Day 28: Podcasting Upgrade

28 10 2009

Today was my birthday; if you’ll look closely at the iPhone in the picture, you’ll notice that it is actually a birthday cake (from Nobody got me a birthday cake quite this fancy, however I was able to celebrate by spending all day in a computer lab while the seniors from my other two classes took an exit exam. Happy birthday to me!

However, my students in the connected learning class did not suffer too terribly from my absence (I’d like to think that they missed my stunning good looks and my rapier wit, but these are both doubtful as well). Read the rest of this entry »

Day 17: Pay for Play??

30 09 2009

Okay, being a business professor I decided to solve my attendance-checking problem by appealing to the most fundamental of human instincts: greed. I offered any student in my class $100 if they could come up with a plan. Their solution had to allow me to check roll for 70 students in less than two minutes. It could use technology, but did not have to. And it had to input the data automatically. In short, I decided to outsource my problem. Plus, I like seeing their eyes light up when I say the words “$100 cash.”. I give this 1 chance in 4 of working, but why not try it? Immediately afterward several showed up to suggest things like sign-in sheets (too easy to cheat) or having students check each other (too easy to cheat) or an honor system (too easy to cheat).

One suggested using “Bump” to let them all log in as they walked into class; in theory this is great, but Bump only promises that data is exchanged in 10 seconds or less, which makes roll-check a 12 minute exercise in my large section. One suggested magnetic card swipes, but didn’t know about the expense involved or how to integrate it with my system. He said he’d get back to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Day 15: What’s up Doc?

25 09 2009

My old method of taking attendance was an EPIC FAIL! Okay, that’s an exaggeration—it was perfectly functional, but a major pain to administer.  I had the students send an email to a drop box I set up on gmail (like or something) and include a subject line I gave them in class. What I had visualized was that my student worker could open the Gmail account, sort the messages by sender, and quickly find which ones were missing. Alas, in reality you can’t easily sort a column of messages in Gmail (at least I can’t) so it winds up being a manual seek-and-find to locate the ones who weren’t in the list. Workable, but not at all smooth or efficient. Time for roll-checking, part deux. Read the rest of this entry »