joshwriting: (Default)
One of the things we learned about from Kim Vandiver, while at the ESP Anniversary Party, was about some of the plans for OCW.

MIT is consciously expanding it to make it more useful to secondary students. At least two methods are currently planned.

1) OCW-AP is going to be a guide to the OCW which will key the MIT courses that are there to specific AP tests, to help users to see what relevant materials exist for each AP that you choose from a drop down menu. An additional part of that will be some of the Educational Studies Program's DELVE classes (which are AP prep) on video! Recording of this is an ongoing activity.

2) OCW-HSSP (which may not have those letters, but it is how I am thinking of it) is going to contain course ware from a variety of High School Studies Program courses! This will make it easier for teachers and students to replicate courses of that sort, just as the regular OCW allows that with college courses.

I think these are both really neat things!
joshwriting: (Default)
Much of my day today was spent in Cambridge, at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of what has become the MIT Educational Studies Program (<http://esp.mit.edu>. As I have been involved with it, at least peripherally, for more than 30 of those years, I was pleased to get to attend said function, though it was smaller than I know some people had envisioned it would be.

A number of things came out of it, but most especially a good time with old friends and some newer ones. It was good to see KC and Dale, and Valerie, and Lyman, and Brian, and Mary Anne and Steve, in particular. I see none of them often enough, though Valerie and I IM some. Lyman is in Cambridge, so I will make a point of seeing him in the Spring while I am HSSPing. Brian's wife and child were there, as well as Mary Anne and Steve's little charmer!

I got to talk with Kim Vandiver, whose time as a prof started about when mine as a hanger on did. More from him in the next post.

There was a sweet note from Lyman Hurd, not to be confused with Lyman Opie, who was present. And lots of folks who were very missed.

I had a good time.
joshwriting: (Default)
This past weekend was Splash, an extravaganza of courses in anything and everything that the folks who run it can find. More than 300 courses over two days. This year, more than 1700 students preregistered, though including walk-ins, only about 1500 showed up to take the classes.

I taught 7 classes: Unknown Science Fiction and Fantasy, Non-linear thinking, Depression, IQ, What we say to people/what people hear, Education Theory and Practice, and a discussion for students and parents on high school, college, and life.

The IQ class was the largest, at 80 - so large that they had to give me a different room than originally scheduled. The last was the smallest, primarily because a) they listed it in the program after 1200+ students had already been through the sign-up process and b) there was no preset parents' program this year.

I had a ball. I loved my classes and my students. Yeah, it might have been nicer if more of my Unknown SF&F students had figured out that Mercedes Lackey, Homer, and Douglas Adams are not unknown, and that Eragon and Beowulf have been read by more than a couple of them. But even then, it went well. The books they suggested served as good points to bounce of for me, letting me segue into other titles and sub-genres.

I'm not sure how to make conversation in the Depression and Anxiety class happen more smoothly - I suspect I should just be grateful that we have it at all. The class I had considered canceling and changing for a different one was the Education course. I ran out of time or it would have been gone and "Counseling your friends" would have been in its place. By the time I got around to looking, there were 12 folks signed up for it. So it ran - and it was good, too.

A number of classes had one or more parents in them, including both the SF&F class and the Ed class. One of the parents had been in my class before, though not in 25 years! She was back in the area, having moved back from the Midwest. Her participation was welcome and - with the exception of the last class, which expressly invited parental involvement - she was by far the most vocal of the adults. None of the students seemed to mind the presence of an adult or two. I would not have had them in the Depression class or, I suspect, What we say to people, but where they were was just fine.

Apparently, I had at least one child of another Splash teacher in my SF&F class and he reports that his son liked it fine. Always nice to know.

It was good, as well, to see people whom I predominantly know on-line, such as my fellow Shero and Splash teacher, Zoe. The "usual suspects" like Jessie and Alexa and Sara B were great to see, too.

I had a good time. I suspect you can tell.
joshwriting: (Default)
For those of you either in the Greater Boston area or who are going to be coming up to MIT's Splash program this November, the teacher registration process is now open.

http://esp.mit.edu/web/volunteertoteach/splash.html

Come teach something neat and interesting to the more than 1000 students
in 6th - 12th grades!

If you know somebody whom you think the kids would love and who would
enjoy the opportunity, do feel free to pass the news along.

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