Updates on screencasts and Reconnect

Sorry for the light blogging lately. I haven’t had a whole lot on my mind lately other than screencasting and getting logistics put in place for the Reconnect conference, which is next week.

I spent the better part of last week throwing out all my LaTeX screencasts (four of them completed), restructuring the topical outline to involve fewer dependencies between ‘casts, and actually writing out scripts for the ‘casts that I would follow. (The ones that I had made were basically done off-the-cuff with only an outline in front of me, and they were a little raw.) Having done that, I made the new first two screencasts using the scripts and the special-secret video compression settings that I blogged about here. The first one came out totally unreadable; the second one mysteriously vanished from my hard drive.

So I’ve spent the better part of this morning redoing the first two, scripting out and doing another, and scripting out yet another that I might get done today. I have twelve planned, and I want to get them all done along with a smaller collection of Excel and Derive screencasts, all before leaving for the Reconnect conference.

I’ll be leaving for that conference on Sunday morning and returning around midnight on the following Saturday. I’m excited about the conference and hoping that the stated prerequisites — “basic mathematics (algebra) and elementary probability” according to the program — are actually accurate and don’t really mean those two subjects plus an assumed-and-unstated expert level of skill in programming, statistics, linguistics, and AI. (“Oh, we just assumed that anybody interested in this stuff would already know those!”) And I’m a little leery of the statement on the program that the two books on the reference list don’t need to be read before the conference. I went ahead and read the first half of one and the first third of the other, just in case.

My goal this week is to finish those screencasts, write up the updates to the precalculus mastery exams, and do all the basic groundwork for the textbook-free Modern Algebra class prior to leaving on Sunday. Blogging will either be somewhat heavy as I chronicle the tasks, or very light as I devote energy to getting them done. Stay tuned.


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