Ontario Independent Schools Launch Groundbreaking eLearning Consortium

    TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - The Conference of Independent Schools of
Ontario (CIS) today announced the establishment of the eLearning Consortium
that includes 12 Canadian independent schools as pilot members. The Consortium
will offer online courses to students in partner schools who can earn Ontario
Academic Credits from proven academic institutions in an online learning
    The CIS eLearning Consortium has also struck a partnership with the
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa, to co-develop
an Additional Qualifications (AQ) course, 'Teaching and Learning Through
e-Learning.' Beginning in September, UOIT will deliver the new course for
teachers across Ontario.
    The Consortium's pilot member schools are Appleby College, The Bishop
Strachan School, The Country Day School, Havergal College, Hillfield
Strathallan College, Holy Trinity School, Rosseau Lake College, Royal St.
George's College, St. Andrew's College, St. Clement's School, Trinity College
School, and The York School. Courses will be developed and taught by teachers
in Consortium member schools who are highly skilled in working with students
in an e-learning environment. The eLearning Consortium will operate as an
independent body managed by its own Board of Governors, ensuring a high degree
of accountability.
    "This is an historic partnership between leading Ontario independent
schools," says George Briggs, Executive Director of CIS. The mission of the
CIS eLearning consortium is to develop and deliver CIS standard quality
eLearning courses that provide essential learning experiences, including 21st
century digital fluency skills. "These courses will provide busy students with
a degree of time flexibility, the opportunity to work with kids at other
schools, and the chance to use technology as a learning environment in a way
that will help them in university and beyond."
    This groundbreaking Consortium is recognition of the fact that eLearning
is an aspect of education that must be embedded in today's secondary school
academic programming.
    "eLearning is playing a central role in global education today," says
Mary Anne Ballantyne, Director of Innovation and Technology at The Bishop
Strachan School, one of the Consortium pilot members and a school that has
embraced the power of technology in its academic program that specializes in
girls' learning. "In order to provide students and teachers with an innovative
edge in teaching and learning, we knew that we needed to integrate eLearning
into the curriculum. By partnering with other independent schools, we will be
able to deliver programming that enables students to work with their peers in
different schools and develop the skill sets they will require for success in
the 21st century."
    The eLearning Consortium will also provide essential professional
development opportunities for teachers, including curriculum development
employing leading edge collaborative tools. Says Briggs, "Professional
development and leading pedagogical approaches and tools are key factors in
the quality of CIS courses."

For further information:

For further information: George Briggs, Executive Director, CIS, at
(905) 665-8622 or director@cisontario.ca

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