focus, focus

Posted on March 20, 2018


(It’s not happening yet…)

I just sent this email to Power in Numbers:

Have you seen   in geogebra?  It’s a whole BOOK for GED …  The “Isle of Mathematics” looks to have a trove of good things, and Geogebra is CC-BY …

And I just saw a cool webinar (only because students aren’t here and I actually remembered) about the OpenStax math books.  Yes, a fair amount of it was about institutional details like “homework problems are expensive.”   What does that mean?  I *think* it means that things that do what ALEKS does still cost money, and chunks of it.

They talked about being able to have lots of contributors and lots of editors, to which I will cheer loudly and lengthily, being the kind of person who wants adverbs used correctly and who sobs at well-designed, well-intentioned stuff that doesn’t work well because … it’s still got wrinkles (not to mention any names, Connect and Canvas) and it leaves students in the lurch too often.

They talked about how being “open” meant that a teacher could make a “how to” video and show chunks of text with utter impunity.   They showed a nice video about a function being moved over x and y, like I’ve been helping with this semester and b/c it’s visual, it’s more comprehensible.

So I asked — hating to have to think that fast – if they’d talked to people who knew from learning disabilities and ways for people like bright dyslexics to learn better b/c there is so much potential.   (Happily, I think I avoided my tendency to sound like I was attacking, hooray!  Note to self:   phrase in terms of potential…)

Response was “we have captioning.”

Then (as, no doubt, the fellow was also probably thinking, “I hate having to think this fast!”)  … that well, especially since they were interested in diving into developmental, that might be a good idea and they’d  be up for any suggestions.

I really, really, really wish (long list here).   I wish I were a math teacher (high risk since I’m not a prof that I’ll get listened to).   I wish I knew math teachers who would talk to me about this.

I wish the Open Stax folks would recognize what I’m pretty certain is true:   that if there were a course actually designed to be cognitively accessible, an “alternative to acceleration,”  to open *understanding* to the folks who may or may not have given up on that… that there would be people flocking to it.

I wish we could put together a team and create that course with ALEKS’   “adaptability,” but with multisensory learning infused into it.   Geogebra.   Concrete to Representational to Abstract.   We could start with a little research to figure out … the best place to start (the kind of course people need for certificates?   The algebra level?   … hello, Power in Numbers???)