Ontario colleges, universities, secondary schools, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the Ministry of Education, as well as service and technology providers from the public and the private sectors are investing significant funds, time and energy on technology in learning. It may not always be clear how or even whether this investment will add sufficient value to our education system. There are skeptics as well as technology evangelists who rightfully draw attention to the decisions that are made, or not made, and seek explanation and justification.
At Contact North | Contact Nord, Ontario’s distance education & training network, we believe there is a critical need to articulate the fundamental guiding principles that drive our decisions and policymaking with respect to technology in learning.
We have a set of guiding principles, which has informed our planning and served our network well over the past number of years. Many of these principles, at least the ideas themselves, did not originate with us but were gleaned from a variety of sources. We did, however, synthesize these ideas into a coherent set of principles and provided our own explanations and clarifications.
It is most likely that all of our decisions as college, university, and secondary school administrators, instructors, policymakers and funders have already been implicitly driven by some or most of these principles. It is by identifying just what these principles might have been that we are more likely to be consistent and on target.
The following is a summary of ten principles that have had merit for us at Contact North | Contact Nord over the years, and may have merit for others.