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Educators from across Canada learn about classroom technologies at ABEL Summer Institute

Educators from across Canada learn about classroom technologies at ABEL Summer Institute

About 150 educators from across Canada converged on York recently to learn new technology tools and best practices to enhance their teaching.

They were attending the 10th annual ABEL (Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning) Summer Institute Aug. 22 to 24. The theme this year was Connected Community Learning: The Next Decade.

For two-and-a-half days, they heard speakers and took training sessions on new technology tools and best practices in the classroom.

Right: Teachers receive training in the latest online educational tools at ABEL Summer Institute

“ABEL is at the forefront of 21st century learning and at the interface of K to 12 and postsecondary education systems,” said Robert Haché, the new vice-president research & innovation at York University, in his opening remarks. “The ABEL program is exemplary at applying the latest research and giving teachers access to pioneering tools and support for teaching and learning.”

The conference featured three speakers. In his keynote speech, Curtis Bonk, an authority on emerging technologies for learning and author of books on how web technology is revolutionizing education, identified the top 10 trends in educational technology. Dean Shareski, a digital learning consultant from Saskatchewan, talked about learning methods that should be kept and those that need to be discarded. And Norm Vaughn, an education professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, discussed blended learning in the classroom to foster student engagement and success.

At a celebratory luncheon, the institute also recognized ABEL members’ hard work and dedication to classroom innovation over the past 10 years.

Left: ABEL project manager Janet Murphy (left) and Anita Drossis, a teacher at Vaughan Secondary School, cut the 10th-anniversary cake

Founded in 2002, the award-winning ABEL program, based in York’s Institute for Research on Learning Technologies, is recognized as a leading international authority on new modes of teaching, training, learning and collaboration.

Sponsors of this year’s institute included Microsoft, Apple, Pearson Education, Ektron, Mindshare Learning, Mygazines, York University and the York Region District School Board.

Thanks to Microsoft, five York students attended the institute as delegates and received a three-year membership subscription to the ABEL program through the Microsoft/ABEL Student Undergraduate Award.