31 May 2012

Join my online seminar on Wednesday 6 June 2012 for live quantitative demonstrations

Folks, I've been invited by Andy Rundquist to present at the "Global Physics Department" weekly online meeting.  At 9:30 PM Eastern time next Wednesday (6 June 2012), I'll be doing live quantitative demonstrations based on what I do on the first couple of days of an honors / AP physics class.  

If you'd like to join in, Andy says you're totally invited.  No charge or anything.  Just go to Andy's blackboard site, write your name, and voila, you'll be in.  (Be sure you have Java installed.)

If you've ever been to my summer institutes, these demonstrations are the ones I do on the first afternoon, showing my introduction to equilibrium and free body diagrams.  I've got the computer camera set up at my demonstration table.  I'll yap for about 30 minutes, then take up to 30 minutes of questions or discussion from the audience.  Since I'll be in my classroom, I'll have access to most of my equipment -- feel free to make a request, and if I can set it up within a minute, I'll do the demo.

But don't expect a powerpoint presentation or a carefully rehearsed speech.  Physics teaching is performance art.  I'll write on the white board rather than bring up prepared slides.  I'll make each measurement live, during the seminar.  If something doesn't work, I'll go with it.  If someone asks a crazy or difficult question, we might go off in a different direction.  You'll be seeing as close to an actual class as you can get without sitting in on, well, an actual class.

Please drop by -- it would be great to "meet" some of this blog's many readers, or at least to hear your voices in my headphones.  :-)



  1. Greg,
    I'm very excited for your talk. If I might also plug the Global Physics department a bit, I would encourage you and your readership to check it out. We've now amassed a huge archive of over 50 recordings of meetings featuring all sorts of awesome folks—presentations from many outstanding textbook authors (like Ruth Chebay and Bruce Sherwood, authors of Matter and Interactions), leaders in Physics Education research (like Noah Podolesfksy, one of the creators of PHeT simulations), brainstorming sessions on teaching topics such as waves, and lots of teachers just doing awesome things in the classroom, like Delores Gende. I seriously think that GPD is one of the most meaningful and productive forms of professional development I've ever been a part of.

    We're also working on a a couple of ongoing projects. During the school year, we use one meeting a month to coach a member on his/her teaching. One volunteer each month submits 30 minutes or so of classroom footage, and then 15-20 physics teachers and professors watch it and offer detailed feedback. Since school is out for most folks, this is on hiatus until the fall.

    Finally, our other ongoing project is taking us into the world of software development. A number of physics teachers around the world are working together to write an open source physics problem database that will allow users to enter physics problems, and then search for problems based on tags (like momentum, or electrostatics). We've been holding planning sessions for about 30 minutes following each of the meetings, so I'd like to invite you or any of your readers to stay and participate in that as well. You can read a bit more about our plans for the problem database on my blog.

    Anyway, I hope that everyone who reads this will consider checking out the Global Physics Department and I look forward to chatting with you on Wednesday night.

  2. I'm so excited about your presentation! Thanks for volunteering/ saying yes when asked.