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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.

Sun, 23 Jan 2005

Jan 23, 2005: More than photos.
Thinking about the evolution of these pages over the past 18 months, I realize that what I'm doing is telling a story as it unfolds - a story about what I see each week as I look at the bridge construction from afar (running across the James Island connector at noon). I have removed "afar" and weekly I take a standard set of photographs from the SC Aquarium and while riding a bicycle over the old bridge.This represents the core "data" for my project. From these images, I can track changes, and when I see something new or puzzling, I start a side exploration, just as I would in the laboratory. I ask Google somequestions and if what I learn seems useful to share, it becomes part of the dialog in this photo-essay. For kids, I call this chasing my curiosity and it is ok not only for kids but also for adults to chase their curiosity and ask questions. In this manner, there are no teachers and students but a group of co-learners.

posted at: 06:11 | path: | permanent link to this entry

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