LearnNB is an industry organization representing the learning industry in
New Brunswick, Canada, with a mandate to promote the development of e-learning and knowledge technologies.
LearnNB was started in 2004 with a dual mandate, to be the provincial industry organization, and to act as the New Brunswick chapter of the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD).Since the earliest days of the Web, New Brunswick has consistently been a leading Canadian jurisdiction for the development and application of online learning. A cluster of e-learning companies grew up in New Brunswick in the 1990s with the encouragement of
Frank McKenna’s provincial government. These policies attracted companies such as LearnStreamto set up shop in the province, and made it attractive for SkillSoft, Pulse Learning, and others to establish operations in the province. Today, over 500 people in the province are employed directly in e-learning design and development.Adding to that initial core, many of the large corporations and institutions with innovative learning operations have joined together under a common umbrella to promote e-learning and further develop the industry.
Founding president, Gary Stairs, had a vision of LearnNB being a catalyst "to differentiate New Brunswick through a focus on cross-cultural learning, international marketing, and
games-based learningdevelopment". Today, the four main thrusts of the organization are:
* collaboration among learning industry enterprises and institutions in New Brunswick;
* allied export marketing;
* career growth and networking for regional workplace learning and performance practitioners;
* an online community of practice for e-learning professionals, wherever they may be.
To a large degree, this is accomplished through channel partnerships and strategic alignments with a results-based approach as well as minimal organizational overhead.
In its initial stages, the stakeholders were primarily e-learning companies focused on U.S. markets, with English as the language of choice. Because the province is uniquely bilingual(
Bilingualism in Canada), LearnNB has now shifted to take advantage of this capability, to provide services and promotion of the local capabilities in both official languages.
LearnNB has been touted as a new model for regional economic development. It is a unique partnership of government departments, educational institutions, research organizations, large-scale corporations, and the learning industry – joining together with the aim of growing and strengthening the e-learning economy in the province.
Through various LearnNB initiatives and partnerships, world leaders in the learning industry have been brought to New Brunswick to share knowledge with the local participants. Recent guests include leaders in the field of learning:
* Elliot Masie
* Bill Bruck
* Gerry McGovern
* Bill Horton
* Jay Cross
* Marc Prensky (see
Collaborating to Compete, "Training and Development", July 2004
"The New Brunswick Learning Innovations Sourcebook", 2006
* [http://www.learnnb.ca www.learnnb.ca]
* [http://www.cstd.ca/chapters/nbrunswick/index.html www.cstd.ca]
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