Virtual School Meanderings

May 26, 2021

Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy – K-12 Distance, Online, & Blended Learning Articles

So I keynoted at a virtual conference in Sweden this past week, and following my session I was interacting with one of the attendees who pointed out the Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy to me.  Now I think I have come across this before, because I recognized the layout of the website, but over the weekend I went looking through the issues to see what kind of K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning content it might have.  I’ve gotten back through all of the issues from 2015 to the present thus far, and here is what I have found…

Home schooling, remote teaching and digital Bildung in societal crisis

Extended editorial


Validating an Instrument to Measure Teachers’ Preparedness to Use Digital Technology in their Teaching


The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research’s action plan for digitalization in primary and secondary education and training: appraisal and critique


Conventional classroom teaching through ICT and distance teaching

A case study from Greenland


Digital Bildung: Norwegian Students’ Understanding of Teaching and Learning with ICT


Leadership for learning in technology-rich upper secondary school classrooms


Uptake and Use of Digital Technologies in Primary and Secondary Schools – a Thematic Review of Research

May 24, 2021

[IRRODL] New notification from The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning

Note this news issue alert.

You have a new notification from The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning:

An issue has been published.


IRRODL Manager

International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL)
Athabasca University
1 University Drive
Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada

The table of contents includes:

Vol. 22 No. 2 (2021)

Full Issue


Research Articles

Book Notes

Literature Reviews

May 20, 2021

Article Notice – Redesigning distance courses to support social and teaching presence in adult and upper secondary education

So on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I pulled an almost all nighter to attend and keynote at Theory and practice in remote teaching, online learning, and distance education for K-12 schools: Symposium on distance learning at Umeå University in Sweden.  Following my session I was interacting with one of the attendees and she alerted me to an article that I thought readers would find relevant.  While I think I’ve posted about this article before, in case I haven’t…

Charlotta Hilli, Anna Åkerfeldt, Education in the North


This paper investigates how teachers in adult and upper secondary education promote social and teaching presence by redesigning their distance courses. Social and teaching presence is analysed through the Community of Inquiry model. The implications stem from an ongoing project in Sweden and Finland (2019–2021) called Digital learning environments – equal education through remote and distance teaching (DL). Three schools from the project are used as cases to answer the questions: What do teachers perceive as challenging when designing for presence in distance education? How do teachers work with these challenges to develop presence in distance education? A design-based research approach is used to address the problems teachers identified in their practices. The empirical material includes group discussions, written plans, and presentations. The teacher groups critically examined how and when communication and interactions with students took place in the digital environment. Parallel, they also read research on the topics. The study suggests the teachers promoted social and teaching presence in different ways depending on their school context. In adult education, the courses were flexible regarding time and space, making frequent teacher-student interactions (e.g., chat, email, feedback) important to establish teaching presence. The upper secondary teachers included student-student interactions (e.g., mind maps, quizzes, discussions, peer-feedback) to promote social presence in their courses.


Original language English
Pages (from-to) 38-55
Number of pages 18
Journal Education in the North
Volume 27
Issue number 2
Publication status Published – 17 Dec 2020


  • upper secondary school
  • adult education
  • design-based research
  • Community of Inquiry
  • teaching presence
  • social presence
  • distance education

May 19, 2021

Article Notice – Problems and Decision in the Field of Distance Education

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 10:03 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Note that this article is consistent with a theme that I have been writing about for a few years now.

Barbour, M. K. (2018). Lessons for K-12 distance, online and blended learning from research in higher education. Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute at Michigan Virtual University.

  • in particular, pages 10-13 (and to a lesser extent 13-14)

Molnar, A., Miron, G., Elgeberi, N., Barbour, M. K., Huerta, L., Shafer, S. R., Rice, J. K. (2019). Virtual schools in the U.S. 2019. National Education Policy Center.

  • in particular, pages 60-63

Barbour, M. K. (2020). Misbehaving toddler or moody teenager: Examining the maturity of the field of K-12 online learning. Revista de Educación a Distancia, 64(20).

  • the whole article

Molnar, A. (Ed.), Miron, G., Barbour, M. K., Huerta, L., Shafer, S. R., Rice, J. K., Glover, A., Browning, N., Hagle, S., & Boninger, F. (2021). Virtual schools in the U.S. 2021. National Education Policy Center.

  • in particular, pages 56-65

Anyway, the information about this article is:

Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences

Volume 131, 15 May 2014, Pages 111-117

Problems and Decision in the Field of Distance Education

Safiullin Lenar, Fatkhiev Artur, Saipullaev Ullubi, Bagautdinova Nailya


Article is devoted to actual problem of modern education – to distance learning. The main objective of article – to prove and reason distance learning as new form of education. The article gives analysis of forms of education, gives main directions of development of distance learning are, and shows differences of distance learning from the traditional. It allocates problems solved by students and teachers in distance learning. It is shown that efficiency of distance learning is defined by use of pedagogical technologies which underlie design and implementation of remote courses. The conclusion that distance learning can be considered as independent form of education because possesses essential differences which can’t be implemented in a traditional form is drawn


distance learning
open university
information technology

Full text available

May 17, 2021

Article: Calculating the cost of e-learning – Winnipeg Free Press

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 11:04 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

This was an interesting article that was originally published in the Winnipeg Free Press.

Calculating the cost of e-learning

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter By: Maggie Macintosh
Posted: 6:17 AM CDT Friday, Apr. 16, 2021

Bruno de Oliveira Jayme, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at The University of Manitoba, is photographed in a near empty student study area at the Rady College of Medicine in Winnipeg Thursday, April 15, 2021. He is leading a study on the impacts of remote learning on teacher strategies and the use of Edtech in classrooms.


Bruno de Oliveira Jayme, assistant professor in the faculty of education at the University of Manitoba, is leading a study on the impacts of remote learning on teacher strategies.

One year after an emergency pivot to remote learning provincewide, a trio of academics at the University of Manitoba wants to find out how teachers have adopted educational technology into classrooms and adjusted their roles in response.

Bruno de Oliveira Jayme, Shannon Moore and Joanna Black are seeking teacher recruits for a new research project on online learning throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we recognize there are some benefits for some students, we are worried about how COVID might be used as an opportunity to push for more online learning without substantive research about it,” said Moore, an assistant professor of education and co-investigator on the project.

To continue reading, click here.

The original article was authored by Bruno de Oliveira Jayme, Shannon Moore and Joanna Black and is available at:

Disaster Capitalism, Rampant EdTech Opportunism, and the Advancement of Online Learning in the Era of COVID19


  • Shannon Dawn Maree Moore, University of Manitoba
  • Bruno De Oliveira Jayme, University of Manitoba
  • Joanna Black, University of Manitoba


COVID19, pandemic, Disaster Capitalism, neoliberalism, online learning, public education, educational technology, pedagogy


The authors consider the ways in which educational responses to COVID19 exemplify  opportunistic disaster capitalism. Prior to the pandemic, neoliberal influence increasingly impacted education systems all over the world, pushing for increased privatization in/of schools.  COVID19 has created conditions for private technology companies to push for increased participation in public schools. That is, corporations are using this health crisis to further mobilize the neoliberal agenda, and encourage policies, practices, and technological infrastructure that will be used to rationalize ongoing online learning. In turn, we ask: What are the motivations and implications of inviting private EdTech into public education? How does EdTech encourage a move to online learning; c) what are the overall impacts of online learning? Under the veil of the panic of a global health crisis, our public education systems in Canada are being put at risk.

In looking through the references, it is mainly popular media articles and ideologically-driven think tanks.  While I agree with much of what they have written, it is unfortunate that there isn’t really much literature related to K-12 distance and online learning – given that the focus of the article is K-12 online learning.

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