ICTCM #10 Westpoint and Quality Presentations


Westpoint had a librarian who spoke about how she helps students make the best projects.

  • WP teachers talk about how to present accurately and effectively (this is a substantial Powerpoint. Nearly every slide seemed relevant. Some things were mathematical- watch your scale, only use pie charts if you have the same base. Some was visual- no spaghetti graphs,no exploded pie charts, don’t use pie charts just to compare sizes of pieces.
  • They talk about copyright and Creative Commons licensing
  • They have examples of students who have made lots of presentation errors. They use these to show students what happens if you do not draft and revise. The slides seem to work in preventing similar errors.



The presenter at one session gave interesting discussion about how cards in Magic-like games need to have their power in play be near their cost to acquire. Some variability is desired, but too much can destroy the game.

He then compared this with the fall of the Roman Republic. It was a very interesting metaphor.

The Magic-like game graph of cost versus power is a great example of linear fit, but both the students and me would have to learn more about it first.

Also, Racer 5 IPA is a little too mellow of an IPA. Again, it is smooth and I would get it again, but I prefer IPA’s to somehow be interesting.



Westpoint is doing some group assessment JL and SB attended sessions also.

Eric Gaze has great projects I will share with SS-S and SBt. I might use building a grade book as my project this semester. I might use unit conversions in future semesters. This was probably the most valuable session I attended.



bit.ly/opioidsUS has a great activity on opioids. The data is clearly piecewise- linear for several years and then exponential. I plan to redo day 3, or day 4 in Math 131 when we bridge from linear to exponential growth with a version of this activity. It could be changed into a project, too. Tom Reardon deserves credit for developing the activity.

A Demographics of Murder session was interesting, but would be better for a stat course since there is little correlation between guns and national murder rate, corruption and national murder rate, income inequality and national murder rate, or incarceration and national murder rate. When you only have a little time it is not great to have all “non-correlations.” I can probably get the data if anyone is interested.



The morning general session on Saturday had four panelists giving the past, present, and future of technology along with audience participation, and audience Q and A- all in 45 minutes. Not much in depth was done. There was also a lot of pushing of TI and Pearson solutions, which given the background of two panelists, was not shocking.

One thing I did learn about was Flipgrid. It seems essentially to be a video version of threaded discussion. I think you have to be careful about how you use it because one advantage of writing is you can see the length of a post quickly and parse quickly to a part you wish to reread. This is harder on video. On the other hand for some students creating a video response might be easier. Flipgrid claims they can add close captioning to student videos to meet accessibility requirements.



I went to a cell phone app presentation. I knew of all the apps presented. Ask me if you want students to use cell phones productively in class, I guess.  (Actually, I wish we had shared through the room since I think we could have learned something from each other).



Gary Rockswold was a little too general for my taste with his talk on reality and mathematics. He has given me lots of practical examples for class through his RPI and his xMAP eras though. It was an interesting talk, just not directly applicable to my teaching in the short term.

James Cliber gave an overview of the mathematics of solar cells. You can make finding the current depend on up to 5 angles depending on what you want to hold constant and how complicated you want a project to be. Hour of the day, latitude, date (declension angle), angle between the array and horizontal, and angle of the array off due south are all factors. I might play with this the next time I teach pre-calculus instead of the sunlight hours per day project.