About the Project
This project is one of the 2011 WISE Awards finalists.
ABEL is a non-profit program, funded in combination by in-kind contributions from lead partners (York University and York Region DSB), a membership fee structure, sponsorship of learning events with gifts from private sector partners, and research grants received from provincial and federal Canadian agencies.
The Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning (ABEL) program transforms learning by connecting learners from diverse backgrounds and regions and engaging them in personal and professional growth both virtually and face to face. Through public and private-sector partnerships and a research-based approach to implementation, ABEL applies new and existing information communication technologies (ICTs) to teaching and learning. ABEL’s learning networks, partnerships and focus on research produce innovative models for teaching and learning that drive institutional transformation and create new learning opportunities for all.
Context and Issue
Less than two decades ago computers were only slowly being introduced as teaching tools in the classroom and educators didn’t know exactly how or why to incorporate them into the teaching curriculum. In 2011, educators can still sometimes struggle with 21st century learning and how to adapt their teaching styles and curriculums to students who are becoming more technologically savvy at an increasingly younger age.
Solution and Impact
The ABEL program results in the adoption of blended design for professional learning, collaboration across institutions and jurisdictions, and wide access to resources and expertise that otherwise would not be available to address the diverse needs of the participants in the program. Sustainable private-public partner relationships also contribute to quality education that is accessible and affordable.
Members and partners involved in the ABEL program receive access to a variety of services including a professional online community and workspace that allow collaboration in designing and sharing best practice, access to member tools and services, a wide variety of technology tools and pedagogical approaches, help and support, a blended professional learning program, research and evaluation services and experience, and implementation expertise.
The following public and private sector organizations, and educational institutions are participants in the ABEL program: York University, Ontario College of Art and Design, K-12 School Districts in Ontario and from across Canada, the Student Achievement Branch in the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, national cultural institutions such as the Canadian Space Agency, Ontario Science Centre and the Royal Ontario Museum, Pearson Education Canada, Microsoft Canada, and Apple Canada and non-profit organizations such as ORION, TakingITGlobal, TWICE, iEARN and MAGPI. Their participation ranges from full membership to contributing partner.