Who: Jeff Byers, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Technologies used: Hardware: GPS watch, digital camera. Software: Google Earth, WordPress, Garmin software (allows seamless connection to Google Earth). When posting an altitude profile, Jeff does a screen shot off of the Garmin software and pastes it into MS Word. Then he uses a shareware program called “Doc to Jpeg Converter” and crops it with Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
Assistance received: Not much was needed! Jeff figured this out by himself, while watching the Red Sox on summer evenings. He has had conversations with Joe Antonioli (Manager of Web & Interactive Digital Media Technologies), and Carrie Macfarlane (LIS liaison) about getting an analytics tool installed (technical issues are still being resolved). The Addison Independent rebroadcasts the blog from their newspaper web site.
Reason for using the technology: Personal interest
Description: Jeff created the Middlebury Trailrunner blog as a community resource for like-minded runners. Jeff and other runners felt there was a need for a local guide; he often found himself describing his routes to his friends. He also thought it would be fun to create the blog–he is a self-described “map geek.”
The blog tracks Jeff’s trail-running adventures in and around Addison County. For each run, Jeff posts a map of his route, a chart showing the altitudes he reached, photos and a written narrative.
Running is just a hobby for Jeff, but these technologies have potential curricular applications, from biology and environmental studies, to writing, to art (see for example The Big Draw of the GPS Run!).