Virtual School Meanderings

June 17, 2019

[REPOST] OSTA-AECO : sondage sur l’apprentissage en ligne – élèves

C’était à l’origine post à

Depuis quelques semaines, le réseau CANeLearn interagit avec l’équipe dirigeante du « Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA)/l’Association des Élèves Conseillers/ères de l’Ontario (AECO) ». En ce moment, l’OSTA-AECO mène un sondage auprès des élèves de l’Ontario qui ont suivi ou non un cours en ligne. Nous partageons le lieu au sondage au cas où nos membres de l’Ontario souhaiteraient le partager avec leurs élèves.

Lien au sondage (uniquement en anglais) sur l’apprentissage en ligne :

Le sondage est UNIQUEMENT à l’intention des élèves de l’Ontario.

L’équipe dirigeante de l’OSTA-AECO souhaite préciser qu’aucun de ses membres n’est un parent, une enseignante, un enseignant, une employée ou un employé du gouvernement, etc. L’OSTA-AECO souhaite entendre uniquement la voix des élèves sur des sujets de l’heure.

[REPOST] OSTA-AECO: Student e-Learning Survey

This was originally post at

Over the past week or so, CANeLearn has been interacting with the leadership of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA)/l’Association des Élèves Conseillers/ères de l’Ontario (AECO).  At present, the OSTA-AECO are conducting a survey for students who have and have not taken e-learning.  We are sharing a link to that survey here in the case that our Ontario-based members want to consider sharing this survey with their students.

The e-learning survey is available at:

Note: The survey is intended for Ontario students ONLY.

The leadership of OSTA-AECO wanted to underscore the fact that no members of the organization are employed by the government, and that they are not teachers, parents, etc., and the desire of OSTA-AECO is to solely bring forth student voice.

June 14, 2019

[REPOST] News Article: Virtual High School Attracting Students From All Over The Globe

The original entry is available at

Last week this news item was published by Blackburn News about State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada project sponsor the Virtual High School.

Jean Anne Hamilton – Virtual High School Partnerships Coordinator (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

Virtual High School attracting students from all over the globe

The partnerships coordinator at the Virtual High School in Bayfield says location really doesn’t mean much in education anymore.

Jean Anne Hamilton said they now have international partnerships with students in Colombia, the Ukraine, Barbados and Beijing, to name a few. On Tuesday, she had a visit from their partner in South Korea.

Hamilton said language can be a challenge for some of the students, but it’s also why they students are coming to them so that they’re more comfortable pursuing a post-secondary education in Ontario, elsewhere in Canada or the United States.

“A majority of the partner schools that we work with, their student’s end goal is to come to university or college in North America, so having that English instruction and understanding is important for them to be successful in the next steps of their education,” she said.

Hamilton also said enrollment is growing.

“Partnerships, specifically, we’re probably at around 250 students and in 2018 we were about 17  per cent international student over all of Virtual High School, so that’s a significant number when you look at our 8,000 student body population,” she said.

Original article available at

This concept of international partnerships was first described by Virtual High School principal, Steve Baker, in a brief issue paper that appeared in the 2012 edition of the annual State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada report (see Waves Across the Ocean).  In fact, the Virtual High School has been a regular contributor to the annual reports:

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August Leadership Summit

Note this up-coming e-learning event in Toronto.

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CANeLearn Leadership Summit

Sommet 2019 des Leaders en apprentissage en ligne

Le vendredi 23 août — August 23rd


Campus Keele de l’Université York — York University

4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON

Lessons from across Canada and Abroad:
eLearning readiness, accessibility, and scalability

Leçons apprises du Canada et de l’étranger
Succès en apprentissage en ligne – Défis – Accessibilité – Extensibilité


Register here ~ Inscription!

Registration includes Friday breakfast & lunch – only $95 ($85 for members)

Coût : 95 $ (85 $ – membres de CANeLearn) – inclue le petit déjeuner et le déjeuner

  • Panel of leading K-12 & post-secondary practitioners & researchers
  • Praticiens et chercheurs chevronnés de M à 12 et du postsecondaire
  • Strategies for addressing critical e-learning leadership issues
  • Stratégies pour résoudre des problèmes critiques
  • Networking, dialogue, and strategic direction setting
  • Réseautage, dialogue, réflexions stratégiques

Please forward this on your own networks using the tools at the bottom.

Keynotes ~ Conférenciers

Joe Freidhoff, Michigan Virtual Research Institute

Mandatory eLearning: Lessons from Michigan

Maxim Jean-Louis, Contact North | Contact Nord

Lessons from the North | L’expérience nord-ontarienne

CANeLearn Featured Events

Featured Events

blendED 2019: Alberta Blended & Online Learning

October 23-25 in Edmonton


10th Canadian EdTech Leadership Summit

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2020 BOLTT (Bringing Online Teachers Together)

April 2-3, 2020 in Toronto

Evening keynote address // Full day skill building event

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Digital Learning Collaborative Annual Conference

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The Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) is a Canadian registered not-for-profit society with a vision to be the leading voice in Canada for learner success in K-12 online and blended learning.  CANeLearn provides members with networking, collaboration, and research opportunities..

CANeLearn promotes effective practice in online and blended learning; fosters community and facilitates interaction among online and blended learning educators; and connects educators to online and blended learning organizations.


State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada – Special Report: E-Learning Class Size

This was posted earlier this week on the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada website.

In March 2019, the Government of Ontario unveiled its vision for education through a policy entitled Education that Works for You – Modernizing Classrooms. From an e-learning perspective, the proposed policy called for a centralization of e-learning courses and a graduation requirement that students take a minimum of four e-learning courses beginning with the 2020-21 school year. Either as a part of, in conjunction with, or simply at the same time, the Government also engaged in a public consultation around class sizes that would increase the class size limit for face-to-face courses to 28 students and increase the limit for e-learning courses to 35 students. The goal of this report is to examine the literature related to e-learning class size in Canada and internationally.

However, before any examination of the literature related to class size, it is important to understand the different roles that educators play – and the different types of educators involved – in the e-learning environment. While in the traditional classroom environment a single teacher may select or design the materials used, deliver the actual instruction in a variety of ways, and support the student as they engage the lesson; in the e-learning environment the research clearly indicates that these roles are performed by multiple educators in different settings. Based on the model of e-learning utilized in Ontario, the two most defined roles are those of the e-learning teacher and the local school based facilitator or mentor. The e-learning teacher being responsible for determining the best pedagogical strategies, methods of assessment, and way to meaningful communicate with their students; while the local facilitator or mentor is responsible for supervisory and administrative duties, technical troubleshooting, and – in some cases – content-based assistance.

The available literature related to e-learning class size demonstrates there has been a historical expectation in Ontario that the class size limit for e-learning courses was the same as the class size limit for face-to-face courses. The literature further demonstrates that across several provinces the class size limit for e-learning courses has ranged from a low of 22 students to a high of 30 students per course. In both Canadian and American jurisdictions where there has been a significant increase in the e-learning class size, student outcomes have also decreased significantly – particularly in full-time e-learning environments. Finally, the literature demonstrates the local facilitator/mentor role must be included in any conversation around class size because that teacher has a significant impact on class size and, more importantly, student success.

The present e-learning model in Ontario clearly describes the importance of the supporting roles of teachers in school settings where students are taking e-learning courses. If teachers at the school level provide substantial levels of support in a wide range of areas, an e-learning class size could be higher than a traditional brick-and-mortar class in that context because there would be two educators that have instructional responsibility for those students. The larger question looming for the implementation of a drastic increase in e-learning in secondary schools in Ontario is how the present supports, which the research indicates are essential for e-learning success, will be scaled for the unprecedented increase of e-learning courses in the province.

To read the full report, click here.

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