We got hit with the longest cold snap in over 40 years, with the temp on Thursday approaching a record set back in 1896.
I don’t mind winter, but long periods below -30˚C just suck the fun out of everything that involves leaving the house. At least there’s light at the end of the frozen tunnel…
and it’s been coooold, working in a LEED-certified building, so we have to adapt…
On the plus side, my GP gave me a clean bill of health (pending bloodwork). But I need to lose a bunch of weight. Which isn’t news.
- ████████ ████ ████ █████
- Setting up the LTAC Processes Working Group meeting for late Jan / early Feb. It’s a challenge, juggling calendars of a bunch of senior leaders from various faculties, with no administrative support.
- University funding freeze - it’s freezing all around.
- UAlberta Library’s Pressbooks server will be available for use across Alberta soon.
- SciHub as a cyber-security risk - we now block it on campus, because it’s run by the russian mafia as a way to grab higher ed logins. 2020 is fun. (we got bit by russians back in 2016, with the whole ransomware thing). I don’t know if this is valid, or just a campaign to sow distrust and fear. Either way, it’s blocked on campus.
- I’m taking fridays off for the next few months, to burn through a vacation backlog. It feels weird, but I’m kind of liking it so far.
- I had an idea to refine my research/project plan, further combining work and PhD lives.
- Will be mining this collection and lit review - International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education Collection: Games and simulation in higher education
- NYTimes: How to Pack a Go Bag for Extended Hospital Stays - I had a simple go-bag ready during chemo, but this would have been handy before that…
- The Chronicle: Why I Won’t Let My Classes Be Recorded. “I don’t want my classes recorded because of panopticon and students and privacy etc.” (but the author hadn’t actually bothered to ask students if that’s what they want…)
- Digital Detox #3: Algorithms and Exclusion - algorithms are biased, but that bias hides behind a veneer of “objectivity” because a) they’re based on numbers, which can’t possibly be biased because they’re NUMBERS! and b) what the hell even IS an algorithm? I mean. It’s some kind of 21st century handwaving magic or some shit, so I guess we’ll just assume there’s nothing biased in there because they’re unknowable. Technology is made by people. People have biases - they might not be aware of them, but every person is biased all the time and there’s no way out of that except to be aware of it and intentionally work to overcome your own biases.
- (I made a list of algorithms that I was aware of this week - see the Asides entry for the growing list)
- Chris Gillard: Caught in the Spotlight - @hypervisible, on “luxury” vs. “imposed” surveillance. “…these technologies will continue to fuel a negative feedback loop between individuals and communities on both ends of the surveillance spectrum, where the only real winners are the companies who profit from the fear they help to manufacture.”
- Alison Green: 10 Impressive Questions to Ask in a Job Interview - yes, it’s a listicle, but still useful.
- Shikha Jain in Scientific American: Let’s Stop Talking About “Battling Cancer” - I agree 1000%. The rhetoric of “battle” means it’s all on the patient’s willpower to overcome. Just fight harder! Science and medicine are just weapons for the battle and it’s up to you to just want it bad enough, gosh darn it.
- Heather Ross: A Year With Medication
- Ian Bogost: Every Place Is the Same Now - With a phone, anywhere else is always just a tap away. “But computation’s indifference to place also hurls the spaces where smartphones are used into their own chaos.” We are nowhere, everywhere, shifting between them simultaneously and constantly.
- Stefaniak, J., Carey, K. (2019). Instilling purpose and value in the implementation of digital badges in higher education. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 16, 44 (2019) doi:10.1186/s41239-019-0175-9
- Trying Microsoft Edge for a bit. Chrome-based browser, without the invasive Google-fu. I’m liking it so far.
- The homeowner’s guide to Calgary’s deep freeze - this weekend’s hopeful thaw could get interesting…
🗓️ Focus for next week
- Welcoming a team member back from leave, and setting up a gradual transition. It’ll be great, being back to full staff again (and after I was gone for 5 months last year as well!)
- Mid-range strategic planning within the TI - project plans for the semester.