Virtual School Meanderings

April 4, 2020

Regarding Continuity Of Education

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

Regarding Continuity of Education
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Regarding Continuity of Education

ADLC is well positioned to support teachers and students in the Continuity of Education.

ADLC is guided by these two documents:

As was announced March 15 and until further notice, students are no longer allowed to attend in-school classes. Since then, School Authorities have developed plans to support student learning at home. ADLC works with affiliated School Authorities to meet their needs, which include their students. ADLC provides two key services: Student Instruction and Teacher Support.

Students enrolled in ADLC print or online courses through Student Instruction do not need to physically attend their school to continue in their course. Until we receive different guidance, students enrolled in ADLC courses are expected to continue their course work as regularly required. Exceptions* may apply.

ADLC Teachers are responsible for assessing students enrolled in Student Instruction. They will continue reporting on their progress and will assign a final grade.

Provincial assessments, such as provincial achievement tests (PATs) and Grade 12 diploma exams are cancelled through to the end of June 2020. This applies to all students including those enrolled in Student Instruction at ADLC.

Students currently registered to write diploma exams during April and June sessions will receive exemptions, without the need to apply for the exemption. You may have heard differing messages regarding whether or not students should register for the exam to be eligible for the exemption. However, to avoid disappointment and confusion we strongly recommend that students ensure they are registered to write the diploma exam. To be clear:

  • Students who are enrolled in a Diploma Exam course for the first time and receiving Student Instruction at ADLC will have to register for the diploma exam using MyPass before April 9 to be eligible for the exemption;
  • Students who are retaking a diploma exam course will get a new school-awarded mark upon completion. We have been told that, “Diploma exam rewriters that have a new school-awarded mark will automatically receive an exemption. They do not need to register for the diploma as this would trigger a request for payment”.
Regarding expectations for course completion, in the best interest of the student and within reason:
  • All students who were on track to progress to the next grade or successfully complete a course will do so;
  • “On Track” at ADLC refers to completing as much of the course as reasonably possible* with at least a 50% achievement by June 15;
  • ADLC teachers have been mandated to ensure essential course outcomes are identified and part of a student’s on track achievement. Teachers will communicate this to the student;
  • Every student will receive a final grade.
We trust the professionalism of teachers and education leaders to assess their students’ progress, no matter the learning environment, to determine suitable final grades and ensure students are properly prepared for the next level of their studies.

*Exceptions may apply. Please contact the ADLC teacher for more information or to ask questions.

Note: This information is effective to date; please ensure to check our website for the latest, or call us at 1-866-774-5333 if you require further information.

Alberta Distance Learning Centre

Supporting your students in your schools.

ADLC is committed to helping students reach their potential through partnerships with schools and providing Grades 1 to 12 students from diverse backgrounds with high quality, innovative resources in an inclusive and flexible learning environment.

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April 3, 2020

Updates On School Closings And Distance Learning Plans

An update on the school closure and remote teaching situation in Ontario.

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Schools are closed but learning will continue

Minister announces phase 2 of Learn at Home

Schools will remain closed until at least May 4th and phase 2 of Learn at Home  will begin on Monday, April 6.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the Minister of Education said that the second phase of the province’s Learn at Home strategy is being developed collaboratively with educators, school board chairs and directors, and other professionals. It will be implemented by boards across the province and include teacher-led programs for all grades.

Phase 2 will include a range of resources and tools to be accessed in a range of ways – online, by mail, on the phone, or even, if necessary, delivered by school bus drivers direct to families. Boards will distribute laptops and/or devices from schools as needed. School boards across the province are contacting families to ensure they have what they need.

The Minister also announced a set of expectations for students:

  • Kindergarten-Grade 3: five hours of work per student/week (with a focus on literacy and math)
  • Grades 4-6: five hours of work per student/week (focus on literacy, math, science and social studies)
  • Grades 7-8: 10 hours of work per student/week (focus on math, literacy, science and social studies)
  • Grades 9-12: three hours of work per course per week for semestered students; 1.5 hours of work per course per week for non-semestered students (focus on achieving credits/completion/graduation)
  • There will be final report cards and assignments will be graded by teachers.

Many questions remain:

  • How will this new strategy recognize families’ differing capacities to support their kids’ learning?
  • Kindergarten is based on play-based learning, how will that be recognized?
  • How will these programs support vital learning beyond the 3 R’s?
  • Many universities have shifted to a simple pass/fail outcome measure for students. What is the value of mandating grades? And what is the downside?
  • Is Learn at Home mandatory for all students?
  • How will teachers and others be supported to provide distance learning?

Read more about the new strategy on People for Education’s website.
To keep up-to-date on the latest education news, follow People for Education on Twitter @peoplefored

Pandemic reading!

A McMaster Professor’s writes about supporting students during a pandemic and what students say they need.

Karen Mundy, OISE Professor and member of the UNESCO Commission on the Futures of Education, has written an Open Letter to a Minister of Education about managing education systems during COVID-19 

A UK principal gives great advice to parents and carers

A British Professor of Education outlines how the crisis demonstrates what is irreplaceable about students and teachers learning in person. 

A non-profit focused on IT in higher education writes about The difference between emergency remote teaching and online learning.

Pedagogy in a Pandemic – written by an international group of teacher/researchers for Education International and UNESCO – provides recommendations and path to support distance learning in these these extraordinary times.

A Times Educational Supplement (TES) article outlines the disproportionate impact of school closures on low income families and suggests ways systems could help.

Unicef provides supports for low- and middle-income countries to enable rapid, system-wide response.

We need your support to continue to provide an independent, evidence-based voice for education    

Follow us for regular updates on education policy and research:


People for Education

People for Education 728A St. Clair Ave. West 2nd Floor Toronto, Ontario M6C 1B3 Canada

April 2, 2020

Online Learning News – April 1, 2020 / Bulletin de l’apprentissage en ligne – Le 1er avril 2020

Again, I’m getting a backlog in items that I want to post, so I’ll start posting them hourly for the rest of the day.

A newsletter from a pan-Canadian online learning organization.

April 1, 2020 | View Online | Archive | Subscribe | Contact Us La version française suit

How to Use Zoom to Teach Online Effectively

Get an educator’s perspective on this increasingly popular online teaching tool.

Find out:

  • How to get started and key features of Zoom
  • How to make learning online interactive, engaging and effective with Zoom
  • Tips and tricks for teaching with Zoom

Tools to Teach Online is a new series by Contact North I Contact Nord showcasing online tools faculty and instructors can use to help students learn and stay engaged. The online tools are selected for their practical value for educators and students. Each online tool showcased includes a description on effective use, key features, and best practice tips.

Read How to Use Zoom Videoconferencing to Teach Online Effectively


Moving your classes online due to COVID-19? 
Have questions about teaching online? 
Ask an expert!

Contact North I Contact Nord’s world experts from Canada, the United States, Europe and Africa are volunteering to help you.

e-Mail your questions about anything related to teaching online to or submit your question online on and receive a response within 2 business days. Questions and answers will be posted for quick reference.

The search tool on is available to help with your immediate requests. Enter keywords in the search tool and it displays a list of relevant resources.


Going online for the first time as a result of COVID-19?
Having to expand your online teaching?

Go to Contact North | Contact Nord’s for practical tools, best practices, training opportunities, and teaching resources in online and distance learning. 275,000 faculty and instructors visit this portal each year.  

Check out the ten most viewed resources


MOOCs, Micro-Credentials and Student Support at the University of Leeds, England

Explore two models that integrate MOOCs into micro-credentials at the University of Leeds in England, one for undergraduate students and the other for graduate learners. In addition, a Pathways to Success induction model supports student beginning online postgraduate degree programs, with skills in community building, navigating campus services and using online tools.



Choosing a Technology that Makes a Difference to Learning – Getting Past the Hype

Tuesday, April 7 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time

The webinars are a five-part series by Dr. Bates for faculty, instructors, instructional designers, and administrators.

For those not able to participate, the link to the recordings, slides and unanswered questions are available on



Learn More about Canada’s Only Directory of Online Learning Researchers!

Search the profiles of 115+ researchers who share a common commitment to improving online learning experiences for students. Their research explores topics such as strategies for student engagement, design principles, learning motivation, success, and support. Each profile features the researcher’s interests, key collaborators, institutional information and top 3 cited publications in the past 5 years.

Access the Contact North I Contact Nord Searchable Directory



Read Dr. Tony Bates’ Latest Blog Post

Read Contact North I Contact Nord Research Associate Dr. Tony Bates’ latest blog post:

Online learning responsible for 10% of the UK economy – it is claimed


Must-Read Books on Online Learning

Must-Read Books on Online Learning features books and articles of interest to those involved in the expansion and improvement of online learning.

For Faculty and Instructors New to Online Learning 

If you are new to online teaching these books are a great starting point. 

The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips

Digital Learning: The Key Concepts. (2nd Edition)

E-Moderating: The Key to Online Teaching and Learning (3rd Edition)

Browse all Must-Read Books


Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning

Free five-week MOOC by Athabasca University

April 5 – May 9, 2020

This course is designed for teachers who want to build on their knowledge and practice in teaching and learning with technology. It will run over five weeks and requires approximately three to five hours of time each week. Designed to accommodate instructors’ busy schedules, the course offers flexibility with options for learning the content. You will learn from readings, videos, discussions with other participants and instructors, meaningful exercises, quizzes and short assignments. Certification is available for those who wish to complete all required exercises and quizzes.

For more information, visit


Blended Learning Practice MOOC 

Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Athabasca University 

April 19 – May 16, 2020

This free, 4-week course, provided by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), in collaboration with Athabasca University, is open to teachers and other education professionals in diverse contexts.

This course is designed to assist teachers in adopting blended learning strategies through a step-by-step constructivist and design-based approach. Throughout the course, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on decisions to provide an authentic learning experience in their own context. The discussions and associated activities will review pedagogy, materials and the use of technology.

To learn more and register visit:

Most Popular Resources on
  1. A New Pedagogy is Emerging… and Online Learning is a Key Contributing Factor
  2. Adobe Connect Meeting Training Schedule
  3. Training Opportunities
  4. Teaching in the Digital Age Webinar Series
  5. Searchable Directory of 110+ EdTech Start-Ups
Visit today and see why more than 250,000 faculty and instructors, administrators, technology providers, and policymakers from across Ontario and around the world use the resources available from the portal.

Do you have colleagues who might be interested in receiving the Online Learning News? Join our mailing list.

Contact North | Contact Nord
1139 Alloy Drive, Suite 104
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 6M8

Le 1er avril 2020 | Voir en ligne | Archiver | Souscrire | Contactez nous Les hyperliens dans ce bulletin donnent accès à des documents disponibles en anglais seulement.

Comment utiliser Zoom pour bien enseigner en ligne

Découvrez cet outil d’enseignement en ligne de plus en plus populaire dans la perspective des éducatrices et éducateurs.

On vous présente :

  • Comment démarrer la séance et les principales caractéristiques de Zoom;
  • Comment rendre l’apprentissage en ligne interactif, stimulant et efficace avec Zoom;
  • Des trucs et astuces pour enseigner avec Zoom.

Tools to Teach Online (Outils pour l’enseignement en ligne) est une nouvelle série de Contact North I Contact Nord. À l’affiche sont des outils en ligne pour le cadre professoral et le personnel enseignant qui ont pour but de promouvoir l’apprentissage et la participation chez les étudiantes et étudiants. Les outils sont choisis pour leur importance concrète pour le personnel en éducation et la clientèle étudiante. Une description de l’utilisation efficace, des caractéristiques clés et des conseils de meilleures pratiques est fournie avec chaque outil présenté.

Voyez How to Use Zoom Videoconferencing to Teach Online Effectively [Comment utiliser la vidéoconférence Zoom pour bien enseigner en ligne]


Vous devez offrir vos classes en ligne grâce à COVID-19?
Vous avez des questions sur l’enseignement en ligne?
Demandez à un expert-conseil! 

Les experts-conseils mondiaux de Contact North | Contact Nord du Canada, des États-Unis, de l’Europe et de l’Afrique se portent volontaires pour vous aider.

Faites-nous parvenir vos questions sur tous les sujets liés à l’enseignement en ligne à ou soumettez votre question en ligne sur Vous recevrez une réponse dans les deux jours ouvrables. Les questions et les réponses seront affichées pour consultation rapide.

Pour répondre à vos besoins immédiats, veuillez utiliser l’outil de recherche sur Entrez des mots clés dans l’outil de recherche et il affiche une liste de ressources pertinentes.


Vous pratiquez votre métier en ligne pour la première fois grâce à COVID-19?
Vous devez accroître vos capacités en enseignement en ligne?

Le site Web de Contact North| Contact Nord vous offre une gamme d’outils concrets, de pratiques exemplaires, des possibilités de formation et des ressources d’enseignement en ligne et à distance. Chaque année, ce portal est visité par 275 000 membres de corps professoral et de personnel enseignant. 

Renseignez-vous sur les 10 ressources les plus consultées


MOOCs, microaccréditations et services aux étudiants à l’University of Leeds, Angleterre

Explorer deux modèles qui intègrent les MOOCs dans les microaccréditations de l’University of Leeds en Angleterre, l’un pour les étudiantes et étudiants de premier cycle et l’autre pour celles et ceux de deuxième cycle. En outre, un modèle d’insertion aux voies de réussite permet aux étudiantes et étudiants qui commencent des programmes de troisième cycle en ligne d’obtenir des compétences en matière de création de communautés, de navigation dans les services du campus et d’utilisation des outils en ligne



Choosing a Technology that Makes a Difference to Learning – Getting Past the Hype [Choisir une technologie efficace pour l’apprentissage – Passer outre l’engouement]

Le mardi 7 avril à 13 h (heure de l’Est) 

Ces webinaires font partie d’une série de cinq ateliers Web animés par M. Bates qui s’adresse au personnel enseignant et de formation, aux concepteurs pédagogiques, aux administrateurs et aux praticiens du domaine de l’apprentissage en ligne.

Pour celles et ceux qui ne peuvent pas y participer, veuillez cliquer sur pour accéder au lien vers les enregistrements, les diapositives et les questions sans réponse.



Apprenez-en davantage sur le seul répertoire de chercheurs en apprentissage en ligne au Canada!

Consultez les profils de 115 chercheurs et plus qui ont en commun leur engagement à améliorer l’expérience d’apprentissage de la clientèle étudiante. Leurs champs de recherches explorent des sujets comme les stratégies d’engagement étudiant, les principes de design, la motivation d’apprentissage, la réussite et le soutien. Elles et ils travaillent de façon indépendante ou en équipes réduites et souvent en partenariat avec des chercheurs d’autres institutions. Vous trouverez dans chaque profil les intérêts du chercheur, ses collaborations clés, de l’information sur l’institution pour laquelle elle ou il travaille et les trois plus importantes publications citées au cours des cinq dernières années.

Cliquez ici pour accéder au répertoire interrogeable de Contact North I Contact Nord


Lire les derniers billets du blogue de monsieur Tony Bates

Veuillez lire la série de billets du blogue de monsieur Tony Bates, associé de recherche à Contact North I Contact Nord, intitulée :

Online learning responsible for 10% of the UK economy – it is claimed [L’apprentissage en ligne est responsable de 10 % de l’économie britannique, affirme-t-on]


Les lectures essentielles sur l’apprentissage en ligne

Les lectures essentielles sur l’apprentissage en ligne nous proposent des ouvrages et des articles d’intérêt pour les personnes qui s’investissent à accroitre la portée et à améliorer l’apprentissage en ligne.

Destinés au corps professoral et au personnel enseignant qui découvrent l’apprentissage en ligne

Ces livres sont un excellent point de départ pour toute personne qui enseigne nouvellement en ligne.

The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips [Les strategies proactives pour l’enseignement en ligne : conseils pédagogiques simples et pratiques]

Digital Learning: The Key Concepts. (2nd Edition) [L’apprentissage numérique : les concepts clé (2e édition)]

E-Moderating: The Key to Online Teaching and Learning (3rd Edition) [L’animation en ligne : l’élément clé de l’enseignement et l’apprentissage en ligne (3e edition)]

Parcourez les lectures essentielles


Introduction à l’apprentissage fondé sur la technologie 

MOOC gratuit (en anglais) de cinq semaines, offert par l’Université d’Athabasca

du 5 avril au 9 mai 2020

Ce cours est conçu pour les enseignantes et enseignants qui souhaitent approfondir leurs connaissances et leur pratique de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage fondé sur la technologie. Il est réparti sur cinq semaines et exige de trois à cinq heures par semaine. Tenant compte des horaires chargés des enseignantes et enseignants, le cours offre une certaine souplesse avec des options pour l’apprentissage du contenu. Vous apprendrez à partir de lectures, de vidéos, de discussions avec d’autres participantes et participants et le personnel enseignant, d’exercices significatifs, de jeux-questionnaires et de courts travaux. Un certificat est offert à celles et ceux qui souhaitent effectuer tous les exercices et jeux-questionnaires requis.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez consulter le site Web


MOOC sur les pratiques d’apprentissage mixte 

Commonwealth of Learning (COL) et Athabasca University

du 19 avril au 16 mai 2020

Ce cours gratuit de 4 semaines est offert par le Commonwealth of Learning (COL), en collaboration avec l’Athabasca University. Il est destiné aux enseignantes et enseignants ainsi qu’aux individus œuvrant dans le domaine de l’éducation.

Grâce à une approche constructiviste et conceptuelle, ce cours incite l’adoption de stratégies d’apprentissage mixtes. Tout au long du cours, les participantes et participants auront l’occasion de réfléchir aux décisions à prendre pour offrir une expérience d’apprentissage authentique dans leur propre contexte. Les discussions et les activités associées passeront en revue la pédagogie, le matériel et l’utilisation de la technologie.

Pour en savoir plus et vous inscrire, visitez le site :

Les ressources les plus populaires du portail
  1. A New Pedagogy is Emerging… and Online Learning is a Key Contributing Factor [Une nouvelle pédagogie émerge… et l’apprentissage en ligne en est un facteur d’influence]
  2. Adobe Connect Meeting Training Schedule [Calendrier de formation sur Réunion Adobe Connect]
  3. Training Opportunities [Les ressources et les occasions de formation]
  4. Teaching in the Digital Age Webinar Series [La série de webinaires sur l’enseignement à l’ère numérique]
  5. Searchable Directory of 110+ EdTech Start-Ups [Un répertoire de recherche incluant plus de 110 entreprises EdTech émergentes]
Visitez dès aujourd’hui afin de constater vous-même pourquoi il attire chaque mois plus de 200 000 visites du personnel enseignant et de formation, des administrateurs, des fournisseurs de technologie et des décideurs de partout en Ontario et dans le monde pour se servir des ressources disponibles sur le portail.

Vos collègues aimeraient-ils recevoir le Bulletin de l’apprentissage en ligne? Joignez-vous à notre liste de diffusion.

Contact North | Contact Nord
1139, promenade Alloy, bureau 104
Thunder Bay (Ontario) P7B 6M8
807 344-1616

April 1, 2020

Global News: Nova Scotia Schools To Be Closed Until May 1

This news scrolled through my inbox yesterday.

Nova Scotia schools to be closed until May 1

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil makes an announcement in Halifax, Friday, Friday, Dec 20, 2019. Nova Scotia is requiring public sector workers and public school children who travel abroad to isolate themselves for two weeks when they return to Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ted Pritchard.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil makes an announcement in Halifax, Friday, Friday, Dec 20, 2019. Nova Scotia is requiring public sector workers and public school children who travel abroad to isolate themselves for two weeks when they return to Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ted Pritchard.

Students in Nova Scotia won’t return to their schools until at least May 1 as announced by Premier Stephen McNeil Monday.

McNeil was providing a COVID-19 update when he advised of the extension that moves the proposed return date of April 6 back nearly a month.

The decision follows the advice of the province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang and extends to licensed child care providers as well.

To continue reading, click here.

At this stage, I believe we have Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and now Nova Scotia that have formally announced some plans for providing either online materials for teachers and/or remote instruction.

TDSB Lending Internet Enable Devices To Help Students Keep Learning

A notice for my Toronto-based readers from my good friend Michael Coteau.

March 30, 2020
Today, Ontario’s top doctor announced strict new advice for Ontarians over 70 and those of any age with a comprised immune system or underlying health condition: don’t go out anymore!
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) also announced that they would be adding supports for students without internet access or devices to access the internet. They will be lending out internet enabled devices to help students keep learning during the outbreak.
The province has banned all gatherings over five people. This is being enacted to increase social distancing which is CRUCIAL to slow the spread of COVID-19.
As always, if you need any assistance or have any questions, my staff and I are here to help. If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact Telehealth Ontario at (1-866-797-0000), your primary care provider, or Toronto Public Health (416-338-7600).
While our physical office is closed, we continue to serve our constituents by phone (416-494-6856) or email (
The closure of all Ontario schools, including those at the TDSB, will be extended beyond the originally scheduled return date of April 6, 2020. At this point in time, the Government of Ontario has not yet announced how long the closure will be extended.
In the meantime, the TDSB is moving ahead with plans to connect teachers with students and/or their parents/guardians beginning Monday, April 6, 2020.
To help students stay connected and to support remote learning, the TDSB is lending internet-enabled devices to families who do not have access to devices. As a result, we need some additional information from our families.
Please click the link below and fill out the following form as soon as possible:

Online Survey Software | Qualtrics Survey Solutions

Qualtrics sophisticated online survey software solutions make creating online surveys easy. Learn more about Research Suite and get a free account today.

Read more

In a slightly more encouraging piece of news, Canada’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been almost entirely led by women. Read more below.

Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is almost…

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have been relying on the guidance of a number of health officials who have hosted regular press conferences to keep the public safe and informed. These sessions, along with those from Prime Minister…

Read more

Stop the Spread
Business Information Line: NOW OPEN
The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
On Monday, the province issued an emergency order to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. The government also reminded businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.
Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m.―5:00 p.m.
Best Practices to Stay Healthy and Safe
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Practice social-distancing
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well
  • If you are concerned or suspect you have the virus, call Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 or Toronto Public Health: 416-338-7600
MPP Michael Coteau | 1200 Lawrence Ave ESuite L021200 Lawrence Ave E, Suite L02,
North York, Ontario M3A 1C1 Canada 4164946856


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