Monthly Archives:August 2019

University of Alberta offers popular ‘Dino 101’ course in app form

admin post on August 30th, 2019
Posted in 杭州龙凤

WATCH ABOVE: The U of A’s Dino 101 course continues to break new ground. Now, it’s a textbook being offered in app form. Emily Mertz has the details.

EDMONTON — It first paved the way as a free, online course open to all and now Dino 101 is being offered as an electronic textbook in app form.

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“We’re mindful of our students and the tremendous pressures on them with tuition and the additional costs of education such as textbooks,” said Jonathan Schaeffer, dean of the faculty of science. “We wanted to build something that was fun, engaging and at a price point that added real value to the student learning experience.”

Available as a $9.99 app through iTunes and Google Play, the interactive textbook is based on the content from the U of A’s extremely successful Dino 101 Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

“The word ‘textbook’ in some ways is a bit misleading, as well, because when you think of a textbook you think of something big and heavy that you’re just going to read 400 pages, whereas the Dino 101 experience is highly interactive,” explained Schaeffer.

“Think about it as an interactive textbook.”

The app features instructional videos or traditional text interspersed with quizzes, activities, puzzles and games.

“We added traditional text with filming, with software interactivity, to create the complete package. There’s no one-size-fits-all learning, so if you want to read, by all means do the readings. If you like the videos, great. If you just want to play with the puzzles and the applications, great. The winning recipe of course is doing all of it,” said Schaeffer.

READ MORE: U of A joins the world of open online education with free dinosaur course 

The U of A team hopes the app will be popular enough to recoup the costs of developing it.  Then, any profits will be reinvested into paleontological research at the University of Alberta.

Schaeffer hopes the e-textbook app doesn’t stop with Dino 101.

“I’m optimistic it won’t be a one-off. We have wonderful ideas for future courses that we could try this with.

“The Dino 101 app is an experiment,” added Shaeffer. “We don’t know what works, what doesn’t work, what really engages students, what students find boring. We’re hoping we’ll get a lot of feedback on this so we can do another one and come up with an even better product.”

In 2014, 750 students took the paid Dino 101 course for credit. As of September 2015, close to 70,000 people have taken the free, not-for-credit course.

Follow @Emily_Mertz

©2015

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Refugee crisis: What can you do to help?

admin post on August 30th, 2019
Posted in 杭州龙凤

Click here for our latest coverage on the refugee crisis. Scroll down to learn more about how you can help.

TORONTO – A photo of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, facedown drowned on a beach, stunned the world and focused attention on a refugee crisis that has displaced millions of people.

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UN Refugee Agency spokesperson Babar Baloch told Global News the refugee crisis has been an ongoing human tragedy that killed more than 7,000 people in the past year alone.

“These are refugees that have been through a lot. Wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries as well. They are coming to seek international protection in other countries and our call is provide them with more legal avenues so they don’t end up giving themselves to the ruthless smugglers and the traffickers,” Baloch said.

READ MORE: ‘They didn’t deserve to die’: aunt of Syrian boys who drowned off Turkey

“This incident is just shocking. As a father or two, as a human being, as a humanitarian, it is quite just frustrating for us to see this being repeated again and again and again.”

Canada’s political parties have come under pressure to commit more assistance to the refugee crisis and allow more refugees into Canada.

The Canadian Council for Refugees and Amnesty International Canada called Thursday for the federal government to lift barriers preventing families from reuniting.

READ MORE: Leaders disagree on action for Syrian refugees after seeing drowned boy photo

They also called for less stringent documentation requirements, temporary resident permits to help expedite such cases and a commitment to a minimum of 10,000 government-assisted resettlement places for Syrians to be brought to Canada immediately.

Amnesty sent an open letter to Conservative leader Stephen Harper urging Canada to do more.

“Canada must act decisively and generously in opening up safety for the growing number of refugees who are faced with the impossible choice of remaining in desperate conditions in refugee camps or of making terrifying journeys and risking their lives to escape endless suffering,” Amnesty wrote.

Amnesty and the refugee council also called on the federal government to restore interim federal health coverage, whose cuts a court called “cruel and unusual.”

In the meantime, many individuals have been moved to help on their own.

Here are some things you can do:

Donate to, or volunteer for, UNHCR

The United Nations’ refugee organization is mandated to “lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.”

Donate to an international aid organization

There’s no shortage of groups working to help people displaced by conflicts such as the civil war ripping Syria apart. Here are a few:

Medecins sans Frontieres – Doctors Without Borders

Red Cross

Our History | Refugees International

Iraq – International Rescue Committee

UNICEF Canada : No Child too Far

SOS Children’s Villages

World Vision Canada

Donate to, or support, a refugee assistance agency in Canada

Many organizations in Canada are advocating for people trying to make it to Canada or assisting people already here with what’s often an agonizing transition. Here are some of them:

Canadian Council for Refugees

FCJ Refugee Centre

Islamic Relief Canada

Immigrant Services Society of BC

Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care

Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers

Halifax Refugee Clinic

PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada

Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council

Sponsor a refugee

This is a much more significant commitment. But if you or  a group you’re involved with is up for it, here’s how. Here’s a list of organizations already privately sponsoring refugees.

Groups of five Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are 18 or older can sponsor refugees and their dependents.

Lifeline Syria is also coordinating refugee sponsorship.

©2015

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Dueling Regina election signs point to household split

admin post on August 30th, 2019
Posted in 杭州龙凤

REGINA – If gauging by the number of election signs, the new riding of Regina-Lewvan appears to be one of the most politically engaged ridings in the area and a handful of homes have both an NDP and a Liberal sign displayed.

“We’re just trying to weigh out the options, which way to go right now,” said Lisa Dustyhorn. Her home has two Liberal signs and two NDP signs displayed. She explained that first, the Liberal candidate came knocking and she agreed to put up a lawn sign. Then the NDP candidate came by and her husband also agreed.

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“My husband said ‘we have to take one of them down’. I said ‘well I’m a Liberal’ and he said ‘well I’m voting NDP’,” said Dustyhorn. “So we just left them up and that’s where we’re at right now.”

The dueling signs are not an uncommon sight in the new all-urban riding, which is expected to be hotly contested this fall.

“If someone is willing to display both signs, if they’re civic minded that’s great,” said Erin Weir, the NDP candidate for Regina- Lewvan.

“Perhaps there’s other people in the house that want a red sign,” said Louis Browne, the Liberal candidate for Regina- Lewvan. “I definitely don’t hit every house that has an orange sign but from time to time, depending on the circumstances, I might be inspired to go chat with the people.”

University of Regina political scientist, Jim Farney doesn’t predict vote splitting between the NDP and the Liberal candidate to the case.

“The NDP has really been surging lately. I think a lot of people who even six weeks ago were going to vote Liberal, the polls are kind of telling us they’re going to end up going NDP,” said Farney.

“It’s the one riding in the city that’s really, who knows who’s going to win it,” he added.

Although she’s leaning Liberal, Dustyhorn said her vote remains up for grabs: “I’m listening what they both have to say, even the conservative candidate.”

Calls to the Regina-Lewvan Conservative campaign office weren’t returned by 6 p.m.

READ MORE: 4 Sask. federal ridings to watch

Follow @KimSmithGlobal

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3 sisters give birth on same day at same hospital

admin post on August 30th, 2019
Posted in 杭州龙凤

WATCH ABOVE: Three sisters in Ireland all gave birth on Tuesday while the fourth sister is expecting to deliver her baby very soon.

TORONTO — Three little bundles of joy arrived to an Irish family Tuesday as three sisters gave birth on the same day in the same hospital.

The two boys and a girl were born at Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar, Ireland. The three babies had different due dates but all came at once and a fourth sister is currently overdue.

The sisters said they did not at all plan to have their babies at the same time, let alone the same day.

One of the babies was born via C-section, the other two naturally.

The hospital has been abuzz with the news.

“We were all talking about it this morning, the fact that we have four sisters in and it’s never happened, as far as we know going back some time,” said nurse Mary Salmon. “We’re just delighted.”

The new cousins have been named Thomas Óg, Sorcha and Phelim.

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©2015

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Victoria Ave. Businesses optimistic city will “do the right thing”

admin post on August 30th, 2019
Posted in 杭州龙凤

REGINA – More than two months have passed since construction started on Victoria Avenue East, and businesses are feeling the pinch.

Traffic headaches have been hurting nearby businesses, and now, the city is planning to shut down one of their main access points permanently.

Owners and landlords are teaming up to protest that decision. Owner of Robin’s Doughnuts, Yinghua Liu, is one of them.

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She’s seen her sales drop 30 per cent over the last two months, with only regulars making their way through the maze to get to her coffee shop.

Liu is hanging on to the business by the skin of her teeth, thanks to a show of understanding from her landlord.

Imo Ekong owns Creekside Pub, China Liang’s Buffet and Robin’s Doughnuts. He said it doesn’t make sense to make his tenants pay money they aren’t making.

“My tenants are like my teammates. We’re not boss, employee,” he said. “So in this time, I thought I should lower their rent so they could survive. This is their livelihood. If they lose this, they lose everything.”

Liu is grateful for the help.

“If the landlord doesn’t waive the rent, we cannot survive. We are closed one or two months ago,” she said.

Further up the parking lot, Wine Kitz has also lost business.

“Construction has slowed it down a little bit,” said owner David Carvell. “Nobody likes going into construction zones.”

The problem is access. Initially, drivers could get to the businesses easily. But when construction began, the Coleman Crescent intersection was blocked off.

Eventually, the plan is to remove the Eastgate Drive bridge entirely, eliminating access from the west.

A dozen of the affected businesses showed up at Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting to voice their frustrations.

“There has to be east access coming into the mall. That has to happen,” said Ekong.

The planning commission sent the report back to administration, calling for more options to balance everyone’s needs.

“We’ve been asked to re-look at the work we’re doing along Victoria Avenue in the area of Eastgate Drive and see if there’s any other design options,” said Karen Gasmo, a city administrator.

Liu was happy she went to the meeting.

“This time the city listened to us, and they gave us hope,” she said.

Gasmo noted there’s no simple answer, as there’s various things to consider.

“Safety concerns, the new construction of a widened Victoria Avenue and access points for businesses along Eastgate Drive,” listed Gasmo.

There’s no guarantee changes will be made, but the affected business people left optimistic.

“I feel good that we’re being listened to, to some degree, by people who are going to impact the final decisions,” said Carvell.

A new report will be delivered to the Planning Commission on October 7th before a recommendation is passed over to City Council for final approval.

“I think there’ll just be more communication from this point on, which is what we wanted all along. Let’s figure out a way we can do this together,” said Ekong.

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