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Pwunso spice, timber, and gymnosperm walk

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The class was treated to a sunny day at the Pohnpei botanic garden at Pwunso.


The coffee cherries are just beginning to ripen. Most are still green.


By next month they will be fully ripe. Coffea robusta perhaps, or maybe C. arabica. I have never been able to confirm the species.


Early arrivals Pelida, Sandralynn, Jade, and Lizleen.


Bus arrival at 3:50, spot on.


Cinnamomum verum. Cinnamon tree.

Pelida, Darion, Sharisey
Kiyoe with Myristica fragrans: nutmeg, Myristica fragrans
This term the division acquired an anvil pruner that proved exceptionally capable at cutting the nutmeg nuts cleanly.


The key was the toothed brass anvil which ably gripped the slippery nuts.




Walking back to the kauri pines, Johsper, Kimsky, and Megan.



Agathis lanceolata: kauri pine.

Pelida and Sandralynn, usually upfront and engaged with the class. Toward the back the less engaged.
Sharisey, Reinhardt Jr., Darion, Shanaleen, Jamie. 
Kira and Rennie Glen in front of Eucalyptus deglupta
Photo op in front of the pai…

OpenStax CNX Android app for smartphones

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Four weeks into the sixteen week term piloting the use of OpenStax Algebra and Trigonometry I stumble upon the existence of an Android app for the OpenStax CNX textbook

The text the personal technology classroom is using this term was listed second in the app when I opened the app for the first time.


The app provides a number of capabilities that are not available when accessing the textbook from a web browser including the ability to take and share notes.


Other capabilities in the app include:

Some of the other features of the app include:
- View textbooks in the app.
- in-book search
- Returns you to previous location in book
- Search OpenStax CNX for the content you need.
- Take notes in the app, export them as text files to your phone or share via email or text.
- Share the great content you find with others via email, text, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Save your Favorites for quick access when you return to the app.

Newton's law from the back of a RipStik and friction

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With Monday being a holiday, Newton's laws landed on Wednesday. I ran a "PowerPoint" presentation with slides attached to posts along the sidewalk, demonstrating each law by riding a RipStik while palming a ball.

Jayleen Alex takes notes with her camera
Newton's laws

The classroom
Thursday I redeployed the model of having each student tackle a single friction variable. Again the grit teams found higher friction with finer sandpaper. Glass must have a roughness someone up where 1500 grit paper interacts with that roughness.


VanDamme and Elymore gather data on the effect of weight on the force of friction
John Phillip, Redsea, and Jayleen discuss results
Using Desmos to analyze the data
Darion and Tulpe work on their presentation
This term I brought along poster pad paper permitting the groups to prepare for their presentations.


Saichy and Kaiteie work on surface area versus the force of friction
Johsper presents the effect of weight
Dee-L also presented on the effect …

Tackling low homework submission rates in the personal technology classroom

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MS 101/3 Algebra and Trigonometry is experimentally operating outside of a computer laboratory. Students are working on their own personal devices, using the campus WiFi to access an OpenStax online open access textbook, Desmos graphing calculator, and Schoology's learning management system. With the first four of sixteen weeks completed, one of the areas that will need work is the homework submission rate. When compared to submission rates for a summer class run in the computer laboratory, the rate is down significantly. This comparison is problematic as summer courses are know to have higher performance metrics than regular term classes at the college. The summer homework submission rate was 75%. A submission rate of 48%, however, seems low even for a regular term.

MS 101/3 is a third section of the course. The other two sections are being taught in the mathematics and natural sciences computer laboratory by another instructor. I asked about his submission rates this fall and th…

RipStik trendline in statistics

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I modified the RipStik trendline this term, taking advantage of there having been no test to cover from the prior Friday due to presentations. I took the class downstairs, instead of using the porch, and laid out a 30 meter run. Early in the morning I pre-marked six meter distances for 30 meters. I gave five students a timer and had each one time to a given distance: 6, 12, 18, 24, and 30 meters. This adds a small amount of variability while increasing student involvement in the activity.


On my second run I snapped a photo as I rode. The six meter mark can be seen on the sidewalk, with Sandralynn timing that distance.


There were two sections, thus two sets of data

 Google Sheets now has all of the capabilities of Excel in terms of xy scatter charts with trendlines and display of the equations. The Statistics add-in brings even more capabilities, although that add-in can no longer be found via a search of the add-ins.

The procedure of having five timers worked well and took the timing …