The Story of ATLE
There just isn't a great way to share ideas about technology... until now.
At the fall JTC meeting in 2005, Dr. Morris Hollingsworth presented the results of a research project commissioned by Alberta Education. The project was designed to identify factors which would encourage the use of technology in the K-12 sector. One of his findings was that there was a need for an association which would address issues and professional learning needs related to the three pillars of learning, technology and leadership. For some time, the jurisdiction technology leaders of Zone 5/6 had been meeting regularly to share information and learn from each other. This group decided to work on a model for the association proposed by Dr. Hollingsworth. Over the course of the winter, a model for a volunteer association was developed, including a draft set of bylaws. At the 2006 spring JTC meeting, the group put forward the association to their colleagues, including a proposal to hold a conference in the fall of 2006 to initiate the association. The concept was heartily endorsed and volunteers were recruited to plan the inaugural conference.
The planning committee met at the Red Deer Lodge in late May to lay the foundation for the conference. Todd Kennedy and John Percevault agreed to seek vendor participation in the conference via an exhibition area. Edna Dach, Sean Boyko, and Doug Dietz formed the program committee. Gary Spence provided leadership in developing a reliable and robust network to support the conference. Since SuperNet was arriving in jurisdictions across the province, the planning committee met via a videoconference for the remainder of the summer and early fall. It was probably the first demonstration of the potential for videoconferencing over the SuperNet.
The first conference was held in mid-October, 2006. Registration for the conference was capped at 150 and was fully subscribed. Vendor support exceeded expectations. As a result, the new association came into existence with a healthy bank balance. At a business meeting, the first board of Alberta Technology Leaders in Education was elected.
President – John Percevault Vice-President – Gary Spence Secretary – Peter Balding Treasurer – Matt Norton
Zone 1 Director – Darcy Bromling Zone 2/3 Director – Dee Elder Zone 4 Director – Dean Jarvey Zone 5/6 Director – Cindy Seibel
In February, 2007, the bylaws were approved by Alberta Registries and Alberta Technology Leaders in Education (ATLE) became a non-profit society in Alberta.
During the first few years of operation, the conference was the focal activity of ATLE. Conference registration and related membership has grown steadily since 2006. At the 2013 conference, registration was 431 and the association had a 2013/14 membership of 381. In late 2009, the board decided to contract the services of a 0.25 FTE Executive Director. In early 2010, the board contracted Doug Dietz as Executive Director.
The association continues to focus on the three founding pillars – learning, leadership, and technology. The board fosters services of value to its members and encourages professional learning opportunities. Activities are guided by the mission of ATLE: “Supporting education through the convergence of learning, leading, and technology”.