I was delighted to sit on the Panel on Online Learning at the CAIS Heads and Chairs Conference this October in Muskoka, along with one of our Board Directors, Bill Muirhead. In the Fall of 2013 CAIS began discussion of their “shaping the future of education” in relation to the proliferation of online learning. And in December of the same year, a CAIS sub-committee was formed to address accreditation of online independent schools and online organizations and the recommendation of best online practices for member schools.
At the Panel an overview of the subcommittee’s research was shared and the Panel members answered questions from the membership. It was a lively discussion, underscoring the interest in online education and best practices for delivering it in independent schools. CAIS is taking the feedback from the Panel to come up with an official policy in 2015.
This process underscores the impact online learning is having across Canada, as it has now been accepted as an important component of pedagogy. The pedagogy comes in a variety of “flavours” from provincial public school organizations, to smaller not for profit and commercial online schools and providers. As the only provider of K-12 online learning specifically for independent schools, we continue to explore those online pedagogies that work best to support our independent school students and teachers, and to provide customized services to meet the variety of school needs.
I look forward to the CAIS final report, and our continued development with our Consortium members and CAIS of “best-practices” in online learning.