higher education

Why clickers?

June 19, 2009

A good little post by Derek Bruff recently details his arguments why clickers are useful in college classrooms.  If you’re a skeptic, or trying to convince a skeptic, it’s worth checking out his post We’ve also got a video that shows many of these same points — here that is. Once again, here are a […]

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What does the digital world mean for today’s college classrooms?

June 15, 2009

I guess that I’m the last person to see this, but this YouTube video on digital technology and college education from Kansas State University made the rounds a while back.  It’s a very moving presentation of how distanced students feel from their own learning and the role that technology plays in that. From a teacher’s […]

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Gender bias in teacher evaluations

May 2, 2009

I’m at the American Physical Society conference in Denver this weekend (a nice way to spend a rainy weekend) and heard a very interesting talk this morning by Zahra Hazari, from Clemson University on gender bias in how students evaluate their teachers.  It was a very nice study, iwth very interesting results.  She asked male […]

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Learning depends on what you already know

April 15, 2009

Firstly, I just have to say how beautiful the view is outside the airplane window right now.  It’s been an extraordinarily bumpy ride on my trip from San Francisco back to Denver, and I’m a real nail-biter when it comes to turbulence.  But now we are above the clouds and the sky is white with […]

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Pi day is just around the corner… are you ready?

March 11, 2009

Gosh, I’m posting a pi day post just FOUR DAYS before pi day.  Heavens.  Well, any teachers reading this aren’t going to be preparing until the night before, right?  Besides, pi day is, sadly, on a Saturday this year, so you can always cheat and do it on Monday if you need to! So, yes, […]

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Body metrics: Helping students learn the metric system

February 21, 2009

Students really struggle with the metric system.  I know I still do.  I have a rough iea of how long an inch is, and how long a foot is, but I don’t have a great sense of how long a centimeter or meter is.  In this episode of Science Teaching Tips, TI staff educator Lori […]

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More crazy ideas

February 12, 2009

Look at this picture.  What will happen to the balloon when we push the cart forward, and why?  (Don’t watch the video first — come up with ideas and reasons first). Make as many predictions, and reasons, that you can, even if you don’t believe them all. Remember that coming up with the right explanation […]

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Classroom Clickers and the Cost of Technology

February 11, 2009

There’s been a quite interesting (and sometimes vitriolic) exchange of ideas on the usefulness (and cost) of clickers in college classrooms, in which I recently took part.  A “clicker,” for those of you who haven’t heard of them yet, is just a little device which lets an instructor take a real-time poll of the class.  […]

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Let’s Find Out!

February 10, 2009

We’re up to Episode 67 of the Science Teaching Tips podcast! Woo hoo, over a year of science education podcasts!  This one is with one of the most brilliant folks at the Exploratorium (and that’s saying a lot) — Dr. Thomas Humphrey makes my brain spin.  And it’s because he’s just so interested in so […]

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Ask a science education question

December 2, 2008

I just found out about a neat free service for science educators.  It’s mostly for those in Colorado, but those outside Colorado are welcome to use it as well.  It’s a free email servicer for teachers to ask questions directly of a science education expert, who will go out and find the answer for you.  […]

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Workshop: Chemistry of Water

November 24, 2008

A free workshop for educators on December 9th from the National Science Digital Library: This Web Seminar will focus on dynamic online resources you can use to teach your students about the chemistry of water through the NSDL Chemical Education Digital Library. Join presenters Dr. John Moore, W. T. Lippincott Professor and director of the […]

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How to write assessments for students to learn how to learn

November 20, 2008

This is the last in a series of three posts on Dan Schwartz’s work on preparation for future learning, or helping students learn skills instead of rote facts so that they can apply their knowledge to new situations. All pictures in this post are courtesy of Dan Schwartz. Contrasting cases In the previous post, I […]

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32 education blogs

November 9, 2008

Richard Hake (of Physics Education Research fame) has just posted a very nice list of 32 education blogs, fully annotated with useful descriptions of the content and author of each blogs. Includes blogs on eLearning, how people learn, mathematics education research, and more. UPDATE 12.1.08  Hake has now posted an updated list of 60 education […]

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Hey neat! (OR The importance of hooking your students’ interest)

November 7, 2008

I had the great pleasure to work at the Exploratorium with a wide variety of master teachers, each with their own unique style.  I learned something new from each one of them.  What I learned most from Modesto Tamez —  who taught K-12 science with aplomb for 18 years — was about how to work […]

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New approaches to learning physics

November 3, 2008

Here is a nice video about how MIT has transformed their undergraduate physics classes using group work. This has been a very successful approach, though not without its critics. You can see my previous post on Twisting the Ivory Tower to see more about reforms in undergraduate courses, including this SCALE-UP approach. I have another […]

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[NASW] Talking machines

October 26, 2008

[CASW New Horizons: How talking machines can manipulate our brains, Clifford Nass] I usually hate hearing about robots, I find pure technogeek stuff incredibly boring. But talk to me about research on the human brain and behavior and I’m rapt. This was an incredible talk with a constellation of research studies on how speech and […]

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More research on stereotypes and learning

October 16, 2008

I’m siting right now in a fascinating meeting for my physics education group, and we’re hearing about research on stereotype threat, which I’ve written about before. Stereotype threat is the idea that when you spark cultural stereotypes (like “girls aren’t good at math”) then those people get very stressed about their performance, feeling that however […]

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The Physics Source – for Intro Physics

September 10, 2008

Posted from the PHYSLRNR listserv.  This resource looks very nice, useful and well-organized.  You can browse by topic (looking for a teaching activity on atomic physics?) as well as a wealth of other resources (click on PER-Support to look for assessments or how to use active engagement in the classroom). The AAPT, through COMPADRE has […]

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Upcoming FREE NSDL web seminars on science!

September 10, 2008

Again, for you K-12 educators out there… did you know the NSDL and NSTA offers free web seminars on science topics? These are very nicely done workshops, I’ve been to one, with a live presenter and chance to simulchat with other participants. Here’s the schedule Web Seminar 1 Date: Thursday, September 25, 2008 Time: 6:30-8:00 […]

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Everyday language helps students learn

August 29, 2008

A new study at Stanford finds that using everyday language helped students learn. The results are only preliminary, since it was a small study and they don’t have a lot of data on students’ english language proficiency, but it is still an interesting and promising bit of research. An excerpt from the Stanford Report tells […]

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