This article is part of our ongoing Introducing Series where we spotlight the people, projects, and organizations that are working on the forefront of social innovation in Canada. Read more articles from the series.

In March 2020, like so many institutions across Canada, the University of Calgary moved to remote delivery because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Fabian Neuhaus, Associate Professor at the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape (SAPL) knew it was time to talk about online education. So he launched Teaching And Learning Online Network (TALON) as a platform to discuss the digital teaching and learning practice.

TALON is now a growing hub for open and evolving dialogue with faculty, students, and the public on emerging technologies and higher education practices. It’s an international network that provides “knowledge translations” to the academic community by analyzing, summarizing, and distributing new concepts and approaches in online education.

From there, TALON moves beyond academia and brings value to the public realm. It enables discussion about the importance of education in these extraordinary times and helps develop appropriate teaching practices to facilitate student success.

TALON consists of a “one-stop-shop” platform that lists relevant tools and resources. It also captures Voices from academic staff and students on recent experiences in the online classroom and the future of online education. This diverse content is shared in a monthly newsletter that highlights tips on course design and pedagogy.

“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”
– Marian Wright Edelman, children’s rights activist

TALON believes that a robust, connected, social innovation ecosystem can maximize change potential. We need to empower people, organizations, and systems with the tools, knowledge, skills, and connections to solve real and complex problems.

If you’re interested in remote teaching and learning and the future of online education, follow TALON on Twitter for crucial resources and news.

TALON is run by Sandra Abegglen, a researcher at SAPL with a background in Education and Social Science, and three SAPL graduate research students: Martina MacFarlane (Planning), Asawari Modak (Planning), and Mac McGinn (Architecture). 

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