Monday, December 20, 2010
Familiar faces... family, friends... old and new came together this afternoon to dedicate the Studio here in the Smith Center to Brian Gawlik... and the dedication on the memorial so reads:
THE BRIAN GAWLIK STUDIO
dedicated to the memory of
Brian came to Burr and Burton in 1999, a year after the Smith Center for Communications opened. Thanks to a generous gift from Barbara Riley and Gerald Levin, the lower level had been fitted out with a state-of-the art digital television studio complete with digital cameras, two editing bays and Avid editing stations. With his rich background in professional video editing, and news production, Brian brough just the right combination of talent, experience and personal skills to the task of setting up a vibrant communications program for students.
Under his expert, sometimes teasing, yet always gentle direction, his students became the writers, producers journalists and designers of their own news shows and films. He had high standards for their work in class and for how they conducted themselves out of class. He wanted them to have real-world experience and be professional in all they did. He was as likely to be seen instructing them in the finer points of tying a tie as checking light levels. Many of his students have gone on to work in the industry. None of them will forget him.
Brian also helped many local community organizations who came to him with requests for his experience in film and audio technology. He was unfailingly generous with his time. He is remembered by many in the community for his years as a volunteer with Race for the Cure cure committee responsible for the annual Summer event to benefit breast cancer research.
Born on March 25, 1961, in New York City, Brian moved with his family to Sunderland, Vermont in 1973. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Lyndon State College in 1983, he worked for the college's NewsLINC program. He went on to be a freelance editor and videographer for CNN and MSNBC and worked for Galaxy Broadcasting in Bondville before coming to Burr and Burton.
Brian Gawlik, teacher, mentor, and friend, died on December 8, 2009 after a long and courageous fight with cancer. He was 48 years old. He is honored and missed by the Burr and Burton community, but his legacy will live on in the students who benefit from the program he began.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Here's a great vid from the site. I love this sort of stuff!
Earlier this week in this 'Education Revisited' assignment we asked:
Is it necessary to teach mathematics today the way we usually do?We took on this speech on TED by Conrad Wolfram in class earlier this week. Is it necessary to focus so much on hand based computation when we teach math?
Wolfram talks of working with students on:
1. Posing the right questions.
2. Real world math formulation.
4. Math formulation. Real world verification.
Step 3. in Wolfram's sequence is 'Computation' and he poses that that's where illogically spend most of our time these days with students, why too many feel disconnected with math. I'd say he's right.
Keep the doodles in mind above doodles above and take a look at Stephen Wolfram's heady speech on 'Computing the Theory of Everything.'
Imagine project work where we use powerful tools like Mathematica, where we focus more effort on steps 1, 2, and 4, where we use the web and incorporate the principles of design into work in schools... instead of focusing so much on repetitive paper based computation. Exciting stuff.
We once thought venturing to the moon was beyond the scope of humanity. Standing on a corner and using something like a smartphone... was science fiction 25 years ago. Making movies with special effects like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, like Avatar or Inception used to be impossible. Might we use things like GapMinder to visualize very complex urban societal problems and conjure up solutions more quickly? Might we venture on to the fabled 'Star Trek Warp Drive' where we travel at the speed of light... or beyond the speed of light? It might sound crazy. Then again... it might not.
So... Business as usual... or a new frontier? Some great discussions brewing. Many thanks to Alex for passing on that site. AP
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I referred these folks to our Proposals page to view our pieces discussed here in more detail.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Folks have chosen study topics, started journals, assembled materials, software and equipment to help the projects along. We dove into some tips to get started and took on Diigo and Twitter to help expand research and open up resources ala aggregation. Our camera stock is on the move for digital editing projects and recording interviews. Discussions on the news are also underway with more to come in the next few weeks. Discussions on project management are being woven in every day as well. Chinese, German, Japanese and English students and the Google Translator are in full swing. Not bad tinkering for about 20 days.
Just getting started. Engage.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
So I was talking with my academic advisor about my Calc 1 class I had signed up for. As soon as I walked in he was like, "I don't think you should take Calc..I think we're going to put you into a web design class using Flash CS4 and Dream weaver, I'm sure you haven't used it yet but I think you'd be interested in it more than Calculus"
Thursday, August 26, 2010
On the 21st I took a tumble down some steps in the rain while carrying a friends munchkin. I very happy to report that the munchkin is intact... Not even a scrape as I was able to pull her onto my chest as I fell. My tailbone and lower back... Not so much. Took a ride down four steps and onto the pavement. Hey, all the more reason to wear a cape! The fall left me pretty sore with some good bruises. Not a great way to end the Summer!
On our return trip to Manchester I needed to shore up the Lab for the Guidance Dept to work with the Senior class for Wednesday am. Kevin Morrison, our neighbor Stephanie, my two kids, and Janice helped me shore up the room: resetting tables, computers and cables, cleaning and some touch-up painting. Many hands make light work. Something that usually takes me about 7-8 hours we knocked out in just under three. Many thanks to the crew for their help. I couldn't have done it without them.
I'm on the mend and improving day to day. Now it only hurts when I breathe! Hahaha!
-- Posted from batphone
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This marks my third year back on a bike... And I've loved every second of it.
I whisked out these three years on a Trek 1.5 road bike. It carries itself and me on some Bontrager SS 25 rims and Select B 25x700 tires. The bike came with 23s and they had some trouble toting around 215 pounds of me so Trek swapped them out at no charge... Which I appreciated immensely. The 1.5 has an aluminium frame, and carbon forks in the front. Ipgraded to a longer neck extension (for free at the local bike shop... Battenkill Sports Cycling Shop... Thanks Robin!) because I like to lean forward more. I like to ride at 100psi in both tires since moving to the 25s... Helps it feel a bit more free on the road. With the tires at 100psi and the aluminum frame being stiff on the 1.5 I compensated a bit to accommodate for distance rides by putting on a softer seat, a Serfas RX+ (which was not free but well worth it). I also upgraded to some dual function Shimano pedals so I can ride with clips or shoes. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I've discovered over these three years I never ride with shoes! All told the 1.5 is a significant upgrade from the old 17 pound Vista Espada I used to ride no doubt.
I piled on more distance this Summer than the previous two years, averaging about 325-400 miles per week and a high one week of roughly 500. All that time on the road can lead to some thinking.
300 plus miles per week, and a trip average of about 50-70 miles seems my comfort limit on the 1.5 in my hips and lower back. Long trips with some almonds and other snacks, some water mixed with water and occasionally orange juice has kept me fueled... As well as some stops for some great delis along the way. The extended distance got me to thinking about looking into some new bikes... Some bikes that are less rigid, that carry a bit more flex. To boldly go...
Based on how much I've enjoyed this bike I'd certainly look at a Trek Again. The 2X series seems similar to what I've got so I'll look toward Madone series as a next step. Researching components and specs led me down the high end path a few days ago... like a Time frame and some Zipp 404s. Just those two components though are more than I'd spend, likely in the $6500 range! Like most things, there's no limit to the amount you can spend on bikes.
So... With a drive inside to put more distance on a bike... What next? Stick with the 1.5 and upgrade a few more components like new pedals and shoes? Having some shoes that are lighter and more stiff would be a good thing I'm thinking atm. It'd help me drive more power to the pedals with less foot flex.
As I look at new bikes... Is my goal to go more distance? Faster? Both? Just to enjoy a new sled and seek out it's limitations?
I'll also be switching from Gatorade to Hammer Fuel for longer trips for sure. Tastes less sweet while having and equal amount of sugar while offering up more protein and carbs. Seems like a good ticket.
All good questions.
Perhaps I'll go for another ride and give it a think.
-- Posted from batphone
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
TECH RESEARCH LAB
1 credit Level 2
How many times have you said, “I’d like to try that?” Ever wanted to explore a topic but not dedicate a full semester to it? What if you had the opportunity to propose your own topic and bring that interest to fruition either working in a group with your friends or on and individual project? What if you could study alternative energy, technology in “green” buildings, hydroponics, how skis are made, or even something like how technology is shaping the future of education? That's the trick here: You choose the topic. You also choose the duration of your project. Take on up to three different projects in one semester, devote an entire semester or year to a project, take multiple sections of this course simultaneously, or extend topic tracks into successive years by repeating sections of this flexible course. With up to twenty different projects underway in the room at the same time it's a pretty dynamic atmosphere. Along the way, we explore how technology is changing the news, education, business, the cell phone landscape, the Internet, e-commerce, collaboration, computer gaming and entertainment, and even the future of medicine and aging. We incorporate modern web apps like Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter, blogs, and aggregators like iGoogle. On top of it all we seek to polish up your project management, research skill, public speaking and collaboration skills. It's a chance to explore your own diverse interests, or even get a jump start on a career or major all while you work in an alternative learning environment. Traditional course offerings not spark your interest or something you read here make you curious? If so, Tech Research is the course for you.
PREREQUISITE: Sophomore, Juniors and Seniors or permission of instructor.
SOCIAL NETWORKING: A SENIOR SEMINAR
eDESIGN: DIGITAL ART, VIDEO, AUDIO, AND WEB PUBLISHING
Rekindle your creative and experimental spark in this course and dive into the creative world of digital design and build your skill at the same time. Our project themes here range from the dark and mysterious to fun and whimsical. Rekindling your creative spark may prove more fun than you think. Students also design their own themes here with the intent of sharing their work with friends and family and publishing their work to the web. In the first half of this course students will explore and develop skills in digital design by experimenting with programs in the Adobe Suite like Photoshop, and various open-source programs like GIMP. In the second half of the course, students will learn basic and modern techniques of web publishing using a variety of tools including various blogs, wikis, through feature-rich applications like Dreamweaver and even on to mobile devices.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
There's no end of avenues to write about that happened over the last ten years. World events, nature, the economy, education... It'd be a long entry. So, I decided to try and summarize it all... succinctly... and here's what I came up with:
That about sums it up I think.
There are tons of summaries anyway out there already.
What's ahead in the next decade? Thats where my thoughts usually land. Here's a few thoughts on the technology front:
We're entering a new era of visual data summaries and search on the web, an era where we won't just talk about data being king... it will be. Searching the 'real-time web,' seeing trends develop as they happen is on the front burner of every major search engine, and hoards of businesses.
Social networking will continue to expand exponentially. Smart phones, laptops, netbooks, tablets and e-paper... the affordability of these tools will bring billions of users and volumes of information into the web. These tools will also continue to bring incredible opportunities for folks to learn and enrich their lives. It will be increasingly easy to use but it will take refined skills to take advantage of it all. There will be new social challenges with this development too. Discussions have evolved from the dangers of reading newspapers to texting while driving. It's no different from every era in education... another 'new' era in information, education and connectivity. It's my hope that "The Tipping Point,' a phenomenon summarized by Malcom Gladwell, will at last hit education in the main regarding technology. We're close I think. 'Out of sight, out of mind' won't get us anywhere we need to be. We'll gain far more ground by focusing on building skills rather than business as usual. Shifting to smart boards is not the answer. The tools themselves are not the answer... but we've started down a path to meet these challenges, to engage these discussions... a start toward increasing skills and building fluency. It takes access. Getting folks involved is the key.
How will education shift in this next decade? We'll see. Hopefully online courses, alternative schedules, internship opportunities, revised school lunch programs and the inclusion of technology will offer great potential for education. There are some encouraging developments out there. The Virtual Florida program (and this one too... there are two) and the Science and Leadership Academy in Philadelphia are two innovators that come to mind.
The Human Genome Project will continue lead to new advancements in medicine in both proactive and reactive care. The advancements will push on research around the expansion of regenerative medicine, organ replacement and extension of the human life span (see The Methuselah Project). Were in for some incredible debates in the coming decades.
Discussions on conserving energy, alternative fuels, propulsion, new materials like Aerogel... we're headed for some interesting times. $4 a gallon for gas two summers ago while oil companies made record profits... still doesn't sit well with me. Solar energy, wind power, alternative fuels, short range autos and cycles... inspiring design and new innovation is on the horizon.
I can't help but wonder what 'phones' will look like 10 years from now. Skype, Grand Central/Google Voice, the Blackberry, iPhone... they've all changed the face of how... we stepped into the mobile access era. Something more than just a phone. Will conventional household phones exist 10 years from now? I'm guessing no.
There's far more to write about but we'll get onto that later this year.
What were we doing 10 years ago? Giving a look at what's available today will help. What will we be discussing 10 years from now? Students entering 1st grade will be halfway through their high school career 10 years from now. What will their education look like? What will the collegiate realm look like? Global / online commerce and business? What tools will be in folks hands? What will we be driving? Stay tuned.
On a personal front... what a trip it's been. I've had the fortune to work with some great folks along the way and we've done a good share of innovating and development. The thought of building on that work...
Let's get to it.