Friday, July 29, 2011

Positive Results and Technology in the Classroom

After 3 weeks of moving in fits and starts, we hit our stride this week. We were able to build a surface monolayer of thiol on our gold substrate and test it using FTIR. The peaks showed up with the proper intensity and position, so we feel confident that we can move on (My takeaway lesson from this is to get a good set of instructions early on so you are not reinventing the wheel). Next week, our last week of experimenting, will involve creating a concentration curve to determine the concentration where the monolayer starts to show incomplete packing. This will be valuable for the research group because it will minimize the material required to do experiments and add to the overall understanding of the system.

Our seminar today was on implementing technology in the classroom. In my short time as an educator, I have gone through many similar discussions, all with the theme "USE TECHNOLOGY!" However, more often than not, the suggestions would be impractical or laughably low-tech (Powerpoint?). Today's seminar was a refreshing change of pace. Our presenter was well informed and took us beyond the normal Teachertube/blog entry points. The most interesting site she showed us was, a site that allows you to post interactive movies/lessons/etc. I have wanted to podcast lectures this year, and this site will allow me to do this with ease. Students will then have a chance to post replies directly to me and/or make their own video/photo response. Direct implications for my teaching = yeah!

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