SchoolNet: An amazing initiative joining public schools and libraries across provinces and territories through networks and content exchange. It is a Government of Canada initiative containing over 7000 learning resources and several online learning tools.
ABLE: A Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning Project. This is an e-learning broadband network that also focuses on professional learning and accreditation. Watch this group for practices in medium specific content that extends the capabilities of e-learning.
Discrete interactive learning project
Pax Warrior: A discrete project by a small new media company. It is a hybrid of a conflict resolution management-training tool and interactive documentary on the genocide in Rwanda. It is a brave work, still in development; but a good example of interesting and challenging initiatives that this climate supports in the expansion of what our e-tools can do. In this case. Pax Warrior holds out the possibility that interactive, group-learning tools can offer deeper understanding and global, critical learning.
“A Dialogue on Foreign Policy”, was nominated to represent Canada in the WSA as it was an integrated multi-platform programme that used a variety of unidirectional and dialogic media and forums (from print to Internet to town-hall meeting) to invite the participation of Canadians in setting policy. Other examples of work being done in Canada include essential informational resources (business and culture sectors) and government sites from the federal to the local level, making governmental processes transparent and services more accessible and understandable. These are also robust information resources, helping to make us better-informed citizens.
Strategis.gc.ca: Canada’s business and consumer site. This site has been referred to several times in my comments. It is an informational resource that most of us in the field depend on to understand trends, penetrations, distributions and current government initiatives. In and of itself, Strategis has become not just a resource explaining ICT, but is a tool used by all in the sector. It is a corner stone of Industry Canada’s mission “to build a growing competitive, knowledge-based economy.”
CanadaCulture .gc.ca: An aggregation of Canadian culture and cultural activitiesonline: “CultureCanada.gc.ca is the government of Canada’s one-stop web access to government culture, heritage and recreation services.”
Aboriginal Canada Portal: An information resource forming a “single window to Canadian Aboriginal on-line resources, contacts, information, and government programs and services.” It is particularly interesting because it provides public access to historic treaties that citizens would normally not have access to but critically need to be informed citizens.
Transparent and accessible government: The Canada Site works at the Federal level. This is the government of Canada’s “primary Internet portal for information on the Government of Canada, its programs, services, new initiatives and products, and for information about Canada.” It uses an audience-based segmentation for users Canadians, Non-Canadians and Canadian Businesses.
Ontario Online Services: One product that forms part of the larger the Provincial level communication. This is a discrete transactional site created as a quick and easy access resource to services and applications citizens would want or need from the provincial government. It is the “Government of Ontario’s virtual service centre for online services to individuals.” http://www.cbs.gov.on.ca/online_services/English/index.htm
City.kingston.on.ca: City Level. This site won a CATA award. It represents good practice for using technologies to invite participation and exchange between citizens and government.
Canada nominated Abebooks is a networked second hand and rare books e-commerce site, which uses new tools and distribution models to extend the services of individual bookstores that would not have the stock or the resources to carry out such a thorough and responsive transactional site otherwise. Highlighted here are two other kinds of e-business ventures. In the first case, there are businesses that are responding to the particularities of the information society. The second category demonstrates the leveraging of a networked information society for marketplace visibility.
Information society business ventures
Antarctica: An information solution that we will increasingly need. Since most businesses are experiencing an information overload, or cannot make sense of the data they have. Antarctica helps businesses deal with the opportunity costs of an information age.
Zero-Knowledge Systems: Built from the other opportunity cost of the information age, Zero Knowledge is a business built to cater to the growing need for privacy. In particular is a practical product, the Freedom WebSecure tool that helps anonymize users as they search through the Web.
SourceCAN: Developed by Industry Canada to help increase Canadian business visibility in national and global marketplaces. It is a “harmonized business portal”, facilitating business opportunities and providing online business tools. It also won a CATA award.
Art2Life: In the e-culture category Canada nominated Art2Life a beautiful site chronicling Canadian art and social history over the last 100 years. This critically claimed site by Ecentricarts inc. was created with the McMicheal Canadian Art Collection and displays a thoughtful collection of articles, images, sound and video clips Contrasted here are the cultural content web portals/magazines and discrete culture products, in this case a mobile phone storytelling project.
HorizonZero: One of the most respected (critically acclaimed) works being produced in Canada. It is an online Canadian Digital Art and Culture magazine “with an emphasis on commissioning and promoting Canadian new media content and innovators in the convergent fields of science, technology, media arts, and research.” Both in content and in form, it takes the capabilities of new media in well thought out and exciting new directions.
Terminus1525: “an open space for emerging creators”, where young digital artists showcase and discuss their work. The online space is the centre point for the series of art and culture events happening across Canada. It is funded by Canada Heritage and The Canadian Arts Council.
Culture.ca: “Canada’s cultural gateway” that highlights Canada’s diversity and instigates dialogue on Canadian identity, history, media and landscape.
Discrete Initiative (Mobile Phones)
Murmur: An exciting project being rolled out in various cities in Canada and originally masterminded at Habitat. Pedestrians of the city streets can use their mobile phones to activate personal stories and histories of the locations they stroll through, prompting a different relationship to our spaces.
In the e-entertainment category, Canada nominated CBC’s ZeDTV, which crosses Internet and TV platforms to include broad Canadian participation in content creation and programming. Users can view and submit works through the ZeD web site and the best of these are aired on a nightly television programme. TV born content is then downloaded to the site. ZeD describes itself as “A synapse-teasing space where the yin of the Web slips seamlessly into the yang of TV, and back again.”
Beyond using new technologies to invite participation in what would normally be a broadcast (one-to-many) medium. There are other interesting Entertainment cross overs:
CBC Radio 3: A visually stunning online aural magazine by one of Canada’s most important broadcaster. It extends its audio mandate into visual and textual fields.
Deadend.com: Originally a film that became a site that solicits new narratives of a road trip across Canada. (Note that the content can be pretty raw) TV Convergence
Degrassi:Created by Snap Media Corp. Degrassi has won many awards for being the ‘most successful online story-driven community for a television show’. It is a popular TV series with a hugely successful site that has garnered a large community through interesting community meeting places.
Odd Job Jack: Created by the Smiley Guys Studios, is a TV show created in Flash that also presents a new episode-related online game each week.
Doodlez: Created by Trapeze Media Ltd., is also created in Flash and aired on TV. This animated series also has a popular web site that includes a creative studio for users to play with the characters and their interactions.
Canada nominated Science Matrix, (Internet and CD-ROM) Science learning property created by Digital Frog International. Designed to fit into school curriculum, it delivers aids to for teaching, learning and tracking progress. Through its use of multimedia properties and its modular structure, it is developed with an eye to supporting several learning differences or ‘multiple intelligences’. It is contrasted here with online extensions of research centres, publications and individual research initiatives.
National Research Council fosters collaborations across sectors of science, business, educational sectors. It is a government initiative to spur innovation in science and technology through R&D. Note the excellent resource of publications.
Perimeter Institute: An impressive research and collaboration centre for the exploration of theoretical physics. It has a strong mandate to be accessible to the general public. This is a site to watch as it expands to explain issues and principles in physics to the online public.
Extensions of publications (Children)
Yes Mag: A cross-platform science magazine for kids ages 8-14, spanning topics from wearable technology to oceanography.
Extensions of publications/ Individual Research
Steve Mann: A pioneer in wearable technology and considered one of the first ‘cyborgs’ of our time. This site is not especially well designed but provides vivid information on Professor Mann’s research, providing a wealth of information and intrigue. His work is also sited in Canadian Digital Creativity 2003.
Canada nominated the Health Infostructure Atlantic Project by the Nova Scotia Provincial Government as a best practice example of the use of ICTs in health care delivery: it tracks health incidents, provides a well-developed individual case management system and leads in the deployment of Picture Archiving Communication Systems (PACS). Other examples of best practice in e-health include health portals, the use of Geomatics in tracking health events and telehealth initiatives.
Canadian Medical Association: Physicians and contains powerful searching capabilities, references, publications, and CME courses. Note the robust suite of online or downloadable tools.
Centre for Surveillance Coordination: Collaborates across health industry stakeholders to provide tools, training and co-ordination for timely and informed decision-making. The GIS Infrastructure team has developed a suite of tools that track health events spatially and manage and compare public health regionally. This allows for evidence-based interventions, the monitoring of trends (like SARS), and provides essential communications to health boards.
Telehealth: Digital Healthcare Solutions Inc. IIU Telehealth Network where IIU stands for ‘Ikajuruti Inungnik Ungasiktumi’ which translated from Inuktitut means, ‘a tool to help people that are far away’, allows for ‘real time’ transmissions (audio/visual/data) among fifteen isolated Nunavut communities. It provides key communication linkages to healthcare service providers outside of the Territory. The creation of the IIU Network has enabled the establishment of a comprehensive Telehealth Program which supports the delivery of primary and secondary healthcare and related social services.
The A-Prompt Project from the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto was nominated by Canada for best practice in e-inclusion. This project ddresses the needs of the physically disempowered by creating tools to help producers build inclusive web sites. Below are listed three very different realizations that address different interpretations of inclusion.
Inclusion of the hearing impaired
Deaf Planet: Created by MarbleMedia. It is both a TV show and a web site geared towards deaf students and increasing access to American Sign Language (ASL) texts. The site is an extension of the television series (for 8-12 year olds) and also uses.
ASL in its interface. Recognition of Racial bias
Sharemyworld: An artistic piece by Wayne Dunkley that provokes people to think about the power of images and deep-seated racial stereotypes and bias. The project created a large stir when the author posted images of himself around the city and assembled comments (and images) online to foster group discussion and exchange of personal stories on racial prejudice and hatred.
Participation in community developments
In_Situ: A free-standing visualization tool that uses multimedia to demonstrate architectural plans of a city space in the location of the development. This allows the general public to be involved in dialogue and future planning through the access of high-end 3-D models that are imposed on the streetscape of the proposed architectural change.