I’m a few days late with this Solstice Greeting to you!

I decided to loose a few pounds before Christmas excesses this year, by having stomach flu for 4 days and so even missed our annual Unitarian Solstice Service at Westwood. However, in Northern Canada it is not easy to forget the promise of a return to light and new life, in the midst of some very dark days.  Sun rises here around 9:00 AM and sets at 4:00 PM so we get  less than 8 hours of daylight. But Canadians always think about the season coming up, and so we are planning a special event for the summer solstice at Athabasca University.

Athabasca’s Technology Enhanced Research Centre (Tekri) is sponsoring our second, week long  doctoral seminar. This year’s theme is Social Networking. The format is quite casual with an opportunity for doctoral students and faculty to present, discuss, critique and argue about research projects that they are involved in. Each morning one of our faculty or invited guests does a half day presentation with lots of chance for group interaction. In the afternoon  the Doctoral students or visiting faculty members present their work/ideas and gets the whole groups feedback. In the evenings we do something fun around Edmonton and generally get a chance to really  know 15-25 interesting new friends from around the world.

This year’s core faculty include Jon Dron, Sabina Graf, George Siemens and myself with shorter drop in presentations by other TEKRI fellows such as Dragan Gasevich and Kinshuk. Special invited faculty include Bruno Poelhuber from U. of Montreal and  a couple of others who haven’t quite confirmed yet. Last year Stephen Downes, Alan Levine, and Michael Barbour dropped by, so who knows who will be in Edmonton next June?.

If this type of event is of interest to you and you are an active online researcher (student or faculty) please consider joining us.

The seminar takes place over the summer solstice June 20-24. Those days the sun gets up at 5:00 AM and it stays light till 11:00 PM, so lots of time to enjoy Northern Canada. if you are thinking of coming from overseas (and our 15 participants last year came from 7 countries), you may also want to take the opportunity to see the Canadian Rockies. One can quite easily rent a car, or hop a bus  in Edmonton and spend a couple of days on the Banff to Jasper Icefields Parkway– argueably the most beautiful highway in the world.

So for more details, costs etc check out the TEKRI website

Social Networks and Learning 2011.

From the site:

Social media and networked technologies have altered the ways in which society communicates, educates and produces. Research into social networks and learning is progressing rapidly. In order to advance the conversation around current and future research, the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University is pleased to sponsor a doctoral seminar on Social Networks in Learning. This year’s seminar will be held at Athaabsca University in Edmonton from June 20-24 2011.

Finally Best Wishes for a Rejuvenating Holiday and a wonder filled New Year!