Date: Jul 19, 2005 11:12 AM
Author: Gene Klotz
Subject: Tool Fest Activities!

Dear Tool Fest Folk,

We've decided that rather than having a virtual Tool Fest for a week in August, we'll go for weekly events and see what sort of rhythm and interactions that elicits.

We'll make announcements using the Tool Fest mailing list, and use the Tool Fest Lounge for planning discussions and informal interactions--anything that doesn't belong in Math Tools! http://mathforum.org/kb/forum.jspa?forumID=445.

We'll have the first Weekly Tool Fest meeting on Monday, July 25, beginning at 2 pm. Many of the June presentations made use of ConcertChat, the neat whiteboard/chat program. This is not exactly a math tool, but rather a tool for discussing math tools--and lots of other things. One of the developers, Martin Wessner, is at the Forum for a few months and he will give a presentation of the ConcertChat program, including the design rationale, together with the planned changes and enhancements. In so doing he will illustrate and explain a tool that you may wish to use in presentations, both with Math Tools and perhaps in other ways as well.

We'll have further presentations and activities, usually beginning on Mondays. For example, Joel Duffin, of the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, one of our main partners in developing Math Tools, will present some of their new eNLVM material, http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/doc/index.jsp, probably on August 8.

Other folks have ideas, as well, for example
- we haven't used up all Jeff's good questions (and the ones presented for his June Question of the Day are well worth revisiting, along with many other discussions started that week.)
- Terry has other videoconference ideas (you might start checking as to whether you can get access to a setup--much future potential!)
- Wanda has further ideas germinating:
At the moment, I'm very frustrated with test scores. I know they say that just because you taught it doesn't guarantee student's learned it. (But, where is the student accountability?) My reflective process at the moment is figuring out how to efficiently integrate technology into the classroom to have the greatest impact on student learning. Classroom time is limited and precious.

Let me know your ideas for Tool Fest Weekly Activities (TFWA--not a very good acronym, nor is MTWA--help!) Also if you need a particular Monday or other day to do your thing.

Aside from the monstrous pressures of the school year, no reason for this not to continue past August. For many of us it would be good to have a weekly time to think about Math Tools questions, especially when we can be joined by so many great folks.

Looking forward to hearing from you at the Tool Fest Lounge,

Gene