Monday, September 20, 2010

Neverending updates and upgrades at

I am back to being the sole proprietor of physics at Rio Americano. That hasn't been the case since 1995. But biology was up--way up--and physics was down.

The division of labor involved in producing Book of Phyz handouts for students is now undivided and reunited, all on my plate. I can get the district to do most of the printing by sending them PDF-based print orders. (That time spent learning PDFs in 1999-2000 is paying off.)

I always want to print the latest versions of all my curriculum materials. So I need to create PDFs of all my updated documents. The upside is that I can then post them to The Book of Phyz resource at As of this weekend, the whole of the Physics 1 first semester is online.

I'm also upgrading the PowerPoints. Of course, I don't use PowerPoint. My posted presentations are actually interactive QuickTime movies rendered by Apple's Keynote. When I started using Keynote, I went with a resolution of 800x600. Seemed hi-res at the time. Keynote scales when sending presos to the projector. So there was never a problem for me showing my presos in class.

But the rendered QTs did not fare so well. The looked jaggy. So when I can, I'm changing the resolution of the presos to 1650x1050 and re-rendering the QTs. They weigh in with many more megabytes, but they look much, much better. I'm trying to tag the upgraded presos as "HD."

And I just posted a new, Zen-like preso to accompany the Clever Dumbbell demonstration. No words past the title page! If you do the demo on a regular basis, you'll figure out how to leverage the preso. I also posted a simple preso to accompany the Cannonball demo.

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