Watch the demolition (unbuilding) of the Grace and Pearman Bridges (old Cooper River Bridges)

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

Overview. Schools and universities are all about learning - and learning is mostlly brain training. Learning is expedited by repetition and forgetting is expedited by infrequent use of learned skills or information. Tracking the building of the Ravenel Bridge and now tracking the demolition of the Grace and Pearman Bridges bring many questions to me and help me better understand the role Google and the Internet play in 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.

Many young learners do not understand the importance of repetition. More important, while experienced learners understand the learning process they often do not realize the destructive effects of the forgetting process. Over the course of the bridge project, I have access to only a few experts. Rather than a liability, this has become an asset and pushed me to improve my search skills with Google. Soon, I realized that answers to questions encountered during my photo adventures were often only a Google-search away. Gene Stead, my first boss and I put these ideas together in a small essay: (see Restoring the Joy in Learning).

Google + Internet have become dependable extensions of my memory. Insights I gain from you and this project will find their way into the learning centers in our schools and universities.

Thu, 11 Aug 2005

August 11, 2005: A little weather and a little web page design.
During the construction of the Ravenel Bridge hurricane cables were installed to provide some lateral stability under high wind loads. At the same time, I was exploring how to harvest weather data from NOAA and the National Hurricane Center so that MUSC faculty, staff, students and worried parents of students (and perhaps worried parents of faculty / staff) could view primary data without visiting multiple web sites.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami provides RSS (Rich Site Summary) feeds that are small, Internet accessible, data files that include links to weather advisories and storm projection graphics. From these links we wrote a short script to periodically download the updated advisories and satellite imagery and storm projections. Our MUSC site presents this and other harvested data on a single web page.

For the demolition project, I thought it would be useful to present a minimum set of data so all of us could follow the interactions between the weather and bridge demolition. Now, Satya Phanse, one of my guys in the IT Lab thought it would be useful to selectively display or hide my introductory remarks and worked out a short segment of javascript that enables you to display or hide web page segments.

I learn by example, so I copied Satya's example, adapted it to our bridge page and after 1 mistake (mine) - it works.

posted at: 08:00 | path: | permanent link to this entry

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