Sean FoxTechnical Director
Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College
I am the Technical Director for SERC. I design, build, and run the technical infrastructure that powers the web sites (like this one) which are central to most of SERC's activities.
My approach to technical development starts with building an understanding of the real world problem we're trying to solve (e.g. how to facilitate information flow within a collaboration of busy faculty members, how to scaffold meaningful exploration of a large data set by students, how to coordinate the collection of student data from hundreds of classrooms). This usually requires a deep dive into details of how the people involved frame the problem for themselves and the real-life barriers that will undermine the naive solutions. With this sensitivity to the problem in hand I draw from the full suite of current technologies (and old technologies repurposed) to craft robust solutions that empower and endure.
Serckit, the set of web-based tools that unpins our work, exemplifies the results of this approach. It includes a complete array of tools to support the spread of curricular innovation and excellence. These include:
- Tools for community-driven web-based sharing of best practices. From seamless onramps for the faculty member wanting to share a single activity to tools for organizing and disseminating large collections.
- Workshop and webinar infrastructure that supports the entire process: from registration to evaluation, small group generation of synthesis documents to community building.
- Online materials review tools that flexibly support a range of different community and expert review processes.
I have been a web site author and web server administrator since 1993. Before joining the SERC office in January of 2002 I was the Academic Computing Coordinator for the Natural Sciences at Carleton College. I worked closely with science faculty implementing a wide variety of computing technologies in support of curricular innovation and was part of a team nationally recognized for excellent faculty support.
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR - Physics, M.S., 1993
Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA - Physics, B.A. with honors, 1991