Computational Laboratory for Energy And Nanoscience

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Classroom Tech

Classroom Tech

A number of people have asked me what technology tools I use in the classroom. It occurred to me that it might be useful to have a list:
  • Thinkpad X230 (I write all of my notes by hand in class)
  • Linux Mint
  • Google Hangouts (Office hours and live recordings of lectures)
  • A clip-on microphone (I write on my laptop screen, so the built in microphone picks up the sound)
  • A projector (built into the classroom)
  • A remote linux server (students can run computer simulations)
  • An mp3 dictaphone (so I can give spoken feedback on writing assignments)
  • RaspberryPi (electronics labs and soon to be seen in Classical Mechanics)
  • iPad + stylus
  • Dropbox (for posting assignments and PDF copies of the notes)
  • Google calendar (embedded in this site so my schedule can be seen for appointments)
  • This site :) (I just edit the html directly).
  • Skype (students use this to do remote interviews of Research Scientists)
  • Coursera and MIT OpenCourseware (I direct students here for additional resources)
  • Sites like code academy etc (see bottom of this page for a list)
  • Google chat (graduate students + honours projects)
  • github (to share code)
  • Youtube (for hosting live lectures, pre-recorded lectures, and short video clips)
  • Keynote, for the odd time I make a prebuilt figure
  • A scanner, when I need to include an image from a textbook
  • gnuplot (for plotting)
  • python (for programming)
I also have a few "rules" about technology in the classroom.
  • I don't use powerpoint. Students do not like pre-baked slides.
  • I don't do live recordings unless there is a critical mass of students. Live recordings are done to help you remember, not so you can skip class.
  • I'm not really a fan of phones, tablets, or laptops being used during lecture. I know taking notes with a tablet works for some people, but for most it just seems to be a distraction.

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