For Math Faculty

If you’re looking for a link to a presentation from a conference or event, go to the Resources tab.

Presentations can be customized for your event, audience, and facilities. If you’re not finding exactly what you’re looking for please ask.  Any of the talks for general audiences can be tailored specifically for math faculty.

How to Measure Teaching and Learning in Math

Did you know you can measure whether students have fragmented or cohesive conceptions of mathematics, or whether they learn at a surface- or deep-level?  Did you know there are concept inventories available for research purposes at the level of prealgebra / elementary algebra and at the calculus level?  Did you know there are inventories that will measure whether instructors are using student-centered approaches to teaching, or how instructors perceive their teaching environment?  No?  I didn’t either. I’m thinking that if we put our heads together, colleges could participate together to perform some truly outstanding research in the field of math education. Let me share what I’ve learned and we’ll tackle it together.

Will Math Go the Way of Latin?

Have you seen the signs?  We live in a world with powerful and easy-to-use CAS that is available on any mobile device that has Internet.  Fields that were traditionally math-intensive, like Engineering, rely heavily on computers for computations and modeling.  How much of the traditional algebra or calculus manipulations does the average citizen really need to know?  Compound all this with the “replacement” of instructors with technology (like online homework, online video lessons, etc.) and the picture appears bleak.  However, with any threat there is also an opportunity.  If we can collectively see the opportunity, we have a chance to shift the discipline to skills and competencies that are more valuable in a modern digital age.

Learning is the Future of Math

Students face a future in which they will likely have several very different careers. At the same time, technology proliferates and evolves at a pace faster than anyone can keep up.  How do we teach students to direct their own learning? We need to design curricula and instruction that reinforces the ability to learn deeply, think creatively, and quickly retrieve past learning.  See what a math class looks like when you redesign it around two goals: to empower students to learn how to learn, and to prepare students for a technology-rich future.

Starting from Scratch

Perhaps you missed the online math boat when it sailed, or maybe you just have to prepare to teach a new course online for the first time. How can you get ready for this monumental task if you are starting with no digital materials? Here are some tips to get you moving on what might otherwise seem like a high expectation.

Teaching from the Online Calculus Trenches

Calculus is a difficult course to learn when you are in a traditional classroom. Move the course online, and not only is it hard, but there are a multitude of technical obstacles to overcome. How do students show work? How do you effectively communicate mathematical concepts on a text-based message board? How can you provide instruction so that students actually watch and listen? I don’t claim to have all the answers, but certainly my experiences over the last year have provided some. My avatar reminds students about important events. I’ve figured out how to get paper tests back in the hands of students electronically with little fuss. My students have learned some HTML and how to use online screencast programs to share their work and help each other. If you’re planning to put one of these graphics-intensive math courses online, I can help you flatten the learning curve.

Using the Internet to Spice Up Your Math Class

During this interactive presentation, we explore a collection of math-related materials including digital libraries, open courseware, interactive demos, clever videos, and new search methods. You should be able to go home and begin immediately incorporating material into any of your math courses.

The Missing MathType Manual

Many of us use an equation editor or MathType to make documents for our math classes. But do you really know how to use MathType? Maybe you do, but maybe you’re missing something a few details that would’ve made your life so much easier … if you had only known!

Tablet PCs and Digital Pens

In this workshop we’ll look at how can you get the most out of your Tablet PC (or peripheral tablet) during classroom time or in online math classes. We’ll also look at some novel uses of digital pens in the classroom.

Blogology: Self-Education, Reflective Thinking, and Mass Storage

Bloggers filter an avalanche of information about teaching, mathematics, technology, and many other subjects into a concentrated feed of short articles. Many academic blog authors start their blogs in their own personal quest to learn or reflect on their teaching, research, or learning. There are math blogs, for example, about teaching math with technology, math trivia, research in abstract algebra, math education, and math in the news. A blog is simply a website housing an archive of articles. To begin sampling the math blogosphere, all you really need is the Internet, some blog addresses to get you started, and some way to bookmark some of your favorite blogs. The presentation will highlight a representative selection of ten math blogs (from a longer list of math blogs that will be provided to participants). In order to use blog reading as an ongoing professional development routine, participants will also be given some guidance for participating (commenting) on blogs and a tutorial on the use of a blog reader and RSS feeds to manage their reading. Not everyone will be satisfied with just reading and commenting on blogs. By starting your own blog, you can begin a focused study on a particular topic, find a community of like-minded enthusiasts, or just perform routine brain dumps for those moments when you feel like an absent-minded-professor. Advice will be given about blogging without getting yourself into trouble with your academic institution. Blogging isn’t for everyone, but at least blog reading should be!
Many of the talks for General Audiences can also be tailored specifically to math faculty.