The ABEL Program Office gets ready for its annual summer institute

The Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning (ABEL) Program Office is preparing for the 2009 ABEL Summer Institute (ASI), held at York University from Aug. 24 to 26. This year’s theme, Social Innovation: Your Ideas, Your Inspiration, Your Community, offers participants the opportunity to share their ideas with others and learn from their experiences. To facilitate this, ABEL is offering “Birds of a Feather” sessions at ASI 2009. These informal meet and greet sessions provide participants with a great opportunity to share their ideas and experiences with 21st-century educational tools in the classroom. Some topics that will be used to encourage discussion include 21st-century classroom attitudes around young people and technology, as well as video conferencing and how it can be used for collaborations.

Left: An ABEL member at ABEL’s 2008 Summer Institute

ASI 2009 also features tools orientation sessions offered throughout all three days. These hands-on workshops cover the needs of all delegates at ASI 2009; the sessions are designed for beginners or experts and include introductions to new applications. Some of the tools offered in these sessions are Moodle, video-conferencing, social networking tools (such as blogs, wikis, Twitter and Ning), e-portfolios, Smart Boards, streaming video, Second Life, podcasting, voice treads and more. There’s a tools session for everyone, no matter their experience.

Right: Participants in last year’s ABEL Summer Institute during a workshop session 

ASI 2009 also has presentations from participants to give them the opportunity to contribute to the community of ABEL learners. These presentations demonstrate the theme of the conference and the effective use of educational tools and learning strategies. Some of the presentations include “Developing Confident Writers Using Podcasts”, in which ABEL instructor Cynthia Klymkiw will describe how her use of podcasting in the classroom improved the writing skills of her students.

Other presentations will focus on specific tools, such as “Math XL: A Powerful Online Homework, Tutorial, and Assessment Tool” by Stephen Broadbent and Marlene Olsavsky from Pearson Canada. Their presentation will concentrate on Pearson’s Math XL program and how it can be used in the classroom. Other presentations will look at innovative ways to use modern technology in the classroom, such as Michael Grieve’s presentation “Using Video Games to Promote Student Engagement”, which will look at how video games are being used in the classroom.

There is something for everyone at ASI 2009. While still focusing on the theme of social innovation, the summer institute promises to be an engaging and motivating professional learning experience. Be sure to register now to avoid disappointment, as spaces are limited. 

For registration information and to view the event agenda, visit the ABEL Summer Institute Web site.