Tag Archive for 9x9x25

Open Source

For my final 9x9x25 blog, I wanted to talk a little about publisher material and Open Educational Resources.  In our department (and throughout the college) we have been using expensive materials from Pearson.  My college algebra course costs about the same in tuition as it does for students to buy the text, and with money being tight with many of our students, this is unacceptable.

In Florida, many schools have adopted open source textbooks.  I looked into OER a few years ago, and found the materials to be good, but there are very few practice problems to assign, you have to manually grade everything (tough to do online as students must also figure out a way to submit written work), and the text is not in an order that fits with our objectives.  However, one school put together a text of their own for College Algebra through Canvas.  The creator stated that it was a ton of work, and it was made easier by dividing up the tasks between many interested faculty.  She pulled in a ton of different resources from different places, giving examples like Khan Academy and MyOpenMath. 


A reflection for the last post
It is what I enjoy most

Not the reflection part
I state this from the heart

It is the last post
That I will be giving a toast

The time has been busy for sure
But, I didn’t mind the detour

It was all about the education
During this whole duration

Not Waving, but Drowning: A short story starring Tom Hanks

I know you’ve seen this movie.  You know, the one where there’s this guy stranded on a deserted island and time goes by.  At first, he doesn’t seem to know how to survive, but as his rescue starts to become increasingly more unlikely, he becomes increasingly more resourceful.  He learns to, you know, like harvest and consume the flaking sun-burned skin on the back of his eye lids as a source of protein, along with tree bark, his own finger nails, and eventually even the thin sheet metal from the wreckage of the plane that dumped him there in the first place.  (Hey, a guy’s gotta get his iron intake from somewhere if he ever plans to build muscle).  The pitiful man on the brink of isolation-induced psychosis is usually played by Tom Hanks, or someone else whom we just like so darn much that it breaks our heart to see him out there all alone in the middle of nowhere and perhaps never coming back.  (Although, lately, this role has found its way to the likes of Blake Lively and others of her stripe, and the dangerous island is replaced by a tiny rock and a Great White shark, for obvious reasons (i.e., teenage boys don’t want to look at Tom Hanks, and a whole island provides way too many options to maintain the microscopic attention spans of the types of people who came to see Blake Lively).

Racializing The Bird. And Creating an Organizational Culture of Happiness.

Whew.  The last 9x9x25 post of the semester.  What to write about?  So many topics, so few sentences.
So, I choose to briefly discuss two discoveries I made this week.

While browsing my phone, I discovered one could “emoji” the finger (aka, the bird).  But to my chagrin and perturbation, I saw that this crude symbol has also been racialized–that is, you can flip off someone on the internet in a variety of skin tones, which could take on a number of meanings, none of which could be good.  This is what my research turned up:

“The Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended emoji supports skin tone modifiers. A yellow (or other non-human) skin tone should be shown by default, unless an emoji modifier is applied.”
I share this not to be provocative (ok, maybe a little…but I got your attention!), but to draw attention that bigotry is alive and well, and unfortunately on the rise.  We–the human race–have found yet another way to denigrate each other, based on nothing other than the color of our skin (over which we have no personal control).  This discovery–and its potential to stir up hatred and turmoil, at both a group and personal level–truly saddens me. 😢

The role of the professor in discussion boards

By Samantha Fitch

This is less of a post that muses about teaching or blogging, and more of a question for those of you experienced online professors. In attempting to engage students, and particularly in attempting to attain an element of that near-impossible feeling of being a cohesive online group (as you would foster in a real classroom), I’ve been assigning some online discussion boards. I’ve already mentioned that, next time, I’ll try to implement even more student-involved and personalized elements, like video or group work. However, I am a bit perplexed as to the professor’s role in an online discussion board assignment. For example, I had been posting a response to a few students’ comments, when I particularly agreed or when I felt they were missing something that was key to their understanding.