bootcamp is an outstanding week in which you gain a huge amount of knowledge in relation to math and technology. The cost of $150 is minimal in the amount of information presented/given to you at the workshop. It is a MUST DO workshop!

It is by far the best workshop out there. You cannot get better value anywhere. You really are “immersed” in the technology, and shown directly how it is related to math.

It was the longest (in terms of duration) workshop I have ever attended. But, it was the most interesting, educational, inspiring, and most helpful. By trying as you learn about technology, is the best way to gain familiarity.

Get on the technology school bus. This training is very crucial to the changing classroom. It was the BEST of any training, well worth all time and cost. Don’t be the one who gets on at the last stop.

I did not get funding for this workshop — but it was by far the best workshop I’ve attended. It was well worth my investment in money, time and travel.

This workshop has given me tools that I can see myself using every day to enhance the understanding of my students.

No other workshop brings you in contact with so many different ways of presenting material using technology, and gives you the opportunity to practice what you learn. Apart from that, the free software is definitely a added bonus, and the close contact with colleagues from around the country (and the world) allows for a lot of exchange of ideas.

This workshop provided so much food for thought that I’ll be feasting for months. The campus, the scenery, the camaraderie – it’s all amazing. But the ideas, the new knowledge – and the organization of it all – was priceless.

Again, the website (with all the details) is here: 2011 MCC Math & Technology Workshop.

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2010 MCC Math & Technology Workshop

Nov 16, 2009 by

It’s the announcement you’ve all been waiting for.  Registration for the 3rd annual MCC Math & Technology Workshop will begin in 10 days.  The workshop will be held (as always) at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Michigan.

As always, I have to thank our AWESOME sponsors for the 2010 workshop (without these companies and organizations there would be no workshop):

workshop_sponsorsYou can participate in this week-long workshop at three levels:

Technology Explorers: This week-long workshop is designed to assist college mathematics instructors to get up-to-date on technology for teaching mathematics and to begin to participate in Web-based instruction. The workshop will cover a wide variety of topics and skills all related to teaching mathematics with technology and the Internet. Participants will go back to their campus with a plan for how they will incorporate technology into their teaching. Participants will also receive free copies of some of the software they have learned how to use. 2010 graduates will receive Camtasia Studio, SnagIt, Mathematica, MathType, USB headsets, and Wacom peripheral tablets! Registration fee is $150. There are 26 spaces available.

Technology Adventurers: The advanced workshop is designed for instructors who already have quite a bit of technology experience, or for returning participants. We take a look at designing digital presentations in a variety of forms, social networking, blogs, virtual worlds, and much more. Advanced participants have about half of their time free to work on projects of their own choosing. Advanced workshop graduates will receive Camtasia Studio, SnagIt, and Mathematica. Registration fee is $100. There are 26 spaces available.

Technology Navigators: Many participants from past workshops have expressed an interest in returning for the week just to hang out and work on their own projects. We can provide quiet spaces for you to work (and soundproof ones if you’d like to record videos). We’d love to have you back, but we also need your help to pass on what you’ve learned and to keep this workshop going. Registration fee is $50 with 4 hours of volunteering, or free with 8 hours of volunteering. (Limit? How many of you want to come?)

Workshop Director: Maria H. Andersen, Muskegon Community College
Assistant Director: Elizabeth Hamman, Cypress College
Mathematica Training: Debra Woods, University of Illinois – Champaign

This workshop is both awesome training and a fantastically good time.  To read about last year’s workshop, go here. Many participants pay out of their own pocket to attend because there’s nothing else quite like it.  I look forward to meeting this year’s crop of participants!

For directions on how to get pre-registered on November 13, or for information on travel & lodging  go to the workshop website.  We will do our best to chase away the freak thunderstorms this year!

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Workshop Foibles

Aug 20, 2009 by

What can go wrong at a week-long workshop?

I’m going to share these in hopes that you can plan for some of these possible (and unanticipated) problems.  These are all the things that went wrong last week.  To read what went right, go to 2009 MCC Math & Technology Workshop.

We started out the week with a freak thunderstorm that took out the power in the conference hotel for two days.  No way to plan for this one.  Luckily, all of our participants made it to town safely (with a few delays and scary drives).   On the second day all the participants were relocated to a second “sister” hotel for the same rate ($60 a night). On the third day we prayed that power would come back on in the original hotel because all the participants had to move back.  Thankfully, it did.  The good thing to know here, is that if some freak weather event should happen to your conference hotel, they may have a sister hotel that they can move the guests to.

Both my designated logistics person and the back-up to the logistics person had last-minute issues that kept them from being able to help out.  That means nobody to double check catering orders, to make phone calls about hotel issues, or to handle last-minute copies or supply runs.  I’ll admit, this one was the toughest to adapt to, especially with a freak storm to deal with on Day 1.  However, workshop participants and other staff on campus filled in where they could and we got through okay.  I’m sure participants felt that things could’ve run more smoothly, because I certainly did.  However, I’m not sure how I could’ve planned around this one.  What do you do when Plan A and Plan B fail?

The third blow was when we discovered (on day two) that there is a restriction on the number of Second Life accounts that can be created from one IP address (and our campus is considered one IP address).  There we were with only four logins for 12 people.  However, by activating our off-site social networks, we were able to scrounge up another 8 accounts (borrowed or new creations).  Consider yourself warned.  Participants should create their Second Life accounts before coming to your presentation.  On a side note, this meant that my officemate, Karen, got to walk, fly, and dance around Second Life in my avatar for the afternoon and she had me doing some pretty strange things.


We also had problems with projecting the sound to the room every time we tried to use a remote presenter (one in Second Life and one in Centra).  Luckily we had a back-up conference call speakerphone which saved the day both times.   In both cases, someone text-chatted the presenter and asked for a phone number to present from.

The last unexpected event was when we discovered that the jack that looked like a microphone jack on the campus computers was, in fact, not a microphone jack.  This was a surprise to both me and our IT department.   This was a particular surprise because we used the exact same lab as we did last year (the computers had been upgraded).  With the new computers, the only headsets with working microphones were those that connect through USB.  Luckily, with so many participants bringing their own laptops and a loaner of a few USB headsets from the CTL, I think we managed to get enough for all to participate in the Camtasia training. The lesson here?  Plan on USB-only headsets from now on.

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2009 MCC Math and Technology Workshop

Aug 18, 2009 by

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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