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Coping with equations and other math expressions

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Posted on 2nd December 2008 by Judy Breck in Connective Expression and Open Content

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The image with this post is from a MathExpression.com video explaining how to deal with brackets in an equation. Frankly, not having had a course involving algebra since 1957 (yes, that’s 51 years) I really loved the video’s explanation, and will be coming back for more explanations. Recently I have been watching physics DVDs about string theory; though the lecturer refers to only a few equations for me to cope with, I am grateful for MathExpression.com. It is an ideal tool for me to check what I don’t understand in the equations.

The example of the video’s usefulness to me illustrates a key power of online learn nodes: the level of learning difficulty of the tutorial does not restrict the video’s availability to learners of any particular age, grade, or geographical location. I doubt many string theory students in their seventies have used the MathExpression.com tutorial on removing brackets in algebraic expression. Most visitors to MathExpression.com are probably high school and college students, with a few precocious grade schoolers and forgetful graduate students mixed in.

If I were teaching algebra, I would find MathExpression.com a fine source for its lessons, tips, and practice. The delightful voice on the videos is also worth the visit: she sounds like the voice of algebraic AI.

The beautiful blue yonder of digital education

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Posted on 9th February 2007 by Judy Breck in Subject Sampler

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The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Safety Topics page here is a marvelous, focused online mini-school for pilots—and it is free. Take online courses on topics for small plane pilots and general aviation subjects. Click into background webpages and related links. The informative modules are ideal for adaptation to mobile phones. This content network takes you into the beautiful blue yonder of digital education. Transportation Via Scout Report

PEBLpond

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Posted on 1st March 2006 by Judy Breck in Emerging Online Knowledge

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PEBLPOND
This promotional interactive website by Motorola is a gorgeous demonstration of online learning. It is darn hard to spend more than a few minutes at PEBLpond before you realize you have learned a very great deal about the phone Motorola is attempting to sell to you.

The teaching power here is proof — and a thoroughgoing example — of digital tutoral talents. It’s certainly fair game to use these powers to explain phone models compellingly. What is hard to understand is why so little of this sort of thing is done to explain what we try to teach at school. Why do the digital natives have to use study materials in the classroom that belonged to their grandparents’ generation?