Landing : Athabascau University

Activity

  • Jon Dron published a blog post Strategies for successful learning at AU 2 days ago
    Earlier today I responded to a prospective student who was, amongst other things, seeking advice on strategies for success on a couple of our self-paced programming courses. My response was just a stream of consciousness off the top of my head but...
  • Jon Dron commented on the blog SCIS makes a great showing at HCI 2017, Vancouver July 24, 2017 - 4:51pm
    Click to see full size file.... (nb. only available to members of the SCIS group)
  • Jon Dron bookmarked Professor Jon Dron | Beyond Busy July 13, 2017 - 2:14pm
    An interview with me by Graham Allcott, author of the bestselling How to be a productivity ninja and other books, for his podcast series Beyond Busy, and as part of the research for his next book. In it I ramble a lot about issues like social media,...
  • Jon Dron published a blog post SCIS makes a great showing at HCI 2017, Vancouver July 12, 2017 - 8:47pm
     I had the pleasure today to gatecrash the HCI 2017 conference in Vancouver, which gave me the chance to see Dr Ali Dewan present three excellent papers (two with his name on them) on a variety of themes, as well as a great paper written...
    Comments
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Jon Dron and Ali Dewan at HCI 2017 July 12, 2017 - 8:42pm
    A selfie of Jon Dron and Ali Dewan at the Vancouver Conference Centre
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Ali Dewan presenting at HCI 2017 July 12, 2017 - 8:34pm
    Ali Dewan presenting at HCI 2017
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Miao-Han Chang presenting July 12, 2017 - 8:30pm
    Miao-Han presenting at HCI 2017, Vancouver
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Ali Dewan presenting July 12, 2017 - 8:28pm
    Ali at HCI 2017
  • What a wonderful quote! I had to look it up - it was Shimon Schocken, in a TED talk about his very cool bottom-up hands-on failure-driven self-guided approaches to learning: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE7YRHxwoDs  The whole thing is worth...
  • The always wonderful Alfie Kohn describes an airline survey that sought to find out how it compared with others, which he chose not to answer because the airline was thus signalling no interest in providing the best quality experience possible,...
    Comments
    • To quote someone whose name I don't recall, "Grading takes the fun out of failing."

      Mary Pringle July 5, 2017 - 9:57am

    • What a wonderful quote! I had to look it up - it was Shimon Schocken, in a TED talk about his very cool bottom-up hands-on failure-driven self-guided approaches to learning: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iE7YRHxwoDs 

      The whole thing is worth watching, but I love this bit at about 10 minutes in:

      "I'd like to say a few words about traditional college grading. I'm sick of it. We are obsessed with grades because we are obsessed with data, and yet grading takes away all the fun from failing, and a huge part of education is about failing. Courage, according to Churchill, is the ability to go from one defeat to another without losing enthusiasm. And [Joyce] said that mistakes are the portals of discovery. And yet we don't tolerate mistakes, and we worship grades. So we collect your B pluses and your A minuses and we aggregate them into a number like 3.4, which is stamped on your forehead and sums up who you are. Well, in my opinion, we went too far with this nonsense, and grading became degrading."

      Jon Dron July 5, 2017 - 10:26am

  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Wrong Way sign July 4, 2017 - 5:04pm
    Wrong way sign
  • Great critique by Tom Worthington of an alleged for-credit MOOC from MIT that was anything but a MOOC. As Tom rightly points out, two instructors, 31 students, and online materials from EdX do not a MOOC make. As he notes, this kind of instructional...
    Comments
    • Edex courses about promotion of Microsoft tools as UI. Re: Java/JavaScipt/C++..    Why the students should use  tools instead of writing own code??


      - anonymous

      Anonymous June 30, 2017 - 7:20pm

  • I suspect everyone on Athabasca University's staff will be very interested in these posts by Matthew Prineas, who we will welcome on September 5th as our new provost and VPA, that show a great understanding of at least some of the benefits and...
  • Jon Dron commented on the blog Athabasca's bright future June 23, 2017 - 5:49pm
    Thanks Mary, thanks Caroline! I hope my remarks did not come across as critical of the town or its people, Mary - they were not meant that way. I, too, very much want Athabasca to thrive and I do appreciate its charms. Those well tended gardens,...
  • Jon Dron published a blog post Athabasca's bright future June 21, 2017 - 8:46pm
    The always excellent Tony Bates provides a clear summary of Ken Coates's Independent Third-Party Review of Athabasca University released last week and, as usual, provides a great critical commentary and useful advice on next steps.I am much...
    Comments
    • Having trouble filling all the requirements to post here ;-) I have posted unsuccessfully a few times.

      Regardless, I love this post Jon!  I have circulated it to FHD because few of our faculty appreciate The Landing. Your depth of perspective shows your real committment to AU. Thanks.


      - Caroline Park

      Anonymous June 23, 2017 - 8:11am

    • Thanks Mary, thanks Caroline!

      I hope my remarks did not come across as critical of the town or its people, Mary - they were not meant that way. I, too, very much want Athabasca to thrive and I do appreciate its charms. Those well tended gardens, neat and friendly neighbourhoods, and kind, self-reliant people are really quite delightful, and the surrounding countryside is pleasant (give or take the odd biting insect or large carnivore!).  And it is far less remote, run down, and threatened than other towns further North, though I'll stick by my claim that there are visible signs of a very worrisome downward spiral, and I find it hard to see a place that is two hours away that can only be reached by driving there as particularly close to Edmonton. It's all relative, I suppose, but that's half a day of mostly unproductive travel to get there and back, and it's a risky venture at some times of the year. It would be hard to attract too many hipsters right now, though the Athabsca Hotel is a great start (love that place). If I ruled the world, or at least the region, and I wanted to increase the vitality of the place, I'd subsidize regular and fairly frequent public transit. It would never pay for itself and would often run empty, at least at first, but it could make a big difference in the long term. Connection matters.

      I'd prefer to see a virtual end to Athabasca's central organizational role in the university hierarchy, though it has great value as a symbolic centre. We should not physically base ourselves in Edmonton, either, or anywhere else for that matter, though decent facilities in different areas are not a bad thing: exam centres, book storage, labs, studios, server rooms, spaces for visiting researchers, etc still have value. Notwithstanding the need for some physical space, we are and must be digital natives, and geographic clusters inhibit our capacity to innovate and grow our online communities. I like Coates's take on it, though I'm sure it needs refinement here and there. His proposals make far better use of our physical presence in Athabasca by focusing on what value a physical location can provide: links with indigenous folk in the region, partnerships with colleges, links with the local school, the development of a regional research centre, etc. That could make AU campus into a quite divergent and partly separate branch rather than an administrative hub. Innovations could feed back from there to the rest of us, and vice versa because it would be different. It would be good for the region, too, because the focus would be on developing and sustaining the surrounding community and the local environment, rather than pretty much anywhere and anyone else. Plus, it would make it more worthwhile to live there: people would be involved with their community through their work and would feel greater connection as a result. And, of course, those working more in the mainstream areas of the university with worldwide outreach would be better placed to do so because we would, simultaneously, be greatly improving our ability to work online and at a distance. Seems a winning idea for all, at least in principle. Might even draw in a few hipsters :-)

      Jon Dron June 23, 2017 - 5:49pm

  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Landing logo medium resolution June 21, 2017 - 4:38pm
    long version of the Landing logo showing the river it represents a little more clearly than the one usually seen on the site
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Athabasca Landing June 21, 2017 - 11:37am
    The site of the original Athabasca Landing, by the Athabasca River
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Athabasca June 21, 2017 - 11:28am
    A view from downtown up the hill to Athabasca University
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Athabasca high street June 18, 2017 - 11:07am
    The decaying downtown of Athabasca
  • Jon Dron commented on a bookmark Learnium June 12, 2017 - 2:51pm
    2D like books and maps? Of course, our intelligence is and has long been tethered to and totally dependent on not only others around us but also the embedded knowledge of our forebears in the tools, products, and processes they create. It's not an...
Load More