Award showcases ABEL

York’s Office of the VP Research & Innovation received the Merit Award of Excellence for Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning (ABEL) in the Working Together category. The award was given at the recent Showcase Ontario Awards of Excellence ceremony.

“This is a wonderful tribute to the work York and its partners are doing for education,” said Janet Murphy, York project manager of the ground-breaking ABEL project.

By being given this honour, ABEL has demonstrated that provincial government ministries, agencies, boards, commissions and the broader public sector are working together effectively for the benefit of Ontario.

ABEL is developing an interactive, collaborative learning model for teacher development and education delivery, currently for users in Ontario and Alberta. The project interconnects the faculties of education at York University and the University of Alberta with six schools in Toronto and Edmonton. It is funded by a CANARIE (Canada’s Advanced Internet Development Organization) grant and housed at York University, supported by York’s Office of the VP Research& Innovation.

Described as “a new way of teaching teachers,” ABEL is facilitating professional development in the use of broadband networks as teaching tools. Through videoconferencing, online discussions with experts in the use of broadband technologies in the classroom and other training techniques, the project is using CANARIE’s CA*net 4 research network to develop a model for an innovative, collaborative means of online professional development for teachers.

Organizers hope to offer this model to teachers across Canada once it is fully developed. For more information on ABEL, visit or contact Janet Murphy at

Showcase Ontario Awards of Excellence have been established to honour excellence in using information and information technology to transform government within the Ontario government, its agencies, boards and commissions, as well as the broader public sector. The awards are presented annually to showcase the province’s progress in achieving excellence and promoting innovation in information and information technology projects that enhance the quality of public service and Ontario’s various public service facilities.