Friday, December 14, 2012

Lead on a project.

I have a lead on a project; an editor is needed to convert a teacher's guide on how to teach math to K-6 student into a digital version. Email me (robert.weston.82@gmail.com) for more information.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Job Opportunity: Professors Needed -- General Chemistry, Survey of Statistics (Midtown)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Professors Needed -- General Chemistry, Survey of Statistics (Midtown). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist new york | all jobs search "math" at December 13, 2012 at 02:41PM

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Job Opportunity: Freelance Writers Job at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Rolling Meadows, IL)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Freelance Writers Job at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Rolling Meadows, IL). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via Freelance jobs | Simply Hired at December 11, 2012 at 03:32AM

Monday, December 10, 2012

Job Opportunity: Part-time Math/Science Instructor (Bellevue, WA)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Part-time Math/Science Instructor (Bellevue, WA). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist seattle | education/teaching jobs search "math" at December 10, 2012 at 03:07PM

Job Opportunity: Part-time Math/Science Instructor (Northgate)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Part-time Math/Science Instructor (Northgate). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist seattle | education/teaching jobs search "math" at December 10, 2012 at 03:03PM

Teaching - Week 0 (Preview Week)

I mentioned before that I'm teaching a course online at my home institution. I've taught this course before (a developmental Mathematics course), but I've found that things are going a bit better this time around. Our term started on 12/8, so we're only on the third day of the course. Next Monday I'll pull some reports and post some summary statistics on student logins. While they're not the most advanced of learning analytics, they do point to useful trends.

The week before the online term starts is called Preview Week, where students have access to their courses, but not any of the graded assignments or activities. This is primarily so that students can access the syllabus, get a feel for the course layout, the instructor, and what the expectations of participating in the course will be. In addition to the normal professor bio, course outline, and term specific syllabus, I included:

  • A screen-capture video (with webcam inset) of myself going over the course introduction information, and the syllabus. It turned out 18 minutes long, something I'm hoping to change in the future.
  • A recommended timeline of when I expect students to complete certain activities. I also provide alternate timelines if a student prefers using the Khan Academy videos I provide in the course.
  • Links to my RatemyProfessors.com profiles at the colleges I've taught at. Not all the reviews are flattering, but I believe being upfront with that information builds trust.
  • A Student Cafe (which is in all courses) where I ask students to post introductions. I'm hoping that using the Student Cafe in this way, rather than having a specific Introduction Forum (which we've done in the past) will create a 'path' for students, one they can travel later on during the course.
  • A short pre-assessment to allow me to gauge student abilities, and to jog their memory of different operations and concepts.
  • A poll to see if they have the textbook.
  • A Google Form on their likelihood of which course resources they believe they would use. They have all responded fairly positively to using most of the course resources, but I would like to compare their choices with their actual performance.
Students were not participating very much during the Preview Week. Thus I sent a fairly strongly worded email to them about the lack of participation on Friday, and how they should complete those activities before the graded material is assigned. This consisted of reporting on the number of students who completed the Preview Week activities, a very direct but non-judgmental method. That seemed to move most of them, getting about a 60% completion rate for all activities early on Monday. 

Will post next week on how Week 1 fared.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Job Opportunity: Attn: Core Curriculum Experts, Pre K-12 - All Subjects (los angeles santa monica burbank earth )

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Attn: Core Curriculum Experts, Pre K-12 - All Subjects (los angeles santa monica burbank earth ). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist los angeles | writing gigs search "math" at December 08, 2012 at 12:25AM

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Coursera course not going as planned...

I'm currently enrolled in Computational Investing, Part I, offered through Coursera, taught by Tucker Balch from Georgia Institute of Technology. I signed up for a few reasons; to learn more about MOOCs, to use some of the techniques and methods in my personal investing, and to learn a bit of Python.

We are currently in Week 5 (out of 8) and I just got this message:

Hello all,

Module 2 for Week 5 has been released. 

Due to our delay in releasing content, I've asked that the course be extended one week. Thanks for your patience in our content creation.

Tucker
So far in this class we've had one assignment that the professor offered up in a video, and in the discussion forum, but had no way to collect it, other than email. There was some outcry by students about being confused as to how to submit the assignment. Over the next few days the assignment was fleshed out, and an assignment page was presented. I didn't attempt the assignment, it being a paper trading exercise, using the Sharpe Ratio, something I've played with before.

There are also supposed to be programming assignments in the course, using Python, and some custom software. While there have been videos demonstrating how to install the required software, there haven't been any assignments, and actual demonstrations of using the software have been minimal.

This is quite different than the Computing for Data Analysis course I took through Coursera, where the vast majority of content and assignments were ready ahead of time. There was a hiccup with the first assignment, but it was fixed fairly quickly.

In no way am I faulting Tucker Balch for the state of the course, but I do wish Coursera or GIT provided him an Instructional Designer, or a Project Manager to flesh out the course before it was offered. In my experiences teaching face-to-face and online, its clear that the content creation part of an online course is weeks, if not months, before that of a face-to-face course, which is usually in class. This is a fundamental paradigm shift, one I don't think was conveyed to Professor Balch.

One thing that has gotten progressively better in the course are his videos. They've become a bit more planned out, and it seems that he is editing his own videos giving him finer control, and making him more comfortable on screen. I do wish he would change out the songs each week/module.

Job Opportunity

Freelance Writing Opportunity for Leading Education Website

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/wri/3453437113.html

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Teen bank robber on YouTube gives us an insight into the 'Digital Native'.

You may have heard about the teen who robbed a bank, and posted about it on YouTube. The Consumerist blog makes a good point, emphasis mine:
Here we were, under the impression that today’s tech-savvy generation of young people know all about the social media and the Interwebs. But then why would a 19-year-old allegedly rob a bank and then post a YouTube video bragging about it — wearing the same clothes she wore during the heist — and expect no one would see it? SMH, TTYL, ROFL, etc.
While kids have access to varied technologies, I'm not entirely convinced that they know how to use them effectively. From my experiences with students, it seems that their understanding of the underlying technologies is severely lacking, and as a result, they have misconceptions of how their information is used, the difference between programs and browsers, what functionality is available on a program or site, how to troubleshoot issues, and ultimately how to do new things they haven't done before. These sufficiently advanced technologies appear to be magic to these 'digital natives', and students treat them as such.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Job Opportunity: Director of Content Services (Portland, Oregon)

Saw this ad and thought you all might be interested: Director of Content Services (Portland, Oregon). I know as much as the ad says, and am not affiliated with the poster. Good luck! via craigslist portland | all jobs search "instructional design" at December 03, 2012 at 01:58PM