education

On-line courses were a still a new phenomenon when I was teaching full-time. Our school was pretty gung-ho about on-line education but many instructors were skeptical, some were still lamenting having to learn how to use a computer and losing the services that used to be provided by departmental secretaries. Other instructors simply distrusted the entire idea, seeing distance learning as the equivalent of an educational scam, a kind of "get rich quick scheme" that would allow the school to collect more tuition dollars without paying instructors.

I never did teach an on- ... Read more

I love using molecular structures as teaching tools. They're beautiful, they're easy to obtain, and working with them is fun.

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But working with molecular structures as an educators can present some challenges. The biggest problem is that many of the articles describing the structures are not accessible, particularly those published by the ACS (American Chemical Society). I ... Read more

The University of Virginia does.

They survey students every year to find out what they're up to tech-wise. Apparently 99% of their first year students own computers.

And, a large majority of those computers are laptops (3058/3113 or 98%).

And, what's on those laptops? Let's have a drum roll:

60% have Windows VISTA
26% have Mac OS X
12% have Windows XP

and, 2% or less have something else - like Linux.

This is why I really, really, want good web-based ... Read more

The Wired Campus has an interesting article on nursing students at Tacoma Community College. In John Miller's class, the students practice interviewing patients in Second Life.

This sort of activity, of course, is one that could be carried out in a classroom, but I can see the advantages of having student interview other "people" who are for the most part, strangers. It will be a different and valuable experience. Read more

Congratulations to George Cachianes (who I've written about before), his amazing students from Abraham Lincoln High School, and collaborators at UCSF!

These students, from a public high school no less, placed in the top 6 finalists, along with only one other US team. The other top teams were: Peking University (China), University of Science and Technology (China), University of Paris (France), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), and UC Berkeley. I'm really impressed that these public high school students managed ... Read more

For many years, I had my biotech students do projects where each group of students would analyze their own data, in addition to all of the data gathered by the class. I would draw a table on the white board and each group would enter their data. At the end of the class, all the groups would copy all the results into their notebooks, then analyze them in Microsoft Excel.

This worked pretty well, but it wasn't perfect. There were always cases where one group would be really slow, or someone had to leave early, or I needed to use the board and couldn't.

And, this method ... Read more