Sixth Annual Online Learning Symposium Attracts Education Leaders from Across Canada

Contributed by Sylvia Schubert, Communications, Alberta Learning October 30, 2002

Sixth Annual Online Learning Symposium Attracts Education Leaders from Across Canada

Edmonton… More than 650 educators from across Alberta and Canada will explore the latest advances and possibilities in virtual education at the sixth annual Online Learning Symposium, October 29 to 31 in Edmonton. This year’s theme, Utilizing Learning Objects in Educational Environments, reflects emerging online trends and technologies that support lifelong learning.
“More and more new opportunities are becoming available as online learning continues to expand the boundaries of the home, classroom and lecture theatre,” said Dr. Lyle Oberg, Alberta’s Minister of Learning. “The anytime, anywhere power of online technology serves to enhance the traditional learning experience to the benefit of students and educators.”
In Alberta, interest in online kindergarten to Grade 12 education has grown rapidly since its introduction about six years ago. With 4,700 full-time and 4,000 part-time students in 21 programs, Alberta has more online students and schools than any other Canadian province, and is recognized as a national and international leader in this form of education.
At the post-secondary level, Alberta institutions have shown tremendous leadership in delivering online education. Online initiatives from colleges, technical institutes and universities are creating a seamless learning environment for Albertans.
Online learning programs include students participating in home education or blended programs, Alberta students temporarily living abroad, foreign students receiving their education from Alberta, and virtual classrooms uniting students and teachers at different locations.
Alberta’s online education initiatives will be further enhanced by the innovative collaboration at the symposium. The Online Learning Symposium, one of Canada’s largest e-learning conferences, is hosted by Alberta Learning and the Alberta Online Consortium. It features 102 sessions that cover recent research in online education, to panel discussions involving students, parents and superintendents.
The Alberta Online Consortium is a collaborative effort among Alberta school jurisdictions and post-secondary institutions to enhance online education opportunities. The Consortium joins a rich history of cooperative programs in Alberta, which address issues of access and provide quality-learning opportunities for students.
The Symposium will be held at the Mayfield Inn and Suites beginning October 29 with greetings and the keynote address at 7 p.m. More information about the Alberta Online Consortium and the Online Learning Symposium is available at http://www.albertaonline.ab.ca.
Background:
Event Details
Location: Mayfield Inn and Suites (16615, 109 Avenue), Edmonton, Alberta
Date and Times: October 29, 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. October 30, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. October 31, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Online Learning Symposium Key Note Speaker

The keynote speaker is David Porter. Mr. Porter has over 25 years of experience in education and in particular, vast experience related to online education. Porter was involved in developing and operating distance-learning programs for the British Columbia government through the Open Learning Agency. He is currently working with NewMedia Innovation Centre in Vancouver to develop its e-learning research activities. Porter has also managed and provided leadership in a number of international projects and initiatives with Mexico, India, and in the Caribbean that focused on developing and expanding technology-mediated teacher training and the distance and distributed learning capacity of academic programs in those regions.

Quick Facts on Online Learning in Alberta
· Alberta has more online students and schools than any other Canadian province.
· Alberta leads the country in all aspects of Information and Communication Technology implementation in schools, according to a 2002 Microsoft Canada study.
· Alberta’s Computers For Schools program has delivered more than 35,000 new or recycled computers to schools across the province.
· Alberta is piloting an ‘e-textbook’ for Grade 9 Science students which offers an electronic format as an alternate means of accessing the print version of the textbook and will include multi-media components.
· SuperNet will bring high-speed Internet access to more than 4,700 sites in Alberta including all schools, post-secondary institutions and libraries.
· Over 16,000 visitors use the LearnAlberta.ca web site each month and access interactive, multi-media learning and teaching resources that directly relate to Alberta’s curriculum and benefit students, teachers and parents across the province.
· Alberta Learning supports many partnerships that provide professional development for teachers related to online learning including TELUS Learning Connection, Galileo Educational Network, the Alberta Regional Consortia Teaching and Learning Program, and Media Awareness Network workshops.
· Each year Alberta Learning distributes approximately $20 million in Technology Integration Funding to enhance online learning in Alberta’s publicly funded schools.
Web sites that support and enhance teaching and learning
· LearnAlberta.ca [http://www.learnalberta.ca]
· Alberta Online Consortium [http://www.albertaonline.ab.ca]
· The TELUS Learning Connection [http://www.2learn.ca]
· Physical Education Online [http://www.learning.gov.ab.ca/physicaleducationonline]
· Bio-DiTRL [http://database.sunsite.ualberta.ca/pls/biod1/ditrl.home]
· Galileo Educational Network [http://www.galileo.org]
· Tools4Teachers [http://www.tools4teachers.ca]
· Teaching and Learning with Technology [http://www.tlt.ab.ca]
· ICT Cyberbase [http://www.ictcyberbase.com]

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