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Showing posts from July, 2014

External Reviews - Using two Notebooks, Link to Page and Send to OneNote

We're just about finished here at the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) and the afternoon professional development workshop creation process has only a few days left. The last big stage was actually this weekend when each group's work was sent out for an external review; those reviews have been coming in all weekend.
Using two OneNote Notebooks (one publicly readable but not editable and one for each group that they had complete control over) has worked extraordinarily well.  The participants can get at all the information that we present each day in the public NoteBook while at the same time they can read & write in their group NoteBook. For the external review, participants had to supply their Facilitator Guide and a PowerPoint, along with any of the other handouts.  They've been building the Guide right inside of OneNote using a table to format the plan.  The PowerPoint, on the other hand, was created using the Office WebApp in OneDrive -- this allowed particip…

Excel Surveys

One of the activities in Reflecting on Practice today involved developing question stems that would promote math talk.  We wanted a quick and easy way of collecting the sample question stems each participant had created -- a survey lets us distribute the typing and simplifies the redistribution for tomorrow's task.

In the past we would have used GoogleDocs because it puts the responses into a spreadsheet for easy analysis and distribution.  But, since we've been using Microsoft OneNote extensively, the majority of the participants have managed to get a Microsoft account and have started to use the OneDrive Web Apps for Word, Excel & PowerPoint.  Alongside the web-versions of the desktop apps, OneDrive offers the Excel Survey tool and already participants have been playing with the opportunities.

It's relatively easy to get started.  Click on the CREATE button in your OneDrive and you'll get the opportunity to create an online survey, with the entries going directly…

A one-off OneNote Notebook for a specific PD session

Each day as part of the 3-week Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI), we have a 75 minute session called "Reflecting on Practice".  We take the 60-or-so participants and break out into three smaller rooms of about 20 each, further subdividing them into 4 tables.

Each year we look at a teacher move and delve deeply into how and why.  This year's topic is "Discourse" or, more colloquially, "math talk".  In planning these sessions we have an obvious focus on good pedagogy - teachers learn by watching good models.  We are deliberate in our choices of how we have teachers collaborate, how they present their work and how they receive feedback.  Over the three weeks we try to showcase a variety of approaches and technologies.

Today's class asked participants to create a task with their partner that would specifically introduce a common error in the mathematics they taught (we run from Elementary through Secondary) and provide strategies for the teacher…

How long does it take? Working with OneNote and the OneDrive WebApps

At Appleby College, we've been using Microsoft OneNote for a l.o.n.g time now ... and structured shared OneNote Binders for two full academic years now.  Folks often ask how much time it takes for teachers to get accustomed to working with OneNote and shared documents in general.  Since we have the advantage of a 1:1 tablet program and a background with the software, it's hard to be fair when describing how long it takes for teachers to become comfortable enough to use it in the classroom in front of students and to bend it to their pedagogical and administrative needs.

Well, we started using OneNote last week at the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI) to help with professional development creation.  Of the 50 or so participants, only a handful had used it before and for the vast majority it was brand new to them.  So far, they've spent 8 hours using OneNote and shared collaborative Word documents & PowerPoint presentations through OneDrive and the WebApp.  I can de…

Teacher Professional Development and Microsoft OneNote

During the first three weeks of July, I have the amazing opportunity to work at the Park City Mathematics Institute.  It is, without exaggeration, the best professional development opportunity for teachers of mathematics.  Participants spend three weeks thinking deeply about mathematics and mathematics education.

There are three main aspects of PCMI:

learning mathematicsreflection on practice (RoP)becoming a resource to others.I'm part of the team for RoP and in charge of the third aspect, in which participants consider a gap in professional development back at their home districts and work in small groups to help fill that hole by developing a rich PD seminar on that topic.

It is not easy to develop professional development.  Teachers who haven't written PD have to patiently learn how to write (essentially) lesson plans for someone else.

This year, I used Microsoft OneNote to facilitate the process.  We have a central OneNote Notebook through which I lay out the daily schedule…