Today was MUCH less chaotic. Technology was solved and we were off to a much better start. [With the exception of the speed of our internet server but we did have 32 students + me using the same site 🙂 ].
We had a good discussion regarding “What is Physics.” Students were given access to a Google Document and as a class we compiled our responses. This document was also available for them to write as we discussed as a class, watched various videos, and I taught some basic concepts. The document is here. I actually found that brainstorming this way was much less intimidating for my students (especially in such a large class…). Granted, I would prefer a Social Media medium, but students needed a break from technology talk and they WANTED to get into the physics stuff.
At the end of the class, I had students write and submit a 1 page response to “What is Physics”. Some struggled, but I found that they were much more open to this question than previous years where I haven’t done the discussion portion. This is also interesting, since most of my students said they were only able to write one line about this question when given the survey below on day one of the class.
I informed the students that they would be asked the same question (What is Physics) 2 – 3 times throughout the year and we would compare their answers. They felt that this would be really interesting, since they figure they don’t really know what Physics is right now (even if I disagree with that).
So, the moral of the story is, Physics was less of a problem over the last two days than the technology was 🙂