Report on our “conquest of cold” experiment
So last night I went to bed having not received a single email from my students regarding my invitation to participate in our experiment in online learning today.
This morning I got the following email from one of my students.
Can I do this?
To which I replied, ABSOLUTELY.
The whole experiment went beautifully, I had a total of TWO, count em, TWO students turn out for a completely optional film and discussion about absolute zero. In addition, throughout the discussion, something like 4 other faculty, and my wonderful father in law showed up to participate as well, so at one point, our teacher to student ratio was hitting 4-1.
I’d say my first experiment at trying this was a success, and here are a couple of thoughts I have afterward:
- Backchannels are awesome. It would be totally simple to set one up when watching a video in class, and project it using a second borrowed projector. I think it would greatly add to what students are able to get out of watching a video, and take a make a fairly passive form of education far more interactive.
- All of this was very easy to do. My total time spent planning and setting this up was less than 10 minutes. It occurs to me that part of the power of the internet right now isn’t just that things are becoming powerful, they’re becoming easier to use. Just check out Frank Noschese’s post on how he was able to edit and assemble an awesome picture-in-picture video for free, using the web based video editor, Jaycut. If the last time you tried to do something on the web you found it to be frustrating and tedious, try again. You’ll likely be very surprised.
Now I’m thinking about how I can create more opportunities like this for my students. Could we have weekly sessions like this to learn about cool stuff in physics on the weekend for interested students? And how could I use this technology to go one step further and have students doing science remotely? We’ve got another snow day tomorrow, so maybe I’ll put something else together.
Since the Today’s Meet Transcript will expire in a week, I’ve posted the transcript below, if you’re interested in checking it out.