Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Economist Invites You To A Debate

The Economist.com launches a debate -- A Severe Contest: The Economist Debate Series. Check it out and you may enjoy participating.

North Carolina Teaching Conference

Peter W. Schuhmann posts on tch-econ that they still have room available at their teaching conference.

The Seventh Annual
Economics Teaching Workshop
Saturday October 13, 2007
SunSpree Resort, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"University of Akron Digital Ink Group" is formed

In a previous post I reported that the faculty have an option this Fall to get Tablet PCs and over 400 of them have done so (although that number is on the level of rumor so far). I just finished conducting three workshops for our Institute for Teaching and Learning entitled "Why Your Laptop Needs A Pen." Over 70 faculty showed up and spent 60-80 minutes with me exploring how their teaching and learning can be enhanced with the Tablet PC. We also have formed under the sponsorship of the Institute for Teaching and Learning a group to share experiences with the new tablets and to possibly lead to some study of them called the University of Akron Digital Ink Group (or UAdig for short). We will be sharing on a private on-campus only discussion list and a more public website.

PowerPoint presentation
UAdig website


Here is a site I will be trying out soon. Combine a powerpoint and podcast to create a slidecast. Already at Slideshare.com is the ability to upload your slides to a server and have them run on your webpage. Now they add the ability to add voice to it by combining your MP3 file and you can set the page breaks so the slides are sync'ed with the audio. Here is an example of a slideshow embeded on a webpage (reviewing the DEE Conference).

If the slides do not show below try this link

Augmenting Teaching & Learning with Social Software

Steve Greenlaw posts a new website, Augmenting Teaching & Learning with Social Software, to support a presentation he made to the Developments in Economic Education conference. See his blog for those details and see his references for some good sources on social networking software. This link is the paper written for the conference arranged to allow comment by paragraph. Well done Steve.


From WhatIsNew.com is this top ten list of what can be done with Microsoft's OneNote. the article called "Living in OneNote" says it all. I have used my OneNote for about everything, but mostly for meeting notes, notes while on the phone, collecting all the arrangements for conferences, and the actual notes I take at those conferences. I particularly like being able to send files via the print driver to one note for collection in one spot and for marking up. If you match versions you can collaborate with a colleague and share and simultaneously mark up a one note page or section.

If you are new to OneNote or would like more, click on help while in One Note and click on the Microsoft OneNote tour menu item.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Free Issue - Computer, September 2007

Jim Vanides, HP Higher Ed guru, on his Teaching, Learning & Technology in higher Education blog has a great post and opportunity. For this month a free download of Computer (a IEEE publication) that has five articles about Tablet PCs is available.

See his post at for the download link. Thanks Jim and thanks Jane Prey for providing the link to Jim. To quote Jim:
"Many thanks to Jane Prey (Microsoft and guest co-editor of the issue) for sharing this link! Jane also pointed out that the issue contains five papers about Tablets:

1. Magic Paper: Sketch-Understanding Research – how does one think about a surface that is natural and easy to draw on, yet understands what you draw?

2. Ink, Improvisation, and Interactive Engagement: Learning with Tablets – thoughts on the integration of technology features and instructional models developed by educators.

3. Handwriting Recognition: Tablet PC Text Input – how do you accomplish recognition over a wide range of writing styles and poorly formed cursive script? Use a time-delay neural network working with a lexicon.

4. Classroom Presenter: Enhancing Interactive Education with Digital Ink – this system supports the sharing of digital ink on electronic slides to promote active learning and collaboration in the classroom.

5. Facilitating Pedagogical Practices through a Large-Scale Tablet PC Deployment – tablet use by all students and faculty in and out of the classroom has shown positive initial results."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Undergraduate Paper Competition at Bowling Green

John Hoag announces their Undergraduate Economics Essay contest. They accept student papers on all topics, papers are screened and finalists chosen. The finalists are invited to Bowling Green on Saturday, April 12, 2008 to present their work at a small conference. Cash awards will be made at the conference (first place yields $150 for each of micro and macro, second place is $100, third is $50). The dead line for submission of the paper is February 29, 2008 to jhoag@bgsu.edu, John Hoag, Chair, Department of Economics, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403. Email him for more details and say you read it here.

Gulf Coast Teaching Conference

November 1-2, 2007 in Austin TX. There is a call for papers, but I can not see a deadline.

EconTalk -- A wonderful teaching resource

I admit it, I have been hooked on the EconTalk series of podcasts (economic podcasts for daily life) hosted by Russ Roberts of George Mason. I think you will agree that the quality of these interviews with economists is first rate. I have recently enjoyed two in particular: (1) Paul Romer on Growth and (2) David Henderson on Disagreeable Economists. EconTalk is part of the terrific Library of Economics and Liberty which also hosts the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. I am using these in my online course as a supplement. In fact one of the most often asked questions after the appropriate chapter is which of those growth theories are correct. I think Paul takes care of that, if they will only listen.

UA Faculty Choose HP2710p Tablet PC

Should be any day that we get our new HP 2710p Tablet PCs! This Fall all faculty will recieve

these sleek new computers. I can't wait to have something under 4 lbs after lugging around the Gateway M285E. I am ready for a format that is not wide screen as well. You can see specs on this at Gotta Be Mobile.

I anticipate a lot of our faculty have chosen the Tablet PC (over a regular laptop or mac book) since I have 90 faculty scheduled for 3 sessions of a workshop sponsored by our Institute for Teaching and Learning that I have called "Why Your Next Laptop Needs a Pen." The third session was added due to the demand and filled in less than a day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Second WIPTE Research Book is published

Some really creative users of the Tablet PC have come together for two years now at the Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology on Education held at Purdue University.

In each of these two years a selection of papers are collected by Jane Prey, Robert Reed and Dave Berque and published in a rich little monograph. Last year it was blue and this year red. These two books are loaded with examples of scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching with Tablet PCs. One does not have to read many papers to see how either student learning is enhanced or instructors are made more efficient, or both.

Dixon, Pannell and Vallinski present "Can Pen-Based Computing Enhance Graph Construction and Comprehensive in the Introductory Economics and Classroom? The combination of DyKnow Vision and pen-based computing led to better grades and fewer graphic errors than the group that used pen and paper.

In all the book contains 15 contributed evaluations on pen-based computing and covered more than 2,200 students and 60 faculty. Other than economics, the courses studied computer science, engineering, physics, communications, mathematics, Agronomy and Chemistry disciplines. It is a good read and when combined with the results in the 2006 version of this book covers even more areas.