Author Archives: Chris Brownell

The ZPC Podcasts: A Series, first installment

img_0647Most recently I have taken on the task of creating an audio podcast for the AIMS Center. With this blog I would like to begin a series, of as yet undetermined length, regarding this project. Today I’d just like to explain the genesis and hopes for the podcast.

I have, in recent years, been doing a lot of driving up and down the State of California. For those of you who don’t live here, you might not know that it is possible to travel for over 12 hours straight in one single direction and never leave the state. To combat driving fatigue and daydreaming, I switched from listening to music while driving to listening to people talking. First through books, then I discovered podcasts. This is an excellent, short format, way to communicate ideas –  for our podcast ZPC this means 15-20 minutes. I became enthralled with several of these that were regularly produced and “served” up on iTunes, or Stitcher, etc.

So, when the Center started its change in focus I wondered if we might make use of this same technology. I was already involved in developing our colloquium series and as such thought we might add to that a monthly audio podcast. Then the colloquium became bi-monthly, and the podcast became weekly. WEEEeeeeee, and off to the races we go!

 The hopes I have for these podcasts fall primarily into two categories. First, there will be, twice a month, podcasts which are interviews of our Colloquium speakers. Second, I will be interviewing people from around the world of math and science education, or education in general, as to what is stirring their passions about their work.

The goal of the first category is to provide our speakers an extra venue to dive deeper into their topics, or to round them out into a cohesive whole. Sometimes as you give a talk you dash past an idea you really wish you had included or have a central theme you wanted to highlight but in the moment you got caught up in the enthusiasm of the talk. The podcast is meant to provide the speaker a chance to fill in the missing bits or put the final coat on the painting of their talk.img_0651

The goals of the second category are to reach our listeners with the passions of professionals in the community. Education is conducted by people with dreams and visions and hopes for their work; very intelligent people get involved in it and are driven by these passions. I would like to provide a forum for them to connect to others who may share these.

I’d like to close this post by saying that the serendipitous partnering with Passion in Education in support of the Colloquia and ZPC is one I am pleased to have had happen. This organization exists to support pretty much the goals of these podcasts.  Thank you Passion in Education!

Episode 3 | Units Coordination, Its Place and Role in Mathematical Understandings

Joining us today via Skype is Dr. Andy Norton of Virginia Tech University. He will be discussing an area of research he is focused upon known as Units Coordination. This is an idea that has been shown to be critical to students’ abilities to understand the Part to Whole relationship in fractions, and more abstract… Continue Reading

The FPU-AIMS Connection

Sometimes, when I am asked where I work I reply, “The AIMS Center for Math and Science Education, on the campus of Fresno Pacific University.” Pretty much a mouthful for sure, so usually I stick to the morsel sized, “The AIMS Center for Math and Science.” The first however points to a partnership between the… Continue Reading