As we start the new academic year, I have decided to make a New Year’s resolution. So, I hear you ask, what is the resolution? (or maybe that’s just the voices in my head!) I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, but I thought why not resolve to do things differently this year.
For the past 10 years I have been a lecturer in Tipperary Institute, which from September 1st 2011 will cease to exist and we will become LIT Tipperary. During my time teaching I have lectured in the areas of Computer programming and Algorithms before getting the opportunity to return to my first love – Mathematics. Over the past few years I have also been involved in organising the ICT in Education conference, an annual conference which gives educators an opportunity to come together and discuss how they integrate ICT in their classrooms. So what does all of this have to do with doing things differently?
As one of the organisers of an event specifically aimed at helping teachers to integrate ICT into how they do what they do, you would be forgiven for thinking that I would be practicising what I am preaching. To be fair, I do use technology but not to the extent that I should or could. Hence the resolution!
So here’s the plan : To coincide with the new academic year and the change from Tipperary Institute to LIT Tipperary I am going to change how I do what I do. How I make these changes remains to be seen, but hopefully they will improve my teaching and help to instill the love that I have for Mathematics in my students. So to start I have a couple of things I plan to do
1. Start a blog
Now that this post is published here it is !! Hopefully, over the coming weeks, months and years this blog will continue to be updated. If it doesn’t feel free to give me a poke in the comments, on twitter @pamelaaobrien or on Google+ at Pam O Brien.
2. Use a wiki with my classes
The main aim of this wiki is to get my students to start discussing the uses of Mathematics in their chosen field of study. This will be in the areas of Computing, IT Support, Smart Sustainable Technologies and Games Design and Development.
3. Create podcasts to support my course notes
Traditionally I have used Word to produce my class notes and tutorial sheets which I then work through in class, including extra examples as I go. This year I plan to supplement this style with podcasts to go through certain topics, so that students get the benefit of my explanations of what we are doing, and why, as they work through examples. The ultimate plan is that I am working towards the Flipped Classroom, where students work through lectures at home and work through examples in their contact time.
So now that I have made my resolution and published it, all I have to do is keep it! I will keep you updated on progress.