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June 22, 2016

Returning to Traditional Knowledge for Solutions to Modern Problems

In Northern Québec, just inland from James Bay, stands the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, a new home for an ancient people. The history that brought a nomadic nation to this small village caused disruption in every aspect of life, culture and knowledge. Now, the Chisasibi nation is working with researchers, led by the Cégep de Victoriaville, to establish new approaches to food security based on traditional knowledge. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, out of its Community and College Social Innovation Fund. There are about 4,000 Chisasibi Cree. For them, as for other northern... Read more
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June 22, 2016

When Disrupting the Classroom Doesn’t Get You Sent to the Principal

Bringing Teaching and Tech Together to Promote Active Learning Elizabeth Charles believes the last new technology to really have an impact on teaching was the overhead projector. Its huge popularity in schools began building in the late 1950s, as teachers realized the advantages of being able to bring prepared material to class and modify it in response to class discussion. It was, in Charles’ words, a disruptive technology, forcing change in the way people taught and students learned. “In the past three or four decades, technology has not been able to break through, or ‘be disruptive,’ in making changes in... Read more
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June 21, 2016

Mapping a Better Path to Employment for Immigrant Women

Immigrants come to Canada to change their lives. For many, however, the changes they find are not what they were expecting; and they may be particularly challenging for professional women. “What’s really exciting about this project is most research has been on immigrant employment in general, it didn’t consider what particular problems are for women,” said Frédéric Dejean. “But if you’re a Muslim woman from North Africa, the problems you face are going to be different from your husband’s.” Dejean is a researcher at the Institut de recherche sur l’intégration professionnelle des immigrants at Collège Maisonneuve in Montréal. He’s also... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Working with UNEP on Sustainability and Consumption

In a globalized and networked society, sometimes it is necessary first to invest in people, relationships and ideas. Such efforts may produce results far out of proportion to the investment. After several years of support from a number of sources, including an Innovation Enhancement grant, Dr. Peter Denton participated in civil society consultations through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This enabled him, as well as students and faculty at Red River College, to gain access to global environmental networks and UNEP-related activities. Denton, who teaches ethics and sustainability at the college, is one of two Major Groups and Stakeholders... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Atlantic Canada Biorefinery Conference

The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) has focused on knowledge transfer and industry support to promote a prosperous bioeconomy in Atlantic Canada. In 2010 it obtained an Innovation Enhancement grant that led to the creation of its Biorefinery Technology Scale-up Centre. The centre gives college and university researchers as well as companies the opportunity to test their products and processes at a near-production scale. The research team working at the Grand Falls campus of CCNB supports industry in its bioproduct promotion efforts. The team uses microbial fermentation, hydrolysis, bioseparation and chemical processes to produce value-added industrial bioproducts such as bioethanol,... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Easing Parenthood with an Internet Connection

A Toronto business woman, with an idea about connecting new parents with qualified and prescreened caregivers, wanted to develop an online search system that was seamless and easy to use. MotherEaze and George Brown College worked together to devise a business plan and a scheduling and payment system for the company website. This project involved extensive background research and analysis of the existing website and documentation of the system and user interface requirements for all desired features. MotherEaze’s intensive candidate screening is what sets the enterprise apart from rival services. The company’s qualified caregivers include early childhood education workers, nurses,... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Aging in Place with Online Help

Helping seniors stay flexible and mobile is critical to their ability to live independently. A small Ontario company has been working with Sheridan College to create an online program to help older adults keep their functional mobility through exercise at home. Attune Aging Strategies and Solutions is a husband and wife team that developed an idea for reaching frail older adults who have no way to get to the therapeutic care they need after an injury or operation. With the help of Sheridan College’s Centre for Elder Care, the physiotherapist and occupational therapist designed a technology-supported exercise program for physiotherapy... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Improving BigBlueButton Online Learning

Seneca’s open technology developers, working in collaboration with Blindside Networks, have made significant contributions to the development of the BigBlueButton platform for distance education. Blindside Networks is an Ottawa-based company dedicated to helping universities, colleges and commercial companies deliver high-quality learning experiences to remote students. They do this by providing commercial support and hosting for BigBlueButton, an open source web conferencing system for on-line learning. “The mission of BigBlueButton is to ensure every student with a web browser has access to a high-quality on-line learning experience,” says Fred Dixon, CEO of Blindside Networks. “BigBlueButton is an open source project that... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Seniors Care

Dr. Veronique Boscart is the CIHR/Schlegel Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Seniors Care at Conestoga College working on studies to improve care for seniors and training for gerontology nurses in Canada. Dr. Boscart leads Conestoga’s activities with the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging, in Kitchener, Ontario. The institute’s mandate is to enhance the quality of life and care for older adults through research, education, and practice. The focus of Dr. Boscart’s efforts is the development of evidence-informed training programs for staff already working in long term care, and for students in post-secondary programs that lead to careers... Read more
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March 14, 2016

Making Technology Accessible for Wheelchair Users

People with mobility issues often have difficulties using smart phones and other common electronic devices. In an attempt to meet this need, a small Toronto technology start-up has developed a set of open software and hardware tools called Tecla that facilitates access to electronic devices for people with mobility impairments. Komodo Open Labs (KOL) envisioned a user-friendly Bluetooth interface device that would give individuals with special needs access to commercial smart phones. But the goal went further: the company wanted to make it smaller, mountable, and lower-cost, letting more people join the conversation. The device had to be easy to... Read more
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