Thursday, February 28, 2013

Poor Snow Removal

Hiya City of Moncton (Please distribute to Council)

February 28, 2013. The snow-blower came up my road today, which is nice, because it gets too narrow to drive on, especially with people parking to go to the nearby hospital. But look at this - behind it, the snow-blower left a foot of ice and snow, leaving that space impassible to cars - just like it was before. So one wonders, what's the point of removing the snow if you leave a foot of it behind?

I suppose I should be happy - it really seems like the City has a policy of not plowing the roads on weekends (or at least keeping staff minimal).

While I'm writing, I wonder if someone could explain to me why the sidewalks along Portledge Avenue are plowed (when they're plowed, which is infrequently) on the west side of the road. This was started last year, and continued this year, despite being against City policy for sidewalk clearing, and despite being the least useful sidewalk for people struggling through the ice and snow to get to the Dumont Hospital. I would like the city to follow its own policy and clear the proper side of Portledge.

I continue to be puzzled by the City's sidewlk clearing policy. In particular, I'm puzzled by the frequent sidewalk-plow traffic on Motron Avenue, not actually plowing the sidewalk along that road (even when it really needs it) but just up and down the road - this traffic occurs daily, whether there has been snow recently or not. It seems that when there's no snow, the sidewalk plows are very busy, but when the snow falls, they disappear.

-- Stephen

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Current e-learning practice

I was asked, what areas would you recommend I focus on …  to illustrate  current e-learning practice?

If it were me, I would do a three-stage presentation:

- first, I’d show some COTS language-training and/or skills development software, typically what you can but from the computer store or download from an app store. The particular software doesn’t really matter – most people have heard of Rosetta Stone, that might be a start. I’d point out the strengths – self-management, self-pacing – but also the limitations of working from a CD or app on your computer.

- then I’d show an online course offered in an LMS such as Desire2Learn, Moodle or Blackboard from a college or university. Maybe something from the U of M. The idea here is to highlight the differences – point to the interactivity and discussion, the cohort-based timeline, etc. I'd talk about synchronous learning environments that are used, and maybe some offshoots, like gaming and simulations, or mobile computing.

- finally I’d show a MOOC or open online course. Being me, I’d probably show change11 but any MOOC would be OK. The idea here would be to show how MOOCs retain the interactivity and cohorts, but return some of the control over subject matter and format back to the student. Also the way MOOCs (or some MOOCs at least) incorporate social media such as Twitter, GGroups, blogs, etc. into the course materials. Also, I’d talk about price - $100 vs $1000 vs free

This would pretty much capture the domain.