NIC among world’s top online innovators

North Island College’s Remote Web-Based Science Lab is among the world's best online innovations, according to the U of Pennsylvania.

North Island College’s Remote Web-Based Science Lab (RWSL) is one of the best online innovations in the world, according to one of the most prestigious business schools in the United States.

The University of Pennsylvania has shortlisted RWSL as one of the top 12 finalists for a Reimagine Education Award at the Wharton School of Business.

“Forbes ranks the Wharton School of Business as the fourth best business school in America, behind only Stanford, Chicago and Harvard,” said Randall Heidt, NIC’s new vice-president of strategic initiatives. “Just being among the finalists at an event at the world’s first collegiate business school is very prestigious and NIC is honoured to be in the top 12.”

More than 400 universities, businesses and educators from 43 countries applied for the Wharton – QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards, which offers a $50,000 U.S. prize fund to the winning entries. The award acknowledges educators and ideas that enrich how the world delivers education. Judges include executives from Google, Amazon, Cisco Systems and IBM as well as university and college presidents from around the world.

“The work that Albert Balbon has done to create RWSL is ahead of its time,” Heidt said. “Albert is a true innovator in the field of post-secondary online education and we are honoured to have him as part of the NIC team and leading this project.”

The RWSL gives any student with an Internet connection access to hands-on lab experiments in real time. Students can manipulate lasers, high-powered microscopes, electrons, spectrometers and more during 25 different lab experiments.

Balbon initially invented the RWSL 10 years ago to offer hands-on science labs for an NIC instructor in Bella Bella. Since then, Balbon has presented the technology to the White House and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, shared programming with the European Space Agency and NASA, and received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Consortium of Health Employers Online.

“The RWSL already brings science experiments into the homes and classrooms of students across North America,” Heidt said. “But what if Reimagine Education and the RWSL is made available to students throughout the world, even in countries with limited broadband Internet?”

Heidt, who started in November, said he is amazed by the impressive list of applied research, automation and e-learning innovation taking place at NIC.

“We are always looking for businesses, other post-secondary institutions, individuals and countries who would like to invest in the RWSL and other projects at NIC.”

For more info, visit http://www.forbes.com/business-schools/list/ and http://reimagine-education.com/

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 Comox, B.C. Poppy Chairman, Kent Guilford presenting cheques to the following organizations in support of their venues: (top left) The Sea Cadet Corps who assisted in last year’s Poppy campaign. (Top right) CFB Comox, Military Family Resource Center, Kim Hetherington, executive director MFRC. Bottom, The Views at St Joseph’s, Jessica Aldred, Health Care Foundation, Michael Aikins, senior operations leader. We wish to Thank All those who supported last year’s Poppy Campaign and we hope we will have your continued support this year. Thank you all.
Comox Valley gives back

Spotlight on some of the groups, businesses and individuals who make the Comox Valley great

Union Bay voters chose a new direction Saturday. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Union Bay voters opt for governance change

More than seventy per cent support dissolving UBID to roll services into regional district

A small plane crashed in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Drift includes the work of poets from around the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Drift features works by poets from the Comox Valley

Rather than have a set theme, the editors let 38 poets put their best work forward

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Christmas lights are something that people can do to celebrate the season that are not impacted by COVID-19. (file photo)
Editorial: Holidays will be different this year

This Christmas is going to be very different for our communities on… Continue reading

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read