July 31, 2005

What's your library doing on September 11?

Found What's your library doing on September 11? via Alex Halavais.

Talk about issues that matter:

The September Project is a grassroots effort to encourage public events on freedom, democracy, and citizenship in libraries on or around September 11. Libraries around the world are organizing public and campus events, such as: displays about human rights and historical documents; talks and performances about freedom and cultural difference; and film screenings about issues that matter.

Posted by jason at 07:45 AM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2005

Podcasting: naive attitudes to exploring technology

Via Weblogg-ed

Steve Sloan is playing with podcasting. And if I got it right (correct me if I'm wrong) he was podcasting using students, and puting it into public places, i.e. online. In his works from About that podcast:

Since I had been researching as well as teaching emerging technologiesfor CFD I agree, the podcast I did with the three students should have been coordinated with my supervisor (even though I was on my ownlunch break) or should not have been done near work.When I was presented with concerns over my podcasting, I said I would notdo it that way again. I said I would only podcast in the future on my own time awayfrom facilities where I work. (I also said I would use disclaimers to make it clearI was not representing SJSU.) Then, I was verbally told I could not interview students, evenon my own time. (Remember all the university students I spoke with areadults.)

I wonder what I'm missing. As a professor you never collect data or conduct inquiry on human subjects unless they have signed 'informed consent" forms that have been vetted by ethics review committees. Of course this is more important for me doing work on children, but I did all my research for my doctorate on graduate students. It is the same no matter what.

His response regarding permissions... Steve Sloan, SJSU Tech on a mission: July 2005:

Who gave me permission to speak to students? Who gives me permission to broadcast my ideas to the world? Who gave me permission to talk about what I do and to open up about what I see both in my job and in the rest of my life?

I don't blame steve at all. And I don't know him, though I think what he's doing is cool. I've found that in the US and in Britain, and perhaps in parts of Canada (though I've enver found them) the whole notion of the ethics of data collection is missing. And my experience is perhaps tainted by the fact that at UofToronto all research fell under the purview of the same ethics board, education, engineering, medicine... all of it. And in my new job at Ryerson, I research children's learning and technology. I cannot photograph them, record their voices or make any content public without following specific protocols for their safety. This has made me sensitive to the ethics of research, and strangely enough I have not come up with a single instance in which I think that it is not necessary to have formal ethical guidelines for the collection and use of data. But when someone problematizes it for you, I hope people would wake up and listen.

There are many ways to get around this problem. You have students do work in public places and then reference it. You turn students into public content producers and discuss it. But you do not do it with them and make it public, without going through ethical reviews. I don't get why this could be considered a problem for some folks, but folks have told me that they don't see what the problem is. I should put it on the final exam.

Posted by jason at 06:32 PM | Comments (3)

K-12 blogging explained?

Weblogg-ed points to this article
What is a blog? Educators discover the newest form of intimate and immediate conversation as finally getting it right, saying:

Finally, an article on blogs in schools that gets it pretty much right. What's in a Blog? is the lead story in this month's American School Board Journal and it does a great job, I think, of framing the potential of blogs and in accurately reflecting the state of the Read/Write world. Now if every board member in the country reads it, we might start bringing some sanity back to the blogs and safety conversation.

However, I was struck by a couple of things. First of all, it never explains what a blog is at all, nor make any meaningful comment on its history. Secondly, it highlights blogs as tools for high placed admins in school board to talk about 'issues'. That is, it is the journalistic/public relational side of blogs that get all the cred.

To its credit it does note that all the coolness is being done by teenagers, highlights the potential for younger bloggers to communicate, and does focus on the 'putting people in touch with people' aspect, but it clearly misses the point that blogging was, has been, and hopefully will be about co-blogging, not blogging as personal broadcast medium. I read your blog, you read mine. We share info from our overlapping spheres of influence, but it is not, in its best sense, a form of journalism or public media conduit that the late-comers to blogging seem to want to create out of it. I personally think that this pressure comes from the fact that many people want to talk, but aren't really interested in listening. Sure, they respond to comments about their work, but they don't want to search out your work and engage with it; unless you're a big name, prof, A-lister or have a following.

Sure, I'm a prof, but this isn't much of a proffy top-down blog, in terms of content and attitude, it is as much a mix and match pile of information of what's going on in my life as my sister Cats' blog is. And no, that's not Catspaw (aka KAT!).

I'm always ranting that computers are for putting people in touch with people, and the objects they create. The broadcast media metaphor fails in its centricity, just as a-list specific blogs are 'often but not always' crippled by their incestual myopia. I want to see if or how blogs can manifest themselves as chaotic community tools, islands of order amid the woof and warp of an individuals myriad of social relationships throughout a life, written for the self, shared with an infinite number of potentially reciprocating readers.

Now coffee time. Will check for logic and spelling errors later.

Posted by jason at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2005

Learning Frowned Upon at Kurtztown Area High School

Slashdot | Felony Charges For H.S. Hacking

Last year the Kurtztown Area High School approved a program which gave every student an iBook. Now 13 students face felony charges for violating the district's usage policy." From the article: "Shrawder said the secret password '50Trexler,' was widely-known among the student body and distributed early in the school year. It allowed between 80 and 100 students to reconfigure their laptops, he said. The more computer-savvy students began to disable the administrations' ability to spy on the students' computer use. For others, it became a game, trying to outsmart the administration and compete with fellow students who held the secret, Shrawder said.

Personally, and I do not speak as a professor hoping for tenure, but as an individual on his own time, I'd give'm bonus marks, and I'd want to drag the admin up on the carpet for a talking to.

Posted by jason at 08:52 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

Wake me when the exam starts


A UNIVERSITY is broadcasting lectures straight to students' mobiles so they don't have to get out of bed in the mornings.Lessons are filmed using digital cameras, edited down into 15-minute segments, then sent to students with 3G phones.Media Production tutors Harold Fricker and Eduardo Carrillo... believe it could be used all over the world. Mr Fricker said: "There are always lazy students, despite most being dedicated to the course and committed to working hard.

Posted by jason at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2005

Watching the Girls in My Life.

Tonight, Yuka and I watched CBC Radio | Ideas | Features | It's A Girl's World and wondered about the young girls in our lives, how their parents react to how they're growing and learning, and how they'll make sense of the world around them. It was doubly interesting in the context of my upcoming job.

What does the social world of girls look like? At first glance, it's about sharing secrets, giggling over boys and carefree fun. But lurking underneath this facade of niceness is a hidden culture of nastiness that pits one friend against another. Lynn Glazier examines the tumultuous nature of female relationships from girlhood to adulthood; from the playground to the office.

Posted by jason at 07:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2005

KMD2003 and Julia D

KMD2003: Knowledge Media Design and Learning will be co-taught by Julia D and myself, rather than me alone. Actually, it will be largely Julia's show, with lots of famous name guests. I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by jason at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2005

Latin American Research Group (LARG)

Judith Bernhard just sent me info on a new report on a project she's part of with the Latin American Research Group (LARG) called Social cohesion and international migration in a globalizing era: Transnational solidarities and newcomer incorporation in Canada". The link is on the LARG web site at the bottom. Here's some info about the project:

A complex set of economic, political, and socio-cultural factors associated with globalization are contributing to the growing displacement and scattering of families across space. Economic and cultural globalization, migration, changes in travel and communication technologies, changes in employment opportunities and related processes, contribute to further displacement and fragmentation of family networks across space, meaning that the transnational multi-local family may be here to stay. However, there has been only limited consideration of the ways in which institutional landscapes shape immigrant families' experiences of spatial ruptures. For instance, the narrowing of family reunification criteria in the immigration policies of receiving countries may delay or prevent spatial family reunification.
The Latin American families component of the project on Social Cohesion and International Migration in a Globalizing Era: Transnational Solidarities and Newcomer's Incorporation in Canada, explored the character of long distance relationships, child rearing, and family members' ability and willingness to negotiate and manage their personal lives across borders. It also examined the adaptation and incorporation process of Latin-American families into Canadian society.
This research examined fundamental questions such as: What are the experiences of Latin American migrant families as they establish and maintain bonds across long distances? Are Latin Americans in Canada as fairly 'Ccomplete' nuclear or extended families? How do families address social reproduction in a transnational context? To what extent do family members make use of mainstream social services and ethno-specific Canadian based organizations including religious and community leaders?
LARG's research team conducted 40 interviews with Latin Americans who experienced separation from their children as a result of their migration to Canada. The study included families from Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

Posted by jason at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2005

ECE jobs at Ryerson this Fall

Working@Ryerson/Careers@Ryerson/Job Postings lists a number of part time positions at Ryerson this fall... if you've got a background in ECE, check it out.

Posted by jason at 09:31 AM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2005

Protest centers on military-sponsored research

From JuliaD:

University of Toronto -- News@UofT -- Protest centers on military-sponsored research (May 3/05)

Protesters held a demonstration at Simcoe Hall Monday morning, demanding to speak with U of T administrators about the role of the military in university research. The protest stemmed from a meeting originally scheduled for Monday between officials from the U.S. military and the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering to introduce academics to research funding opportunities; a decision had been made last week to postpone the meeting to a later date.

Posted by jason at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2005

Diary of a Subversive Librarian: Open Letter to Heather Menzies

Rochelle's always a "must read" and her post Diary of a Subversive Librarian: Open Letter to Heather Menzies is no exception: "Some snippets from today's Toronto Star: "Dumbed down on campus, bit by bit" by Heather Menzies, professor of Canadian Studies at Carleton University..."

Posted by jason at 06:25 PM | Comments (0)

Imaginary Companions

I read an interesting article in the Toronto Star about Marjorie Taylor and her research into Imaginary Companions and children. I can't remember if I ever had any such friends... I'll have to check wtih my parents.

Posted by jason at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2005

Job Posting: Professor, Communication Culture and Information Technology

[Kathleen sent this to me. I lectured out there this past winter, and it is a great place.]

Sheridan is looking for outstanding individuals to join our faculty team.  The successful candidate will teach a range of courses including Critical Analysis of Media and Digital Innovation & Cultural Transformation, to students in our Communication Culture & Information Technology (CCIT) program in the School of Animation, Arts & Design.

Job Type: Full Time
Location: Oakville, ON, CANADA;
Job Category: Education
Year(s) of Experience: 3
Number Of Positions: 1
Date Posted: Apr 20, 2005

Professor, Communication Culture and Information Technology

Job Type: Full Time
Location: Oakville, ON, CANADA;
Job Category: Education
Year(s) of Experience: 3
Number Of Positions: 1
Date Posted: Apr 20, 2005


Sheridan is looking for outstanding individuals to join our faculty team.  The successful candidate will teach a range of courses including Critical Analysis of Media and Digital Innovation & Cultural Transformation, to students in our Communication Culture & Information Technology (CCIT) program in the School of Animation, Arts & Design.

CCIT is an interdisciplinary program for the study of the art and science of human communication, how communication builds knowledge and creates culture, and how information technology affects the way humans communicate.  CCIT combines the academic research strength and international prestige of the University of Toronto with the professional orientation and world-wide media reputation of Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.  CCIT is one of a number of joint programs with the University of Toronto at Mississauga, including Art and Art History, and Theatre and Drama Studies.

Sheridan faculty provide academic leadership to programs and courses within their areas of expertise and contribute to the creation of a learning-centred environment where students can develop to their full potential. They also contribute to College, School and program excellence by collaborating on a variety of initiatives such as new program development, applied research and alternative delivery strategies.

Professors are responsible for:
• Ensuring that program and course curricula are current, relevant and reflective of best practices within the relevant professional/program disciplines;
• Defining, evaluating and validating learning outcomes for courses and programs;
• Creating an effective environment for learning which accommodates students’ diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, experiences and individual learning styles;
• Designing appropriate strategies and tools for facilitating and assessing student learning;
• Developing multi-media materials and alternative delivery strategies, and incorporating appropriate educational technologies into the learning process.

Professors also ensure that students are aware of course and program learning outcomes, learning strategies and evaluation techniques; provide individual tutoring and academic counselling; and evaluate student progress/achievement within assigned courses.

• Master’s degree in a related field of study (PhD preferred); formal studies in adult or higher education an asset; 
• Three to five years relevant professional experience preferred;
• Experience in teaching and curriculum development at the post secondary level or equivalent experience as a trainer in business or industry preferred;
• Strong network of contacts with other professionals, agencies and employers;
• Excellent communications and interpersonal skills; 
• Demonstrable ability to convey the conceptual and applied aspects of knowledge to a broad range of students;
• Committed to excellence in teaching and learning and to working within a team environment.

Appointment Details

Employee Group: Faculty
School/Department: School of Animation, Arts & Design
Campus: May be assigned activity at any campus
Reference #: 05/F/15
Salary Range: $44,285 -$82,299 (based on relevant educational qualification and experience)
Application Deadline: May 6, 2005

To apply online:
Visit: www.sheridaninstitute.ca
Select Welcome to Sheridan, then select Human Resources

Sheridan welcomes diversity in the workplace and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including visible minorities, Aboriginal People, and persons with disabilities. 

Posted by jason at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2005

Email Makes You sTupId

Guardian Unlimited | Online | Emails 'pose threat to IQ': "The distractions of constant emails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis."

[Jeremy passed this along... now you all know why I don't respond to your emails. Just Say NO!]

Posted by jason at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2005

Downloadable video clips of Copyfight Debate of the Century

Boing Boing: Downloadable video clips of Copyfight Debate of the Century

Allison sez, "For a class I teach on the History and Future of the Book, I've put up as Quicktime clips the first two hours of last week's Cornell Debate between EFF senior IP attorney Fred Von Lohmann, copyfighting media studies prof Siva Vaidhyanathan, and counsel from the MPAA, RIAA, Napster 2 and Universal. (The remaining hour of the debate will be there in the next day or so)."

"As streaming media three hours long, it's a bit hard to find your place or determine what portion you might want to hear again, so I've broken it into segments featuring an individual speaker or question. There are also summary descriptions of the questions and responses. (I'll be adding summaries to all links)." Link (Thanks, Allison!)


Posted by jason at 07:44 AM | Comments (0)

Early History of Wikipedia

Slashdot | The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir

Slashdot | The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia, Part II

Posted by jason at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2005

A-listers et al

In an interesting bit of email getting passed round via barry's students, Netwoman sent along this article from Salon. How to Save the World

"A brand new Pew survey of Internet users lets bloggers track the growing audience for their writing. The survey suggests that the total online potential audience (regular Internet users) has reached 40% of the US population, and that 7% of them (8 million) have created a weblog at some time and 27% (32 million Americans) claim to read weblogs. Other research indicates that, excluding the exploding Chinese market, US blog readership is about 40% of global blog readership, which means that the blog writer now has a target audience of 80 million readers worldwide. Of that number, 6 million Americans (and perhaps 15 million worldwide) subscribe to one or more blogs through RSS feeds. About 40% of blog readers have posted comments on blogs. "

I got the following from Rebecca Blood:

Bloggers from the A-List to the Z-List | Civilities:

"There's been a lot of talk about the "A-List" in the blogosphere-- the top bloggers who get all the attention-- and this often inspires speculation about parallel B-lists and C-lists. What many people don't know is that the designations go all the way to Z. Here is the full list"

I've always thought that the a-list and the blogger/journalism debates were about as useful as the 'truth' and 'accuracy' debates for online information. If you have to trust the truth of information based on its location, you're screwed ex officio. It's all twisty inside... and better viewed from far away.

Posted by jason at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2005

How Wiki Articles Evolve

I had a job talk last week at a university. It is a job that I would really REALLY like. There are three that I would really like that I'm being considered for. Anyway, the presentation went well... got help from Jeremy and Aaron and others with my powerpoint slides. I don't like powerpoint. But then again, I don't like having to talk about things in 20 minutes (if you want to see the slides, check out http://jasonnolan.net/talk.html now that I've removed most all reference to the university involved). One of the people interviewing me had missed the question section, and only attended my presentation. While I was discussing wikipedia and my interest in making an educationally specific wikipedia, we had quite a heated discussion over what counts as an encyclopedia. If you know me, you'll realize that I think that knowledge is socially constructed, as are the terms we use, et al. So for the notion of encyclopedia to morph is just normal to me. Not for this person. An encyclopedia is an encyclopedia, and because wikis do not have formal peer review before they are available to the public and are subject to error, they cannot ex officio be an encyclopedia. Leaving aside the notion of truth being transient, and revisions to encyclopedia in various versions, what came out of the discussion was the sense that by making the process of development transparent, what I was suggesting moved beyond the monolithic academic notions of truth to the presentation of a negotiation process of the construction of knowledge. This is nothing new, and has been discussed formally, but what I liked is how most of the people at the table really caught on to it. I could feel the excitement. As for the person who disagreed, I don't think the disagreement was that deep, and I could imagine that this prof is one that I'd love to collaborate with specifically due to her perspective and reticence in interacting with digital technology. I think I'd learn alot.

So, when I found this article, I thought of the experience and wanted to book mark it for use in class.

Slashdot | History Flow Shows How Wiki Articles Evolve

teslatug writes "IBM has released a preliminary alpha version of its History Flow Visualization Application that shows how collaboratively created documents evolve. The tool is written in Java and it's available for download along with plugins for MoinMoin and MediaWiki. They have some interesting screenshots of the Wikipedia articles on abortion, Brazil, and love."

Posted by jason at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2005

Why I live to teach...

New York Daily News - Home - Schoolhouse crock

A Bronx teacher who repeatedly flunked his state certification exam paid a formerly homeless man with a developmental disorder $2 to take the test for him, authorities said yesterday.

Via Alex Halavais, via Alex, via Gawker

Posted by jason at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

Open Source/Open Access as a Social Constructionist Epistemology

Open Source/Open Access as a Social Constructionist Epistemology by Charles Lowe is an interesting flash presentation. I found it a bit reductionist, and somewhat superficial in its reading of Academic social interaction. Not untrue in the most, but selective. But the same with the open source/access community. I guess it is a bit evangelical. I agree with it over all, and I'm hopeful of the goals, especially with open source learning which most educators have been tacitly involved in for eternity. Note that constructionism IS a perspective that was articulated in the academy, amongst early childhood educators, I might add. And that what we know of the roots of open source movement(s) have a tie in with academic traditions.

Thanks for pointing this out to me jeremy!

Posted by jason at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2005

Mark it on your calendars

I hate having to choose times for courses, but they forced me to do it. KMD2003: Knowledge Media Design and Learning will run this summer Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-12 AM. It is open to grad students at UofT.

Posted by jason at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2005

OISE Papers in Educational Technology

Look out for JuliaD and I in OISE Papers in Educational Technology Jim Hewitt and Isha DeCoito. Volume 1, 2004. Published by the Imperial Oil Centre for Studies in Science, Mathematics
and Technology Centre at OISE-UT. ISBN: 0-7727-2616-7

Julia's paper is "Opening Discourse: Using Technologies for Supporting Learning in Complex Emergencies." and mine is "The Influence of ASCII on the Construction of Internet-Based Knowledge." (same old stuff for me)

The book is $20 and is available from Isha DeCoito at idecoito@oise.utoronto.ca.

Posted by jason at 05:42 PM |