In addition to the LearnCanada web site, LearnCanada will develop a marketing and business plan to disseminate the results of the project nationally and internationally. A series of demonstrations and media events will be conducted to communicate results gleaned from the project. A two-day LearnCanada international K-12 virtual professional development conference is planned to take place in the 4th quarter of the second year of the project, to showcase the final results of the project.
LearnCanada has sent initial communications on the LearnCanada project to all Provincial Ministries of Education. Continuous updates and follow-up meetings with Ministry officials and teacher associations are planned to keep them abreast of the status of the project. Discussions as to how the results of the LearnCanada project may address the barriers they face in meeting their mandate of providing cost effective professional development for Canadian educators will be undertaken.
Several initial meetings with multimedia content agencies, National Film Board, National Arts Center, Canadian Institute for Arts Education and representatives responsible for the Canadian Centre for Management Development have taken place to share and receive input on the LearnCanada proposal. Similar relationships will be formed to establish collaborative transfer of project results to a broader context of adult learners.
In addition, Canadian infrastructure and multimedia SMEs, and recipients of CANARIE and SchoolNet's Learnware Program will be invited to conduct appropriate field trials of LearnCanada's multimedia learnware and broadband tools within the CA*net 3 /LearnCanada K-12 testbed.
The formation of collaborative international partnerships is also essential to disseminate Canada's expertise as a leader in developing technology for the global knowledge economy and to sustain Canada's excellent reputation as a desirable country with which to do business. A successful two year collaborative CRC/NRC VirtualClassroom program and the European Union's Fourth Frame Work SUSIE project provided K-12 teachers and their students in selected Canadian high schools to be connected via CANARIE's CA*net II with high schools in Berlin, Dublin and Basel. The results gleaned from their experiment with broadband collaborative learning will be applied within the LearnCanada project to expand the development and sustainability of international partnerships within the CA*net 3 LearnCanada broadband enabled learning environment.
CRC is a full partner in the Strategic Tested for Applications Research Trials Using Portals (STARTUP) proposal which was submitted for funding to the European Union's Information Society and Technologies (IST) program. LearnCanada will collaborate in the broadband portal services development which provides unified and homogeneous web-based access to asynchronous GroupWare technologies, to workflow automation procedures and to real-time interactive group communication for effective remote collaboration. It is intended to leverage the results of STARTUP for incorporation into the LearnCanada portal development.
CRC is an external partner in the European Union approved IST project called UNIVERSAL, the Universal exchange for Pan-European Higher Education. The key innovation of UNIVERSAL is the development of a brokerage platform with a standard way of describing the pedagogical, administrative and technical characteristics of course units. Appropriate results from this project could be incorporated into LearnCanada and other CANARIE projects.
Sustainability of the project will ultimately depend on the extent to which the results of the project can generate value to educators or adult learners in general. Research indicates the need to develop a hybrid culture, linking educational researchers and practitioners in the classroom to enable decision oriented research. The provision of a broadband enabled staff development environment within the adult's working space provides potential for both cost reduction, research and innovative services. The Canadian and international K-12 education sectors represent a major market for exploitation of innovative technologies that support professional development.
The LearnCanada project will integrate and re-purpose existing member's contributions of intellectual properties and develop new intellectual properties and expertise for commercialization, nationally and internationally. The marketing and commercialization departments from the LearnCanada's corporate education and business members will support the commercialization of intellectual properties developed. The e-commerce components within the portal system leverage CA*net 3 into a high-speed national and international channel for the transactions of educational services and products. Since developing countries cannot afford to institute the bricks-and-mortar model for education, LearnCanada represents a viable solution for export. The LearnCanada testbed will also provide a direct benefit to Learnware multimedia content developers in validating Canadian content. This will enable Canada to capture a significant portion of the multi-billion dollar online education market.
The LearnCanada project will develop creative solutions and impact on the following broad structural barriers for cross-sector/regional collaborative partnerships.
LearnCanada will also contribute the following benefits to the educational and training sectors:
Ministries and Boards of Education