Monthly Archives: December 2013

Active Calculus v.12.30.13 – updates


This fall I was glad to have a much larger number of beta testers using Active Calculus; about 10 of my GVSU colleagues used it for either our calculus I or calculus II, and at least that many other people at other institutions employed the text in some fashion.  Several of these 20+ people provided regular and consistent editorial feedback, and I’ve just recently had the time to implement their corrections and suggestions.  My deep and sincere thanks to them for every single one of their emails.

The newly updated files are now available from my download page; as always, any person interested in the original source files may request them from me directly, and I will share them via Dropbox.

As has been noted previously at this site, thanks to my colleagues Robert Talbert and Marcia Frobish there is now a full set of screencasts to go…

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Learning and Neurscience

The garden of knowledge


My reflections on my own process…


Crafting my own story in the story of developing my ideas

The power of networks (Manuel Lima)

Drawing storyboard for your writings

This is taken from the little book: Doing Research from Garry Thomas Drawing storyboards:  Is like a mind map of the subject we are interested in. Its a way of exploring issues attached to your topic.  You can look at strands, areas of enquiry. It helps you to come up with fruitful avenues of inquiry on almost anything. Is like extending your thinking as much as possible. (I still couldn’t do mine). Making headway: While doing the literature review and the storyboard you think intensely about your topic. The interest of doing research in a particular idea is already there. How can we start to write about it? How will your argument proceed?  It is thinking about where the issue lies?
Do a first writing so others engage and follow your work. You need to find an angle: The so what? (in words of Thomas) You are looking at personal learning environments, so what? You are looking at technology in the class, so what? … My case: The issue lies in 2 main aspects:

  1. Regarding the technology: * Emerging trends that will transform society: Personalisation, informalisation (digitalisation), collaboration as future trends in           education. (Redecker, et al. 2011)
  2.  It is a Learn skills that will empower young learners to initiate the process of becoming life long learners in order to adapt and respond flexible to change.
  3. Regarding students and math: Disaffected students and general low achievement and poor understanding in mathematics (attitudes)

Three Social Trends That Will Influence Education in 2014

Three Social Trends That Will Influence Education in 2014.

Difference between a VLE and PLE

Writing Workshop with Gordon Dossett

Workshop with Gordon Dossett: Writing skills

What’s you r original contribution to knowledge even in the abstract!

 Literature review:

  • You have to restate others idea. Get into others work
  • You see more and more and more.
  • The challenge is capture the knowledge that is out there but realise there is a scope to what you are doing.
  • Be focus; keep your scope in mind
  • Key words is important, revise that ideas regarding your key ideas
  • Setting parameters of my work
  • To what extent you do an abstract or write more than an abstract
  • Here is what this person has to say and integrate this in your work.
  • Find the guide, your bible. You take the key elements of that work, and say why it is so crucial, why is it your bible.
  • Judgement values is not acceptable

Outline of the study

  • Theoretical chapter
  • Methodology. Both hand in hand, work them together. Presenting findings
  • Conclusion
  • Where are you going, what are the implications, what is open stil to do

How to write convincingly for examiners?

  • Make sure that your writing makes others realise that you are adding some new knowledge
  • Cite the key authorities, names that come again and again. Those are the people; they need to be in the front of your work.
  • Integrate the material not just to summarize, your idea that you want to bring in and advancing others your identification of the key ideas and you integrate x,y, z under this key idea


  • The issue of trust is crucial because my sources keep on telling me. I want to integrate this key idea
  • Seeing strands around different authors
  • Pull true the commonalities of different authors that you come across
  • You don’t want just to narrate; you want to do more than that.
  • Pulling strands together out of the reading
  • Weaving is what you want to get fore. Weaving others work but always try to

NOTE: Making a name, a proper name, i.e: omnibus, prosummer.

In the theoretical framework is the place to argue why you chose this and not those other


Complexity: why is this the one you chose for

Ecology-Learner generated context – ecology of resources

It is the metaphor I am confortable with, it gathers my own vision of the particular vision of education and learning

Blocking: Identify the problem and see how you can approach it. Look at the research as discrete parts so you can tackle each part

How to maintain the long document cohesive?

Techniques for writing:

  • Summary is for long papers. Is a good technique, for when finalising the chapter doing a summary of the chapter and announcing what is coming next. Repeating what is my RQ and my stand about.

What’s the point of the paragraph and then say the points that support your main idea of the paragraph.

Think about the crucial concept of your thesis, so use it repeatedly.

When you are talking of not crucial terms you can use variety, synonyms.

Use simple, short and clear sentences. You need to get the reader attention so use a short, crispy sentence that sets the reader up to prepare to something special or important in your text.

If you have a large idea look for the components in it and break them down. Use simple examples, concrete that illustrate a situation

How to keep the material cohesive?
A personal answer!

Participatory Design of the ‘Future-Building School’

Participatory Design of the ‘Future-Building School’.