8. TeleEducation Driving the Electronic Highway: The New Brunswick Model by Rory McGreal, TeleEducation NB and Len Weeks, Economic Development and Tourism NB, Canada ------------------------------------------------------------------------ TeleEducation New Brunswick this year has implemented a bilingual, province-wide network of over 40 distance education sites. By using computers and teleconferencing technology and through partnerships with local communities, institutions and the private sector, an open, effective, virtual learning community is now in place. Sites are located in college and university campuses, hospitals, schools, libraries, community centers and private companies. Courses are also being delivered to private homes. TeleEducation NB is not simply a set infrastructure, but rather a concept of learning that incorporates different technologies and learning media. Within the province, different video, audio and computer teleconferencing systems, along with Computer Based Training, Computer Managed Instructional systems and other media are being integrated technologically, instructionally and organizationally. The TeleEducation concept crosses all jurisdictions among institutions both within and outside the province, public and private, at any level of education, to anywhere including institutions, workplaces and the home. TeleEducation NB is a five year programme under the Cooperation Agreement on Entrepreneurship and Human Resource development. The network has been allocated a grant of CDN$10.5 million ($6.1 million for the infrastructure and $4.4 million for programme development). Cooperation among public and private sector institutions and government departments is an integral feature of New Brunswick's economic strategy. A special public-private sector task force was created by the Premier which recently published a special report Driving the Information Highway. The new Minister of State for the Electronic Highway has been charged with implementing the recommendations. As a small compact province with an advanced 100% digital infrastructure, New Brunswick enjoys a strategic advantage that gives it a significant edge. The Advanced Training Technologies sector has been identified by the Department of Economic Development as a key development area for economic growth. TeleEducation NB is being used as a driver to support the development of local courseware and training industries. Programme development funding is being directed towards courseware and training projects that are not only important for the province, but also have export potential. The province-wide TeleEducation infrastructure is available for product testing and preparation. Private sector projects in collaboration with public sector institutions are already underway for creating courseware for training. Fundy Cable and the Memramcook Institute are collaborating in delivering Academic Upgrading in French and English to homes in communities around the province. Programs vary from courses for ambulance attendants, to academic upgrading, high school Native History and university English, Commerce, Physics, and Astronomy. One company teaches videoconferencing by means of videoconferencing. Other projects include the development of a provincial on-line learning center, and a provincial library center with on-line access to CD-ROM collections. The Mount Allison Physics course which was delivered to 5 sites around the province last semester was realized by multimedia using MAC Hypertalk, along with regular audiographic teleconferences with the teacher. The Moncton community college is presently delivering a course in AutoCad at a distance using remote software sharing. The TeleEducation network takes advantage of the advanced infrastructure that has been developed by NBTel the province-wide telephone company. The network has three branches for audioconferencing, digital teleconferencing (audiographics and software sharing), and computer mediated communication through NBNet (the province-wide net that also provides a gateway to the Internet). Courseware developed in the province can be tested and refined on the network. TeleEducation NB is working with federal departments, private sector companies, and with the provincial department of Economic Development exploring export opportunities and attracting advanced technology companies to the province. The Miramichi campus of the New Brunswick Community College is delivering training programmes in Instructional Design, Courseware Authoring, and Multimedia. Programmes in Knowledge Engineering and Virtual Reality are scheduled to commence in September, 1994. These programmes will ensure that a trained workforce is available in the province. The network has already established links with networks in other provinces, France, New Zealand and Australia exchanging information on teleconferencing. A Nursing programme from the University of New Brunswick is being delivered to Bermuda. A partnership with out-of-province organizations and NBTel has been struck to establish ISDN links with Europe. The principal strength of the initiative in New Brunswick is the high degree of cooperation and collaboration in implementing projects among all sectors. The TeleEducation initiative is being used as a driver to promote the development of new economy industries. The new industries profit from the innovative environment and the advanced province-wide infrastructure for telecommunications and distance education. The province benefits from the increased accessibility to education and training now possible through the network. Students in all regions can now access the training they will need to survive in the information economy. In addition, by focusing on courses and courseware development for export, a viable new industry can be created. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Return to /GLOSAS News/ Contents for this issue. URL: http://library.fortlewis.edu/~instruct/glosas/teled41.htm April 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ GLOSAS NEWS was orinally posted to the WWW at URL: *http://library.fortlewis.edu/~instruct/glosas/cont.htm* by Tina Evans Greenwood, Library Instruction Coordinator, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado 81301, e-mail: greenwood_t@fortlewis.edu , and last updated May 7, 1999. By her permission the whole Website has been archived here at the University of Tennessee server directory of GLOSAS Chair Dr. Takeshi Utsumi from July 10, 2000 by Steve McCarty in Japan .