Online Library Budgets

The Globe and Mail today had a section on Education with an article about A new world of digital libraries by Kate L. Barrette. The story quotes Michael Ridley, Chief Information Office and Chief Librarian at the University of Guelph to the effect that now they spend 63% of their acquisitions budget on digital resources (31% for print) compared to five years ago when it was 20% digital. That is a big change in the ratio of digital to print.
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Canadian pioneers and education

IT Business has an article by Shane Schick on Canadian computing pioneers have issues with IT education (10/19/05). The article reports on IBM’s Centers for Advanced Studies: CASCON – CASCON 2005 conference where they brought together Canadian pioneers (those who got their Ph.D. before 1973 and spent time doing computing at Canadian universities.)

A short list of the pioneers that were featured is here.
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Applying to Game Companies

“a graduate program for the left and right brain”

Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center has a project based Masters of Entertainment Technology. Their program is aimed mostly at developing games, thugh they define “entertainment technology” widely to include augmented reality, telepresence, and entertainment robotics.
They have a neat page with information on how to prepare applications and demo reels for the entertainment industry, see How To Documents. This is thanks to Paola Borin.

Council of Ontario Universities: Graduate Enrollment

Face the Facts Ontario is a page in the COU site with links to PDF reports. In particular there is a good one, Advancing Ontario’s Future Through Advanced Degrees (2003) on the need to double graduate enrollments. I suspect the recommendations and data in this report influenced the Rae Report on the need for more places for graduate students.
The report has a nice short history of Ontario graduate education – the first MAs were given in 1845 by King’s College and the first PhD in 1900. There is a wealth of data and interpretation in the report.
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Teaching Knowledge Posters

In an iMatter meeting we were talking about poster sessions both online and f2f for sharing information. The Visible Knowledge Project has a nice example of virtual posters about learning and technology. These posters were created with a snapshot tool based on the Knowledge Media Laboratory KEEP tool. (See What is KEEP? for an overview.) KEEP encourages instructors to gather snapshots of their teaching experiments so that they can be shared easily as virtual posters. The underlying idea is that we need practices that let us share scholarship of teaching quickly.
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Soft Skills for Techies

StÈfan Sinclair has blogged an article on Techies getting on-the-job nontech training? by Ed Frauenheim, CNET, Nov. 19, 2004. The article is based on a report by Robert Half Technology on training in nontechnical areas.

Skills such as project management, leadership and communication may be critical for the next generation of information technology (IT) managers, but many employees are not receiving formal education in these areas, a new survey finds.† Nearly half (47 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) polled said their companies do not provide IT professionals with instruction in business and communication fundamentals. (Press Release, “Knowledge Gap: Survey Finds Only Half of Companies Provide Non-Technical Training to IT Staff”, Nov. 17, 2004, Employment News – Employment Information.)

Like StÈfan, my question is whether such “soft skills” can be taught in typical workplace training? What exactly is it that we want in employees when we hire them? Are the listed skills really “soft” skills or are they deep capacities for ethical work, questioning, and thoughtful communication? These are what the humanities have tried to teach. Perhaps the technical skills should be acquired in the workplace and the human skills acquired at school.
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Digital Image/Sound and Computer Science

Digital Image / Sound & the Fine Arts [DFAR] integrates two domains, that of Computer Science and the Fine Arts, to address the issues of interdisciplinary cultural education and technological innovation for information societies and networked environments.

The ” href=””>Digital Image/Sound &the Fine Arts program at Concordia is an interesting hybrid arts computing program. It can either be taken as a double major with Computer Applications from the Department of Computer Science or it can be taken as a “specialization” in the BFA. The program sounds like it has a strong theory component. For an overview see Section 71.80 – Digital Image/Sound and Computer Science.
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Computing Programs

I was at the Ontario Universities’ Fair where all the universities have booths and thousands of high-school kids come through with their parents to shop for programs. After I had done my turn at the McMaster booth I took my son around to find a program that combines computing with arts or game design. Here is what we found.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology is an innovative and market-oriented institution, pursuing inquiry, discovery and application through excellence in teaching and learning, value-added research and vibrant student life.
(UOIT Vision)

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