Sage in the Classroom Discussion
On Wednesday afternoon we had a good discussion of issues of how to use Sage (and other systems) in the classroom.
Categories for Discussion
- Use inside the classroom/lab
- Demonstrations only
- Server-based experimentation
- Local copies in a lab
- LiveCD in zip drive
- Students download Sage
- Other ways?
- Use outside the classroom
- Homework checking/cheat sheet
- Assignment to hand in as worksheet
- Experiment/lab assignments not handed in as worksheet
- Sharing worksheets
- Independent research!
- Other ways?
- General CAS issues
- How and whether to submit
- How much non-mathematics should we expect students to assimilate to use CAS
- Sage-specific issues
- Transition from other systems
- www.sagenb.org versus on-campus versus local
- Participant Comment - use CAS as stand-alone worksheets, with minimal programming needed, if any. They hand in. Higher-level is take-home complicated projects (commands are cut and paste, hand in with answers done), lower-level is more of graphing calculator in a specific computer lab. Test on computer, submit on BB (can auto-click in BB and it opens in Maple).
- Question - looking to transition or supplement...?
- Answer - could be free better than expensive, but maybe not if front end is not as easy
- Question - give feedback on worksheets?
- Answer - yes, sometimes via BB, sometimes in the file but with a different color.
- More discussion about this
- Participant Comment - diving in with worksheets. Handing in worksheets by email proved perhaps cumbersome, sharing ended up working pretty well. Shared first in groups, shared with instructor when done, who would make comments. He shares several worksheets he used. Calculus students used it to verify work.
- Question - question about servers. sagenb.org can be slow, sometimes, but local is more difficult. Comments?
- Answers - attempts to share notebook but he already logged in once and a cookie is bad. Jason and Rob and others discuss this a little more.
- Question - question about slow interacts, reloading Jmol.
- Several agree this is not ideal.
Participant Comment - currently use MathCad to (e.g.) solve a DE using Euler's Method, and use MC as a presentation tool to compare those things, and then create a report (perhaps in Word).
- Several say - You can definitely do all this, even with TeX
- Participant - Several ideas for use - raw computer output isn't a correct answer, so annotate, and put it all together.
- Participant - Yes, don't just accept things not in a report format, not just pictures.
- Participant Comment - Matlab has an option to create a report, a script which produces various output, which creates an HTML file or a Word file. Sage might be even better for this. Save final report!
- Moderator Comment - Ironically, I use it quite differently to save (my) effort
- Participant Comment - Use scripts with mini-lectures, and then they experiment. A project would be even better - something where they choose a topic not covered in class, then presentation in class about this.
- Participant Comment - first demonstrate in class, then they see it but without computer, then they can finally have a chance of using it appropriately.
- Question - how about using in tests?
- Answer - can use as fancy calculator
- Answer - pretty much same answer, make sure you can see that they do not have any other window open
- Followup - in a large class that might be more difficult to proctor. Could you make it a 'slave' system so that only browsers?
- Comment - can also use SageTeX to create tests, super-cool