Students find podcast lectures fit their schedules

For Laurie Foley, a third-year English-literature major at York University’s Glendon College, time is money, reported Toronto’s Metro daily Nov. 21. She has to work a demanding schedule in order to pay for her education, so she sings the praises of being able to listen to her lectures on her iPod wherever she goes, while viewing printed lecture notes. “I’ve got an hour-and-a-half commute from Mississauga every day. Having lectures on iPod allows me to kill two birds with one stone by listening en route,” she says.

Her Modes of Reasoning course, instructed by York Professor Diane Zorn, is one of approximately 30 courses offered annually by the Philosophy Program at York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies. Not only is it York’s only fully online, rich-media version of podcast learning, but it’s also said to be the second course in Canada to provide video podcast lectures.

The online learning environments Zorn has been studying and creating for years are based within her own education theory she is currently developing called enactivism. “Enactivism assumes that greater quality means greater individualization of learning experiences. This involves meeting the needs of diverse students when, where, and how they want to learn,” explains Zorn.

There are, however, challenges to this type of learning, said Metro. According to Zorn, offering podcast versions of lectures is definitely time consuming, considering all the preparation and the technology involved. Online learning also requires a high level of self-discipline and is more self-directed than learning in the classroom. “Online learning does not take away the responsibility of having to adhere to deadlines, nor does it substitute for the expectation of student participation,” says Zorn.

Zorn was nominated for the Council of Ontario Universities Teaching with Technology award for the course along with her colleague Kelly Parke, a multimedia designer for York’s Computing & Network Services.

Sexual assault near York campus spurs warning to women

The gunpoint sexual assault of a York University student on the weekend has prompted police and school officials to warn women to take precautions when out near the university’s Keele campus, especially at night, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 21. York has posted a safety bulletin on its Web site and around campus, said Richard Fisher, York’s chief marketing & communications officer. Additional guards are patrolling the campus, and free shuttle buses are making more trips across campus. The alleged assault occurred near Murray Ross Parkway and Sentinel Road – just outside the south entrance to the University – at around 6 pm Saturday, Fisher said.

  • The Toronto Star Nov. 21 quoted Fisher as saying “We have stepped up security patrols both on foot and in vehicles,”, adding security officials patrol “slightly beyond” the perimeter of the campus. Police are searching for a clean-shaven man in his late 20s or early 30s, 6 feet tall, whose head was possibly shaved. He was wearing a red T-shirt and black baseball cap.

  • The National Post and most broadcast outlets also reported on the incident Nov. 21.

Top 100 women includes three from York

A story in The Globe and Mail Nov. 21 on the top 100 Canadian women featured three catergory winners from York including, Lorna R. Marsden, York president & vice-chancellor; alumna Ruth Corbin (LLM ‘05), CEO and managing partner, Corbin Partners Inc. and adjunct professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School; and broadcaster-journalist Trina McQueen, a professor in York’s Schulich School of Business.

Osgoode student likes Justin Trudeau’s ‘Leaders for Today’ speech

There they were, a group of 25 shy Portuguese-Canadian students at a swanky gala event stacked with the who’s who of the Portuguese community, listening to keynote speaker Justin Trudeau tell them that they are the leaders of today, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 21. “It’s easy to fall into saying they’re our leaders of tomorrow, but they’re our leaders of today,” Trudeau told the crowd of about 500 gathered Nov. 9 for the annual scholarship awards dinner hosted by the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals. It was an empowering message for the students – one that carried extra weight coming from Trudeau, whose prime minister father, Pierre, remains one of the community’s most beloved national leaders.

“When he said that we’re the leaders of today, it made me sit up straight and feel a little bit taller – to know that I do have the power and I can do something now,” said Liliana Ferreira, 25, who’s now in her first year at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School . “We do have the power, but sometimes people look at us almost as if we’re kids.”

Battle wages on well past election day

In the northwest corner of the city that includes the impoverished neighbourhood of Jane and Finch, one of the bitterest battles of last week’s municipal election keeps on going, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 21. A week after losing his city council seat in Ward 8 (York West), Peter Li Preti alleged, during a news conference at the North York Civic Centre, that supporters of his opponent, who beat him by 579 votes, engaged in slander and dirty tricks.

Li Preti said the unusually high turnout in the ward, much higher than the city average at more than 50 per cent, suggests that “something is wrong.” And he demanded that elections officials take a closer look at the voters list, which he said is full of people, including thousands associated with York University, who are on it in error.