Four outstanding programs and educators were recognized by the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) as nominees for one of four innovation awards presented by iNACOL (International Association for K-12 Online Learning http://www.inacol.org/about/awards/). The iNACOL Innovator Awards recognize learning practices, new research and individual achievements in the field of blended and online learning. CANeLearn nominees were: CJ MacKinnon-Scott from TLA Online, Elizabeth Murphy (researcher), Alison Slack (OeLC), and the Nova Scotia Virtual School.

The CANeLearn nominating committee was again pleased with the pool of potential nominees and CANeLearn is proud to honour the following people as their nominees for the iNACOL Awards:

  • Blended and Online Learning Teacher of the Year – CJ MacKinnon-Scott, Innovations Online Coordinator and Humanities Lead at Traditional Learning Academy Online, Surrey BC (http://schoolathome.ca/staff/)
    • CJ’s teaching experience straddles the spectrum of classroom and online learning models both in British Columbia and abroad. Over the past two years CJ led a pilot program at Traditional Learning Academy Online based on problem-based learning in a cross-curricular, core-competency environment – the Innovations Online Program.
  • Research Award – Elizabeth Murphy for her research as a leader an pioneer in Canadian K-12 online learning (see http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~emurphy/writer.html)
    • For much of her career, Dr. Murphy was a leader and pioneer in Canadian K-12 online learning research. One of her most recent research projects was a case study of the practices of 42 online learning teachers from across Canada (i.e., 11 from western Canada, 21 from central Canada, and 10 from eastern Canada).
  • Outstanding Individual Contribution to K-12 Blended and Online Learning Award – Alison Slack (retired) for her work with Ontario eLearning Consortium (http://www.oelc.ca/)
    • The Ontario eLearning Consortium (OeLC) is a network of the province of Ontario’s district school boards collaborating to optimize success for all students through elearning opportunities, emerging technologies, and innovative practices. OeLC member district school boards accept students from other member district school boards into their online courses at no cost to district school boards or students. Together since 2001, this grassroots partnership of District School Boards have worked together to deliver online secondary Ontario courses, develop resources, tools and procedures, perform quality assurance, support teachers, and increase learning opportunities for students province-wide. Currently, the Consortium supports 21 member boards, both Public and Catholic, representing nearly 250 000 students who reside in both metropolitan and rural areas throughout Ontario. At the heart of the success of the OeLC was Alison Slack, who for the last eight years served as the consortium’s coordinator until retiring this July 2015.
  • Innovative Blended and Online Learning Practice Award – The Nova Scotia Virtual School (http://nsvs.ednet.ns.ca/m19dev/), Halifax NS, contact is Sue Taylor-Foley, Director of Learning Resources and Technology Services (nsvs@ednet.ns.ca).
    • The Nova Scotia Virtual School provides online high school courses to students enrolled in public high schools in Nova Scotia. Courses are taught by Nova Scotia certified teachers using both synchronous (when teacher and students are communicating in real-time through video conferencing or echat) and asynchronous (when students can complete activities independently) methods. NSVS teachers have office hours and students can log in to touch base with them individually. They can also instant message or email their online teacher at any time.