Virtual School Meanderings

April 19, 2019

Online Learning News – April 17, 2019 / Bulletin De L’Apprentissage En Ligne – Le 17 avril 2019

A newsletter from a Canadian-based e-learning organization from Wednesday’s inbox.

April 17, 2019 | View Online | Archive | Subscribe | Contact Us La version française suit
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Browse Contact North I Contact Nord’s Showcase of 185+ ground-breaking Pockets of Innovation in online learning from colleges and universities in Ontario, across Canada and around the world!

Explore 9 themes reflecting the scope and focus of 185 online learning innovations, and how they made a difference to student learning, faculty and institutions:

Since 2011, Contact North | Contact Nord interviewed over 200 innovators from colleges and universities and showcases their Pockets of Innovation on its teachonline.ca portal, which is visited by275,000 faculty and instructors (and growing) each year.

Browse 185+ Ground-Breaking Pockets of Innovation

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Awarding Double Degrees at Royal Roads University, British Columbia, Canada and the Management Centre Innsbruck, Austria

Explore the model for offering dual online degrees from Royal Roads University in British Columbia, Canada and the Management Centre, Innsbruck, Austria. Students first complete the online courses and residency offered by their home university, and then join the residency on-site in the other university program and return home to complete the online courses from the second university. They take about two-thirds of each program (earning transfer credit for similar courses) and earn two degrees.

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Searchable Directory of Teaching and Learning Centres in Ontario and across Canada

Access the resources of over 80 teaching and learning centres in colleges and universities in Ontario and across Canada that support faculty and instructors by offering resources, tools, coaching, and training to help enhance teaching and learning strategies, assessment practices, and student interaction.

Search the list of teaching and learning centres 

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Must-Read Books on Online Learning

Peer Learning and Assessment Edition!

Books to inspire and guide those committed to the development, expansion and improvement of online learning through peer learning and assessment.

For Faculty and Instructors

Effective Peer Learning. From Principles to Practical Implementation

For Instructional Designers

Peeragogy Handbook: Techniques for Peer Learning and Peer Production

For Policy-Makers and Administrators

The Philosophy of Open Learning – Peer Learning and the Intellectual Commons

Browse all Must-Read Books

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SUBMIT NOW!

The Call for Proposals for ONLINE LEARNING 2019: Global Summit & EdTech Expo – Teaching & Learning in the Digital Age is now open.

October 8 – 10, 2019 at Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Canada

Inspire and Learn from Your Peers, Exchange Best Practices Internationally and Expand Your Skills and Connections

Contact North | Contact Nord invites you to submit a proposal to share your knowledge, insights, experience and understanding about online, blended and technology-enhanced learning in higher education with colleagues, practitioners, online learning experts, government policy-makers, and private sector providers from around the world in Toronto, Canada at ONLINE LEARNING 2019: Global Summit & EdTech Expo.

Click here for more information and to submit your proposal

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Most Popular Resources onteachonline.ca
  1. A New Pedagogy is Emerging… and Online Learning is a Key Contributing Factor
  2. Searchable Directory of 1,700 Upcoming Education and Technology Conferences from Around the World
  3. Tools and Trends
  4. How Communities of Inquiry Drive Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age
  5. How to Teach Online for Student Success
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Visit teachonline.ca today and see why more than 250,000 faculty and instructors, administrators, technology providers, and policy makers 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
807-344-1616
oln@contactnorth.ca

 
Le 17 avril 2019 | Voir en ligne | Archiver | Souscrire | Contactez nous Les hyperliens dans ce bulletin donnent accès à des documents disponibles en anglais seulement.
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Familiarisez-vous avec plus de 185 grappes d’innovation en apprentissage en ligne offertes par des collèges et universités en Ontario, au Canada et partout dans le monde

Parcourez neuf thèmes qui témoignent de l’apport et de l’envergure de ces innovations, et de l’impact qu’elles ont eu sur l’apprentissage, l’accessibilité et la réussite scolaire:

Depuis 2011, Contact North | Contact Nord a mené plus de 200 entrevues auprès d’innovateurs collégiaux et universitaires. Les grappes d’innovation sont disponibles sur son portail teachonline.ca – un outil consulté chaque année par un nombre toujours grandissant (275 000 +) d’éducateurs et d’éducatrices.

Cliquez pour consulter les quelque 185 grappes d’innovation d’avenir

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Doubles diplômes décernés par la Royal Roads University, en Colombie-Britannique, au Canada, et par le Management Centre Innsbruck, en Autriche

Découvrez le modèle d’offre conjointe de doubles diplômes en ligne de la Royal Roads University en Colombie-Britannique, au Canada, et du Management Centre Innsbruck, en Autriche. Les étudiantes et étudiants complètent d’abord les cours en ligne ainsi que la résidence proposés par leur université d’origine, pour ensuite rejoindre la résidence sur place de l’autre programme universitaire. Finalement, elles et ils rentrent chez eux pour compléter les cours en ligne de la seconde université. Elles et ils complètent environ les deux tiers du contenu de chaque programme (recevant des crédits de transfert pour les cours qui se ressemblent) et obtiennent deux diplômes.

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Répertoire consultable des centres d’enseignement et d’apprentissage en Ontario et partout au Canada

Accédez aux ressources des centres d’enseignement et d’apprentissage dans plus de 80 collèges et universités de l’Ontario et de partout au Canada qui permettent d’appuyer le corps professoral, les instructrices et les instructeurs au moyen de ressources, d’outils, de coaching et de formation qui servent à améliorer les stratégies d’enseignement et d’apprentissage, les pratiques d’évaluation et les interactions avec les étudiantes et les étudiants.

Effectuez une recherche parmi les centres d’enseignement et d’apprentissage

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Les lectures essentielles sur l’apprentissage en ligne

L’édition Apprentissage et évaluation par les pairs!

Des ouvrages qui inspirent et qui guident les personnes engagées dans le développement de l’apprentissage en ligne, qui oeuvrent pour en étendre sa portée et pour l’améliorer à l’aide d’un apprentissage personnalisé.

À l’intention du personnel enseignant

Effective Peer Learning. From Principles to Practical Implementation (Apprentissage efficace par les pairs : des principes à la mise en œuvre pratique)

À l’intention des concepteurs pédagogiques

Peeragogy Handbook: Techniques for Peer Learning and Peer Production (Peeragogy Handbook : techniques pour l’apprentissage et la production par les pairs)

À l’intention des cadres et des responsables des politiques

The Philosophy of Open Learning – Peer Learning and the Intellectual Commons (La philosophie de l’apprentissage ouvert – L’apprentissage par les pairs et les biens communs intellectuels)

Consulter l’inventaire de lectures essentielles sur l’apprentissage en ligne

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DÉPOSEZ DÈS MAINTENANT!

L’appel de propositions pour ONLINE LEARNING 2019 : le Sommet mondial et Expo EdTech – L’enseignement et l’apprentissage à l’ère numérique – est maintenant ouvert!

Du 8 au 10 octobre 2019 à l’hôtel Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Inspirez et apprenez de vos pairs, partagez les meilleures pratiques à l’international et approfondissez vos compétences et vos relations

Contact North | Contact Nord vous invite à soumettre une proposition pour partager votre savoir, vos perspectives et vos expériences en matière d’apprentissage en ligne, mixte et amélioré par la technologie dans le domaine de l’éducation supérieure afin d’échanger avec des collègues, des praticiens, des experts de l’apprentissage en ligne, des décideurs gouvernementaux ainsi que des fournisseurs privés de partout dans le monde à Toronto, au Canada, durant ONLINE LEARNING 2019 : Sommet mondial et Expo EdTech.

Cliquer ici pour plus d’information et soumettre votre proposition.

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Les ressources les plus populaires du portail teachonline.ca
  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. Searchable Directory of 1,700 Upcoming Education and Technology Conferences from Around the World(Un répertoire de recherche sur plus de 1 700 conférences à venir sur l’éducation et la technologie dans le monde)
  3. Tools and Trends (Les outils et les tendances)
  4. How Communities of Inquiry Drive Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age (Comment les communautés d’enquête propulsent l’enseignement et l’apprentissage à l’ère numérique)
  5. How to Teach Online for Student Success (Stratégies d’enseignement en ligne qui favorisent la réussite)
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Visitez teachonline.ca 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
oln@contactnorth.ca

[REPOST] Ontario: e-Learning Graduation Requirement – Student Success

This entry was originally posted at https://k12sotn.ca/bloghttps://k12sotn.ca/blog/ontario-e-learning-graduation-requirement-student-success//ontario-modernizing-classrooms/

As was described earlier this week, 0n 15 March 2019 the Government of Ontario announced the Education that Works for You – Modernizing Classrooms proposed policy.  Today, we wanted to examine the e-learning graduation requirement in greater detail.  As a reminder, the proposal calls for:

Secondary students will take a minimum of four e-learning credits out of the 30 credits needed to fulfill the requirements for achieving an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. That is equivalent to one credit per year, with exemptions for some students on an individualized basis. These changes will be phased in, starting in 2020-21.

In our initial message, we reported that there are six US states that have some form of online learning graduation requirement.

  • Michigan (2006): successfully completed at least one course or learning experience that is presented online (i.e., 20 hours of online learning)
  • New Mexico (2007): an Advanced Placement, honors, dual enrollment or distance learning course
  • Alabama (2008): complete one online/technology enhanced course or experience, with an opt-out for students with IEPs
  • Florida (2011): at least one online course
  • Arkansas (2013): at least one digital learning course for credit
  • Virginia (2013): at least one online course

Ontario’s proposed four course e-learning graduation requirement would put it at four times that of any existing graduation requirement, with no exclusions for certain types of students (as we see in the Alabama requirement) or options (as we see in the Michigan and New Mexico requirements).

In her study, entitled “The Sky’s the Limit”: On the Impossible Promise of E-Learning in the Toronto District School Board, University of Toronto doctoral student Beyhan Farhadi has argued that e-learning many not be appropriate for all students.  However, the research indicates otherwise.  For example, Kent State University professor Rick Ferdig undertook an evaluation of a Michigan-based e-learning program that had a student population that was described in this manner:

The 27 students who enrolled in the program included 15 male students and 12 female students. 21 of the students had dropped out and 6 had been expelled for selling drugs (4), possession of drugs (1), or being a threat to the teacher (1). They came from 6 different districts, with the largest participation coming from the home RESA district (12). Students who attended where anywhere between 1 and 21 credits short of graduation, with an average of 13 credits required. Most had been referred to the RESA by their parent, although they had also come on their own (2) or had been recommended by a probation officer (1), mental health counselor (2), or family member (2). There were multiple reasons these students left school, including boredom, anxiety, drugs, fighting, and mental health issues. (Ferdig, 2009, p. 5)

These 27 students would be defined as being at-risk of dropping out of the K-12 system under any circumstances.  Yet the leadership of this particular e-learning focused the design of the content, the delivery of instruction, and the support provided to students on the specific needs of this specific population of students.  In the end, the study found that “students who struggled to the point of expulsion or dropping out of traditional school [were] enrolling, completing, and passing online classes. Even if only one of these students had succeeded, we would have had a significant outcome by changing the life of one individual. However, every single one of the 27 students passed at least one class in their time at the RESA’s [e-learning school]” (pp. 10-11).  Ferdig later concluded that “students who are considered at-risk, including those who have dropped out, been expelled, or who have health problems, can succeed in online K-12 learning, given learning contexts and support personnel that meet their individual needs” (p. 23).

In another example of a e-learning program that focused on the conditions needed in order for a specific population to have success is the Odyssey Charter School, which was described in an earlier research study as:

Odyssey Charter School (OCS), based in Las Vegas Nevada, began in 1999 as a sponsored online charter school of the Clark County School District. It encompasses an elementary school and a high school. According to Watson et al (2008), from the Summer 2007 to the Summer 2008 OCS was responsible for 1405 full-time enrollments – with all of their students being full-time students. The elementary school was responsible for approximately half of these enrollments, while the high school made up the remaining half.

OCHS uses a blended learning model, with students physically attending the school one day a week for four hours (i.e., usually one morning or one afternoon) for a face-to-face course and the remainder of their courses are taught online. For two hours of this face-to-face time, students complete a core values course offered in a more traditional, direct instruction approach. The remaining two hours students meet with their mentor teachers to organize their coursework, check their progress, and address their academic needs. Pupils spend the four hours in one room with the same 10-20 students, while the teachers circulate from group to group visiting with students.

The faculty work on campus full-time and, in addition to their online teaching course loads, were responsible for mentoring approximately ninety students. Teachers regularly met their students by seeking them out during the four hours that the student is physically present in the school. However, some teachers simply were not able to interact with all of their students during this face-to-face time. This limitation, and the fact that students often only interacted with 10-20 students they physically attended school with each week; the OCHS began experimenting with social networking to increase the interaction between teachers and students and, especially, amongst students themselves. (Barbour & Plough, 2009, p. 57)

Both Odyssey Charter School and the Michigan-based RESA’s e-learning programs were specifically designed to ensure that the given population of students that they were created to serve had the necessary conditions in order to have success.

So while it is true that not every student could have success in the specific way that the e-learning program in Ontario is currently implemented.  If teachers, schools, school boards, and the Ministry of Education were to focus the design, delivery, and support of e-learning in Ontario to the specific needs of different populations of students, then all students could have success.


References:

Barbour, M. K. & Plough, C. (2009). Social networking in cyberschooling: Helping to make online learning less isolating. Tech Trends, 53(4), 56-60.

Barbour, M. K. & Plough, C. (2012). Putting the social into online learning: Social networking in a cyber school. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(3), 1-18. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v13i3.1154

Ferdig, R. E. (2009). K-12 online learning and the retention of at-risk students. Port Huron, MI: St. Clair County Regional Education Services Agency.

This entry was originally posted at https://k12sotn.ca/blog/ontario-e-learning-graduation-requirement-student-success/. Please leave any comments on that site.

April 18, 2019

[REPOST] Ontario: e-Learning Graduation Requirement – Scalability

This entry was originally posted at https://k12sotn.ca/blog/ontario-e-learning-graduation-requirement-scalability/

As was described earlier this week, 0n 15 March 2019 the Government of Ontario announced the Education that Works for You – Modernizing Classrooms proposed policy.  Today, we wanted to examine the e-learning graduation requirement in greater detail.  As a reminder, the proposal calls for:

Secondary students will take a minimum of four e-learning credits out of the 30 credits needed to fulfill the requirements for achieving an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. That is equivalent to one credit per year, with exemptions for some students on an individualized basis. These changes will be phased in, starting in 2020-21.

To better understand the level of growth that this requirement would create, it is useful to examine what we know about the level of e-learning that currently exists in Ontario.

On 08 April 2019, People for Education released their latest Ontario school survey report – Connecting to Success: Technology in Ontario Schools, which examined the use of technology in Ontario schools.  The data included “1,254 [survey] responses from elementary and secondary schools in 70 of Ontario’s 72 publicly funded school boards, representing 26% of the province’s publicly funded schools” (p. 12).  Based on these responses, as well as previous surveys, the report indicated the percentage of students enrolled in e-learning courses were represented in the figure below.


From 2008-2014, People for Education asked school principals how many students are enrolled in e-learning courses. This question was asked again five years later in 2019. (p. 3)

This is somewhat consistent with the levels of participation that have been reported annually by the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada annual reports (with the 2013-14 school year being the main anomaly).

Annual Report Covering
School Year
Percentage of K-12 Students Involved
in Distance and/or Online Learning
2009-10 1.4%
2010-11 2.4%
2011-12 2.6%
2012-13 3.7%
2013-14 3.9%
2014-15 4.3%
2015-16 4.7%
2016-17 4.5%
2017-18 4.1%

However, in both instances these figures represent all K-12 students engaged in distance and/or online learning.  As we described earlier this week, if the figure is limited to only secondary school students, approximately 10% of secondary students were engaged in e-learning courses during the most recent school year that data is available.

In a specific sense, we reported in that earlier entry that there were approximately 630,000 public secondary school students in the province, but only between 50,000 and 60,000 of those were engaged in an e-learning course.  If we were to assume that those students are evenly distributed across the four grade levels of secondary school (i.e., grades 9-12), that would mean that there were approximately 12,500 to 15,000 students currently enrolled in e-learning in each secondary grade.  If this requirement is phased in, beginning in the 2020-21 school year, in terms of enrollment it would mean:

  • 2020-21: ~186,000 – all grade 9 students (i.e., 144,475), plus the historical enrollment from grade 10-12 students (i.e., 37,500 to 45,000)
  • 2021-22: ~309,00 – all grade 9 and 10 students (i.e., 288,793), plus the historical enrollment from grade 11-12 students (i.e., 25,00 to 30,000)
  • 2022-23: ~453,000 – all grade 9-11  students (i.e., 439,224), plus the historical enrollment from grade 12 students (i.e., 12,500 to 15,000)
  • 2023-24: 628,032 – all secondary students

This growth represents a significant increase in the number of students engaged in e-learning.  For example, in the first year there would be three to four times the number of e-learning students.  By the second year, there would be more students engaged in e-learning in Ontario than have ever been engaged in e-learning during a single school year in all of Canada.  By the fourth year, three out of every four students engaged in e-learning in Canada would be from Ontario.  Again, this growth represents a significant increase in the number of students engaged in e-learning.

At present, the existing e-learning program is of high quality (i.e., several consortiums report a 90%+ pass rate).  In order to maintain this success, the Government will need to ensure that teachers have the initial teacher education – as well as the on-going professional development – to be able to design, deliver, and support high quality e-learning.  The Government will also need to make sure that the level of technical assistance that is provided to the students, teachers, schools, and school boards is increased at an appropriate level.  If e-learning is no longer a choice for students, the Government will also need to ensure that students have equal access to their e-learning outside of the traditional school building and school hours, as well as providing a much higher level of technical support to parents and the home.  These factors are all issues that need to be planned for with such a significant increase in the number of e-learning students, to ensure that the existing high quality program is scalable to the degree that the Government has indicated in this announcement.

This entry was originally posted at https://k12sotn.ca/blog/ontario-e-learning-graduation-requirement-scalability/. Please leave any comments on that site.

April 17, 2019

[REPOST] Ontario: Centralized e-Learning Program

This entry was originally posted at https://k12sotn.ca/blog/ontario-centralized-e-learning-program/

As was described yesterday, 0n 15 March 2019 the Government of Ontario announced the Education that Works for You – Modernizing Classrooms proposed policy.  Today, we wanted to examine the centralization of the e-learning program.  As a reminder, the proposal calls for:

Starting in 2020-21, the government will centralize the delivery of all e-learning courses to allow students greater access to programming and educational opportunities, no matter where they live in Ontario.

Yesterday, we described how the existing e-learning system was structured in Ontario.  According to the Ontario profile on the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada website:

Since 2006, the Ontario e-Learning Strategy has guided the Ministry of Education to provide school boards with various supports necessary to provide students with online and blended learning opportunities. The Francophone version of the strategy, Apprentissage électronique Ontario, was released in 2007. Under this policy, the Ministry provides school boards with access to a learning management system and other tools for the delivery of e-learning, asynchronous course content and a variety of multimedia learning objects, and a variety of other technical and human resource supports (including a “Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Contact” in each school board). School boards delivering either online or blended learning must sign a “Master User Agreement” to access all of these services.

Essentially, e-Learning Ontario (a unit of the Ministry of Education) centrally provides all of the tools and content needed to deliver e-learning, and even provides each school board with human resources to encourage the use of these services.  The only decentralized role in the existing system for school boards is basically is the determination of which courses will be offered, the selection of the individual teachers to provide instruction in those courses, and the enrollment of students into the centralized learning management system.  However, even these individual school board-based programs cooperate with other school boards throughout the province as a part of the Ontario eLearning Consortium, Ontario Catholic eLearning Consortium, and/or Consortium apprentissage virtuel de langue française de l’Ontario to maximize their online offerings by sharing course offerings, resources, and students.  The reality is that the existing system is already highly centralized.

Given the announcement calls for the government to centralize the delivery of all e-learning courses, a question that has been common in the media and with the public at larger is:

What is more effective?  A centralized or decentralized model?

Yesterday the Canadian eLearning Network posted an entry on this very question (see Which Is More Effective… Centralized Or Decentralized?).  In their response, they pointed to the research literature that highlighted the Newfoundland and Labrador centralized system of e-learning was effective.  They pointed to the research literature that highlighted both in Newfoundland and Labrador and in British Columbia decentralized systems of e-learning were effective.  Finally, they pointed to data that the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada researchers have presented that show that the current model of e-learning in Ontario has been found to be effective.

The authors of this entry also highlighted the fact that while the organizational model may have impacted on who and how the e-learning program is operated, that it is the conditions under which the e-learning is designed, delivered, and supported that will impact whether students have success.  So contrary to statements made by University of Toronto doctoral candidate Beyhan Farhadi, who based on her dissertation study has claimed not all students can be successful in an e-learning environment.  Given the right design, delivery, and support, any student can have success in any kind of learning environment.  The main question for the Government, at this early stage, should be what conditions they plan to implement to ensure that students will have success?

This entry was originally posted at https://k12sotn.ca/blog/ontario-centralized-e-learning-program/. Please leave any comments on that site.

April 16, 2019

BlendED 2019

Note this up-coming Canadian-based conference.

We are pleased to announce blendED 2019: Alberta’s Blended and Online Symposium.

Mark your calendars, and save the date!

October 23-25, 2019

Radisson Edmonton South
Edmonton, Alberta

The blendEd Symposium is organized by a volunteer group of Alberta teachers and administrators who believe in fostering blended and online learning throughout the education system.  We believe in the power of structured dialogue and sharing of best practices.

The blendED 2019 symposium features:

  • Discussion sessions with Albertan and Canadian leaders and practitioners
  • Workshops on emerging trends in flexible, student-centered learning
  • Planned networking opportunities available throughout the event

We are excited to let you know that the blendED 2019: Alberta’s Blended and Online Symposium Call for Proposals is now open.

If you are interested in presenting, please submit a proposal to us by May 31, 2019.

Click here to submit your proposal
https://forms.gle/Bb4oQXCU9YkLosnm6

Registration and full symposium information will be coming soon!

For more information or questions, please visit our site, or contact us directly:

Website:  http://www.blendedalberta.ca
Twitter:  @blendEDAB
Facebook:  fb.com/blendedalberta
Email:   albertablended@gmail.com

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