Archive for December, 2008

Using TW + Wikispaces

December 16, 2008

Like many other profs, I started using the internet by posting lecture outlines online – PDFs of PowerPoint slides.  But a friend of mine who knows something about the web asked why I didn’t just email the files, since I was using the web purely as a distribution mechanism.  Good point!  The potential benefit of the web over emailed PDFs would lie in converting the slides into linked pages, so that students could navigate from one idea to a related idea, or between multiple instances of a single idea, rather than having stacks of slides organized in one linear fashion.  The logical structure of the material is web-like, so why shouldn’t it’s physical structure online be web-like?  So I started making webpages to go along with presentation slides.

Immediately I ran into a problem. (more…)

Student Notebook

December 16, 2008

I like to use slides in lecture because I think it can help students follow the argument – to see its logical structure.  So long as there isn’t too much text on the screen, it can be helpful to be able to see how I distinguish the different points I’m making, and to note when I’m moving from one point to another, and to see that one point is a “level 1” point, while another is a “level 2” point.  I also want to provide these slides to the students, because I don’t want them to feel that they have to furiously scribble down everything I say.  If they have my slides, then they can have more time to listen and think and ask questions in class, because they only have to take notes to fill in the details, to make comments or indicate questions, and so on.  

Once students have my slides, however, there is a question about how they integrate their own notes with my slides. (more…)