Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Out to the students

We've distributed out to the students instructions on how to install Maple on their laptop before they arrive in class. Normally (and in the future, one hopes) this will be part of the tablet image that goes on to the computer before the student receives it or gets repaired but the IT department has been swamped. The process is easy (agree to everything, basically) but it does take about 20 minutes.
One of the big concerns with Maple is that it is a huge program; it takes about 30 seconds to get up and running. One wishes that there was some kind of staged loading, so that it would pop up immediately and then bring in things over time. The context menu pops up rather slowly, too, but much faster than previous version. If we're going to make the change so that this is the mathematical scratchpad then the faster things are, the less chance the tech gets in the way of student problem solving.
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