stacksDigital technology is changing the way we store information, and how we learn from it.
Does it make sense to stack printed books in costly buildings when virtual libraries are just a mouse-click away?

CBC’s Cross-Country Checkup is broadcasting this program ‘live’ on Sunday afternoon, September 28 from 4-6pm EST

Successful applicants unveiled for the 2014 B.C. History Digitization Program
Successful applicants unveiled for the 2014 B.C. History Digitization Program

image001Just wanted to let you know about this amazing event which will take place March 8.  Early bird registration ends January 31, 2014!

Serendipity 2014: Children’s Literature in a Digital Age

Saturday, March 8 2014
UBC Education Building: 2125 Main Mall
8am-4pm (lunch is included)

From practical advice on using literature-based apps with children to learning how authors and illustrators are using social media and electronic publishing, Serendipity 2014 is a must-attend event for educators, librarians, researchers and literature lovers looking to the future of books for young people.

We have invited presenters that are not only at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving world of technology and children’s books, but are also dynamic, engaging and will leave you inspired and full of ideas:

  • Paul Zelinsky (@paulozelinsky): Caldecott-winning illustrator of over two dozen books
  • Arthur Slade (@arthurslade): Governor-general’s award-winning author
  • John an style=’font-size:12.0pt;font-family:”Garamond”,”serif”;mso-fareast-language:EN-CA’> (@MrSchuReads): Library Journal Mover and Shaker, elementary school teacher-librarian, blogger, 2014 Newbery Committee member
  • Travis Jonker (@100scopenotes): School Library Journal blogger, elementary school teacher-librarian, 2014 Caldecott Committee member
  • Tim Federle (@TimFederle): Author of Better Nate Than Ever and the forthcoming sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (January 2014)
  • Hadley Dyer (@hedyer): Winner of the Information Book Award for Potatoes on Rooftops: Farming in the City

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION until January 31, 2014: Members $150, Non-Members $165, Students $75

REGULAR REGISTRATION starts February 1, 2014: Members $200, Non-Members $215, Students $100

Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by the UBC Museum of Anthropology. This panel followed a performance by artist Peter Morin entitled ‘Hello Darlin’’.

Chair:  John Wynne.
Panelists: Margery Fee, Patrick Moore, Peter Morin, Khelsilem Rivers.

This session explores the museum as a site of cultural contestation and issues of appropriation and commodification. How is cultural identity conveyed in art – by whom and for whom?  We hope to explore a variety of perspectives. One view is that in dealing with Indigenous issues, non-Indigenous artists and researchers are simply engaging in ‘metaphorical microcolonialism’ (Corbett).  Alternatively, some see in cross-cultural collaborations the potential for ‘a dialogue across the boundaries of oppositions’ (Smith).  As such, how do ethical considerations and artistic license co-exist?  Are issue-based and socially-engaged artistic practice simply a less effective form of activism or do they have a unique contribution to make in defining cultural identity and promoting recognition of the value of indigenous languages

About the Participants:

Margery Fee is a Professor of English at UBC where she teaches science fiction, science and technology studies and Indigenous literatures. In 2008, she was Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, writing about how some discourses of genetics/genomics contribute to the racialization of minority groups, particularly Indigenous people. Her current research project is Wacousta’s Dilemma: Literature and Land Claims, which examines how land ownership figures in the work of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Patrick Moore is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. He has worked with Athabaskan languages in Alberta, the Yukon, and British Columbia for over three decades. With Angela Wheelock, he translated and co-edited Wolverine: Myths and Visions and Dene Gedeni: Traditional Lifestyles of Kaska Women. He edited a collection of Kaska stories Dene Gudeji: Kaska Narratives and wrote a Kaska, Mountain Slavey and Sekani noun dictionary Gūzāgi K’ū́gé’.

Peter Morin is a Tahltan Nation artist and curator. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, including the Royal Ontario Museum, Open Space (Victoria), MOA Satellite Gallery (Vancouver) and Urban Shaman Gallery (Winnipeg). His artistic practice investigates the impact between indigenous culturally-based practices and western settler colonialism. Morin recently completed a series of new performance works for the Indigenity in the Contemporary World research initiative at Royal Holloway University, London, UK.

Khelsilem Rivers was born in North Vancouver, BC in 1989 and recently given the names Sxwchálten and X̱elsílem by his paternal grandmother, Audrey Rivers (Tiyáltelut) of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh. His work has been focused on the rebuilding of Indigenous language fluency in the face of language speaker decline. He is a strong believer that “languages don’t die in healthy communities”, and as such has worked on the concurrent effort of rebuilding healthy community through language-fluency revitalization and vice versa.

John Wynne is an award-winning sound artist whose work includes site-specific installations, ‘composed documentaries’ for radio, projects with speakers of endangered languages and a body of work with heart and lung transplant recipients. He has a PhD from Goldsmiths College, University of London and is a Reader in Sound Arts at the University of the Arts London.


The public symposium ‘On Endangered Languages: Indigeneity, Community, and Creative Practice’ took place at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia on Sept. 14th, 2013. It was co-organized by Karen Duffek, Kate Hennessy, Tyler Peterson, and John Wynne.

Symposium Description:

As the multi-sensory installation Anspayaxw opens for exhibition in the Satellite Gallery in Vancouver, we bring artist John Wynne, linguist Tyler Peterson, anthropologist Kate Hennessy, Musqueam elder Larry Grant, and Gitxsan participants Louise Wilson and Barbara Harris into conversation with scholars and artists on the preservation of endangered languages, the interconnected role of digital media, and engagements with artistic practice.

Linda Tuhiwai Smith has described research as “probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocabulary” – but as she also acknowledges, “at some points there is, there has to be, dialogue across the boundaries of oppositions.” Beyond the customary exploration of academic interests and language maintenance efforts, this symposium will problematize research and raise questions about the opportunities and consequences of language documentation for local communities and collaborating outsiders.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has drawn attention to the enduring significance of Indigenous languages. Against this backdrop we will explore some of the ways in which language documentation is being used by speakers to communicate identity, sovereignty, and contemporary representations of community. We will further examine the ethical and moral obligations created in the act of documentation, while questioning how research relationships and collaborations might raise awareness of the status of endangered languages. As documentary and archiving technologies rapidly change, we ask what role digital technology plays in the preservation––or conversely, the loss––of documentary media. What are appropriate uses and reuses of language documentation, and who, ultimately, are the beneficiaries of these documentary initiatives? In the context of Anspayaxw, are creative and artistic explorations of language documentation at odds with the goal of revitalization, or do they open up new possibilities for understanding the complex social and historical territory of ongoing colonial relationships?

Wynne’s Anspayaxw (2010) is a 12-channel sound and photography installation based on his collaborations with Tyler Peterson, artist/photographer Denise Hawrysio, and members of the Gitxsan community at Kispiox, British Columbia. Using innovative sound technology, the installation merges recordings of the endangered Gitxsanimaax language, oral histories, and songs with situational portraits of the participants and photographs of hand-made street signs on the reserve made by one of the participants in the 1970s. The work highlights the subjective nature of language documentation, interpretation, and creative expression. The complex relationships between linguistic researchers and language speakers are recognized and represented in image and sound, cut through by questions of power, ownership, and the desire to document, preserve, and revitalize endangered languages.

using_computerThe Faculty of Education and UBC Library have teamed up to introduce UBC’s first LOOC – or local open online course.

The offering, part of UBC’s Master of Educational Technology program, is meant to help UBC students, staff and faculty hone their digital literacy skills. The course, called M101, features topics including Mining (research), Meshing (idea creation) and Mobilizing (generating value from information and knowledge).

The LOOC is open to all members of the UBC community who have a campus-wide login. M101 is self-paced, and users can build their skills in any area, in any order that they wish. As the name suggests, a LOOC is a localized form of a MOOC – or massive open online course. MOOCs have been a big topic in online education recently and UBC’s first MOOC – which launched in January 2013 with Stanford University – attracted more than 130,000 registrants.

The LOOC project received a grant from UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund in spring 2013. Work began in April, and the LOOC was opened to co-authors of content, including UBC librarians, in July. The first set of students from the MET program will be able to contribute as of September.

For more, visit UBC Library’s site.

This journal article appears in the July 2011 issue of the British Journal of Music Education (28,2).

Abstract: The music industry in the 21st century uses digital technology in a wide range of applications including performance, composition and in recording and publishing. Much of this digital technology is freely available via downloads from the internet, as part of software included with computers when they are purchased and via applications that are available for some mobile phones. Such technology is transforming music and the way people approach many traditional music activities. This paper is about transformative practices that are underway in some secondary school music classrooms. Practices are being shaped by the culture of the schools and the students that they recruit. We describe the perceptions and practices of nine music teachers in four New Zealand secondary schools with regard to digital technology and how they are changing their work in their classroom. Data collection techniques include interviews, observation and a questionnaire. The data were subjected to two stages of thematic analysis. Grounded analysis was used to allow the teachers’ voices emerge. This was then followed by the application of five themes identified in the literature on pedagogic change prompted by teachers’ adoption of digital technologies.

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