We will be updating this page as we schedule additional meetings, so check back from time to time and see if there is something that interests you.
Teaching Online for the First Time
Islam and Mathematics: A Story of Cooperation and Peace: Enter the city of Baghdad in the year 750 and find a diverse population, living in relative harmony, collaborating on projects in mathematics and science that have benefited the rest of the world ever since.
(Click on the dates below to register)
Friday, 3/27/20, 10:00 am PST
Saturday, 3/28/20 11:00 am PST
Some people who support OER do so because they don't like the idea of publishers and authors benefitting financially from the educational materials they create. Do you think the employees at OpenStax are donating their time? Imagine how your travel budget compares to the person running OpenStax, or the OpenStax employees that attend the conferences you attend. Don't get me wrong, OpenStax is a good company, with an admirable mission, no one there is working for free.
When we started XYZ Textbooks our goal was to offer students a choice between reasonably priced eBooks and reasonably priced print books. (My inspiration was from my publisher at the time; they raised the price of my trigonometry book to over $300.) When we first started, our prices were lower than all the big publishers. If one of our books made it into the final three or four books for an open adoption, the other publishers in the group immediately lowered their prices. (We know this because the instructors at those schools told us.) So we had a effect on the price of textbooks, but we could not make our book free, or we would not be in business.
There is one downside to OER and the financing from big donors that is rarely talked about: If the small, independent publishers, like XYZ Textbooks, are eliminated because of OER, we may lose the innovation, drive, and mission that caused me to start XYZ Textbooks in the first place. Do you want the Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, Barnes and Noble, and the other institutions that give money to OER, to decide what educational materials we will use in the future? They have their place in higher education, and they are making materials available to us that we would not otherwise have, but I don't think we want lose the small, independent publishers in the meantime.
How can you help? You can help support us, and the other small publishers, by using our materials in one section of one of your courses. Its that simple.
Our new MathTV eBookPlus books are just about here. Check back in a couple of days and we should have more to look at. Our new product is unique because it integrates online homework into our eBook. Most online homework systems do the opposite; they integrate the eBook into the homework system.
We know many instructors are scrambling to take their classes online for the rest of this term. What are the biggest problems with moving a person-to-person, on-campus class to an online class? Here is one study: In February of 2020, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that the two biggest impediments to implementing online learning for both instructors and administrators were
Time it takes to adopt and implement
Faculty time and effort required
Source: Time for Class Toolkit, 2019, Tyton Partners/Babson Survey Research Group
Our MathTV CourseBooks solve both problems: They give instructors the quickest transition from a classroom on campus to an online course, anywhere. Here is why:
- Students can start working online immediately. Getting into a course is a simple two-step process: Register on the courses website, then choose your courseBook. It really is that easy. Click on the cover of the courseBook you are interested in and see for yourself.
- Instructors select their course with just two clicks. That right - two clicks! To see for yourself, go to the XYZ Textbooks site and log in with your instructor credentials. Look for the My Courses tab on the left side menu. Click on the tab and choose you course book. It is that easy.
- Students can share their grades when the instructor is ready. When the instructor creates a course and selects their courseBook, the computer generates a Course Code for that course. This code is used by students to enroll in your course. But they can start working on the course before they even have the Course Code. When the instructor is ready, students share their grades with the instructor using the course code from their instructor.
So, if you are just getting started with online learning, start with us; you will be glad you did! If you want to simplify your online homework system, take a look at our new system.
Here is a link to a file explaining the process of getting the app and then logging in to your courses:
Installing and Using the Canvas App
2 reasons beyond prices that this merger of textbook publishers should worry every college student
All the posts you see here have been, or will be, posted on my LinkedIn account. If you want to see them as they are released, follow me on LinkedIn: