Virtual School Meanderings

June 25, 2022

There’s Still Time! Register for Aurora Institute Symposium 2022

And an item from the neo-liberals.

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Aurora Institute - A New Dawn for Every Learner | Stay Connected

Symposium Registration Is Now Open!


The Aurora Institute Symposium is the leading conference for transforming K-12 education systems, advancing breakthrough practices and policies, and implementing personalized, competency-based learning.

Who should attend and why? Attendees include K-12 system and school administrators, teachers, and nonprofits working in next generation learning, actively implementing personalized, competency-based designs, as well as policymakers, researchers, and other experts in K-12 advancing the future of learning. It is the premiere event for learning about cutting-edge promising practices, the latest policy developments and research, and future-focused trends in teaching and learning. This year’s virtual event is designed to build the capacity of the K-12 field to implement equitable, whole child, personalized, competency-based systems.

Through keynotes and nearly 70 breakout sessions highlighting breakthrough practices and policies, the Symposium inspires attendees, equips them with new knowledge and best practices, and sparks action by leaders to implement new learning designs. Session strands include: Shifting to Competency-Based Education; Transforming Education Systems; Whole Child Personalized Learning; Elevating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism; Redesigning/Creating New Learning Models/Redesign; Enabling Anytime/Anywhere Learning; Modernizing Professional Learning; and more.

Attendee registration is now open for the Aurora Institute Symposium, held virtually on October 24-26, 2022.

Aurora Institute members can attend the Symposium free of charge. Become an Aurora Institute member today, then register to attend the Symposium here.

Non-members can take advantage of early-bird registration discounts through September 23, 2022.

Quick Links: 

Share this Announcement on Social Media: 

  • The @Aurora_Inst Symposium is the leading event for #EdLeaders in #PersonalizedLearning & #CompetencyEd. Register to attend: #Aurora22
  • Join @Aurora_Inst virtually at #Aurora22 on October 24-26. Register to attend:
  • Attend the leading conference for transforming #K12 #edu. Registration for #Aurora22 is now open, held virtually on October 24-26 @Aurora_Inst

Download the full social media toolkit for sharing news about Symposium!

For questions, please contact the Aurora Institute Symposium team. We look forward to seeing you at the Symposium.

About the Aurora Institute

The mission of the Aurora Institute is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all.

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Happy Summer from Highlander Institute 😎

An item from a K-12 blended learning organization.

Thank you for your partnership and support throughout this school year!


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Join the conversation as we partner with communities to design and implement culturally responsive school change.

Happy Summer!

Group photo of Highlander Institute team members

Highlander Institute is celebrating the end of a productive and meaningful retreat week. We’d like to thank all of the teachers, leaders, community educators, students, and families who collaborated with us around culturally responsive school change throughout the 2021-2022 school year.

As we wrap up this Friday, we are excited for two weeks of vacation ahead for the entire office team, from June 25 – July 8. If you are looking to connect, we’ll return on July 11th. In the meantime, we wish everyone a well-deserved, rejuvenating summer!


Earn your Teaching Online Certificate!

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 4:08 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

While I didn’t attend the webinar, I’m happy to pass along this information from the folks at QM.

Dear Michael,

Thanks for attending the webinar on June 8th “Standing Out From the Crowd: Earn Your QM Teaching Online Certificate.” I hope you learned more about the value of professional development for online teaching and Quality Matters Teaching Online Certificate (TOC) workshops. I am emailing you to see if you have any questions about the program and earning the final certificate.

We continue to see high demand for these workshops during the summer so please register soon. Now is a great time to learn some additional skills and be ready for the fall.

As you know, after each workshop is completed, you receive a QM Digital Credential highlighting your mastery of the associated teaching competency. Receiving all seven QM digital credentials earns you the QM Teaching Online Certificate (TOC). Many of our TOC alumni use QM digital credentials to showcase their commitment to quality online learning.

“I would absolutely recommend these workshops to friends or anyone that is looking for quality professional development in the field of online learning. I have participated in many QM workshops and can say that they never fail to deliver quality online professional development.”
Cheri LaCounte , Instructor, Eastern New Mexico University

Did you know that Teaching Online Certificate holders can receive credit toward select degree programs? Check out the opportunities available at:

Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope you make the time to complete your QM Teaching Online Certificate.

Jim Snyder
QM’s Director of Community Engagement

Quality Matters

1997 Annapolis Exchange Parkway
Suite 300
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Classes Their Way, No Classroom Required

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 1:02 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

And an item from a US-based K-12 online learning program.

Learning goes beyond the classroom at Florida Virtual School!
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Hey Michael,

Have you ever considered enrolling your child in online classes? At Florida Virtual School, they can follow their passions, no classroom required!

With FLVS, your child can take the courses they need, discover their passion with electives, gain real-life skills, and get ahead with accelerated courses. Plus, your child will receive one-on-one support from Florida-certified teachers who provide personalized instruction. Explore all that Florida Virtual School has to offer!


190+ Courses

With the flexibility to work from the comfort of your home or anywhere life takes you. Browse the course catalog.


1-on-1 Support

From Florida-certified teachers and school counselors who are here to support your goals.


60+ Student Clubs

Get social, find inspiration, and join the fun with Book Clubs, Video Gaming Clubs and everything in between.

Classes & Electives

Classes Their Way

Learning goes way beyond the classroom at Florida Virtual School! Explore all of our course options to find the best fit for your child.

Copyright © 2022, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Florida Virtual School
2145 Metrocenter Blvd
Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32835

LEARN News | Have A Great Summer!

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 10:04 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

An item from a Canadian based K-12 online learning program.

JUNE 2022
The school year is wrapping up and we’ve been working on something BIG for the next school year!
Get ready for some major newness coming your way.
Hint: Keep your eyes peeled on our social media platforms in August, we are branching out.Stay tuned!
Congratulations! Félicitations!
The Quebec Order of Excellence in Education welcomed 44 new members on May 31st, 2022. Michael Canuel, the CEO of LEARN, is one of the members. Please join us in congratulating Michael Canuel Ed.D., on his award for educational excellence. On May 31st, 2022, Dr. Michael Canuel was recognized by the Council of the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec as a member of the Order and this is in tribute to his commitment, admirable involvement, and significant contribution to the field of education within the Quebec education system. The LEARN team is elated to celebrate our esteemed leader and is honored to work alongside him.
L’Ordre d’excellence en éducation du Québec a accueilli 44 nouveaux membres le 31 mai 2022. Michael Canuel, PDG de LEARN, est l’un des membres. Veuillez vous joindre à nous pour féliciter M. Michael Canuel Ed.D., pour son prix d’excellence en éducation. Le 31 mai 2022, M. Canuel a été reconnu par le Conseil de l’Ordre de l’excellence en éducation comme membre de l’Ordre, en hommage à son engagement, à son dévouement admirable et à sa contribution importante au domaine de l’éducation au sein du système d’éducation du Québec. L’équipe de LEARN est ravie de célébrer son leader estimé et est honorée de travailler à ses côtés.



I Belong 2021-2022 

For the second school year in a row, LEARN offered English-language schools a chance to participate in a series of project-based learning opportunities that empower students to explore their identity and sense of
belonging to Quebec society through the arts and acts of community service.

This school year, LEARN introduced two new arts-based project opportunities leaving students with 6 unique ways to participate with the support of an ELAN featured artist: Comic-Zine, Spoken Word, Puppetry, Digital Storytelling, Podcast (ESL & FSL) and Take Action.

Facts & Figures

  • 44 English language schools, 77 classrooms, 11 Quebec-based artists from ELAN, and 1,535 students participated
  • 66% of participating schools are members of the CLC network
  • 400+ students participated in puppetry
  • 400+ students created digital stories
  • 275+ students wrote spoken word pieces
  • 100+ students created comic zines
  • 241 students led Take Action projects, resulting in:
    • Truth & Reconciliation initiatives
    • GSA Clubs
    • Theater production (exploring themes of identity, bullying, belonging)
    • Music record (exploring themes of identity, gentrification, belonging)


Mental Health and Wellness 

LEARN’s Provincial Resource Team (PRT) collaborated with the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) to support schools to address mental health and wellness in the 2021-22 school year in two distinct ways.

1. CHSSN School Climate Project Report: 

LEARN’s Provincial Resource Team (PRT) received funding from the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) to implement projects/activities to be implemented in CLC schools that help promote positive mental health and contribute to improving the school climate for students (aged 6-14), staff and families.


2. Youth Mental Health Innovation Lab:

LEARN and Percolab invites Secondary Schools and Adult Education Centres to participate in a Mental Health Innovation Lab to develop homegrown strategies to address mental health and wellness challenges using a Social and Emotional Learning framework (SEL). The Innovation Lab uses a design thinking approach.

There are three main stages in the dynamic and fun 3-hour event:

  1. Listening to students, school staff, and community partners through a storytelling tool
  2. Innovation Lab – What do the stories tell us? What are emerging needs and desires? Generating ideas and experimenting
  3. Coming up with ideas and testing them out with the school community

We are in the prototype phase, and invite 4 schools/adult education centres ready to work with youth (ages 15-29), school staff, and community partners to reserve a space for the 2022-23 school year.

Contact Ben at for more information.



Peggy Drolet

It is with great excitement for our valued colleague that we announce that Peggy Drolet is retiring this June after (wait for it!) 20 years teaching online with LEARN.

Peggy’s impact as an online educator is far-reaching in this province, not only for her excellence in teaching (before teaching online she was also a classroom teacher, consultant, and school administrator with the Central Quebec School Board for many years) and for online innovation with the Virtual Campus (recognized internationally with the iNacol Innovative Online Practice Award in 2012), but for the effect she has had on all of her colleagues at LEARN, in our partner schools, and world-wide through her Twitter followers.

To work with Peggy is to truly feel that #YouMatter.

Messages from current and past students are rolling in to celebrate her retirement:

  • Things went from confusing to crystal clear super fast with Mrs. Drolet!
  • With Mrs. Drolet, I developed love and interest for math and also confidence in my work! And when I am in doubt, I sketch it out!
  • From the first meeting, I saw how she would be the nicest, most understanding, and compassionate teacher ever and throughout that year she proved to be exactly that.
  • My love for math increased after taking your class. I love the jokes you came up with to make learning fun and easier.
  • I remember being in awe constantly of how organized you were.

Thank you, Peggy! We will miss you. <3


Another Record-Breaking Year!

We are so grateful to the families who participated in our tutoring program this year. We have offered over 35 000 appointments since October.

Thank you to the 170+ super tutors who made a huge difference for the students in our program and kept them coming back week after week.

Our sessions ended on June 9. See you again in October!



Virtual Campus Success Stories



Did you know that NFB’s Campus and Media School, CBC’s and Télé-québec en classe are platforms available free of charge to elementary and secondary school teachers through the subscription offered by the Ministry of Education of Québec?

NFB’s Media School: Digital Storytelling at your fingertips

This one-hour webinar offered for Elementary and Secondary teachers, consultants and librarians is an overview of the National Film Board of Canada’s new learning platform that offers hands-on, turnkey digital storytelling modules for students aged 13 to 18 and teaches them how to create a short personal story in video format, using photos, narration, music and sound elements. The Media School will be available free of charge to elementary and secondary school teachers through the CAMPUS subscription offered by the Ministry of Education of Quebec.


Explore CBC

This presentation for Elementary and Secondary teachers, consultants and librarians featured how to use the Curio platform in a classroom. Did you know that Curio provides curriculum relevant resources for science, geography, history, Indigenous studies, social justice, health, and learning through play ?



Je lis, tu lis, nous lisons en langue seconde!

Lire, c’est avoir accès au code graphique d’un texte, c’est de comprendre le (ou les!) sens du texte et de pouvoir s’exprimer à propos de cette lecture. Il s’agit de tout un défi à relever surtout lorsqu’on est un lecteur en langue seconde! Heureusement, pour y parvenir, un apprenant est souvent accompagné par son enseignant.



Spring Series of Outdoor Education
Webinar Replay

Spring Story Walks: Books to Get Us Outdoors with July Halpern (May 24, 2022)

Our spring book webinar featured Learning for a Sustainable Future’s Judy Halpern talking about picture books that will get you outdoors! Judy highlighted new and well-loved spring titles, sharing thoughts and ideas for outdoor learning and connecting to various curricula.

Detailed list of books here:


EngagED Learning Magazine – Teaching In The Digital Age

EngagED Learning magazine was launched in September of 2021. It is the English edition of the well-known Canadian French École branchée magazine. The last issue of EngagED Learning magazine is full of resources for teaching computer programming, as well as project ideas from teachers and precious advice from pedagogical consultants from both the French and English communities.


Celebrating Year 3 Of ArtistsInspire!

This year’s ArtistsInspire projects used the art-making process to address key issues in school such as:

For more on Year 3 ArtistsInspire experiences see:

Excited about what you see and want to encourage a school to plan for the 2022-23 school year? It’s not too early to start! Educators can view our Artist Profiles to connect with Artists and book their school’s $1500 ArtistsInspire Grant. Applications for the 2022-23 school year will open July 1, 2022. 

ELAN’s ArtistsInspire Grants, in partnership with LEARN, have been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.


The LEARN family would like to wish you all a fun, adventure (and rest) filled summer.
Next Issue:

September 2022
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