dan lasota's masters in education portfolio for online innovation and design


Web-based Tools

30 March 2014

In this activity you will arrange common physical objects into a line based on a function that you will randomly generate. You will use the materials to create a very short, six second video which you will share with the class. You may use the tablet devices that were handed out at the beginning of the class, but you can use other recorders or mobile devices if you wish.

You are going to film physical objects being arranged in a line, not just any line, but a line specified by a function in the slope-intercept form.

Remember that the slope-intercept form for functions is
y = mx +b

Before you begin you’ll need to gather some materials:

  • Some small ¬†objects like glass beads, pennies, or washers
  • graph paper
  • camera capable of capturing short films

In order to graph an equation in this form, you will first have to be given the values for m (the slope) and b (the y-intercept). Rather than being ‘given’ them, you are going to use a web site to randomly determine what these constants are. ¬†Visit http://random.org

You will see a small form similar to the one below:

Simple number generator that creates integers from between the entered min and max. Available on random.org

First generate the Y-axis intercept (the ‘b’ in the function). You are going to generate an integer between -4 and 4. Click the generate button and record the result.

Use the same method to generate the slope variable, m. This time generate an integer between negative and positive 3. You can accomplish this by setting -3 as the min and 3 as the max. Record this result.

Now that you have your function, you are going to record yourself placing small objects along the line described by your function. The end product will be a short film very similar to the one below:

The short looping film above is called a ‘Vine’ and is produced using an app on mobile devices aptly named ‘Vine’. You can get started with Vine by reading this short help article, and then downloading the right app for your mobile device. (If you’d like to use another app or device to make a short film, feel free!)

Your short film should:

  • be no longer than 6 seconds
  • be embedded into the class blog on a post with the ‘function-film’ category
  • display the function you are graphing
  • animate the drawing of the graph in some way

You will be graded based on the following rubric for a possible 10 pts:

0 – 1 2
length Six seconds or less Longer than six seconds
function function is clearly labeled and readable function is not visible or on the screen for too short a time
accuracy neither the slope or y intercept is correct on your graph
you correctly graphed either the slope or the intercept
the graph is correct
presentation you only provide a link to your video you embed your video directly into your blog post
timeliness your assignment is late assignment on time

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