Undergraduate Studies

What’s up everyone?  My name is Matt McDevitt and this is my first year here at York College.  Prior to coming to York College I attended NYIT in Old Westbury, Long Island. Sorry for posting this so late but if I had to sum up my undergraduate experience at New York Institute of Technology, this picture pretty much hit the nail on the head.  I spent a lot of my college career just going through the motions without any real direction or motivation.

Lets Chat Biology ..

As i was looking through Biology blogs the one that caught my interest was “The Biology Corner,” which is for students and teachers. Last semester i took Biology 202 and learned about ATP synthase if i had known about this website it would of been helpful for me. The good thing about this Blog is it’s open to the public not just for the classroom students.

The teacher set up photos and allows us to check out the Flickr Photostream to view those images. The teacher says Flickr is a great resource for organizing photos and allows the teacher to store photos that other teachers might find useful, like the images of cheek cells and mitosis. I think this is a great idea becuase i believe students are visual learners and in Biology there are so many structures so pictures and videos is a plus for students to learn with. The teacher also has galleries located at Google’s Picasaweb. The Biology Cornor also has a Facebook where the teacher posts up things such as helpful video links. The Biology Corner offers this to help students learn about the cell cycle and has a quiz at the end which i find very helpful for students. When i become a teacher i would like to post up helpful tools such as this one for my students to have access to.

Chapter 6 – The Cell Cycle

Why Do Cells Divide?

Interphase (longest part of the cell cycle)

– nuclear division, number of chromosomes remains the same

Lets Break It Down

Interphase(technically not part of mitosis, but it is included in the cell cycle)Cell is in a resting phase, performing cell functions DNA replicates (copies)

Organelles double in number, to prepare for division

ProphaseSpindle formsCentrioles move to opposite poles Chromosomes become visible
MetaphaseChromosomes line up along the equator
AnaphaseCentromeres divideChromatids separate and move to opposite poles
TelophaseNuclear membrane forms around each group of chromosomesChromosomes unwindCytokinesis begins


The process by which the cytoplasm divides and one cell becomes two individual cells. The process is different in plants and animals

Animals – cell pinches inward

Plants – a new cell wall forms between the two new cells

Practice Quiz on Mitosis

The Biology Corner wants students to not focus on just memorzing facts. The teacher explains how we all have our sacred cows – the topics and ideas we feel are absolutely important for students to know and leaving them out would be akin to a crime, these are non negotiable and you can always identify a sacred cow by the fervor with which a teacher defends the teaching of the topic. For instance, my sacred cow is evolution. I would feel any biology class would be incomplete and disjointed without its inclusion.

This pictures reveals how we as humans have evolved and technology is an important learning and teaching tool.

Our job is to help them be able to read and critically evaluate this information.

    Students don’t need to know everything, but they do need to have the tools to find and evaluate all the information that is so readily available to them.

Procrastination…Don’t We All Do It?

Why do I have to this?…There is no point of this stupid assignment…Omg I still have my math homework to do….maybe I should go get my hair and nails done first. No…no…omg…nooooooooooooooo…My assignment is due in the morning….Urgghhhhhhhh!!!



College has been a rough experience for me and this picture represents the determination I needed to work and attend college.I am determined to graduate regardless of the obstacles facing me and I am sure there are others with even greater problems than I have. I have also enjoyed most of the courses but always wished for more time to really study the topics in greater detail. http://www.bolivianmountains.com/assets/images/galleries/course/course1_large_1.jpg

assignment 1 ( what kind of teacher will you be?)

Like I said in my biography sketch in my profile I plan to teach HS Math, and later maybe I’ll go the other direction and teach elementary ed.The reason I want to teach HS first is because in the NYC schools we barely have qualified teacher in the mathematical field. Now from what I understood in the Rhizomatic Learning article, is that learning according to the Rhizomatic style is like a network of branches with learning. It is meaningful and not just remote less learning for standardized testing. It is equipping students with the tools to learn on their own and come up with their own ideas. I liked the connection the author made between nomads and learning, in which nomads don’t go for the norm sort to speak, they constantly change, as they move throughout the world. I also agree with the following quote: ” refuse to accept that my role as a teacher is to take the knowledge in my head and put it in someone else’s. That would make for a pretty limited world :),” I agree with it because, if we were all suppose to be made o think alike and conform, then we would all look the same, which we obviously don’t do to different features. The author poses many questions: Why do we teach? What does successful learning look like? What does a successful learner look like? How do we structure successful learning? Well I think we teach because in my belief learning is an automatic process that occurs everyday since the day you are born. So long as you come in contact with an object, sound, living thing you learn. Because we are open canvases waiting to be drawn/written upon. And that’s partly what I believe learning is. Not to say that norms aren’t important because without them we wouldn’t have a structured society with rules and regulations. There are certain things that must be learned why because it just is, like speaking, being able to walk etc. And there are things not needed to be learned because they come naturally like breathing. Now how do we know learning is successful, for the norms, like learning to behave etc. learning in that case is assessed based on whether or not society accepts it as a whole. In terms of ideas, and what is meaningful to learn that’s left to interpretation because not everyone conforms to a single idea, unless  you are studying math and are discussing postulates, those are taken as is and can’t be rewritten or undone. What does  a successful learner look like? Well I would say anyone who learns basically to survive in terms of what they feel is necessary in their life. But then again if you look at it from a worldly perspective successful learning is determined, by money, power, studies etc. Now how can we structure successful learning? That depends on the background, ideas and belief of the teachers. And it’s like what the author said and sort of like your teaching style Professor, well structured learning is constructed by equipping the students with the sufficient tools they need and letting them learn on their own with some guidance of course. And also having fun. Now to the author’s last question does Rhizomatic learning mesh with the ideas he discussed? Yes definitely it centers upon the concept that learning shouldn’t be a one way street, or conformity it should be enhancing  students minds and equipping them with the tools they need to make their own connections. And I think rhizomatic learning is an approach I would definitely use, because I can admit I like the old way because that’s the type of learner I was fostered to be since elementary school, but its 2012 and many things have changed so learning has to change along with it.


Mathematics has been my favorite subject for the past 12 years. My first 3 semesters at York, I’ve taken 1 math class per semester. My 4th semester I took 2 math classes. My 5th semester I took 3 math classes. My 6th semester, which will start January 27, 2012, I will be taking 4 math classes. I will have one more math class after the Spring 2012 semester. THANK GOD! I sleep, drink, and eat math.

Dear Math, I am not your therapist…solve your own problems.