Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Precursor to PCMI


I've had the opportunity to come early to Park City and help set things up: there's actually a lot of infrastructure to put in to place. With (at least) 7 different groups running simultaneously around the conference centre, there's the usual classroom/lecture facilities to complete but nowadays we add on a considerable amount of technology: LCD projectors, wireless & wired networks, speaker systems, the typical. And, because we're mathematicians... a lot of chalk boards and coloured chalk. Lots. And old school overhead projectors.
But in the teacher room, because we've got at least 60 participants spread across 12 tables, we have a desk-based microphone/speaker system so that they can hear each other across the room, two Mimio electronic whiteboards (an excellent alternative to Smartboards!) tied into an ELMO document camera and three LCD projectors and, because we break this large room up into three smaller rooms, the need to have it all work as a common space and as separate rooms. Lots of cabling criss-crossing the room that has to be taped down.
So that's my first week - the participants all start to arrive on Sunday. I'm lucky that there are a number of returning folk along with the rest of the staff; it's good to see old friends! Most folks have the chance to come back for a second year -- and if you come back for a third you're conscripted to help out working with the new teachers.
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