English Online Inc.
September 23, 2015
English Online’s ED Briar Jamieson steps down
The Board of Directors of English Online Inc. (EO) has accepted the resignation of Briar Jamieson, the organization’s first Executive Director. Jamieson, who began as EO’s ED and sole employee in 2008, will pursue other interests while finishing her Master’s Degree in Educational/Instructional Technology from the University of British Columbia.
Chair of the Board of Directors, Jo-Anne Schick, is leading the search for a new ED who is expected to assume the position while Jamieson is still the ED-at-large. She will officially step down on September 25.
“For seven years, Briar has worked whole heartedly to develop EO into the dynamic organization that it is now. We are working to find someone who will continue the great work that Briar has begun and guide this organization through the coming years,” said the Chair of the Board. “We do wish Briar success in all her future endeavours and thank her for her dedicated service.”
Jamieson’s work was instrumental in carrying out the vision of creating Manitoba’s first online English as a Second Language (ESL) network. Under her leadership, EO established a customized Online Learning Platform and electronic Collaborative Language Portfolio Assessment (known as e-CLPA, the first of its kind in Canada) providing learners, instructors and service organizations a means to access and deliver courses. She also spearheaded the development of a self-directed online learning environment, and initiated professional development webinars and the Teacher Exchange Network (TEN) for Manitoban ESL educators.
In the seven years she was ED, the organization was able to achieve several notable landmarks. EO achieved its highest level of registration of 1,928 learners (running with four staff members) in 2010-2011. In 2013, its Summer EAL MOOC was recognized by the British Council with an ELTons nomination for local innovation. The British Council ELTons award is regarded as the “Oscars” of the teaching world. Moreover, in 2014 and 2015, the organization pioneered the first Canadian online forum REALIZE! which gathered more than 900 English as a Second Language practitioners, curriculum developers and newcomer integration experts nationwide.
Aside from these, Jamieson has also pushed for the creation and expansion of EO’s e-Volunteer programs, and the organization’s advocacy for the Open Educational Resources global movement. Her efforts have established EO as a trailblazing, innovative and responsive organization, poised to meet the challenges of learning in the 21st century.
EO’s staff will definitely miss Briar’s lively presence and guidance as their “fearless leader.” EO’s Lead for Learner Services, Iwona Gniadek sums it up: “We thank Briar for her tireless commitment to building the organization and spreading its good reputation throughout Manitoba and across Canada. We appreciate all that she has done for us and for the organization, and we will surely miss, not only our boss, but our friend.”
About English Online
English Online Inc. (EO) is a non-for-profit organization that brings the best learning resources, people, and technology together to address newcomers’ unique needs for integration into the workplace and community. EO has also engaged ESL professionals in online community discussions, teaching with technology and best practices webinars, and various online and face-to-face presentations across the country.
Over the past seven years, it has grown from a one-man organization to a staff of nine full-time employees, two part-time ESL instructors, and more than 100 volunteers. In 2011, EO reached a landmark with 1,928 registered learners serviced by only four staff members. In the following year, EO garnered an average of 350 registered learners a month.
Today, it continues to break new ground in introducing innovative online learning programs for newcomers as Manitoba’s only online ESL network. Its effective and flexible ESL instruction is grounded on settlement themes that equip learners with the necessary information to ease their transition. The organization has also started shifting towards developing Open Educational Resources (OER) on its website www.youliveandlearn.ca, enabling learners and educators full and easy access to learning and teaching materials.