Virtual School Meanderings

June 11, 2018

June Newsletter

Note this pan-Canadian newsletter.

Canadian eLearning Network

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Welcome to the June CANeLearn News

With school year-end fast approaching, thoughts slip into summer sun-seeking and slumber by the local watering hole.  This newsletter provides some brain food for those welcomed idle times.

For those interested in planning their own personal learning next year, there is a wealth of PD opportunities to scan now.  This month’s newsletter also includes links to books and articles to explore by your “pool” over your summer break.

As always, please forward this news to your own network(s) using the tools at the bottom.

Featured Events

Featured Events

BOLTT is a semi-annual fast-paced conference hosted in TORONTO each October and OTTAWA each May that focuses on the needs of:

  • Elementary/Intermediate/Secondary/Adult eTeachers/Hybrid Teachers/Blended Learning Teachers
  • eRegistrars/DeLCs/eLCs/TeLT-Cs
  • Technology/Instructional Consultants/Coaches

Sessions include:

  • Innovative practices and approaches in online course development, delivery, assessment, communication, and student tracking and reporting
  • Impactful tools to enhance online course instruction or assessment
  • Unique online learning programs, projects, and initiatives.

BOLTT Toronto Fall Conference ~ October 25/26 Downtown Toronto

BOLTT Ottawa Spring Conference – May 9/10 Downtown Ottawa


Upcoming PD – Mark your calendars!

blendED2018: Alberta’s Blended and Online Symposium

  • October 10-12, Edmonton AB
  • Keynote: Will Richardson
  • Call for proposals closes soon!

Saskatchewan Distance Ed Conference

2019 Digital Learning Symposium

  • April 7-9, Burnaby (Vancouver) BC
  • Reserve your group at last year’s price before July 15!
  • Dialogue, networking, sharing, creating, and learning
  • Call for proposals coming soon


Stay Connected!

  • Use #CANeLearn to stream specific items of interest to members. Join the conversation!
  • Follow @CANeLearn, “like” us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  • Check out our Members’ Site
  • Join CANeLearn – only $50 for associate membership!

In the News

CANeLearn Board Retreat

  • The CANeLearn board of directors will be meeting July 8-10 in Edmonton, hosted by the Black Gold Regional School Division
  • The meeting will address input from our member survey and help shape direction for CANeLearn’s next 2-3 years
  • For more background see “About Us” or download the current strategic plan here (PDF)

MindShare May Report

State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada Updates

Summer Reading & Musings…


Book Choices

Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning (2nd Ed)

  • The Handbook is an edited collection of chapters that present the current state of research in K-12 online and blended learning.
  • Lead researchers for the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada annual report, Randy LaBonte and Michael Barbour, wrote a chapter on “An Overview of eLearning Organizations and Practices in Canada”  (see Chapter 43 on page 601).
  • Download a copy here

Humans Wanted: How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption

  • Book introduction: “CANADA, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. We’re hurtling towards the 2020s with perfect hindsight, not seeing what’s clearly before us. The next generation is entering the workforce at a time of profound economic, social and technological change. We know it. Canada’s youth know it. And we’re not doing enough about it.”
  • See what Tony Bates advises about this “must read book” on his blog here (a quicker read with a summary and analysis of the book)
  • OpEd on the report from the Globe and Mail here
  • Download a copy of the report here (PDF)

Summer Reads for Teachers from Common Sense Education

  • Topics include digital citizenship, social media, finding facts in a world of disinformation, and technologies
  • Find out more here

Digital Technologies in Schools 2016-17 (New Zealand)

  • This report details the results of the 2016/17 Digital Technologies in Schools Survey (New Zealand), in which 464 schools (339 primary schools and 125 secondary schools) participated.
  • Full report here (PDF)

NMC/CoSN Horizon Reports

  • 2017 K-12 Edition here (links to report and digital toolkit)
  • CoSN to replace and reinvigorate the K-12 edition (read about it here)
  • Click here for the 2018 Higher Education Edition (PDF)

Articles of Interest

Pockets of Innovation in Online Learning

  • Post-secondary examples from Contact North where online pedagogy, technologies, and tools are used to improve student learning experience
  • English version (185+ examples)
  • 24 Poches d’innovation sélectionnées disponibles maintenant en français

Ten Guiding Principles for Using Technology in Learning (2018 Updated Version)

  • For educational institutions at the secondary, college and university level
  • Fundamental guiding principles to drive decisions and policy-making with respect to technology in learning
  • Click here to download (PDF)

Must-Read Books on Online Learning — From Contact North

  • Features books and articles of interest to faculty and instructors teaching online and at a distance, instructional designers, administrators, and policy-makers
  • Click here for links to categories and lists of articles

From the MVLRI Research Clearinghouse

Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report

  • The report highlights 2016-17 enrollment totals, completion rates, and the overall impact of virtual courses on K-12 pupils
  • Links to infographics, report, and recorded webinar here

MVLRI Research

Exploring the Impact of Student-, Instructor-, and Course-Level Factors on Student Learning in Online English Language and Literature Courses BinBin Zhang

  • The number of K-12 students taking online courses has increased tremendously over the past few years. However, while most current research in online learning focuses either on comparing its overall effectiveness with traditional learning or examining perceptions or interactions using self-reported data, scant research has looked into online design elements and students’ learning outcome in K-12 settings. This report seeks to explore how the combination of three main online education components – student, instructor, and course design – contribute to students’ online learning success in high school English language and literature courses.

At-Risk High School Students Recovering Course Credits Online: What We Know and Need to Know Samantha L. Viano

  • The majority of American high school students enrolling in online education are doing so in credit recovery courses. These are online courses specifically for students who previously failed a face-to-face version of the course. Despite the popularity of credit recovery courses, the literature on online learning largely ignores credit recovery courses and students. Assuming credit recovery students are similar to other online learners can be misleading. In this article, the existing literature on credit recovery is reviewed in 3 specific areas: the proliferation of credit recovery courses, the student experience in credit recovery courses, and outcomes and impacts of credit recovery. Suggestions are given for how to advance the credit recovery literature in future research of online learning.

Exploring Factors That Promote Online Learning Experiences and Academic Self Concept of Minority High School Students Alex Kumi-Yeboah, James Dogbey & Guangji Yuan

  • The rapid growth of online education at the K-12 level in recent years presents the need to explore issues that influence the academic experiences of students choosing this method of learning. In this study, we examined factors that promote/hinder the learning experiences and academic self-concept of minority students attending an online high school. Qualitative interviews were conducted with twenty-four African American, and sixteen Hispanic high school students. The results showed that collaborative learning activities, access to resources, time convenience, student-teacher interactions, student-student interactions, improved academic behavior, and parental support helped to enhance online learning experiences and academic self-concept of the minority students. On the contrary, the lack of social presence, and the lack of cultural inclusion in course content constrain online learning experiences and academic self-concept of the students. The findings revealed some similarities between factors that influence minority students learning experiences online, and in face-to-face setting. The study also highlighted the need for teachers of online courses to understand the cultural backgrounds of minority students, and to use their knowledge to improve the learning experiences and academic self-concept of these students. Implications for teaching minority high school students in an online environment, as well as suggestions for future research are provided.

An Examination of High School Students’ Online Engagement in Mathematics Problems Woong Lim, Ji-Won Son, Susan Gregson & Jihye Kim

  • This article examines high school students’ engagement in a set of trigonometry problems. Students completed this task independently in an online environment with access to Internet search engines, online textbooks, and YouTube videos. The findings imply that students have the resourcefulness to solve procedure-based mathematics problems in an online environment without formal instruction. This article suggests that self-directed online learning could be more effective for solving procedure-based problems than multi-step problems. Moreover, to be successful in online learning environments, students may need training to improve keyword searching skill and their ability to utilize various online learning tools.

Happy reading!


Adventures in Archives


2018 Digital Learning Symposium

  • Links to recordings of selected keynotes and workshop sessions
  • Links to presentations and curated notes

Canada Moodle Moot

  • Recording links posted in plenary sessions for Rooms 003 and 005

OpenCon 2018 K-12 Athabasca

2017 Leadership Summit


Click here for all archives


2017 BOLTT (Bringing Online Teachers Together) Conference

Presentation Padlet archives here:

blendED 2017: Alberta’s Blended & Online Learning Symposium

Links to Curated Notes in Program Session Descriptions:

Video Archive of Selected Presentations:

The Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) is a Canadian registered not-for-profit society with a mission to provide leadership that champions student success in online and blended learning by providing members with networking, collaboration, and research opportunities.

“CANeLearn’s mission is to provide leadership that champions student success in online and blended learning.”


June 6, 2018

CIDER Session June 6, 2018 And Open Call

Note this webinar later this morning.

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Dear CIDER Member,

We invite you to our final session for the 2017-18 CIDER Sessions series on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. This free, online session will feature Michael Barbour and Randy LaBonte with this year’s installment of the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada report.

Title: State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada

The 2017 issue of the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada report marks its 10th year, and the fifth year of the Canadian eLearning Network’s (CANeLearn) support of this research. The report continues to be Canada’s own benchmark for the expanding use of technology-supported blended and online learning in Canada.

The anniversary report continues the traditional incisive analysis of the state of K-12 e-learning in Canada as well as an expanded collection of research briefs and a description of several vignettes providing considerable insight about innovation and new approaches emerging in online and blended practices in K-12 programs across Canada. Full results of the research and work undertaken in this study, including all annual reports and associated papers, are published on the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada project website ( This session will provide a synopsis and overview of the latest version of this annual report.

When: Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – 11am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)

Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:

Registration is not required; all are welcome. CIDER Sessions are recorded and archived for later viewing through the CIDER website. For more information on CIDER and our Sessions, please visit us at:

Please note that it is important to set up your system prior to the event. Make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that you can use the audio functionality built into the conferencing software. The Adobe Connect platform may require an update to your Flash Player; allow time for this update by joining the session 10 minutes prior to the scheduled presentation.


Open Call! Do you have research you would like to share with the CIDER audience? Contact us at to propose a session for our 2018-19 season. Spaces are available for both established researchers and emerging voices.


CIDER sessions are brought to you by the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University: Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education. The Sessions and their recordings are open and available to all, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Our mailing address is:

Athabasca University

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research

EdmontonAB T5J 3S8

Add us to your address book

Athabasca University · Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research · 1200, 10011 – 109 Street · Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8 · Canada

April 20, 2018

BC DL Conference – Closing Panel Session

The tenth and final session that I am blogging from the 2018 BC Digital Learning Conference is:

 Closing Panel Session

Join a number of our presenters and keynotes for a summary and closing session addressing symposium themes, discussions, and issues identified throughout the event (more names to be added!).

Ask your own questions of the panel.  Add your questions/comments to the shared Google doc here:

As the discussion throughout the symposium unfolds we anticipate a number of questions to surface including:

  1. What directions are beginning to emerge for new learning approaches in BC in support of the implementation of new curriculum?
  2. What supports, including policy and funding, are required at the school, district, and provincial levels to implement these changes?
  3. What resources, training, and technologies are needed to support teachers to make the required changes for new curriculum and learning models?
  4. As changes progress, how can we be certain that we are meeting the needs of all students (special needs, aboriginal, adult learners, etc.)?
  5. Finally, what is the “Call to Action” required of teachers, administrators, and government?


avatar for Rod Allen

Rod Allen

Superintendent of Learning, Cowchan School District 79
Rod is the Superintendent of Learning for the Cowichan Valley School District 79.  Prior to this, he was the Assistant Deputy Minister / Chief Superintendent with the BC Ministry of Education and architect of British Columbia’s transformation to personalized learning. Under Ro… Read More →

avatar for Denise Augustine

Denise Augustine

Director of Aboriginal Education and Learner Engagement, Cowichan School District 79
Denise Augustine (Swee’alt) is a Coast Salish educator with over 20 years experience.  Denise works with children and youth from pre-school through grade 12 in the Cowichan School District. As the director of Aboriginal education and learner engagement, Denise works closely wi… Read More →

avatar for Danika Cottingham

Danika Cottingham

Teacher/Co-Founder, BlendEdBC

Joe Jamison

Pro-D Chair (COTA), BCTF
Joe Jamison is a Distributed Learning teacher in School District No. 23. He has taught for thirty seven years with twenty three of those in the distributed learning environment. He developed the Distance Learning program in SD#23, the online program in SD#23, the ESTEEM program i… Read More →

avatar for David Truss

David Truss

Principal, Coquitlam Open Learning
David Truss works at Inquiry Hub Secondary, Suwa’lkh Learning Centre, and Coquitlam Open Learning (COL). He is also the President of the BCDLAA – The British Columbia Distributed Learning Administrator’s Association. This is his 8th year with COL, he helped found Inquiry Hub 6 y… Read More →

I had to go to the airport to catch my flight (and it was a good thing I did go a little early, as it took over an hour from the Delta computer system to communicate with the WestJet computer system to confirm my flight and let me check in – even though both are code share airlines).

Anyway, I am disappointed to miss this one, as I did enjoy the first panel.  What I can recommend is that folks take a look at the hashtags for the conference that have some of the gems that these folks did provide.

BC DL Conference – New Directions for Teacher PD: BlendEd BC – Supporting New Curriculum

The ninth session that I am blogging from the 2018 BC Digital Learning Conference is:

New Directions for Teacher PD: BlendEd BC – Supporting New Curriculum

Experience and learn how an integrated “asking” or “Solution-Focused Coach Approach” can help you to adapt and transform your face2face and online course design and delivery!  Join the BlendEd BC team and Barry Switnicki to learn about and experience cutting-edge strategies to support teachers implementing new and current curriculum through innovative teacher PD support strategies. Learn how blending learning in online spaces is much more than ‘flipped’ or ‘distributed’ learning.  Join this interactive experience and conversation to help shape new provincial initiatives to support teachers who are teaching in both classrooms and online learning spaces.
Be prepared to be active, stretching your mind, and having FUN!Please “Click” on this link to GET MORE OUT OF THIS SESSION (Pre-session component) more about how I will help you!
Watch the 4 minute video

Bring your own device! Do you have questions for the presenter? Here is a Google+ link to share your questions and comments.

Link to the Resources for the Session—new-directions-for-teachers.html


avatar for Danika Cottingham

Danika Cottingham

Teacher/Co-Founder, BlendEdBC
Danika is (and has been) a teacher in a face-to-face, blended learning, and distributed learning capacity since beginning her teaching career almost ten years ago in both SD#71 and 72. She is a co-founder of BlendEdBC, and a member of the EDLPSA, and is passionate about the exci… Read More →

avatar for Thomas Diesch

Thomas Diesch

BlendEd BC

avatar for Barry Switnicki

Barry Switnicki

Engaged Communities, Pacific Change Mentors
Supporting, Challenging and Provoking people to become more engaged and passionate! | This essentially is what my personal and professional life is all about. For example, think of an educational environment bursting with highly engaged, excited learners, teachers and stakeholde… Read More →

So I went to this session because I wanted to learn more about BlendED BC.  Unfortunately, the session was Barry providing all of these feel good platitudes that he kept saying were based on research that he discovered during his Master’s degree (most of which I thought ran contrary to the research that I knew about).  It had little to do with blended learning and nothing to do with BlendED BC as an organization.  Tony Robbins meets largely uninformed teacher, rolled into one.

Basically, it was 75 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back!

BC DL Conference – Direction of Distributed Learning in BC: A BCTF Perspective

The eighth session that I am blogging from the 2018 BC Digital Learning Conference is:

Direction of Distributed Learning in BC: A BCTF Perspective

The BCTF has appointed a Task Force on Distributed Learning headed by Larry Kuehn (who, unfortunately, is not able to be with us for the symposium). The Task Force is looking at issues around working conditions for DL teachers and other policies around DL education.  Joe will present the findings and then have discussions around where you believe the direction of Distributed Learning should be heading in B.C.  The views expressed will be reported back to the Task Force. Barbour, who has done research for the BCTF on labour issues related to K-12 online teaching ( and recently published a paper on working conditions for K-12 online teachers (click here to view the paper), will join Joe.

Ask your own questions for the presenters. Add your questions/comments to the shared Google doc here:


avatar for Michael Barbour

Michael Barbour

Touro University California
Michael K. Barbour is Associate Professor of Instructional Design for the College of Education and Health Sciences at Touro University, California. He has been involved with K-12 online learning in a variety of countries for two decades as a researcher, teacher, course designer a… Read More →


Joe Jamison

Pro-D Chair (COTA), BCTF
Joe Jamison is a Distributed Learning teacher in School District No. 23. He has taught for thirty seven years with twenty three of those in the distributed learning environment. He developed the Distance Learning program in SD#23, the online program in SD#23, the ESTEEM program i… Read More →

As I was one of the moderator in this session, let me just add a reminder that there are open notes for this session (and all sessions for that matter).  The open notes from this session are available at

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