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Schumer says WNY to become America’s semiconductor superhighway

By Press Release

Press Release:

After years of relentless advocacy to bolster Upstate NY’s innovation and manufacturing industries, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced the Rochester-Buffalo-Syracuse region have joined forces with a proposal to become a federally-designated Tech Hub in the first-of-its-kind nationwide competition created in his CHIPS & Science Bill. 

The proposal, entitled the New York Semiconductor Manufacturing and Research Technology Innovation Corridor Consortium (NY SMART I-Corridor), would build on the historic investments Schumer delivered that have spurred a boom in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation investments in Upstate NY. 

The three-region proposal would use targeted federal assistance to help attract new companies, strengthen domestic supply chains, launch startups & support innovation, expand workforce training, connect underserved communities to good-paying jobs, and revive this critical industry integral to America’s national security and economic competitiveness. 

Schumer has personally written to Commerce Secretary Raimondo on behalf of Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse, making the case that their proposal is best suited to help drive forward stronger semiconductor and broader microelectronics industries for the entire nation.

“From Rochester to Buffalo to Syracuse the I-90 corridor has everything it takes to become America’s semiconductor superhighway. The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hubs proposal would tap into Upstate NY’s booming microchip industry, training our workforce for tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and supercharging R&D, all while helping attract new major employers in supply chain industries and bringing manufacturing in this critical industry back to America,” said Senator Schumer. 

“Each city has superb academic centers and each brings with it a unique set of assets with Micron’s historic investment in Central NY, Rochester as one of the leading centers in research & innovation, and Buffalo as one of the great manufacturing powerhouses that built America in the last century and is primed to do the same this century. Together they are a killer combination that can make Upstate NY a global leader for semiconductors with targeted federal investment from the Tech Hubs program. I originally proposed the Tech Hubs program years ago as part of my bipartisan Endless Frontier Act with Upstate NY in mind, and was proud to create the Tech Hubs competition in my CHIPS & Science Bill. This proposal is everything I envisioned, ensuring America’s future is being built in the places that helped build our nation as powerhouse manufacturing centers, and nowhere is better primed and more capable than Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse to rebuild this critical industry for our nation.”

Schumer explained that the first-of-its-kind nationwide Tech Hubs Competition is an economic development initiative that he originally proposed in his Endless Frontier Act. The senator was able to finally create the competition in his CHIPS & Science Bill, which included a $10 billion authorization for the Tech Hubs program and was signed into law just over a year ago. 

Schumer secured an initial infusion of $500 million in last year’s spending bill to jumpstart the competition. The competition is designed to strengthen a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and grow technology in 10 key focus areas. The program will invest directly in regions with the potential to transform into globally-competitive innovation centers in the next decade to bring critical industries back from overseas and create good-paying jobs for American workers.

Schumer said the NY SMART I-Corridor proposal would bring together the combined assets of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse to help the region become a globally-recognized semiconductor manufacturing hub in the next decade, with innovation focused on improving the quality and quantity of semiconductor manufacturing and, along with it, amplifying the region’s microelectronics and microchip supply chain ecosystem.  

Schumer explained that the Tech Hubs program is being rolled out in two phases. The first phase of awards that the NY-SMART I-Corridor has applied for will designate promising Tech Hubs across America and provide strategy development grant awards to accelerate their development— the joint Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse proposal has applied for both types of awards. 

The EDA expects to designate at least 20 Tech Hubs across the country, and only those that receive the Tech Hubs designation in the first phase will be able to apply for Phase 2 implementation awards. These awards are designed to be larger, multi-tens of millions of dollars each for a first infusion, in order to fund several key initiatives to make the Tech Hub a success.

The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse consortium includes over 80 members from across the public sector, industry, higher-ed, economic and workforce development, and labor communities.  This includes over 22 industry groups and firms, 20 economic development organizations, 8 labor & workforce training organizations, and 10 institutions of higher learning.  

Community Meeting for Batavia City School District Technology Plan

By Kathie Scott

Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6 pm, at Batavia High School

The Batavia City School District will host a Technology Night on Thursday, January 7, 2016, 6 pm, at Batavia High School (260 State Street). Parents and the community are invited to see highlights of what students and staff are doing in the District with technology and to hear more about our plans for technology upgrades as they are developing in our Smart School Investment Plan. Passage of New York State’s Smart School Bond Act in November 2014 provided the District with an opportunity to receive $2.1 million to invest in our students’ future. To take advantage of this opportunity, the District must develop and submit a Smart School Investment Plan (SSIP) for State approval. This plan for District-wide technology upgrades is being developed with input from staff, students, and the community. Community members are encouraged to attend this meeting to hear about and review the emerging plans for the near future.

Friday Reviews: This is why I Love the Internet.


by Phil Ricci The World: by Phil

I love the Internet. Can we start this little article with that fact? I am also fairly sure that I have told you all before, but in case not, I am a geek. This is the week of Comic Con and even though I am not in attendance, I have been watching just about every piece of footage that I can get my hands on (Tron Legacy looks Awesome). It is with that understanding that you must somewhat graspe then my obsession with tech, web apps, comics, movies (fan-boy type) and funny stuff all shoved into the package of a business management professional.

Over the past few months, I have been finding sites and apps that have started to migrate into my daily life. Some of these are new(er) and so you might have never heard of them. While others have been going strong for a time, but are new to me; and just like that first used car you got as a kid, it didn’t matter who had it before because it was your baby now! That said unfortunately, my first “baby” was a 1981 Toyota Starlight. Yeah….good times.

Here is a sampling of some sites that I am just loving on right now: has been around for about a year or so now. It was founded by Anthony Feint in 2009 and is simply, a task and reminder management app. The key thing though that makes this app just amazing, is that it uses semantic and natural language input for the creation of reminders.

Meaning, if you type in: Call Laura at three to remind her to pick up the kids. It will actually translate the reminder to sending you a text, email or Direct Message on Twitter at three that day to remind yourself (or even Laura) to go get the kids. Simple.

You can also send this reminders to friends, work emails or other phones as well. There are just a ton of cool features with this service.

As far as price goes, there is a free model that allows a limited amount of texts, as well as displaying a few small ads on the main page, but that’s it about it. You get unlimited emails and ample storage (not that there is any really). If you decide you want unlimited texts and go Pro, you’ll only be out a mere $3.99 per month. No Too Shabby. 

Yes, I am aware that there are a million music player services in the world, but this one is way different. Rdio (pronounced r-deyee-o) was founded by Janus Friis with Niklas Zennström and Atomico, a leading technology investment group.

Rdio is more than just a music site, it’s a “social” music service where you can discover music through friends and taste-makers. With traditional methods of social connections like “following” other listeners, you can literally tap into what they are playing at anytime. You can create, share or “subscribe” to play-lists with anyone on the system.

Rdio really does takes the work out of the deciding what to play next and connects the music in your Web browser with your mobile phone. You can play as many songs you want, anytime, anywhere.

As far as cost goes, the basic service that allows you to listen unlimited on any computer you want is just $4.99 per month. If you want to be able to sync it up to your iPhone, BlackBerry or Droid? Then it’s a mere $9.99 per month.

They are still building up their catalouge, but is still by far the best system I have seen yet.

Oh sure there are a bunch of DIY website apps floating around the Internet (Weebly, SiteKreator, etc), and each one have their pluses and minuses.

It wasn’t until just recently that I discovered though an engine that allows you to build a page that really brings all of your online identities under one virtual roof. With over 20 social, blog and video networks hooked in, you really can have one true virtual homepage. was built by HiiDef, an incubator started by former Vimeo exec Jonathan Marcus and his brother, David Marcus.

The cost to this bad boy is only $20 a year for all of their services. It honestly is what Google Profiles should be.

Anyway those are a few of the most recent sites that I am loving on right now. As I find more, I will put them together for you all to enjoy. Also, if you find something that you are loving on, Go to the Submission page up top and share.

Have a great day All!

Until Next Time….

A day at the races -- and in a balloon -- for middle-schoolers

By Daniel Crofts

Middle-schoolers from all over the county came to Batavia Middle School on Tuesday for the "MST Explorer Camp" (see June 19 article for more information). The camp involved students in hands-on learning activities using math, science and technology.

A 13-year-old race car driver and Batavia Middle School student Val Stephens -- pictured center -- helps with a demonstration designed to give the kids a lesson in aerodynamics:

Kevin Raymond, a teacher in the Keshequa School District and a hot-air balloon enthusiast, talks to the kids about the type of energy that powers hot-air balloons. He shows them how they work, using an ultra-light balloon as an example (keep in mind that about 10 of these could fit into one of the larger ones):

(Inside the balloon)

Batavia Middle School technology teacher Frank Panepento shows them how to go about designing CO2 cars. 

The students designed their own cars, put them in a wind tunnel (in order to determine how much speed they could handle), weighed them and, when they finally had all the necessary data, raced them. The students whose cars fared poorly in the race were simply asked to modify their designs and see what effect their modifications had on the cars' efficiency. 


Solar-powered sign is Batavia elementary school's first step toward 'Going Green'

By Daniel Crofts

Digital signs are nothing new for area schools -- but Robert Morris Elementary, at 80 Union St. in Batavia, is the first school in the Genesee Valley to have a solar-powered digital sign, which was unveiled last month.

The new 3x8 sign, which shares important information with the school community, is fully powered by the sun's energy, collected and converted into electricity by solar panels on the school's roof.

This environmentally friendly and money-saving technology allows the sign to store energy and stay powered up even at night and in overcast weather. 

The sign is part of Robert Morris' "Going Green" project, which is being coordinated by the all-volunteer parent group FORM (Friends of Robert Morris).

The "green" project, in turn, is part of the school's committment to educating students and keeping them informed about renewable energy and environmentally responsible technology.

As the current school year drew to a close, Principal Diane Bonarigo went to each of the classrooms and explained the new solar sign to students -- including how it would turn the sun's energy into electricity, etc.

"Our students are very excited about learning how solar energy is powering this sign," Bonarigo said in a news release. "(It) will engage (them) for years to come."

FORM co-chair Roseann Quinn said that they would like to focus more intensely on "green" education in September. She mentioned the possibility of having professionals come in and speak to the kids about different renewable energy technologies, as well as basic education in the classrooms.

"Now with the solar sign, the kids have something they can see and touch (to go along with lessons)," Quinn said.

Quinn also said that FORM and Bonarigo would like to put the students in charge of the sign when the next school year starts. Right now, Bonarigo controls what words appear on the sign from her laptop computer; in September, they hope to give the kids more input into the way words appear and change.

At Robert Morris, going green also involves lots of landscape planting on school grounds. Here are some pictures of new trees and bushes that have been put in already: 

FORM chair Lorie Reinhart came up with the idea for this project early in the 2008-2009 school year after looking online and reading about an education grant offered by Lowe's.

"We wanted to do something different," Quinn said. "We wanted to actually try to do something that a lot of schools talk about but never get around to doing."

Reinhart and Quinn wrote the grant proposal along with co-secretary Michelle Turnbull. In response to FORM's request, Lowe's granted the school $5,000 for the solar sign.

The project also received funding from the New York State Power Authority -- which was unprecedented, since NYSPA does not, as a rule, give money to schools. But the NYSPA president was so intrigued by the idea that he contributed $5,000 to the project.

Seven or eight local businesses also donated money to the purchase of the sign. Quinn said that the total cost came to about $18,000.

In addition to being a valuable educational venture, Quinn sees the construction of the sign as a grassroots effort to promote renewable energy, which she calls "the way of the future."

FORM wanted to make this as locally focused an effort as possible. The sign was produced by LeRoy-based Unitech Applications, in collaboration with XPress Signs and Agile Displays.

If you would like more information on the solar-powered digital sign or the "Going Green" project, see the FORM webpage for contact information.

New summer camp lets middle schoolers go techie for a day

By Daniel Crofts

The Genesee County Business/Education Alliance (BEA) is holding the first of what they hope will be an annual summer camp this year. It's called the "MST Explorer Camp," and will engage middle-schoolers in hands-on activities related to careers in math, science and technology.

This is a first for BEA, which hosts a "MASH (Medical Academy of Science and Health) Camp" and a "Culinary Camp" every summer (see last month's announcement for more details on these and for pictures).

BEA Coordinator Melinda Chamberlin started planning the MST camp in the spring, along with Debbie Dunlevy, who works with GCC's Tech Prep Program, and Bob Hollwedel, a technology instructor at Alexander Middle School.

Clay Maderer, a technology teacher at Batavia Middle School and a member of the MST camp's development team, said that the idea arose, in part, from the success and popularity of GCC'S Tech Wars.

"We wanted to see that type of activity carry over into the summer," Maderer said.

Current job market trends, both in the Western New York area and in the nation as a whole, were also a factor.

"We hope this brings home to students the relevance of these subjects in the real world," Chamberlin said. "We also hope it shows them that math, science and technology can be cool and interesting."

All of BEA's camps are geared toward middle-schoolers. According to Chamberlin, those students are at a stage of development at which they can start to become passionate about certain subjects and find out what they like.

"They're at an age where you can really start to influence their career interests," she said. "That doesn't mean forcing them into anything, it just means that we can, and should, help them to become more well-informed about career choices (before they spend a lot of money on college)."

Although the MST has not been done before, the MASH and Culinary camps have both gotten great responses from students.

"They love it," Chamberlin said. "Some of them will even go from one camp to another."

The MST camp will include presentations given by professionals in a variety of different fields, exposing the kids to specific math, science and technology-related careers. For instance, representatives from Time Warner Cable will do a session on how the company delivers information to the world.

Additionally, a middle-school-age race car driver (along with others) will be there to help teach them about aerodynamics.

But these "instructors" are not just going to be feeding kids information, like in a stereotypical classroom setting. All of the planned activities are hands-on, so the students will be able to learn by direct, personal engagement.

Charles "Chip" Malone of Cornell Cooperative Extension will be in charge of an energy exhibit where the kids will try to activate various appliances -- including cell phones, lights and kitchen appliances -- by peddling stationary bicycles (thus generating an air current)...

"...which is really cool," Malone said. "They'll have a lot of fun with that."

The idea, according to Hollwedel, is to help them gain an "appreciation of how much energy the things they own use."

The kids will also work at designing their own bridges, modifying/adapting CO2 cars to run more efficiently and racing them to find out whose is the best.

MST is a one-day camp. There will be two sessions -- one on July 20 for boys, and another on July 21 for girls. Both sessions will be at Batavia Middle School, at 96 Ross St. in Batavia, and last from 7:45 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The decision to devote one day to each gender group was based on the observations of middle-school teachers and made for the benefit of the kids.

"Girls tend to be resistant in technology class," Hollwedel said, "because boys are stereotypically more inclined toward technology, tools, etc. So with guys around, the girls can become intimidated and afraid to try things on their own."

"If the camp were co-ed, the girls would be more likely to just go along with what the guys say," said Samantha Lippman, a science teacher at Alexander Middle School and a member of the MST development team. "This way they can work independently, pitch in and come up with their own ideas. And with all the hands-on activities, they'll be able to see that they can do it."

"What we want to do for both boys and girls," Chamberlin said, "is give them an opportunity to excel and to work without having to worry about intimidation or pressure."

The MST Camp is open to all students in Genesee County who will be entering grades 7, 8 and 9 in the fall. There is room for 11 more students, and registrations will be accepted until July 2.

There is a $25 admission fee to cover operating expenses and lunch for the students.

For details, call Chamberlin at 343-7440, ext. 25, or e-mail

Batavia schools showcase wikis, blogs and all that techie jazz

By Daniel Crofts

All five Batavia City schools are taking learning to a new level using the "bells and whistles" of the modern classroom.

Last night, elementary, middle and high school students got to show their parents -- and others -- what kind of work they've been doing at the district's "Technology Exposition" at Jackson Elementary School:

Joe Rebisz' fifth-grade class at Jackson has been discussing Gary Paulsen's book "Hatchet" using Moodle, an online discussion tool. Each student takes a turn asking a question, and then the class tries to answer it based on the details of the story.

Four students from Andy Reagan's fifth-grade class at John Kennedy man the computers in the Jackson Media Center, each talking about a different internet-based program/resource that all John Kennedy fifth-graders are using.

Examples include:

  • "Class Blogmeister"-- Every fifth-grader has a personal blog -- linked to the classroom blog -- where they can keep journals, complete writing assignments and interact with their teachers and classmates (by commenting on postings, etc). All postings are reviewed and approved by the teachers before being published. 
  • "Famous Americans Wiki"-- Each student chooses a famous American to research for the fifth-grade Exit Project. They set up their own wiki pages and add pictures, written information, links to other resources and, last but not least, audio interviews in which one student asks questions and another plays the role of the famous person being interviewed.
  • "Fish4Info"-- The kids use this interactive site to look for books, review books they've already read, and to see which books their classmates are recommending.

For more information on what the John Kennedy students are up to technology-wise, have a look at this brief article.

Alicia Scroger and Anand Patel are both in Jen Sloan's fourth-grade class at Robert Morris. Sloan's class has been working closely with Sean Krauss' (pictured below, left) 11th-graders at Batavia High on learning to communicate through technology.

Sloan's students submit written work to Krauss' students via an online blog, and then the high-schoolers proofread and offer editorial suggestions.

The following video shows the "Math Review Games on the Promethean" and "Programming and Designing with Technology" exhibits, representing Batavia Middle School and Batavia High, respectively (Bob Mullen was the BHS faculty advisor).

Vist the Batavia City School District website for more info.

Chats with Calliope: Creatiity vs. Technology

By Joseph Langen


Cleaning the Pool


JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. I was beginning to fear i would not see you today.
JOE: I woke up in a technological snafu. Not only was my laptop refusing to connect to the Internet, so was my desktop. With remote assistance and considerable fiddling, everything is back in working order. I also had to retrieve my connection to my printer, or I should say Jay did. I watched as he manipulated my computer remotely until it behaved.
CALLIOPE: So I guess you are finally back on line.
JOE: You noticed. But it took until 1 pm to do so and by then I was tired of computers and decided to take a bike ride to get some errands done. Now that I am back, I don't have much creative energy left. But I did feel compelled to touch base with you.
CALLIOPE: Anything planned for the rest of the day?
JOE: I picked up Ian McEwan' book, his new novel about environmental concerns.
CALLIOPE: That should keep you busy for a while.
JOE: I hope so. Talk with you Friday.


Will the iPad save publishers?

By Ethan Thompson

On January 27, 2010, Apple announced the iPad. The iPad has been described as a “large iPod Touch” by most people who have seen the device on the web, in person, or in print. Some newspaper companies are hoping that this device will help save them by giving those who prefer ebooks and blogs a portable and “digital” way to view their products. Several book publishers seem to be hoping the same thing. With the success of’s Kindle, it would seem that they’d be correct in their assumptions, but I beg to differ.

When Apple introduced the iPod back in October 2001, Apple also introduced a new software application called iTunes. I’m sure almost everyone under the age of 60 has at least seen or used iTunes in some way. But what most people don’t know is what iTunes did to the record labels.

Before iTunes became popular you either had to buy an entire CD to get your favorite radio hit, use a cumbersome MP3 download service, or download via bit torrent or similar product illegally.

That meant that most consumers would just buy the entire CD, even if they didn’t like the nine or so other songs on the record. So, in turn, the record labels would make $5-XX off individual CD’s. But iTunes introduced a new platform for selling music. It was an easy way to buy individual songs for as low as $0.99! So people didn’t have to “waste” their money on the other songs on a record. But that also meant that the record label might only make $0.25-0.XX on a purchase. So the record labels did lose quite a bit of money at first, but in the end I think they make it up in volume, or at least make it close to still be worth selling for such a low price.

In my opinion that may be what will happen with the newspaper and book publishers. The publishers are going to either have to sell the product for a low price and make it up in volume or sell it for a ridiculously high amount and hope they sell enough to make it worth “losing” the cheapies like myself, who aren’t going to pay $XX for a digital copy of their product.

I feel newspapers in specific should give away their product for free and run it on an ad system similar to what The Batavian does; but I also feel that they are going to have change the style of writing to be more personal and community oriented.

Comment below to let me know what you think. Do you prefer to read the news or books on the web? Would you be willing to pay for a digital copy?

Google says flu concerns in region currently minimal

By Howard B. Owens

When people have flu-like symptoms, or a friend or relative does, the first thing they do is hop on Google to see if they can self-diagnose or learn more about the illness.

Those searches spike when there are a lot of people feeling sick.

Google has found that its search trends correlate to Center for Disease Control reports, but CDC lags Google's real-time results by about two weeks.

The current trends show minimal concern in the Buffalo and Rochester area (they don't break it down for Batavia specifically) about the flu this month. 

Learn more about how this works by clicking here.

Bio-Tech Science Fair for young students to be held Friday at GCC

By Billie Owens

Genesee Community College will host a Bio-Tech Science Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday in the Forum at the Batavia Campus.

The Science Fair will involve four schools from throughout the GLOW region, including 225 elementary and 85 high school students.

The third- and fourth-graders will collectively come from Robert Morris Elementary (Batavia), Medina, Perry and York schools.

The participating teens will be from Batavia High School. They will mentor and lead the elementary students through a series of lab experiments and hands-on science activities that will expose them to interesting, challenging and current science topics with an emphasis on biotechnology.

The student teachers will have the opportunity to explore the area of teaching sciences and the rapidly growing field of biotechnology. They will also be encouraged to explore the many opportunities available to them in the world of science as well teaching and education, including the Biotechnology, AS degree offered at Genesee Community College.

All participants will have the opportunity to learn how to use scientific equipment, new technologies and computer software.

"I hope that the Bio-tech Science Fair exposes both our high school students and our elementary students to the exciting world of biotechnology," said Deborah Dunlevy, College Tech Prep coordinator at Genesee. "There is a great need for talented professionals in math, science, and technology. This is a unique opportunity for the students to become familiar with a cutting edge and exciting career field."

The fair is funded in part by the College's Tech Prep program and the President's Innovation Award grant.

For further information please contact Dunlevy, at 343-0055 x 6316 or . < .>

Conversations with Calliope

By Joseph Langen



(Water Over the Dam)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How's your organizational plan going?
JOE: I got through one day and started yesterday on some changes to my website.
JOE: Technology tripped me up again. My FTP program updated and then I was unable to log into my server.
CALLIOPE: Did you get it fixed?
JOE: No. I'm still stuck and will ask for some help from my Internet service provider.
CALLIOPE: Sounds frustrating.
JOE: It is. I worked on that and a problem with one of my e-mail accounts. Neither problem is resolved yet.
CALLIOPE: I take it that means you didn't get to work on your writing yesterday.
JOE: You take it correctly. So much for that plan.
CALLIOPE: You sound frustrated.
JOE: I am. Just when I start taking technology for granted it rears its ugly head and reminds me who's in charge.
CALLIOPE: I hope you get some answers and get back to work today.
JOE: I hope so too. Talk with you tomorrow.


Conversations with Calliope- Technology Wins a Hand

By Joseph Langen


(Dog Days of Summer)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Realizing I spoke too soon about my mastery of technology.
JOE: I thought I had everything under control with my websites and emails.
CALLIOPE: Not quite?
JOE: No. A while ago when I reloaded my websites, my e-mail got put somewhere else so it would not disappear. Friday I tried to put it back where it belonged but it got blocked.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I called this morning to straighten it out and think it will be okay, but possibly not until tomorrow morning.
CALLIOPE: What are the implications for your e-book?
JOE: I want to make sure everything is working correctly before I post the file on my website.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you're getting close.
JOE: That's the way it sounds to me too.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I have correspondence to catch up with and then back to work on Marital Property. Talk with you tomorrow.


Conversations with Calliope- Conquering Technology

By Joseph Langen



(Don't Curse the Darkness)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Making some progress.
CALLIOPE: Tell me.
JOE: I told you yesterday about my choice of how to distribute my book.
CALLIOPE: You did.
JOE: I got to work yesterday putting the technology in place.
CALLIOPE: With what results?
JOE: I needed another e-mail address to use to collect e-mail addresses from potential readers and distribute a password so they can download the book.
CALLIOPE: How did that go?
JOE: Making progress. I got one set up to handle an autoresponder.
CALLIOPE: Tell me what that is. We didn't have them in our heyday on Mt. Olympus.
JOE: I keep forgetting. An autoresponder is an automatic program built into an e-mail site which gathers and sends information automatically so I don't have to sit by the computer 24 hours a day waiting for people to write.
CALLIOPE: Sounds useful.
JOE: I think so. Next step is to build an easy to use order form for my website. A job for next week. Talk with you then.



Conversations with Calliope- Addicted to Technology

By Joseph Langen



(Ready to Relax)

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. I wondered what became of you.
JOE: I have been wondering the same thing.
CALLIOPE: Have you come up with any answers?
JOE: I believe so. Mastering website technology at least to the point of getting satisfactory sites has taken me over to the point where it feels like an addiction.
JOE: I have reached the point where there is not much room left in my awareness for anything else.
CALLIOPE: What about your writing. I am barely keeping up with my journal and our conversations.
JOE: As you can, see it took me until now to get around to you.
CALLIOPE I do feel a tad slighted.
JOE: I was afraid of that. However I think the end is near or at least a plateau where I can stop to consider some other pursuits.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad to hear that.
JOE: I did manage to post my latest revisions to my Sliding Otter Website yesterday and am happy with it for the time being.
CALLIOPE: Then what's keeping you tethered?
JOE: Now I am hard at work on my Commonsense Wisdom site which is coming along nicely. I hope to be done with it in the next few days. Talk with you tomorrow.




Conversations with Calliope- Too Much Technology

By Joseph Langen


(Dewitt Park)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: There's something about the electricity circulating around here today.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: Yesterday I met with Chris at my local computer center about a few technology questions.
JOE: I prepared myself to pay someone, probably him, to help me with adding a shopping cart, some forms and my blog to my website.
CALLIOPE: How did it turn out?
JOE: Good. After quite a discussion, he thought my emerging competence could handle everything I had in mind.
CALLIOPE: And if you get stuck?
JOE: He will be there to help me out of the muck.
CALLIOPE: So what's the problem?
JOE: I tried sweeping out my computer of some unneeded clutter and ended up erasing an innocent looking file necessary to start my computer. Hence a reload.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a pain.
JOE: You said it. I'm back in business although a few programs don't quite act like I think they should. More work, but I think I'll take a break and go fishing with my grandson today. Talk with you tomorrow.



Conversations with Calliope- Walking with Dinosaurs

By Joseph Langen


(Walking with Dinosaurs)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Welcome to a new week.
JOE: Thank you.
CALLIOPE: What's this about dinosaurs?
JOE: Saturday morning I had a chance to see the much ballyhood Walking with Dinosaurs.
CALLIOPE: Did it meet your expectations?
JOE: More than that. I had questions about how lifelike giant puppets could be.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: The combination of excellent technology and imagination based on historical research resulted in a very entertaining and informative experience for my son, grandson and me.
CALLIOPE: Any lessons for you?
JOE: The point of bringing together technology and creativity is to reach the audience and connect with their needs and interests.
CALLIOPE: So it's the same process with the dinosaur show and with writing?
JOE: As far as I can tell it is.
CALLIOPE: Keep this in mind as you work on your website.
JOE: I certainly will. Talk with you tomorrow.





Conversations with Calliope- The challenge of Technology

By Joseph Langen


(Joey and the Robot)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I was wondering where you found the title “Notes to Myself” for yesterday's blog.
JOE: I was hoping you might know. I went to post it on my site and there was the title.
CALLIOPE: Can't help you.
JOE:Hmmm. Mysteries still abound.
CALLIOPE: Apparently. Did yesterday's outing restore your creativity?
JOE: I made stopped at Barnes and Noble on the way home from helping my friend with his pool to do some research on web development programs.
CALLIOPE: I thought you used Front Page.
JOE: It will no longer be honored by my web host after the end of June.
CALLIOPE: What are your options?
JOE: Get a new program, become proficient in HTML or pay someone to do it.
CALLIOPE: How are you inclined?
JOE: Microsoft has a program, Expression, which looks like it has possibilities.
CALLIOPE: Gilda Radner was right, There's always something.
JOE: No doubt. Anyway, I did some painting when I finally arrived home. I'm trying an abstract expression style.
CALLIOPE: How did it turn out?
JOE: That's not the point. I had fund doing it. Talk with you tomorrow.

Batavia School District tries to keep up with Technology

By Tasia Boland

The Batavia City School district knows the importance of staying updated with technology. In November the district received the Torchlight Award from Promethean Inc, an international award-winning company which creates interactive learning technology to help teachers develop lessons that engage, educate, assess, and motivate learners.

Now the district has formed a committee to go wireless. Pamela Schunk, Director of Learning for Batavia City School District, said this will hopefully save money.

Schunk said the thing about technology is its expensive and  always changing, but the district is doing its best to meet the state’s standards.

New York State standards look at ways schools are developing their mission statements, and are constantly revising the standards.

Schunk said Batavia City School district develops their technology mission statement from the state’s standards and use it to guide everything they do.

The Technology Mission Statement
The Batavia City School District’s technology mission is to provide students with the technology, on-line resources, and bandwidth necessary to acquire the knowledge, develop the attitudes, and master the skills needed to meet the New York State Standards.

Just over a year teachers have been using a software program called Tech Paths. The program uses curriculum mapping which enables teachers to stay organized and communicate with other teachers and administrators.

All classrooms in the district have at least one computer and most have at least four student computers along with an inkjet or last printer. If the school needs new technology it is up to the teachers to apply for it.

Six technology classes are offered at Batavia High School that include, Desktop Publishing 1 and 2, Communications in the 21st Century, Media Production in the 21st Century, Fundamentals of Web Design, and Fundamentals of Java Programming.

“All students have to be engaged,” said Schunk about the goals of a learner centered classroom, “The information has to be relevant, and have meaning.” She continued saying it must be challenging, and teachers really have to know their students background ability, and interests.

College tech prep students wage tech wars at GCC

By Philip Anselmo

From Genesee Community College:

Students will have a chance to take what they learn in the technology classroom and compete in an exciting hands-on event at the second annual Tech Wars competition, scheduled for March 19, 2009 at Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY. Registration for the College Tech Prep event begins at 9:00 AM and the competition starts at 9:30 AM. From catapults to robots, manual drafting to web page design, the imagination and creativity of some of the brightest students in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties) region will be showcased during this day-long event.

The competition is open to middle and high school students, who will participate in multiple project-based events of skill, chance, and ability. Students will compete in bridge building, drafting, sumo robots, T-shirt design, and carbon dioxide dragster racing, among other events. The highlight of this year's event will be the Sumo Robot Sled Pull.

"Hopefully, the interest in this competition will help to boost enrollments of technology classes because what is learned there can be transferred to initiatives at home, work and a wide range of careers on almost a daily basis," said Debbie Dunlevy, College Tech Prep Program Director and Coordinator Co-Chair of the Tech Wars competition. "We are very excited to host such a fun and educational event."

The Tech Wars competition, which may become open to school districts outside the GLOW region in the future, was inspired from a similar competition currently held through Niagara County Community College. That event is now in its twelfth year and attracts as many as 600 students from Western New York to compete.

"Ultimately, the interest of some students may go beyond the classroom where they develop such a deep interest in technology that they make a career of it. Someday those students may come back as a teacher or mentor of the technology students of the future," Dunlevy said.

College Tech Prep helps students explore various career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college and ultimately to professional careers. The Tech Wars is among several dynamic programs giving students the opportunity to work in hands-on learning encounters, often within business settings and with various professionals. College Tech Prep offers several distinctive career academies to high school students including: Heath, Legal, Information Technology, and the newest Theatre Arts Academy starting in September 2009. In addition, there is also a Virtual Enterprise Business program available to high school students.

For more information, please contact Debbie Dunlevy, College Tech Prep Program Director at Genesee Community College, at 585-343-0055 x6316 or More information can also be found at the Tech Wars website,

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