Ed Price: digital lab notebooks

Ed talked about the research he’s done looking at how students can learn while using electronic lab notebooks. Some conclusions included needed a 1-1 environment, needing software that can handle data, graphs, and handwritten notations, and that One Note is a good option for a lot of this. Unfortunately the recording didn’t work out that well (it appears his audio wasn’t captured) but you can see the slide deck at least.

This week we’re talking with Noah Finkelstein. His title is “Why physics should engage” and his abstract is:
Significant, perhaps unprecedented, attention is being paid to the needs for transformation within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at the undergraduate level. This talk examines how higher education STEM disciplines, and physics departments in particular, are positioned to contribute to these discussions. I will review the growth of our own program in physics education research (PER) at CU-Boulder. This work develops a new theoretical line of inquiry in physics education research through experimental work at the individual, the course, and the departmental scales. I present samples of these scales reviewing: how we can build on understanding of student reasoning to study and transform our upper division courses (E/M and advanced laboratories), studies of how our environments do and do not support women in physics, and time permitting, an examination of what the data say about teaching physics through a massively open online course (MOOC).

Here’s the link to register/join

David Roundy: partial derivative machine

David walked us though how he uses the “partial derivative machine” to help primarily with thermodynamics but also with some thoughts about both intro- and advanced-courses.

Here’s the recording.

This week (9/24) we’ll be talking with Stephen Collins about his project called The Socratic Brain (“Creating a differentiated, standards-based, collaborative classroom using Socratic Brain software”). Please join us (register here).

Chad Dorsey: Concord Consortium

We talked with Chad about the various resources that are available to physics teachers at the Concord Consortium. He showed us some cool innovations such as how nearly all their simulations now work in HTML 5.

Here’s the recording. Note that our new venue (Big Marker) doesn’t record when people share their screen, so there’s not a lot to see at this recording. We’re still trying to figure out the kinks, thanks for bearing with us during this transition.

This week (9/17) we’ll be talking with David Roundy from Oregon State who will tell us about using the “partial derivative machine” to help teach partial derivatives, specifically in thermo/statistical physics.

Evan Weinberg: automated reassessments

Evan talked with us about his efforts to automate the reassessment process in his Standards-Based Grading implementation. He has coded a system where students earn “credits” that they can cash in to do a reassessment. He talked about how it works out with his students and he showed us the javascript framework (meteor) that he’s learned while doing this.

Here’s the recording.

Gerry Ruch: automated urban astronomy

Gerry told us about the University of St. Thomas’ efforts to build and use a fully automated 17″ astronomical telescope. He described how they dealt with vibrations (it’s mounted on the top of a parking garage), alignment, automation, outreach, and pedagogy. The ultimate goal is to let students from anywhere make a job and then analyze the data.

Here’s the recording.

We’re off for the next few weeks. Our calendar (found on our blog) should be up to date.

Eugenia Etkina: ISLE-based teaching and new textbook

We talked Eugenia Etkina about the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) and the new textbook she has spent more than a decade developing to support ISLE teaching. 
Here’s the recording link.This week (4/2 9:30 pm ET) we’ll be talking with Gerry Ruch about his work installing a share-able telescope in an urban environment.

Physics Student Journal Club #1

We talked with Jim Reardon about his work on optimizing running 400m and 800m track races. We talked about various physical models and talked about how we can use relatively simple models to investigate complex phenomena. Jim is happy to continue to interact with any students with questions, simply send questions to Andy Rundquist (firstname.lastname@gmail).

Here’s the recording.

This week (3/26) we’ll be hosting Eugenia Etkina to talk about her new calculus based physics text. Join us!