Facts About Calgary Board of Education


students enrolled in the 2012-2013 school year.


schools across the City of Calgary.


specialized learning programs to meet diverse learning styles, interests, and abilities.

The Challenge

Make learning as unique as every student

CBE sought to develop a web-based solution to support their strategic shift towards personalized teaching and learning. CBE wanted the portal to communicate their focus on a learning experience that identified students’ interests and strengths and then played to those qualities. The school board sees this as the way to engage every kind of student in each subject area.

Create a collaboration and learning tool

CBE needed a convenient, resource-rich thinking tool that provided guidance to teachers, administrators, and support specialists. The solution had to give students the ability to set their own goals and track their progress as well as give educators the opportunity to learn more about each student’s strengths and interests.

The Solution

Iris personalized learning

Habanero developed Iris, a member portal built on the foundations of personalized learning and the CBE’s vision to shift their approach to education.

The four components of Iris include a student learning plan, a learner profile, an educator workspace, and a resource library. Both students and teachers access different areas of the same portal, which means students can have their own space to plan for success and teachers can access a shared knowledge base to collaborate with other teachers.

Student learning plan

Here, students can write notes about their own goals, strategies, and progress – complete with the ability to add images and video. This profile is available for a student’s teacher to view as a way to keep up with each learner. Students can comment and post updates about their education, creating a timeline they can reflect on as they move through the school system.

Learner profile

The learner profile is a communally created environment where educators can write and categorize information about a student’s learning. Teachers can see what kinds of experiences other educators have had with a student, speeding up the amount of time a teacher needs to spend getting to know a learner. This has increased the quality of interactions between students and teachers.

Educator workspace

This is an environment where teachers can organize the data contained in Iris into manageable collections of information as a way to guide classroom activities. The workspace makes it possible to tailor educational experiences to the strengths and interests of each student and works alongside the resource library to help guide the planning process. Teachers can share their workspaces with other educators and work collaboratively to ensure the best possible outcomes in the classroom.

Resource library

This is a CBE-curated feature available to educators in every school. Here, teachers can find resources related to every part of delivering exceptional education experiences, including information related to programs of study and theories behind frameworks. It’s possible to search the library for information and filter the results by popularity, category, and subject.

Implementation Details

  • Built on the SharePoint 2010 platform
  • Uses AJAX to ensure seamless usability
  • Custom SQL server database
  • Display is tailored based on a user’s profile