Canadian eLearning Network Update

CANeLearn –July 2013 Summit Summary & Website Launch

Hi all.  We trust this email finds you well and not too overwhelmed from last week’s start of a new academic year.

First, thank you for attending, or indicating interest in attending, the July 15/16 meetings in Montreal, including those who attended virtually.  We were successful in agreeing on how to move our shared initiative forward, including within an organizational structure with a refined mission/purpose.  A lot has transpired in the short weeks since we were together, and this email is intended to provide you an overview.  More details can be found in the attached notes from our meeting, and on our new website:

Organizational Structure
– at our meeting it was agreed to register our group as a not-for-profit corporation federally
– it was agreed the following would serve as founding directors on the society application: Michael Canuel, Vince Hill, Terri Reid, Howard Burnston, Michael Barbour, Greg Bitgood, and Kevin Wttewaall

Organizational Mission and Purposes
– we reviewed and refined the vision/mission/purposes from the May 2013 meeting and they are attached in the notes and posted on our new website
– the mission and purposes were submitted in the not-for-profit application and are now enshrined in our constitution

Organizational Name
– we short-listed 3 names at the meeting (COBL – confederation of online and blended learning; CNOBEL – Canadian network of online and blended e-learning; and CANeLearn – Canadian e-learning network)
– we were successful in registering CANeLearn (thanks Laurel for the suggestion!) and the formal name of Canadian e-Learning Network and secured domains for CANeLearn with extensions of .com/ca/net/org
– a draft logo was designed (posted on the website, slightly revised and board-adopted) – thanks to Darren Cannell

Organizational Activities
– during the breakouts the group narrowed activity focus to the following 3 topics:
— pooling and sharing resources – creating a common repository
— communications and professional development strategy
— measuring learning success
– see notes for details
– we also agreed that, while accreditation/certification were important topics to discuss, it was too early to tackle them as yet, needing to first become established

Organizational Funding
– at the meeting it was agreed that founding organizational members would contribute an initial membership fee of $1000 per organization
– membership fees would be determined at the first Annual General Meeting
– the following organizations agreed to contribute the $1000 seed money: LEARN, Heritage Christian, Credenda, Rocky View, Black Gold, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba First Nations Ed Resource Centre
– others may also choose to join, and that communication will be reserved for a broader announcement and launch of the organization (see communication strategy in the notes)

The founding directors met as a board met online August 14 and formally confirmed the following board positions until the society’s first Annual General Meeting:
President       – Michael Canuel
Vice President – Vincent Hill
Secretary       – Terri Reid
Treasurer       – Howard Burston
Directors        – Michael Barbour
– Greg Bitgood
– Kevin Wttewaall

The board also invited me to take on the role of Acting Executive Director and Verena Roberts as Acting Chief Technology Officer with remuneration to be expenses only at this time until a budget is passed.  We both agreed.

After the board meeting we have been busy getting organizational logistics in place, including putting the draft communications plan into place and setting up the website with members sharing area.  As part of the communications plan, we will be sending out information announcing the formation of the organization to all those who have attended one of the meetings over the past year.  The plan is to “soft launch” within the existing network of those involved in preliminary discussions, and to do a formal launch combined with the first annual general meeting potentially at the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) annual conference to be held in Kamloops May 8-10 at Thompson Rivers University.  Presentations about the organization will be offered by Michael Barbour at the Provincial Territorial Distance Education Association (P/TDEA) meeting October 17/18 in Ottawa, and a team from CANeLearn at the iNACOL Canadian presentation set for Tuesday, October 29 from 4:30 – 5:30pm EST in Orlando, which will also be our Fall Summit meeting (more details to follow later).

Thank you all for your valuable input.  We are truly proud to be a part of this group, and believe we will look back on these past weeks and year as an important and unique step for Canada and online and blended learning.

Should you have any questions, please let either Verena or me know.


Randy & Verena

R. LaBonte – 250-701-7485
V. Roberts – 403-618-4919

R. LaBonte
A/Executive Director
Canadian eLearning Network

Attachment: CANeLEARN-Summary-Meeting-Notes-July-15-16-2013.pdf