Welcome to Math Lab!

This blog is where you will find class announcements and tutorial videos. Each week I will post video clips of problem explanations from class. If there is a question that I don’t get to answer in class, I will answer it and post a video here, as well.

Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions. The syllabus is linked below with my contact information.

(You will need to log into your UA Google account to open this link.)


Collection II: DigCit/Lit/etc

I’m running about two weeks behind on everything in my life right now, Nousion included. (This is bad because my anniversary was last week and I leave on vacation next week.) I’m not finished with Collection II, yet; but I figured I should post something to stay in the conversation, since connexion is an important part of citizenship. I will add things below as I finish them. (Chris, I’ll let you know when I’m finished.) I’ve already started on Collection III, so the next week on my Nousion blog will be a mix.

Where are you now?: Digital Boy Scout

Exploring “Digital Cit”:

Digital Literacies I:

Bling Your Blog: Understated Blog

Digital Literacies II:

Make and Share:

Cardboard Your Community: Pinky’s Park Photoshere

The first day that I tried to do this assignment, I couldn’t get my camera to work in the place where I wanted it. I ended up going to the Bethel seawall and trying again there. That photosphere is now one of the headline pictures for Bethel on Google Maps. I went back to the spot I wanted to use for the assignment a few days later and captured the photosphere linked above. The boardwalk in Pinky’s Park is a place where my family likes to take walks. The windmills in picture are around the campus of the training center where I work.

Understated Blog

I got carried away doing things that fall under the “Bling Your Blog” assignment before it was assigned. I wasted a lot of time during Collection I playing with colors and figuring out how to mix blog streams and static pages. I added a couple widgets to the side: a text widget with a bio and another with the menu. I will probably tweak the colors again—they’re too bold now.

I checked out other themes and decided that I like the default twenty-sixteen theme. I am a fan of serif fonts and menus along the top, which are defaults in this theme. I’ll probably keep it. I haven’t found any problems yet that require a plug-in to fix, so I haven’t installed any extras.

Digital Boy Scout

I’ve done a lot of thinking about unqualified citizenship, and my thinking on digital citizenship is based entirely on that. Digital citizenship for me, in short, looks something like living the Scout Law online.

And since we aren’t allowed any links or research in this post, from memory, A Scout is:

  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean, and
  • Reverent.

I think my initial thought on digital citizenship is about how we present ourselves in the digital public sphere and interact with each other. This begins to break down when we consider participatory democracy and community involvement as parts of citizenship, what I would describe as “civic duty.” What is required of us as digital citizens? We don’t digital vote or digital serve on digital juries. We don’t digital volunteer at the digital animal shelter or digital collect digital canned goods for the digital food bank. 

I have seen a place for participatory digital citizenship. We can do things like update Wikipedia, as a public service. We can participate in democracy by signing petitions, answering polls, donating to causes, and perhaps even participating in Anonymous actions. All of these activities are actually non-digital citizenship executed in the digital sphere; and I don’t know how many people actually participate in them.

Collection I: Geeking Out

Many apologies for the late post. I am traveling with my family this week. I hoped to post all of the choice assignments and this collection Saturday night, when we got to Kodiak, but I did not get a chance. After the first day of exploring the island with the family, I am posting late, late Sunday night.

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet:  twitter.com/KwiekMath

Barbaric Blog Yawp:  ndkwiek.com/nousion/yawp

Make & Share:  Equal Area Demonstration (silent video)

Tell Me What You Want:

Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 1) — children and social media
Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 2) — parenting for success
Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 3) — digital recognition

Think About Your Thinking:

Domain & Blog


Thinking: Yawp

This assignment was fun. It appealed to that part of me that wants to tell my story, even if no one wants to hear it. The hard part was deciding how to tell that story, where to focus, where to start. I ended up tacking an extra paragraph onto the end to answer the questions in the prompt, but I think that might have been the best paragraph. The lists were a great part of the assignment and could even have stood on their own as a separate assignment.

My advice to future students doing this assignment: think of a theme for your yawp before you start.

Thinking: Tweet

I’m still not sure I did this one correctly.

Before this assignment, I had a personal Twitter account, but I had never tweeted anything. On my personal account, I still haven’t tweeted anything. I read other people’s tweets, but I say nothing. I think of it like the time when I was in my 20s when I would go to a bar or coffee shop alone and sit in the corner with a book and overhear other people’s conversations. I didn’t think anyone cared what I had to say.

Not wanting my personal Twitter followers to be subjected to my tweets for school, I created a new Twitter account for class. I might use it for work afterward. I posted my first tweet, but then I retreated to listening. My biggest challenge is convincing myself that what I have to say can be said in 140 characters and still be worth reading. I feel like an Ent.

My advice to future students doing this assignment: strike up a conversation, perhaps with Chris, right away. Get comfortable with the medium so that it becomes useful.

Thinking: Domain and Blog

I am, for the purposes of this assignment, considering the domain and blog setup assignments as one. At least in my case, one led seamlessly into the other. They were one activity that I completed in one sitting. They did not make sense alone.

It is easy to be a digital consumer—to have an account on Facebook or Twitter, to watch YouTube videos, to shop on Amazon, and so on. But to be a digital citizen requires some agency. Setting up our own domain and blog gave us that agency. Before doing this, I did not have my own presence on the internet. I had a presence as provided by other websites. I am still dependent on Reclaim Hosting and WordPress, but now I have my own space where I can present myself and interact with others however I want.

I found two challenges in this pair of assignments. The first was deciding on a domain name. So much of an identity can be determined by a name, especially in an arbitrary and anonymous environment like the internet. I decided to simply use my name. The next was setting up the website and knowing when to stop. It is easy to get sidetracked from other assignments and get sucked into rabbit holes of web design by trying to fix one feature or another. I have spent a lot of time poking around WordPress, trying to improve features of my site.

My advice to future students doing these assignments: Choose a name that succinctly communicates what your site is or who you are. Once you have it created, you can keep tweaking it forever. Don’t get stuck on the formatting. Design can evolve.

Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 3)

Digital Identity and Recognition

Part 1 of “Natural Born Digital Citizens?” raised the question of creating a digital identity for our children before they have the ability to take ownership of it. One of the issues raised in both articles linked in that post was facial recognition in photos online. Both articles argued against posting photos of children in part because of the ability of some websites to recognize faces and track people.

This is a potential issue not only for the younger generation but also for those who are acting and interacting online now. It goes beyond facial recognition. Bibliography websites offer to scan your paper for plagiarism—which means they can recognize published works nested in other works. Apple Music transfers users’ iTunes libraries to the cloud, not by copying them but by linking them to files that are already there, whether or not the files are an exact match—which means they can recognize songs, even if they are different recordings. The ability for online entities to recognize and organize people and things, correctly or incorrectly, could eventually confuse identity and stifle creativity.

What are the implications for digital citizenship if digital identity depends on recognition, especially if recognition can go wrong?

Natural Born Digital Citizens? (part 2)

Digital Citizenship and Children, part 2

My wife shared an interesting article with me over the weekend from Business Insider titled, “Science says parents of unsuccessful kids could have these 9 things in common.” Linked to the end of it was the inverse article: Science says parents of successful kids have these 13 things in common.

Two of the things that parents do wrong, according to the first article, are of interest to our class. The first is allowing “screen time” too young. The second is parents using their cellphones around their kids. I am guilty of both. We don’t have TV, so my son doesn’t get to watch much. But one guaranteed way to chill him out if he is having a meltdown is to let him watch “Mahna Mahna,” often on loop. And my wife and I keep our phones constantly on our persons. I compulsively check my email. But my phone also supplies music for our adventures and is my camera, so he has a relationship with it, too.

If, as Science tells us, early screen time and parent cellphone use are counter-indicators for children’s success, how do we teach our children good digital social skills? If modeling and practice are both discouraged, what is left to do? This is also interesting for our roles as teachers. How we personally engage in our digital citizenship, not just in terms of lessons and planning, in the presence of our students must have an influence.

I teach adults. I find that many of those who are just out of high school or who didn’t finish high school do not have good digital fluency or etiquette. How do we model that for them, if we are trying to be professional by leaving our cellphones at our desks when we teach and pretending not to be socially engaged online?