Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Digital Remastering: The Summer Work of 2023

The Lessons of Phyz at TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) began in 2018 with the publication of question sets for The Mechanical Universe (High School Adaptation) episodes. At the time, those episodes were not available for purchase, nor did they stream. [Now, all episodes of The Mechanical Universe stream freely.]

Other series and a variety of single-episode documentaries were added in 2019. When the pandemic hit in 2020, it became clear that the Google Docs format was the new PDF, so I began the work of transforming all my extant PDF resources into Google Docs. When remote teaching morphed into hybrid learning in 2021, I found I needed to post resources as "print-friendly Google Docs", files that could be assigned and collected in Google Classroom (or other LMSs) and could also be printed for use in the classroom for in-person instruction.

Hundreds of resources have since been added. The Lessons of Phyz offers 640 products as I write this post. But as the months and years have rolled by, I have discovered a few things about my resources.

I've solidified some formatting and style aesthetics that weren't always consistent in the early works. And I've notice a phenomenon that I can only refer to as "digital drift": a microscopic change in Google's fonts or kerning which—on rare occasions—altered the formatting in some documents, especially when printing them.

So I've spent this summer "digitally remastering" the old documents so that they would behave better in general, and when particularly printed. It's important to me that these documents perform as I intended them to when I created them.

As I was finishing that work, news arrived that Paul Hewitt's Conceptual Physics Alive! video series had become available to stream or download for free. So I remastered all my CPA question sets to include clickable links to the corresponding video. Embedded video links were already incorporated in The Mechanical Universe, Kinetic Karnival, and other series and stand-alone episodes in which a video streamed freely. 

Any typos found in remastering were fixed. I suppose it was like weeding a garden.

In any case, the store's products have been polished and the shelves are handsomely stocked as we head into the 2023-24 school year. 

Oh, and TPT has a new logo, too. It combines the apple and document sharing elements of the legacy logo and the color scheme of the short-lived, newer logo. I like it. 

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