The story of the week was the downtown arena project. I wish I had been free on Friday to Storify the reaction to city council’s decision to buy the land amid news of the negotiations between the city and the Katz Group with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York.
The volume of tweets on #yegarena and #yegcc was overwhelming, as Mack Male shows in this post summarizing the day and the Twitter reaction. Word clouds have had a bit of a bad rap lately, but to me, the clouds in this post and the post setting up Friday’s events do a pretty good job of letting us see what was said.
As Mack notes, Mike Otto of The Charrette also did a nifty little bit of data journalism on opinions expressed about the arena proposal in calls to 311, the city’s information line. (Speaking of The Charrette, Otto’s partner-in-awesome Scott Lilwall recently launched a semi-regular feature called Ask the Charrette, an invitation to ask them anything about urban planning. In this city, at this time, there are a lot of questions that need answering, so have at it.)
For a more elegiac take on the debate, see Zoe Todd’s post on how the arena narrative clashes with her own feelings about the story of this city. The post itself was already a worthy read. Then Journal sports columnist John MacKinnon made a rather rude comment, to which Zoe responded thoughtfully and with class. The ensuing back-and-forth is revealing and also worth your time.
This is a neverending story. If I’m missing something good on the arena issue, let me know in the comments. Now, what else?
— Besides being another great get-together and a chance to show off my dino-loving daughter, this month’s Girl Geek Dinner introduced us to an inspiring young University of Alberta paleontologist named Victoria Arbour. If you like dinosaurs, I encourage you to read Victoria’s blog. You can also follow the U of A’s Dino Lab on Facebook. The next Girl Geek Dinner will be held Nov. 17 at D’Lish Urban Kitchen and Wine Bar.
— YegNews has officially shut down after four months of operation. I was skeptical about its editorial and business model from the get-go, and its challenges were all the more difficult to surmount when Scott McKeen departed in July. But I also applaud anyone who tries anything new and hard. Alain Saffel deserves credit for that. Failure is a gift, as long as we learn from it.
— Jay Runham of the Jay n’ J movies podcast was kind enough to take me out to see Page One: Inside the New York Times, which I had been dying to see. We recorded a “slider” episode of Jay n’ J (sans J, aka Jordan Blackburn, who was out of town). The movie’s brief appearance in Edmonton is over now, but have a listen to see if you’d like to rent it or see it on Netflix. It was such a delight to meet Jay in real life. Next up, I believe, is a full episode on Footloose, featuring woman-about-town Brittney Le Blanc.
— The Conservative leadership vote and Premier Alison Redford’s cabinet-making have provided plenty of fodder for Dave Cournoyer on daveberta.ca. With Redford in charge, a provincial election won’t happen until spring, but nominations are well underway. Here’s Dave’s running list of who’s running.
— Efforts to organize MediaCamp Edmonton 2 are in full flight now. We’ve changed the date to Feb. 4 (instead of Jan. 28) so as not to conflict with the next Startup Weekend and Global Game Jam. MediaCamp aims to bring storytellers and developers together to see how we can help each other do what we do. Watch the website for details in the coming weeks. We’re using the hashtag #yegmediacamp on Twitter to seek input and share links. If you’re interested in coming, please fill out this survey so we can try to make it all you want it to be. If you’re interested in sponsoring or volunteering, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s always so much more to say, and yet, that feels like enough. Feel free to add more in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+. More media news can be found on Mack’s Media Monday.
(Speaking on Mack, that’s his photo up top, taken in May 2010 at an open house on the Edmonton Arena District.)
It’s back-to-school season in our house. The kids return to class on Thursday, Trustee Spencer’s meetings have resumed, and I am preparing to teach (!) reporting and news production in the journalism diploma program at Grant MacEwan University. So I’m in an education frame of mind for this week’s roundup.
In many ways, the Internet has disrupted education as much as it has disrupted journalism. As with journalism, there are some in education who resist the change, pine for the good old days and are certain things are going to hell. And then there are people like George Couros, who embrace change and see all the good that can come of it.
I haven’t met George, but I’m a fan of his Twitter feed and find myself increasingly drawn to his blog as I work on turning myself into an educator. He is a principal in Stony Plain and now holds a newly created position as division principal in charge of innovative teaching and learning in the Parkland School Division, which covers several communities west of Edmonton.
George has exactly the attitude I want to see in anyone involved in teaching. He considers it part of his job to turn students into “strong Digital Citizens,” and he models that behaviour by being one himself. He also created Connected Principals, a group blog where school administrators from all over share what they’ve learned. From where I sit, Parkland is pretty lucky to have him.
What networked teachers inspire you? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.
Rounding up some other new media stuff from the past week:
— Speaking of networked education, registration is now open for EdCamp Edmonton, a one-day unconference on learning. It will be held Nov. 5 at Lillian Osborne High School. I’m planning to be there.
— Which reminds me, plans are underway for another MediaCamp Edmonton. The first one was held in May 2010, and it felt like a success, but then life got in the way of working on the next one. Efforts are now resurrected. An organizational meeting will be held at Guru Digital Arts College at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Aug. 29). Minutes will be posted here.
— My own education efforts this fall will be centred on guiding students through the production of West Edmonton Local. MacEwan grad Mathew White has done a bang-up job keeping the site going through the summer, and he’ll be helping me and Lucas Timmons turn it back into a learning experience for the next group of MacEwan journalism students. If you have any suggestions for improvement, let us know.
— In other news, Andy Grabia has launched a new photo project called My Edmonton, documenting the beautiful buildings in our city. As Andy points out, there is a lot of talk about how ugly our architecture is, and while much of that criticism is deserved, it obscures the fact that we have lovely and striking architecture here as well. He’s looking for suggestions, so be sure to chime in.
(Addendum: Also on the theme of beautiful things about Edmonton, see Sharon Yeo’s post on Edmonton Transit’s historical tour.)
— Speaking of Andy, a fierce opponent of the proposal to build a new arena for the Oilers downtown, the discussion continues in Edmonton’s blogosphere in light of the city’s new proposal to fund the arena through an expanded community revitalization levy. Of note are Alex Abboud’s call for downtown development with or without the CRL, Ryan Batty’s skeptical look at CRLs, and Mack Male’s coverage of the proposal to expand the CRL boundary. For more commentary and links to what mainstream media and others are saying about the arena, keep an eye on the edmontonian.
(Addendum 2: Looks like the edmontonian is hanging up its cleats. Nooooo!)
For more on media new and old, check out Mack’s Media Monday.
(Image of George Couros courtesy Kevin Jarrett, taken Jan. 30, 2011)