As we begin 2015, we thought it would be fun to take a retrospective look at the 2Learn.ca website, particularly since we launched the newest ‘face’ of 2Learn.ca in mid-December, 2014.
The 2Learn.ca website was created in 1998 as a resource for the 250 Teacher-Leaders in the Telus Learning Connection . Remember that these were the early years of minimal bandwidth for Internet access by Alberta’s schools, mostly available in urban areas. Pictured here, we recall getting a request to remove a small animated gif of a flashing star because it prevented educators from opening the site.
In November of 2000, because of graduate work done by an Alberta teacher, and her offer to share, 2Learn.ca was pleased to provide and expand resources in French. This lead to a new front-entry into 2Learn.ca.
Our philosophy has always been to respond to the needs and requests of teachers in the field. In 2002 we started adding interactive student sites with Kids love 2Learn.ca, 2Learn.ca for Teens and Senior High Source and resources for administrators in SATIR/RITAS. Later that year we added our first parent site, Parents Want 2Learn.ca Too!
2004 brought big changes, as the website name was updated, with the Telus Learning Connection becoming a sub-set of the larger 2Learn.ca site. We know some of you still refer to us as ‘Telus 2Learn’ which is a carryover from that time. Careful - you’re showing your age :). As part of Alberta’s 100th anniversary, we produced the Spirit of Alberta website, which teachers still use today.We also created the 2Learn.ca Image Gallery of copyright free images for student and teacher use...now numbering over 3200+ images. By the way, the gallery was another suggestion from the field.
In June of 2005, suggestions from kindergarten teachers caused us to create the kindergarten site - ABC @2Learn.ca. We actually began the process of thumbnailing sites in our database, so these little learners could use the site more easily. Between 2005 and 2009, we were busy developing Net Know-how [our digital citizenship site, now transformed into Your Digital Presence], Advance [our first assistive technologies site], Tools 2Learn.ca, Gateways 2Learning curriculum based collections, and 2Learn2gether.ca, our community of practice site [later becoming the Concourse].
2010 brought a new format to 2learn.ca as we were challenged to make the many resources on 2Learn.ca accessible from the front page. And we were always making updates, again from user comments, such as splitting the Kids Love 2Learn.ca site in two, having Ready2learn.ca for grades 1 and 2.
Between 2010 and 2013 there were many additions to 2Learn.ca with Teacher sites being added - Web 2.0 Tools which transformed in the current Create 2Learn.ca site, 2Include Me which expanded our earlier assistive technologies resource to a site on inclusion, and 2Learn.ca at Hand to address the needs of teachers with mobile technologies and BYOD environments. We added a new parent site as well - Early Learning in a Digital World. And, of course, we started our Facebook page, our Twitter feed and our listservs during that time. Reorganizing our collection with a focus on our professional development was important.
It is interesting that back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s educators were so short of good web resources that anything we could find ended up as close to the front page as possible - to the delight of teachers. And as we grew, our site became so much more complex. So here we are at the beginning of 2015, with a new front page for 2Learn.ca which we hope you will find is a simple, easy to use and inviting portal to our many resources. As we review our website history, it really reflects what scientist Alan Perlis said...Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.”