Podcasts R Us

Posted on March 22, 2017

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https://www.insidehighered.com/audio/2017/03/22/pulse-app-algebra  is 24 minutes about a guy and an algebra app that he says is the first on the planet like it — you get to drag and drop things to solve algebra equations.  (Start at 18:30 and you can be spared the l-a-b-o-r-i-o-u-s background… )    I share his mystification about the underuse of the media (like me, he thinks Khan Academy is a dronefest) but … actually, doesn’t the “Dragon” algebra software pretty much do that?

I also share his appreciation for the visual-kinesthetic fluency aspect of algebra, and his disdain for teaching students the whole “add 3 to both sides of the equation” — and then stopping there, when they’re doing everything by hand, one step at a time.   I do wonder how much understanding gets lost if people just jump to “move it over and change the sign” too quickly — but it’s a wonder, not an assumption.   Could be that it really does cut the cognitive load without cutting the understanding… or it could be that it turns into a process like changing a mixed number into an improper fraction — motor memory, but often without a *clue* as to what the numbers mean?  I wonder if it helps with understanding the importance of that equals sign thing…

Wonder if he’s ever stumbled on the OER community and the idea that sharing the code, etc. could mean better things could evolve…

Time to get out of rabbit holes and back to Camtasia.

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