January 18 Day 681: That was Interesting

The verdict is in. In-person class was OK.

Seven in the classroom. Eight on zoom. One (maybe two) absent. It was the best attendance I have had thus far.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. So I tried to be flexible and ready for anything.

Everyone brought a laptop or tablet and most signed into the class zoom session without sound. During activities, I created groups where approximately half the participants were in the room and half were remote. The biggest learning curve was sound management. Only one person in the classroom per breakout room could turn their sound on (or else there would be feedback and annoying echo effects.) They had to turn their volume up loud enough so that all physically-present group members could hear.

About 30 seconds before the breakout room closed, I gave fair warning and students were prepared to turn off their sound quickly. It worked and with practice, it will become easier.

In retrospect, I should have done a first activity just practicing the technology rather than asking them to also think about math.

I was hoping to use the physical whiteboard for activities but did not bring fresh markers. The ones remaining from last quarter were bone dry. So we had to improvise. Jamboard to the rescue—with each group on a different page. I admit to preferring Miro. There are so many more tools (like the timer and voting) but Miro also has a steeper learning curve. It’s not something I’m just going to ad lib on my feet.

Double masked and miked, my breathing was labored. I hope it does not come across as creepy on the recording.

Overall assessment: so far, so good.

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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