It features Professor Skip Garibaldi talking about the mathematics of rock climbing and I immediately tagged it to use when teaching proportion. But then as I thought about it, I thought this might be the perfect guy to be my first Skype connection into my class. I searched and found his email address at Emory, then contacted him with the basic pitch. We traded a few emails and we'll be Skyping on Wednesday, September 1st.

You can read a little bit more about Professor Garibaldi on this post on the class blog, where I gave my students some background information to help them develop some questions for him. The basic structure is that he's going to talk for five to ten minutes about rock climbing, or the lottery, or mathematics, or learning in general, then we'll ask him a few questions. Students submitted questions via a Google Form, and I was going to try to use Google Moderator to have them vote on them, but I had trouble getting it to work the way I wanted it to, so I ended up selecting the questions myself.

- How do you define “math?” How would you describe what “math” is to non-mathematicians? -Me
- Does learning about things that interest you, like rock climbing and the lottery help you learn/teach better? -Kara
- Can you recall an analysis/equation that was particularly frustrating for you to work on and what did you do to work through it. -Gabby
- If you dropped out of high school as a sophomore, how could you go on and graduate and get a bachelor's degree and a PhD? -Ashley
- What made you realize the connection between algebra and rock climbing? -Mackenzie
- If you were playing the lottery with, say, 5-10 tickets, what effect would that have on the risk? -Caleb

We're keeping it to about twenty minutes for several reasons, not the least of which is that he has to teach a class twenty-four minutes after we start. We'll see how it goes, but I'm hopeful the students will find it interesting and meaningful.

Here's part of the email I sent Professor Garibaldi describing what I hoped we get out of this:

I'm hoping to accomplish three main things by inviting folks such as yourself to skype in:

1. Give them an idea of "when are we ever going to use this?"

2. Have someone who is passionate about math (and learning) talk about how they use/think about math/learning. (And hopefully get them more excited about math and learning.)

3. Expose them to professionals from a variety of backgrounds (and geographic areas) to expand their view of the world and what's possible.If we touch on one or all of these, I'll consider it a success. Depending on a few things, I'm hoping to ustream it out for parents to view as well, so you're welcome to tune in on our ustream channel. We'll be skyping from approximately 9:21 - 9:41 am Mountain Time (PLC day for us, so late start) on Wednesday, September 1st.

Oh, I also have to say that I think this (see the entry for September 1st) is kinda cool.

I think your class being able to skype with Professor Garibaldi would be very beneficial. Students do need a way to see that you do eventually use math in places other than the classroom. I personally never liked math until I reached algebra, but I think it would have helped me and others to have someone, like Professor Garibaldi, explain the helpful use of math/learning. What you are doing with your class is a very good idea, and more teachers should think in this way to reach out to their students.

ReplyDeleteI love that you're making your algebra interactive. Your students came up with some great questions for Professor Garibaldi. I also peeked at your Algebra 2010-2011 site and I like how you have used technology in your classroom. I teach 6th grade math and have wondered how to incorporate the web and math. I always thought my students are too young or it would be difficult to set up, but you seem to be doing a great job. Thank you for sharing!

ReplyDeleteI think this is a very interesting and exciting way to make math fun for your students. They will be able to talk to someone who uses math everyday in a fun way and hopefully it will hope them realize that math can be fun. Hopefully they will all be able to take something positive away from this activity. Good Luck!

ReplyDeleteI think any time you can make education interesting for your students, it's a positive. It's also showing the skills in practical use, which shows your students that they will need and use those skills in daily life. Kids get discourage when they think they are learning things that they will never use. I think what your doing is a great way to keep your students interested and involved. They now see the importance of getting their education, and it's easier because the students are interested.

ReplyDeleteI think any time you can make education interesting for your students, it's a positive. It's also showing the skills in practical use, which shows your students that they will need and use those skills in daily life. Kids get discourage when they think they are learning things that they will never use. I think what your doing is a great way to keep your students interested and involved. They now see the importance of getting their education, and it's easier because the students are interested.

ReplyDeleteI think any time you can make education interesting for your students, it's a positive. It's also showing the skills in practical use, which shows your students that they will need and use those skills in daily life. Kids get discourage when they think they are learning things that they will never use. I think what your doing is a great way to keep your students interested and involved. They now see the importance of getting their education, and it's easier because the students are interested.

ReplyDelete