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IABL History

The International Association for Blended Learning (IABL) is a membership organization that is registered in Greece (IABL, Registration #14/2015/03-08-2015) as a non-profit professional organization. IABL aims to promote excellence in teaching, training, and research in blended learning through the engagement of international scholars and practitioners to meet the needs of today’s global learners. The goal of IABL is to transform global education through its on-going contributions to the field of blended learning. IABL is the custodian of the annual IABL international conference series and manages a website (www.iabl.org) to collate and disseminate information about new projects, emerging technologies, and teaching resources.

How IABL Was Formed

The history of the International Association for Blended Learning began in October of 2013 as a result of a chance meeting at the iEarn Conference in July of 2013. Dr. Mohamed Ally (Canada) was one of the keynote speakers at the conference and Dr. Gwendolyn Willis-Darpoh (USA) was a presenter. They shared a table at breakfast one morning, struck up a conversation and decided that they would remain in touch. During one of their post-conference telephone conversations, Dr. Ally suggested to Dr. Willis-Darpoh that she consider starting an international association that focused on blended learning (he was already involved in the International Association for Mobile Learning). Dr. Willis-Darpoh was hesitant at first, but soon warmed up to the idea and thus the journey began. Dr. Ally recruited Dr. Aga Palalas (Co-founder/Canada). Dr. Willis-Darpoh recruited Salimata Sene (Co-founder/Senegal) and Dr. Cynthia Wright (Co-founder/USA). These five individuals made up the core team and were responsible for building the organization from the ground up, writing the vision, mission, By-laws and Articles. Dr. Willis-Darpoh served as the Association’s first president, Dr. Ally was the first vice president, Dr. Palalas was the first secretary and Dr. Wright was the first treasurer. As the Association began to find its footing, Dr. Ally recruited Dr. Avgoustos Tsinakos (Co-founder/Greece), Dr. Hend Merza (Saudi Arabia), Dr. John Hedberg (Australia), Dr. Martin Restrepo (South America) and Dr. Ying Yang (China). After facing significant obstacles registering the organization in the United States, it was decided that the Association would be registered in Greece. Dr. Tsinakos willingly and successfully led that effort.

Since our humble beginnings IABL has welcomed other Directors into the organization: Przemyslaw Pawluk (Canada); Dr. Helmi Norman (Malaysia); Dr. Elzbieta Gajek (Poland); Joe Ganci (USA); and Phil Cowcill (Canada). In addition, IABL has convened 4 world conferences on blended learning: Kavala, Greece (2016); Toronto, Canada (2017); Warsaw, Poland (2018); Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2019); and the 1st Virtual World Conference on Blended Learning (2020). The Association is looking forward to continuing to be a driving force in the field of blended learning.

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