Tag Archives: technology

Five States Chosen to Receive Technical Assistance in Developing ‘Green’ Career-Technical Programs of Study

What the heck does ‘green’ mean. Glad to see the government is adding to the confusion of green technology. Now they’re gonna confuse the kids. Great.

original source

The U.S. Department of Education and its National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) in Louisville, Ky., announced today the selection of five states to receive technical assistance from the center in developing green-focused “programs of study” in career and technical education.

The states are: Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, and Oregon.

“Green means healthier learning environments for students and adults, plus lower energy costs and a stronger economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Green programs of study support the administration’s goal of expanding a green workforce by preparing students for high-skill, high-wage jobs in a clean energy economy.”

Following are the areas that the states have proposed to develop programs of study.

   * Georgia — energy, construction and transportation.

   * Illinois — energy, utilities and waste management.

   * New Jersey — various industries.

   * Ohio — energy, biotech and agriculture.

   * Oregon — wind, solar and construction.

Programs of study incorporate secondary and postsecondary elements in a progressive, non-duplicative curriculum, featuring coherent and rigorous technical and academic content and leading to a post-high school, industry-recognized credential or associate or baccalaureate degree.

“Programs of study should build on sound career development theory and may utilize dual or concurrent enrollment options or other strategies that will more effectively link high school and postsecondary education,” said National Research Center Director James R. Stone III.

The National Research Center will engage the five participating states in a 14-month process to develop “green-focused” programs. Each state will work with a facilitator to provide ongoing assistance along with consultation from content experts.

State teams will participate in a three-day technical assistance academy in winter 2009 in Washington, D.C. At the conclusion of this initiative, the selected states will work with the National Research Center to share their best and promising practices for implementing programs of study.

The Education Department’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education funds the center, which is located at the University of Louisville’s College of Education and Human Development. It generates scientifically based knowledge, disseminates findings, conducts professional development activities and provides technical assistance — all to improve career and technical education in the United States.

For more on the center, see its Web site at http://www.nrccte.org. Information on the Office of Vocational and Adult Education can be found at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/index.html.


Leave a comment

Filed under Links

An Undelivered Nixon Speech

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. The following speech, revealed in 1999, was prepared by Nixon’s then speechwriter, William Safire, to be used in the event of a disaster that would maroon the astronauts on the moon:


Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

   These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

   These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

   They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

   In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

   In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

   Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

   For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.


Leave a comment

Filed under Links

Ethics and Technology Education By Bill Havice and Roger Hill

Original Paper

Ethics and Technology Education
White Paper written for ITEA
By Bill Havice – Clemson University and Roger Hill – The University of Georgia

Ethics and Technology Education
The Issue
Today we live in an age of unparalleled change brought about by rapidly emerging technology. People throughout history have had to deal with the consequences of technological advancements. It is important that we make good choices to minimize negative social, environmental, and economic impacts of careless implementation of technology. Informed ethical decision making and proactive assessment of emerging technology is essential.
Regardless of how well intended, innovation and development of new technology have an ethical dimension. Technology itself is not capable of possessing moral or ethical qualities, but the ethical issues to be considered by the innovator include the following:
Production of technologies that waste energy and resources.
Production of new manufacturing processes that might inhibit employment, or might inflict suffering on some people.
Development of an innovation that has only questionable applications.
Introduction of technologies that raise hope, but have potential for failure and disappointment.

The ethics of various human endeavors are influenced and changed by new technologies. For example:
Bioengineering is largely consumed with questions that have been increased by new life-preserving technologies, new cloning technologies, and new technologies for implantation.
Rights of privacy are being continually attenuated by the emergence of new forms of surveillance and anonymity. Is it ethical to have video surveillance in public places?
Additionally, the emergence of the Internet has added new questions regarding privacy and free speech.

Characteristics of the Issue
Sample Energy and Power Technology Ethical Issue
Challenges today such as global warming and depleting and expensive oil supplies are causing humans to supplement energy needs with alternative energy sources to make changes in lifestyle. For example, the potential for harnessing energy from tidal waves is being realized. Tapping into wave power and tidal power is becoming a real possibility in places like Alaska, California, New York, Washington, and Nova Scotia.
City leaders in San Francisco are considering giant turbines submerged in the San Francisco Bay below the Golden Gate Bridge as an alternative energy to power homes. Cecilia Vega (2006) of the San Francisco Chronicle described this proposal in an article titled Tides around Golden Gate are Potential Energy Source. City leaders hope wave and tidal power will decrease the city’s dependence on oil and make San Francisco a hub for tidal power experimentation. A task force made up of environmental leaders, clean energy advocates and other experts will be formed to advise the city on the topic. “We have an imperative to do this,” City Mayor Newsom said. “This is not insignificant. The imperative is global warming, the high cost of energy, the scarcity of resources.”
San Francisco officials hope that turbines below the bridge will capture tidal energy from the powerful flow that circulates in and out of the mouth of the bay and would generate enough power for nearly 40,000 homes. Citizens in the San Francisco Bay area are faced with ethical questions regarding the development of emerging wave and tidal power options. These questions include:
Where will the turbines be located?
How large will the turbines be?
What are the potential environmental impacts to the bay, fish, and other marine life?
What evidence is there that existing tidal power usage, in other areas, does not harm the environment and marine life?
Who will own the power generated from the tides?
Who will pay to build and install the technology?
What federal and state regulatory approvals are required to submerge turbines below the Golden Gate Bridge?
Sample Ethical Issues in Information and Communication Technology
Emerging information and communication technologies like email, cellular phones, and electronic scheduling are replacing paper systems in business, industry, and education. These emerging digital technologies are quickly changing the work environment by promising increased efficiency and lower costs of office communications. Electronic systems must be understood and used appropriately or ethical challenges can occur without our knowledge. There are ways in which the improper use of an emerging communication technology can create an ethical dilemma.
For example, email can handle a majority of correspondence. This technology is not difficult to learn how to use, is convenient, and inexpensive. However, standard mail is less vulnerable to undesirable interception than electronic mail. It is less likely that someone would be willing to open a letter than to look at an email. In other words, it is more challenging to monitor who has access to your email messages than it is to keep messages secure using regular mail in a post office. One might ask, what are the confidentiality concerns relating to the use of email?
Improper use and understanding of our emerging communication technology can create potential ethical challenges. In addressing these ethical challenges these questions need to be asked:
Are we able to do more with less?
Are we improving the quality of life?
Do we truly save time and resources?
A Brief Review of the Literature
According to Kidder (2003) we all face tough choices. Sometimes we avoid these choices, other times we address them. However, we do not always decide to resolve tough choices. People who have a strong sense of vision and ethical values have the courage to stand up and make the tough choices.
A shrinking world and technological progress, argues Kidder, means that problems are increasingly global and demand solutions that presuppose a framework of values acceptable everywhere. Kidder (2003) compiled eight vital values—love, truthfulness, fairness, freedom, unity, tolerance, responsibility and respect for life. These can provide a basis for a moral code of ethics.
Harvey and Airitam (2003) contend that if you discuss the subject of ethics, you are talking about challenges. Our first challenge is knowing the right thing to do. Many people are taught the difference between right and wrong at an early age. We learn that honesty is good, lying is bad; earning is good, stealing is bad; having manners is good, and intentionally hurting others is bad. The guidelines we use in separating good from bad and right from wrong are what form the essence of our individual characters.
Contributions of Technology Education to Teaching about Ethics
Technology education can address the ethical elements of Standards for Technological Literacy by providing students of all ages with opportunities to develop ethical decision-making skills. Ethical decision-making strategies can be taught and opportunities for reflection can be introduced in conjunction with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) content.
To do this, select a real-life ethical challenge that is appropriate for the maturity and knowledge levels of the learners. By using a real-life situation, the experience can be very effective. Next consider whether or not the students have the subject matter background to deal effectively with the challenge. If not, it would be appropriate to teach that content before engaging in the challenge. Part of this process includes letting the learners discover that they need additional knowledge to make good decisions. Students learn that having the right information at the right time will help them make wise decisions about technology. This is an important part of becoming a technologically literate citizen.

Arthur, J. (2003). Education with character: The moral economy of schooling. Routledge. Cornman, James, et al (1992). Philosophical Problems and Arguments – An Introduction, 4th ed., Indianapolis: Hackett.
Harvey, E. & Airitam, S. (2002) Ethics4Everyone. Dallas Texas: Performance Systems Corporation.
Hill, R. B. (Ed.) (2004) Ethics for Citizenship in a Technological World. 53th Yearbook of the Council on Technology Teacher Education. New York, NY: Glencoe, McGraw-Hill (companion Website: http://www.uga.edu/teched/ethics/)
MacIntyre, A (2002). A Short History of Ethics. Routledge.
Kidder, R. M. (2003). How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the ethical dilemmas of ethical living. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Singer, P. (Ed.) (1993). A companion to ethics. Massachusetts: Blackwell.
Jonas, H. (1979). The imperative of responsibility: In search of ethics for the technological age. Chicago: he University of. Chicago Press.
Vega, C. M. (2006, September 19). Tides around Golden Gate are potential energy source. San Francisco Chronicle.

My thoughts:

To me, some of the questions asked in the SF turbine section are not ethics questions.  Where will they be located?  How big will they be? Who will pay for them?  What regs have to be met?

Those don’t seem like ethics issues.  Sure, they are issues, but I think they can easily be worked out and a solution found.  Maybe my understanding of ethics is wrong.  If it is, please correct me.

Second, I think the entire comparison  between email and snail-mail is wrong.  I can easily encrypt an email message so that if someone were to intercept it, they couldn’t do anything with it.  There is nothing that can be done with snail-mail that provides that same type of security.  The only thing that comes close would be hand delivering it to the recipient, which defeats the purpose altogether.  Once you drop that letter in the mailbox, it is entirely out of your control.  It can easily be intercepted.  To say that someone is less likely to open a letter than an email is a foolish assumption.  What is that based off of?  If someone is purposely intercepting your correspondence, it doesn’t matter what form it comes in, they will read it.

I’m not saying that their ideas or points behind their analogy are wrong.  In fact, I agree with the paper in general.  They just use a terribly flawed example and it really hinders their point.

1 Comment

Filed under Links, School

ITEA thoughts

Here’s some thing I typed up quick while in Louisville at the ITEA conference.

Are students getting the critical thinking skills in science classes? It seems that they do experiments and are expected to always come out with the same solution to the problem. IS it really an experiment?

I’ve heard more than once that the tech ed classroom is the place where the students are connecting the things that they learn in science and math. In tech ed, those things are finally making sense to them. Why aren’t they making sense in the science classes? If I teach the science classes, will they make sense? How can I get them to make sense in the science class?

State of Tech ed in CT

Last night I spent some time at the robotics competition talking to students from other schools about their schools. I wanted to get a sense of what types of things they were doing in their classes and what was expected of them once they graduated.

From talking with people, I think its pretty apparent that CT is way ahead of the curve on the engineering side of education. OF the schools I talked to, there was only one other that had a robotics class, and they just got the materials for it. They haven’t even run the class. CCSU, on the other hand, has had a robotics class for a few years now. granted, you don’t actually learn a whole lot in the class, but it does give us expose to robotics so that we’re not flying blind once we start teaching.

It also seemed like other schools have more ‘old school’ content classes. Auto, woods, metals, etc. We touch on that some, but don’t go nearly as in depth as they do. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, but it is different. One part of me wished that we had more content type classes and learned more about the traditional stuff, since that’s most likely what we’ll be teaching, but the other part of me is glad we have what we have, because that looks more like everyone’s goal. If we’re already at the goal, then i puts us in a great position for the future.

My ideas about after I graduated have also changed some. Seeing what education we are getting and what else is out there, makes me want to change everyone else a little. I almost feel like they need to be brought up to speed. What exactly ‘up to speed’ means, I’m not sure, but I feel like I have something that they don’t but should. I’m also not sure how to give them what it is their missing, mainly since I can’t pinpoint what that thing is. Maybe I’ll find this stuff out in the next two days here. Maybe I won’t. Either way, I’m having a blast and learning a ton.

Leave a comment

Filed under Rambling, School


What do you all have for HDTVs? Any suggestions?


Filed under Rambling

New things

First, we’ve got a new house. It’s in Newington right off the turnpike. We’re moving in on June 1st. When we have a housewarming party we’ll let you know. I can’t express how antsy I am to get out of the parents house.

June 1st also marks the first shooting day for the video podcast I’ll be launching. It’s called ‘The Humordor’. (Get the play on words?) It’s a cigar review show that Sean and Myself will be doing. I’ll link the site when I’ve got it done and somewhat ready. When I do you better promote the hell out of it.

I’ve got the camera, mics after tonight, mixer and most everything else I’ll need. I’m just waiting for the tripod to get here so I can start shooting some clips for the intro sequence. It’s going to be interesting to see if I can get the idea I have in my head into a physical form. Lack of equipment should not hold me back.

If anyone else who reads this does a podcast let me know. I’ve got some ideas and things I’d like to bounce off you. Please, Please, Please ask questions and/or tell everyone you know about it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cigars, Video

Electric Bike

I’ve decided that I’m going to make my bike electric this summer. Really, I am.

I’ve got FP CIM motor from the robotics team, I’m gonna draw up a motor mount and have Sean make it. The hardest part is going to be the adapter or whatever between the chain and the motor. Now that I think about it a little more, it just got harder. I want to be able to still pedal the bike when I want. That means I need the sprocket on the motor to freewheel so I’m not working against it when pedaling. It also means I need the pedals to freewheel when the motor is on, so they don’t whip around at crazy speeds.

Hmm, Now I’m re-thinking the keeping the pedal idea. I do have two bikes so I could convert one and leave the other. I guess I have to re-do the math now to figure out what my speed would be.

If you’ve got anything to add, please do. Or if you have questions, I’ll answer what I can.

Leave a comment

Filed under Rambling