After 8 years of exciting and challenging work with Burlington Public Schools, I have moved on. Starting in early August, I’ll begin working for the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. My new position title is “Educational Technology Specialist,” and I’ll be helping the excellent team there towards improving their online and blended course offerings. I’m very excited to begin a new challenge in a new environment. I’m a little sad to leave Burlington- they’ve treated me well there, and I can’t think of a better place to have grown and learned as an educator. It’s a great team, and if you’re a k-12 teacher looking for a job in Massachusetts, you’d be wise to look there. That said, it was time for me to step out into the unknown.
A lazy Sunday afternoon at the park.
It’s been a while.
Here’s what’s captured my interest recently:
- Shooting lots of Time Lapse video
- Researching Sketchnoting (lots more to come here)
- Automatic watches
- Small EVF & Mounting ideas
- ENG lenses mounted to modern DSLR bodies
- Sourcing Dot-Grid paper (limited options here- maybe print my own?)
- Data Mining Social Media using statistical analysis
- More automation via IFTTT
- Styluses for iPads
- Activity tracker research (again and some more)
Since my previous camera went belly-up, I’ve picked up a Nikon D5300 (which I like in every way thus far). This is some of the first test footage that’s come off that camera, with just a quick edit. I used a 30+ year old Vivitar 28mm f2.5 Konica AR lens with a ND8+4 rig for light control (and so I could shoot wide open…).
This has been brewing for a while. Ask anyone who works with me (as I’ve likely ranted at them recently), and I’m not the first person to have the thought. Still.
The difference between what we know and what we do troubles me. Examples?
1. We know that the formalized teaching of grammar doesn’t actually lead to better writing from students. We’ve known this (using science!) since the 60′s. We still teach formalized grammar to “improve writing.”
2. We know sitting is bad for us. We continue to fill classrooms with chairs (and demand students stay in them).
And sadly, there are many more. So many more, I’m afraid, that I can’t even begin to enumerate them here. And for me, it was the realization of how different our schools would look if we took into account the things we know.
I drive more than the average American- instead of the “industry standard” 12,000 miles a year, I’m pushing closer to 18,000. That’s a lot more. As a result, and because I’m a car dork, I’m always looking for a better solution.
Today, Tesla cars announced they will debut their new “$40,000 ish” Model E. That’s exciting to me, since their Model S is what I’d run out and buy should I win the lottery tomorrow (Yes, over an M5 or E63 or S6…). It’s not that it’s a nice car (though that’s also true), but rather that it costs an amazing 4.5 cents per mile to operate. That’s it. I spend somewhere north of $3000 a year on gasoline, and by Tesla’s math it costs $240 a year in electricity to fuel one of their cars. It’d take a long time to make up the difference between my current price bracket (read: cheap) and the Model S ($70,000 base). But at 40k, over, say, 7 years, I’d make up the difference. Meaning the cost of a gasoline car plus the gas over seven years would equal the price of the Model E plus electricity. That’s nuts.
I likely won’t be in the market when the Model E debuts, but it’s starting to look like by the time I’m ready to buy my next car, it very well might be electric. I always assumed that would happen some day- but I never thought it’d be in time for my next car.
Welcome to the future.
Here’s what I’ve been looking at for the last week:
- 3D modeling to printing workflows based around iOS devices
- Joseph Cornell boxes
- Bandwidth requirements of 4k monitors (at 24 and 32 bit color depth)
- Analog displays of digital data
- Polar tours on Russian Nuclear Icebreaker ships (this is totally a thing)
- Some interesting research looking at what raising MCAS scores does for other types of learning (answer: not much)
- Old-school waterproofing via wax application
- Watching Panasonic Lumix GH2 pricing