When I came home Monday evening, two children ran from the house dressed to swim screaming, "Papa Dana!" Apparently they had gotten it into their head that I would take them swimming when I got home from the college. And I did do just that.
Arrival at the beach means a full tilt headlong run for the water.
Or a more measured short-stepping trot.
The middle one does not call her aquatic activities swimming. She calls them "walunga" which means "drowning." Which she means quite literally. She consumes vast quantities of the Pacific ocean until she reaches the point of "wotlac." This does not seem to bother her. Explaining to her that humans do not breath water makes no perceptible dent in her misconception that water is a source of oxygen.
Happiness is playing in the water until the wind makes one shiver.
And then everything changed. For the first time since the loss of Gnumeric a spreadsheet was displaying a box and whisker plot. To back up to the beginning, MS 150 Statistics was built around spreadsheets. Students in the course were not statistics majors and the overwhelming majority were not in a scientific field. Most would wind up working on office desktops for which they would not be an administrator. Downloading R would not be an option and R would be steep learning curve for some for whom computers are an unfamiliar technology.
Spreadsheet based statistics, for all the faults and potential for error, would be at the center of the course. The use of Ubuntu in the classroom meant using LibreOffice.org or Gnumeric. Gnumeric provided the capability of including box and whisker plots. A change in computer laboratory technology to Microsoft Windows five years later saw the use of Gnumeric on Windows - until Gnumeric stopped supporting Windows. A further change of my work top to OSX f…
This term marked the first term in which I have utilized an on line, student accessible grade book and course support package. The web site I used, Engrade.com, is a market leader and free for faculty and students. I ended the term by asking the students to write up their reactions to, comments about, and recommendations for future use of Engrade.com. Seventy-seven students were surveyed in my MS 150 Statistics and SC 130 Physical science course. The students have been using Engrade since the second week of class this spring term.
The comments that the seventy-seven students made fell into ten broad categories. The students found engrade to be informative, felt that all faculty should use engrade, facilitated communication between students and faculty, was easy to use, helped students track missing work, encouraged students to work harder, made on line work submission easier, facilitated inter-student communication, was of benefit to shy students, and provided well liked on line qui…