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  • 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,...
  • Anonymous commented on the blog Athabasca's bright future June 23, 2017 - 8:11am
    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...
  • Laurie Milne published a blog post Mummies Help Scientists Study Diseases in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group June 22, 2017 - 10:02am
    A recent article in the Globe and Mail (June 13, 2017) discusses the use of evidence from ancient mummies in understanding modern diseases.  https://www.pressreader.com/canada/the-globe-and-mail-ottawaquebec-edition/20170613/282144996328263
  • Mary Pringle commented on the blog Athabasca's bright future June 22, 2017 - 9:38am
    Great post, but I have to disagree with your take on Athabasca. I grew up in a similar town west of Winnipeg (where I spent most of my time after the age of 17). The home town felt pretty desolate to a young person at that time, but it has now been...
  • 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
    • Great post, but I have to disagree with your take on Athabasca. I grew up in a similar town west of Winnipeg (where I spent most of my time after the age of 17). The home town felt pretty desolate to a young person at that time, but it has now been "discovered" by the upwardly mobile, who have deposited culsters of McMansions in various natural beauty spots. I don't like the idea of Athabasca being discovered in quite that way, but it is probably inevitable for such a beautiful setting so close to Edmonton.

      Now approaching retirement, I find my garden and all the things I can do here--mostly as a result of AU's presence--the best things in the world. IMO, we should be working much harder to attract bright young hipsters here to live in Athabasca, open businesses, work at AU, and create an environment that attracts more of their kind.

      And the desolation of the main street is a matter of perspective. Now it feels comfortable and authentic to me. I would not trade places with my relatives living in ridiculously overvalued condos in the heart of Vancouver although I like to visit. Athabasca is a livable place, a place to set down roots and be part of a community.

      Mary Pringle June 22, 2017 - 9:38am

    • 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
  • Alvin Finkel commented on a bookmark Change Alberta June 21, 2017 - 12:51am
    I invite all readers of The Landing, especially those who view themselves as progressives, to read Change Alberta and comment on topics that we discuss. Change Alberta played an important role in the provincial elections of 2012 and 2015 and since...
  • Alvin Finkel bookmarked Change Alberta June 21, 2017 - 12:47am
    This is a Facebook blog on Alberta politics (and other related subjects) for which I provide about 75 percent of all content. It has over 4200 followers and over 4500 likes as of June, 2017.
    Comments
    • I invite all readers of The Landing, especially those who view themselves as progressives, to read Change Alberta and comment on topics that we discuss. Change Alberta played an important role in the provincial elections of 2012 and 2015 and since the latter election has attempted to counter the pervasive propaganda in favour of returning to a past where Alberta governments were puppets of big business and opponents of universal services and special help for the disadvantaged.

      Alvin Finkel June 21, 2017 - 12:51am

  • Mark A. McCutcheon posted to the wire June 20, 2017 - 10:12am
    AU's Prof. Barnetson on operationalizing AU's 3rd-party report: https://albertalabour.blogspot.ca/2017/06/successfully-operationalizing.htm
  • Jon Dron uploaded the file Athabasca high street June 18, 2017 - 11:07am
    The decaying downtown of Athabasca
  • Laurie Milne published a blog post Cities as Beacons of Hope in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group June 18, 2017 - 8:53am
    An article of interest to students of urban  anthropology (Anthropology 394)  appeared in the G and M on Saturday, June 17,2017.  Robert Muggah, co-founder of the Igarape Institute and SecDev Group and chair of the consultative...
  • An interesting overview of how the large prehistoric earthwork, Monk's Mound, was engineered and built. Researchers use techniques such as geoarchaeology and archaeobotany to better understand building construction. Some good aerial...
  • Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown published a blog post Sumerian/Cuneiform and Wonder Woman in the group AU Anthropology Interest Group June 14, 2017 - 8:30am
    Funny little article about the appearance of Sumerian/cuneiform in the new Wonder Woman movie. I like the article, and the...
  • 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...
  • Steve Swettenham commented on a bookmark Learnium June 12, 2017 - 2:17pm
    @ Mary McNabb - 2D refers to the width and height screen interface that humans are currently using to view and navigate. An Australian researcher believes that she can create a quantum computer, which may qualify as a new form of computing;...
  • Thanks, Laurie. I shared this post in our ANTH 476 Moodle site, as we have a running list of archaeological fiction.
  • The Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research (CWIKR) would like to extend an invitation to our June instalment of Bannock and a Movie. Please confirm your attendance by contacting Ivy Lalonde to ensure there are seats available (see...
  • Mary McNabb commented on a bookmark Learnium June 12, 2017 - 11:58am
    So @ Steve Swettenham - you're prompting several questions here.  Which two dimensions are you referring to in your response? And another question - could Net app'd learners be completely free of the digital appurtenances of the last century?
  • Anonymous commented on the photo Faculty group photo June 11, 2017 - 3:28pm
    Great photos Jon, it was nice to see you all and celebrate our students! Shauna- Shauna Zenteno
    Faculty group photo
  • Jon Dron added the photo graduation to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:50pm
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  • Jon Dron added the photo graduates to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:50pm
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  • Jon Dron added the photo hoods to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:50pm
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  • Jon Dron added the photo graduates to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
    graduates
  • Jon Dron created a new photo album Convocation 2017 in the group Faculty of Science and Technology June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
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  • Jon Dron added the photo faculty to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
    faculty
  • Jon Dron added the photo graduates to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
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  • Jon Dron added the photo congratulations to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
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  • Jon Dron added the photo graduates to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
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  • Jon Dron added the photo Graduates to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
    Graduates
  • Jon Dron added the photo staff to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
    staff
  • Jon Dron added the photo graduates to the album Convocation 2017 June 10, 2017 - 1:47pm
    graduates