Monday, February 6, 2012

Winter Meeting: Monday Afternoon - Popular Media and Online Courses

After some In-N-Out Burger goodness, we're back to "How I Use Popular Media in Teaching Physics"

I've seen more people with tablet computers (not 'toy' tablets, but actual PCs) than I have since I taught at an all-tablet school!  I love my Lenovo tablet!

Angry Bird Physics

  • Rhett Allain!
  • This vehicle for engagement and analysis has been pretty well-covered (certainly very well by Rhett himself) in the blogs and even mainstream media, but I wanted to get it straight from the horse's mouth :)
  • A little Tracker analysis - I love using the quadratic fit rather than even the v vs t slope - kids often think that you can get the v directly from the video, not even knowing that there's an error-inducing difference quotient in there
  • The split blue birds have a total mass 45 times the mass of a single blue bird?!
  • The yellow bird analysis (what happens when you tap?) is a decent entry-way into designing an experiment that will need revision (it's not immediately clear what's going on and how to analysis the data), but it would really take a long time to collect all of that data, and I can see that many students would be disillusioned by that
  • The white bird egg dropping seems not only to use non-real physics (no problem), but it seems to reinforce some pernicious misconceptions (the egg always falls straight down, momentum's not conserved even in a conceptual way, etc.).  This may do more damage than it's worth, considering that students usually remember the first thing they see/hear, and that we've previously set up a few examples to illustrate that the physics is (sometimes, at least) good in this game
  • Good point that this requires indirect techniques, which is very indicative of science - we can't just weigh the rock, but have to come up with a way to get at what we want by measuring what we're able to measure
  • Contact: 
Next, I slide over to the "Online Physics Courses: Technology, Assessment, and Experiences" session:

Transforming Physics Curriculum by Teaching Physics Online
  • First point: online learning needs to be personal - tailored to the student, flexible, etc.
  • Star Trek IV clip!
  • Interesting: he's not afraid of making a statement.  So far, he's said that electronic books, regular books, and clickers are a dead end
  • Biggest point is that changing the content isn't the answer - it's about how the content is taught
  • The classroom needs to be a safe space where students can learn and discuss without the fear of punitive grading - sounds like SBG to me!
  • His vision seems to be about social media more than anything else 
  • OK, here it is: the social homework project
  • It's supposed to enable students to collaborate on their physics HW and to learn from each other.  There are peer-review, group solving, and discussion capabilities for rich-context problems, and they write problems and questions for other groups as well
  • It looks like a Facebook app/group for collaboration, basically.  Everything seems to be in an early form yet
  • A questioner brings up a common issue with discussion forums: frequently, a well-meaning student will "give away" the solution - this requires management and acculturation
  • Contact: hlousek@csulb.edu
Particle Physics Online
  • This is about a CSU-wide online course in particle physics (senior undergraduate level)
  • They used Elluminate, with downloaded equation packet, live lecture with video camera with some whiteboard space.
  • They scanned and sent in HW, he sent back scores only
  • Tests were given live, by local faculty as proctors
  • Could any research-inspired methods be incorporated here?  Is that less important as the audience is winnowed down to upper UG physics majors and grad students?
  • Contact: pbsiegel@csupomona.edu
Online and Blended Climate Change Courses for Educators from AMNH
  • This is about some courses developed in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History and NASA
  • They aren't inquiry courses, but say that they try to model it
  • They're using a stripped-down and more accessible version of the global climate model
  • Good lessons here about bringing together model, theory, observation, causality, etc.
  • rsteiner@amnh.org
Tabletop Kits Help Students Grasp Concepts in Light

  • These kits are designed for students taking distance (or face-to-face) courses as a relatively simple way to get hands-on intuition about light
  • There's color mixing, diffraction spectra (glasses), some LEDs to demo things
  • Neat experiment using two LEDs to simulate amber light - very different spectra
  • Spectra about CFL backlit monitors
  • Apertures to develop the ray model of light - good conceptual question about a hole at the end of a hallway
  • Pupil aperture size/power
  • Point vs. extended sources through apertures, also with shadows
  • Neat question giving two point sources, location of shadow components on screen - where's the shadow-caster?
  • Ray tracing to determine image location with flat, curved (cylindrical) mirrors
  • Photoelectric-type effect: UV making paper glow green, red light won't
  • Peacock feather for iridescence
  • Increases engagement, but doesn't always transfer - more mental-model creation needed in structure of investigations
  • millspaj@ipfw.edu
We'll be back after dinner!

    1 comment:

    1. Online courses is preferred mostly by working personals, soldiers, home maker and physically disabled persons. In today's scenario Online Graduate Program give more benefit to students particularly for those who can not attend the regular class and wish to advance in their career.

      ReplyDelete