Call for Graduate Student Papers: Aboriginal Policy Research Conference

Third Triennial Aboriginal Policy Research Conference
March 9-12, 2009
Sponsored by
The University of Western Ontario
The Department Indian Affairs and Northern Development
The National Association of Friendship Centres

Call for Papers

In this complex and changing world, public policy must more than ever be based on research that exposes the realities that face Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. At the same time, the outcomes of policy must also be explored and evaluated to ensure that there has been a positive and/or desired impact. The Aboriginal Policy Research Conference will engage Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal researchers and policy makers in the pursuit of better, more appropriate research, evidence-based policy, and policy outcome assessment. The last conference had an unprecedented 1200 delegates.

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal graduate students are invited to submit a draft paper by September 30, 2008. Please include one page explaining the paper’s policy relevance. For those selected, a completed paper will be due by December 19, 2008. The best submissions will be invited to present at the APRC. Financial support will be available to those whose paper is selected (information on request). The top six papers will receive $2000 scholarships.

Send submissions to:
Jerry P. White
Professor and Senior Advisor to the Provost
C/O Julie Peters
Department of Sociology
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5C2
* E-mail submissions are preferred.
ATTENTION: APRC Graduate Student Papers
Over the following months, further information will be posted on the website at:

50 years of computing at the U of S – celebration today

This is a note from Rick Bunt, our Associate VP of Information Technology (or something like that) at the U of S. Our own Dr. Barry Brown will be one of the “pioneers” in attendance, and there will be food!

The Birthday Bash celebrating 50 Years of Computing at the U of S
that was originally scheduled during Technology Week in November
has been rescheduled. We are pleased to re-announce this Come & Go
event and, on behalf of our organizing committee, I invite you to
join us in celebrating this important University milestone.

When: Thursday, January 31st, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Green Room, Room 280, College Building
Cake Cutting: 4:00 p.m.

We’ll travel back to 1957, the year the University acquired its
first computer. The celebration will include interactive media
displays, vintage equipment, retro games, prizes and of course,
birthday cake and refreshments. We also expect some of our
‘pioneers’ to be joining us.

Please pass this invitation on to other folks in your circle of
contacts. The more the merrier.

Social learning setting minds on fire

Here’s a good one for you:

John Seely Brown and Richard Adler (2008). Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0.

I’ve long been a fan of John Seely Brown’s work, and he has produced another strong article here that makes the case, once again, for social learning. But this is a fresh read, and chocablock with examples and grounded in research.

His central premise is that we are moving from a Cartesian view of learning (I think, therefore I am) to a social view of learning (we participate, therefore we are). The most profound impact of the Internet, an impact that has yet to be fully realized, is its ability to support and expand the various aspects of social learning. He sees it as a movement from “learning about” to “learning to be”.

That is a familiar refrain for many of us, but take the time to read this article if you buy the general argument–more importantly, if you don’t buy the general argument. You’ll feel better for it, because this article doesn’t seem to wallow in condemnation of the past, but rather offers an optimistic view of where we are headed.

The original World Wide Web—the “Web 1.0” that emerged in the mid-1990s—vastly expanded access to information. The Open Educational Resources movement is an example of the impact that the Web 1.0 has had on education. But the Web 2.0, which has emerged in just the past few years, is sparking an even more far-reaching revolution. Tools such as blogs, wikis, social networks, tagging systems, mashups, and content-sharing sites are examples of a new user-centric information infrastructure that emphasizes participation (e.g., creating, re-mixing) over presentation, that encourages focused conversation and short briefs (often written in a less technical, public vernacular) rather than traditional publication, and that facilitates innovative explorations, experimentations, and purposeful tinkerings that often form the basis of a situated understanding emerging from action, not passivity.