Road test

Today, in a reckless act of self-confidence, I used the software prototype that I’ve been working on as the interactive teaching tool for my first class this semester. It may have been a little early for a road test, but it seemed like an opportunity.

After making a few last minute tweaks to the software, I spent much of the afternoon building the content – some text, but mostly interactive diagrams and 3D examples. My thinking was that the time pressure of an imminent lecture would focus my efforts.

And it all worked. I didn’t use all the features of the prototype, but it was already enough to make a big difference. I found it much easier to teach using a tool that showed my programming changes instantly, and that allowed me to put all the text, diagrams, interactive controls and 3D graphics in one place.

A good friend who knows nothing about programming was sitting in on today’s class. Afterward she told me that she felt she had understood perhaps 90% of the material. Which is what a tool like that is really all about.

Sometimes it pays to be a little reckless. :-)

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