2013 – Canadian eLearning Network – CANeLearn
Randy LaBonte – Acting Executive Director, CANeLearn

A new pan-Canadian network of K-12 online and blended learning schools and organizations – the Canadian e-Learning Network, or CANeLearn (http://canelearn.net) – was formed at a Montréal July 2013 Summit meeting of key stakeholders. CANeLearn’s mission is to provide leadership that champions student success in online and blended learning and provides members with networking, collaboration and research opportunities. Its initial focus is on sharing resources, professional development and research.

Key Canadian K-12 e-learning leaders have been meeting over the past several years to strategize how to support and promote online and blended learning in Canada. Meetings initiated at iNACOL conferences were continued at events across Canada during the 2012 -2013. At the July 2013 meeting, the group successfully agreed on how to move the shared initiative forward, including an organizational structure with a refined mission/purpose.

At the July Summit meeting, CANeLearn reached consensus to register federally as a not-for-profit corporation. The following individuals served as founding directors of the society and later took on directors’ roles pending the first Annual General Meeting of the organization:

  • Michael Canuel, CEO of LEARN
  • Vince Hill, CEO/Executive Director, Credenda Virtual High School Inc
  • Terri Reid, Learning Service Coordinator, Black Gold Regional Division No.18: Black Gold Online Program
  • Howard Burston, Director, IT Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre
  • Michael Barbour, Director of Doctoral Studies, Sacred Heart University
  • Greg Bitgood, Superintendent, Heritage Christian Schools
  • Kevin Wttewaall, Director of Technology for Learning, Rocky View School Division.

The July meeting also confirmed that Randy LaBonte would take on the role of Acting Executive Director and Verena Roberts would serve as Acting Chief Innovation Officer.

The group’s initial focus is on:

  • Creating strategies to support the pooling and sharing of resources, including creating a repository to support this
  • Fostering professional development specific to blended and online learning
  • Finding new ways to measure learning success.

As a network of provincial online or e-learning programmes, CANeLearn’s purposes are to:

  • Support networking between and among programme providers to build relationships, enhance communications, share resources and best practices and encourage innovation
  • Collaborate through supporting partnerships, sharing professional learning opportunities,
  • and finding efficiencies through technologies and shared services
  • Stay current and participate in research studies, promote research opportunities,
  • and disseminate research results
  • Work with post-secondary institutions to connect pre-service and in-service teachers to online and blended learning
  • Inform policy and professional standards regionally, provincially and nationally
  • Educate stakeholders and promote online and blended learning to all.

With a planned official launch for April 2014, the founding organizational members agreed to contribute an initial membership fee, with both individual membership and organizational membership fees to be determined at the first AGM. Interested organizations can join to become an inaugural member and provide input into the shaping of the organization.

For more information, contact:

Randy LaBonte