## AMATYC 2015 – First Impressions

You can always see which way the pendulum is swinging at AMATYC. Lots of sessions on tablet/smart phone apps, getting online students more engaged, and various pathways approaches. So different from my first AMATYC.

I have seen, firsthand, how mobile technology can impact the classroom. A couple of weeks ago I was introducing my students to the graph of a parabola. I wanted to graph a parabola using Desmos, have my students observe the results, and tell me which points they felt were important. Of course, the projector failed. Not a problem for my students – they whipped out their smart phones and graphed it themselves.

I’m learning about so many new (to me) aps – and I will share things as the week progresses.

I’m afraid we have always treated online students as being on their own, even when we try to make our classroom more collaborative. It probably has something to do with how easy it is to administer an online class and how powerful today’s learning management systems are, including online homework. But we need to teach the online classes, not just administer them. Community is important whether you are a face-to-face student or an online student. The easier it is to get disconnected, the harder it is to learn and persevere.

My thoughts on the new pathways are complicated, and I will address those in a future blog. I think that redesigning our courses to meet the true needs of our students is a good idea. We cannot continue to teach 21st century students using 20th century approaches. But we still need to teach important skills and develop critical thinking.

More to follow …

George