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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


A Responsive Approach for Northern Professional Development

This was originally posted at http://www.adeta.org/node/541

Alberta-North www.alberta-north.ca is a unique collaboration of post-secondary schools working together to provide learning opportunities for adult learners in rural and remote northern communities. The partners involved are Athabasca University www.athabascau.ca, Grande Prairie Regional College http://www.gprc.ab.ca, Keyano College www.keyano.ca, NorQuest College www.norquest.ab.ca, Northern Lakes College www.northernlakescollege.ca, Portage College www.portagecollege.ca and Aurora College www.auroracollege.nt.ca. Through a network of 85 community learning sites http://www.alberta-north.ca/cap-site-locations/, residents have access to more than programs and course, there are learning support services on-site along with technologies, resources, equipment and high speed internet. To learn more about Alberta-North and the services available, visit our web site http://www.alberta-north.ca/about-us/.

In this complex and distributed network of organizations and services, communication and professional development are certainly challenging. Learning support facilitators are at locations dispersed across northern Alberta and throughout the Northwest Territories, so professional development needs to be responsive to busy schedules and distributed locations. Since the northern institutions have adopted Moodle www.moodle.org as their common LMS, and a provincial license pool of Elluminate Live! www.elluminate.com was available through eCampusAlberta www.ecampusalberta.ca, we were quick to use those systems to revitalize our professional development offerings. For the recent launch of our online staff enhancement plan we have posted orientation and training resources on Moodle and are conducting real time activities and discussion by web conferencing to provide additional opportunities for dialogue and sharing. Our plan is to use the online PD to build to our annual Symposium www.alberta-north.ca/symposium, this year hosted by Northern Lakes College in Peace River.

Two new professional development initiatives are on-stream this year for faculty and staff across the north. One is a Professional Learning Series http://scope.bccampus.ca/course/view.php?id=251, a joint initiative with eCampusAlberta www.eccampusalberta.ca and BCcampus www.bccampus.ca that provides monthly web conferences on topics related to online learning and course development. The most recent session was authentic learning and assessment with Doug Hamilton and Sandra Rogers, Royal Roads University www.royalroads.ca. Earlier sessions were on various topics ranging from Canadian copyright consultation with Maureen Baron, CNIE www.cnie-rcie.ca, to course design principles for engagement with Sheila Whitmore , eCampusAlberta www.ecampusalberta.ca. To help bridge the time constraints of synchronous delivery, the sessions are archived on BCcampus’ SCoPE website http://scope.bccampus.ca for anyone who misses the web conference. The second initiative enables faculty and staff of our member organizations to take advantage of the benefit of having a common LMS. We are developing a Moodle Community of Practice to expand and foster sharing of expertise. As this evolves, I will inform you of the results.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Article - Evaluating Shared Access: social equality and the circulation of mobile phones in rural Uganda

Evaluating Shared Access: social equality and the circulation of mobile phones in rural Uganda

By Jenna Burrell

This article examines forms of shared access to technology where some privileges of ownership are retained. Sharing is defined as informal, non-remunerative resource distributing activities where multiple individuals have a relationship to a single device as purchaser, owner, possessor, operator and/or user. In the specific case of mobile phones in rural Uganda, dynamics of social policing and social obligation were mediated and concretized by these devices. Patterns of sharing mobile phones in rural Uganda led to preferential access for needy groups (such as those in ill health) while systematically and disproportionately excluding others (women in particular). The framework for sharing proposed in this article will be useful for structuring comparisons of technology adoption and access across cultural contexts.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Sad News

Mary Anne Raywid, a well-known small schools scholar, died on January 12 at the age of 81. More information is available here.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Collaborative Tools Help Rural Alabama Community Equalize High School Education

Collaboration 2.0
Web 2.0 Strategies for Education
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  • Collaborative Tools Help Rural Alabama Community Equalize High School Education

    Because many of the schools in Talladega County School District are small and the district rural, attracting quality high school teachers has been a challenge. But through videoconferencing technologies, the district can make more of its limited resources to help students and teachers alike learn and grow in ways that would not otherwise have been possible. More
Video Insight

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