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  • Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown published a blog post Icepatch Archaeology, Yukon in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group November 26, 2017 - 4:16pm
    Many of our archaeology students will appreciate this great Nature of Things episode of the archaeological finds emerging from the melting icepatches in the Yukon. http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/secrets-from-the-ice
  • Gerald Ardito commented on a bookmark Small talk, big implications November 24, 2017 - 1:25pm
    I will let  you knowwhat I think. In the meantime, I also shared your post (and the article) with the Educational Psychology class I am currently teaching. As you can probably imagine, I have had them spending a lot of time with Self...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Weighing the Importance of a Computer Science Degree | Inc.com November 24, 2017 - 1:02pm
    @Vive - yes, I agree, that does accord with my idea of a university too, at least when combined with the practical application of that knowledge to help the community.  Technically, the word 'university' derives from "universitas magistrorum...
  • "... the exact nature of the writing we want of students cannot remain an unspoken, un-analyzed part of a writing course. Students need to understand the genre, what it does, how it does it. They need to be enticed to use it, to do something with...
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Small talk, big implications November 24, 2017 - 11:44am
    Thanks Gerald - it's a book that keeps on giving! I think you'll like it. Spells things out very clearly with some wonderful examples. I may be a little biased in its favour: though he takes a different (and I think more rigorously grounded) path to...
  • Gerald Ardito commented on a bookmark Small talk, big implications November 24, 2017 - 10:20am
    Jon, Thanks for sharing this article, as well as the commentary about the gaps and assumptions in the reporting. This is how I frequently feel when I read a great deal of educational research. And I look forward to reading Todd Rose's book....
  • Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown published a blog post Google Scholar workshop in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group November 24, 2017 - 8:52am
    AU Library & Scholarly Resources is offering a webinar on Google Scholar next Thursday, November 30, from 5 to 6 pm MT. To see the date and time of the session in your time zone, click here: http://tinyurl.com/goschonov30 The Adobe Connect...
  • Universities do two things. Help learn about knowledge and help create new knowledge. One can drive students to the leading edge and expose opportunities for them to be creative, the conventional learning pathway. The more successful a university is...
  • An interesting opinion piece from a person in a consultancy that hires a lot of developers. tl;dr a computing degree still tends to be very useful if you want to make a living as a developer, despite the fact that there are lots of alternative,...
    Comments
    • Universities do two things. Help learn about knowledge and help create new knowledge. One can drive students to the leading edge and expose opportunities for them to be creative, the conventional learning pathway. The more successful a university is in this, the more prominent they become, which leads to more students believing in this traditional way of learning and knowledge creation and flocking to such conventional universities.

      Unconventional learning pathways are themselves fine as far as helping to learn about knowledge, and the help is non-traditional, mostly self-help. But, how successul is this pathway about creating knowledge? I doubt that the creation of new knowledge naturally follows in unconventional pathways. It could be done, no doubt, but it is not geared for it yet. 

      The very word "University", an insitution about learning at the highest level, demands that new knowledge be created through a follow up research. If universities don't see themselves as beacons of rigorous knowledge creation and confine themselves to 'just learning', then they should rename themselves to some sort of higher (not the highest) learning institutes and give up the identity of being a University.  

      Vivekanandan Kumar November 24, 2017 - 5:32am

    • @Vive - yes, I agree, that does accord with my idea of a university too, at least when combined with the practical application of that knowledge to help the community. 

      Technically, the word 'university' derives from "universitas magistrorum et scholarium" which means 'community/society of teachers and scholars' and says little about the level or expectations of what that community actually does apart from to learn and to teach. But I agree that, at least since von Humboldt (notwithstanding the awkward and counter-productive Canadian distinction between comprehensive and other universities), an acknowledged role of that community is the generation of new knowledge.

      But I don't think there is any contradiction at all between performing that role and accepting, supporting, or actually providing unconventional pathways to get there. Quite the opposite, in fact: we should positively encourage it, if for no other reason than that it drives innovation and creativity. I'm pretty sure that most of us professional academics use self-teaching (or non-formal methods like attending conferences) most of the time when we need to learn stuff that moves our research forward. I don't see why we shouldn't encourage students to do the same.

      For instance, if they want to do a project that demands Ruby on Rails (which we don't teach), I reckon it's a perfectly legitimate path for a student to take a bootcamp. Similarly, if our courses bore or intimidate them, or don't use the tools they wish to use, I think it should be absolutely acceptable for them to achieve the same outcomes in different ways, without penalty. It would be great if we could participate and help out ourselves. It would be good if we were not so deeply bound to providing a standardized teaching curriculum that, by its very nature (professional societies are about setting norms, not reaching heights), cannot be on the leading edge of the field, and that admits little variation and creativity.  It would be brilliant if our students were more engaged in solving real problems rather than implementing (and for the most part copying and pasting from the web) yet another solution in Java to the Towers of Hanoi. 

      I'm not suggesting that we should scrap everything we do now and make it a complete free-for-all: it doesn't have to signal a drop in standards at all. But, if we were to provide bit of structure, a bit of support, maybe a few basic foundation topics (optionally replaceable with equivalents), some rigorous criteria of the right kind, and some means of assessing achievement, we could make a more open, embracing, problem-oriented and competence-based approach work far better than what we do now, with far greater student satisfaction and engagement, and far more relevant, useful skills for all concerned.

      Jon Dron November 24, 2017 - 1:02pm

  • Jon Dron bookmarked Small talk, big implications November 21, 2017 - 7:42pm
     An article from Quartz with some good links to studies showing the very many benefits of interacting with others, even at a very superficial level. I particularly like the report of a study showing the (quite strong) cognitive benefits of...
    Comments
    • Jon,

      Thanks for sharing this article, as well as the commentary about the gaps and assumptions in the reporting.

      This is how I frequently feel when I read a great deal of educational research.

      And I look forward to reading Todd Rose's book. Thanks for the recommendation.

      Gerald Ardito November 24, 2017 - 10:20am

    • Thanks Gerald - it's a book that keeps on giving! I think you'll like it. Spells things out very clearly with some wonderful examples. I may be a little biased in its favour: though he takes a different (and I think more rigorously grounded) path to get there, Rose's thoughts on educational reform are remarkably like my own.

      Jon Dron November 24, 2017 - 11:44am

    • I will let  you knowwhat I think.

      In the meantime, I also shared your post (and the article) with the Educational Psychology class I am currently teaching. As you can probably imagine, I have had them spending a lot of time with Self Determination Theory. 

      Gerald Ardito November 24, 2017 - 1:25pm

  • Steve Swettenham commented on a bookmark Firefox Quantum in the group COMP 266 November 19, 2017 - 2:03am
    I tried Firefox 57 and the experience for me was the exact opposite. Typical of a corporation programming elite controlling the world. Non of my past extensions worked (0 backward compatibility), the speed did not improve, and I lost access to my...
  • Laurie Milne published a blog post Earliest Archaeological Evidence of Wine Making in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group November 18, 2017 - 10:56am
    Students enrolled in Anthropology 272: Introduction to Archaeology may find a recent report in the Globe and Mail has relevance to the discussion of residue analysis in Chapter 7 of the Renfrew and Bahn text, Archaeology: Theories, Methods, and...
    Comments
  • Laurie Milne published a blog post Symbolism and Indigenous Cultures in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group November 18, 2017 - 10:40am
    Students enrolled in Anthropology 272: Introduction to Archaeology may find a  recent article in the Globe and Mail  of interest.  Cyndi Peal's 'spiritual voyage' to Haida Gwaii provides  examples of words, objects, and places...
  • Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown published a blog post 2018 IFR field programs in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group November 16, 2017 - 11:09am
    Check out the 46 IFR archaeology field programs running this year. If you wish to enroll, contact Dr. Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown (meaghanp@athabascau.ca) to discuss the specific program you are interested in and possibility for AU transfer...
  • Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown has created a new Pinboard Anthropology Field Programs November 16, 2017 - 10:37am
    Anthropology Field Programs
  • Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown published a blog post Bannock and a Movie - Nov. 24, 2017 in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group November 15, 2017 - 9:33pm
    The Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research would like to extend an invitation to our November instalment of Bannock and a Movie. Please confirm your attendance by contacting Ivy Lalonde (ivyl@athabascau.ca) A film by Gabriel Dumont...
  • Rosemarie Heffernan published a blog post Counselling Downers November 15, 2017 - 8:34pm
    (Part 1)
  • Tyler Lucas commented on the blog Implementing Sine and Cosine Without Floats November 15, 2017 - 1:20pm
    In fact, calculators have the same floating point limitations as computers, which makes sense, because calculators are simple computers. Try adding 0.1 to 1,000,000,000 and you'll get 1,000,000,000, not 1,000,000,000.1 (unless your calculator uses...