Watch the Construction of the new Cooper River Bridge


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The Bridge Blog
A dialog about our new bridge and these web pages

Overview. As a pointy-headed university professor, my weekend project of bridge photography and building these web pages generated many questions and introduced me to just-in-time learning. I enjoy chasing my curiosity and want to identify ways to encourage younger learners to also enjoy curiosity chasing and learning.

Learning usually requires repetition while forgetting occurs when I infrequently use information. Many young learners do not understand the importance of repetition. Weekly visits to the bridge provided the repetition necessary to detect changes in the bridge and consequently generated many questions and opportunities for learning. Over the course of the bridge project, I had access to few experts for answering questions. Rather than a liability, this became an asset and pushed me to improve my search skills with Google. Soon, I found that answers to questions encountered during my weekly photo shoots were often only a Google-search away - (see Restoring the Joy in Learning). Consequently Google + Internet became dependable extensions of my memory.

The bridge story is a work in progress and is evolving from a simple collections of photographs to an experiment with Internet-centric just-in-time learning. Insights I gain from you will find their way into the learning centers of MUSC. Palmetto Bridge Constructors, a joint venture between Tidewater Skanska and Flatiron Constructors, as well as High Steel Structures, Freyssinet, the SCDOT and the Federal Highway Commission Office of Bridge Technology guided much of my learning. I also learn from many of you and from Google-linked resources. More important is the e-mail encouragement I receive from many of you.

Wed, 20 Aug 2003

August, 2003: How this began.
This web page started very innocently. I took my grandchildren to the SC Aquarium where I took a photo of my grandkids with the new bridge in the background. About two months later, more grandkids appeared, another visit to the Aquarium and another photo. When I returned home, I noted that the bridge had grown enough to notice - so the next week, I returned to the aquarium to take a photo from the same location. It was closed (7am Sunday morning) - so I went next door to the pier which became my permanent data collection spot. The routine of weekly photos changed from an innocent group of photos for my grandchildren to a web site where my grandchildren could watch the progress from their homes in Minneapolis (now Nashville), Allentown and Louisville. But there is more to this than simply taking photos. Mike, one of my sons, told me a long time ago that my photos were not interesting unless I took photos with a mental image of a story I was trying to tell. Then Josh (another son) showed me how to make humorous photo essays - starting with our adventures in India. Since I started the Cooper River Bridge story, many others have encouraged me to continue - so here are the weekly (mostly) updates of our cable-stayed new Cooper River Bridge. The lesson? Nothing happens until you start.

posted at: 08:02 | path: | permanent link to this entry

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