Here is a really interesting website concerning an angle on community that is fresh, important and aims high. Philia is all about building an inclusive society, where everyone’s voice is welcomed and valued. The host organization, PLAN, and the Philia Dialogue were created by some family friends, and I’m always surprised and humbled by people who set the bar very high and try to make an important difference in the quality of our society.
The site isn’t technically amazing, although it is very nice to look at. It doesn’t include a blog, wiki, discussion board or chat area — although there are a few ways to contribute to the site (note to self: have conversation with Al and Vickie about social networking technologies). What is powerful, though, is the vision of community that is held by these folks. They see community as a way to fundamentally change how we value people in our society, so for its ideas rather than its use of technologies, it is worth a look.
We in Educational Communications and Technology are thrilled that Debbie Pushor has accepted a tenure-track position in Curriculum Studies in Early Childhood Education to begin July 1, 2005.
Early Childhood Education was effectively abandoned in the early 80’s due to budget cuts, and this is the first move to reinstitute the program at the U of S. It is, as you probably know, a key strategic area for education in the province, and Debbie has already demonstrated remarkable leadership. Congratulations to Debbie and to the College of Education! I’m sure we will find ways to collaborate with her in EDCMM.
The 12th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education will be held July 18-22 in Amsterdam. The programme is now posted at:
We have a paper entitled “Mining Data and Modelling Social Capital in Virtual Learning Communities” (Ben Daniel, Gord McCalla, Richard Schwier), and Ben Daniel will be making the trip to deliver the paper for us, and I think Gord will be attending too. Sure, I’d love to go, but I’m also really looking forward to seeing what is blooming in my back yard this summer.