Well, it all went to hell in a handbasket in the last quarter, didn’t it? Completely lost the thread of the blog.
On the positive side, I have a job for next year: on the down side I don’t know what I’m teaching. Up side – there will be students. Down side – over 30 per class, so 150 students. Upside – we wills till have the health-science bias. Downside – also mixing in 3 other small schools for which we have done no special planning.
So I am learning WeBWorK over the summer. I’m learning Matlab over the summer. I signed up for the Standford Educ115N MOOC (Dan’s recommendation). I’ve got to have something that doesn’t require me to waste my time writing corrections on papers that children ignore. This year I noticed that students were willing to correct items if they could still get 100%, and if the corrections came from the computer. If the school powers let me teach math or physics, then WeBWorK does that for me. I’m hoping that what I write is generic enough to be used in any one of the classes. If they give me the nebulous courses with no curriculum again, I will concentrate on math instead of English. The English teacher last year got way too much credit for improving English scores, so I am willing to release him on his own recognizance for next year. Ha! Our kids desperately need help with math to get them out of the 5th percentile.
And Matlab is what universities use for Engineering. I introduced LOGO and Scratch last semester (it took me 3 months to get them loaded onto our computers): we need more programming experience. I refer to all these as “programming applications,” because programming in our state has to be taught by a computer science certified teacher, whereas applications can be taught by any certified teacher. Gosh yes, I’d love to see the English teacher try to teach any of the above. Sadly, I don’t know of any computer programmers who then went on to get a teaching certificate – they are not completely crazy. So our kids never get to learn actual programming ( yes, 10 years ago the math teachers taught Java, and Basic. Kids don’t get the opportunity now. So sad).