Virtual School Meanderings

June 29, 2022

CANeLearn June 2022 Newsletter

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 10:02 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Note this newsletter from a pan-Canadian e-learning organization.

No images? Click here

Photo credit: @rlabonte

Welcome to the June CANeLearn News.

As we retire another school year and recharge for the next, it is time to reflect on the cycles of life and anchor to the rock that holds us steady.  The summer break is a time to step back, go fishing, or just stretch out with a good book.  We hope that you mark the dates for important learning opportunities that await in only a few weeks:

CANeLearn Leadership Summit – Now Friday, September 16 [online]

20th Annual Digital Learning Symposium – October 19-21 – Vancouver

We hope your summer break helps to recharge and refocus.  Scroll down to check out our annual list of summer reading suggestions to help with the refocus.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter #CANeLearn, Facebook, or YouTube.

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

Read, watch, listen

Secondary School Teachers’ Experiences of Implementing Hybrid Learning and Quadmester Schedules in Peel, Ontario

This OISE report discusses responses from 87 K-12 teachers in the Peel District School Board in Ontario about their experiences with the combination of hybrid learning – live synchronous teaching to students in a classroom and remotely connected to that classroom from home.  The report concludes there were challenges with the hybrid model and quadmester schedule resulting in undue stress on teachers.

Read the full article here

How do we continue to engage students in online learning environments?

The Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC) published the results of conversations with DLC members that found three common themes as keys to keeping students engaged in online learning environments: relationships, data, and communications and support.

Read the full blog post here

K-12 Saskatchewan Distance Education: Digging Deeper Into 21st Century Classrooms during a Pandemic

This study explored the educational opportunities for K-12 Saskatchewan learners during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Fives steps to improve K-12 distance education in Saskatchewan were identified: 1) Decrease the Digital Divide; 2) Provide adequate and relevant professional learning for educators; 3) Increase post-secondary experiences for new educators; 4) Educate educational leaders about the complex world of online learning; and 5) Provide parents with more opportunities to learn more about distance education.

Read the full study here

Photo by @scottgraham on Unsplash

What’s your region’s plan to recover from pandemic school disruptions?

CBC asked Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial governments about their education recovery plans. Here’s a summary of what they were told.

Access the report here

EdTech — Three Things to Stop, Improve and Start

The sixth and final installment in a series that looks at current trends and research to help faculty, instructors, and education providers meet the evolving needs of students.

Read the full article here

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute: Research Clearinghouse

Links to 10 recent publications on topics ranging from educator preparedness to K-12 students’ experiences in a remote learning environment to parental satisfaction.

Link to the list here

Governments Harm Children’s Rights in Online Learning

In a report released by Human Rights Watch, governments of 49 of the world’s most populous countries harmed children’s rights by endorsing online learning products during Covid-19 school closures without adequately protecting children’s privacy.

Read the full article here and a related article here

 

eLearning

20th Annual Digital Learning Symposium

October 19-21 – Downtown Vancouver BC

Registration is open!

More information here

Call for Proposals is NOW OPEN!

Deadline for Proposals is July 30th

For questions and further information contact conferences@bcedl.ca.

  • Modeling hybrid learning & full technology solutions

  • Focus on evidence-based quality online/blended solutions

  • Sharing insights, effective online pedagogy, and research 

 Register here

From previous newsletters

Four lessons from online learning that should stick after the pandemic

Overnight, institutions scrambled to keep education moving, while bridging the physical distance between teacher and learner. These efforts resulted in digitally mediated physical classrooms using the internet — not online education. While these two options sound the same, they are not. Bridging physical distance through technology alone doesn’t address additional adjustments required to address learner needs. Four distinct aspects of online learning that should stick post-pandemic: learning to learn online, designing online teaching with purpose, blending space and time online, and continued disruption with AI.

Read the full article here

Remote learning continues to affect student outcomes – study

Research shows 64% of Austrlaian parents say their kids have been seriously impacted by continued disruptions due to COVID-19. More than half or participating parents feel their children have fallen significantly behind academically and are struggling to catch up. In addition, 46% of parents also feel the constant disruptions will also lead to long-term impacts on their academic progress and job prospects.

Read the full article here

K-12 Students’ Experiences of the Synchronous Remote Teaching and Learning Environment

The use of online, distance, and remote teaching is a growing phenomenon in the K–12 context. However, within this field of research, focus has primarily been on the use of asynchronous (not real-time) remote teaching and with a specific focus on the experience of teachers. The aim of this pilot study was to explore K–12 students’ experiences of the synchronous (real-time) remote teaching and learning environment.

Read the full article here

 

Photo by @scottgraham on Unsplash

Indigenous pedagogies and online learning environments: a massive open online course case study

Arguments based on a case study and analysis “that forms of Indigenous pedagogical practice are possible in the online environment” The Indigenous pedagogy described takes a holistic approach to learning, using the Medicine Wheel to incorporate all four aspects of being: spirit, emotion, body, and mind.

Access the full paper her

Why They Come and Go: Comparing Special Education and General Education Students in Cyber Schools

Considerable published research explores drivers of parental choice of face to face schools, but few works address reasons for attending cyber schools, and how student characteristics affect those reasons. This study tests whether students with designated special education (SPED) status differ in stated reasons for attending a multistate cyber charter school network.

Read the full article here

Governments Harm Children’s Rights in Online Learning

In a report released by Human Rights Watch, governments of 49 of the world’s most populous countries harmed children’s rights by endorsing online learning products during Covid-19 school closures without adequately protecting children’s privacy.

Read the full article here and a related article here

 

eLearning

Resources for the Digital Classroom

Reading

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Check out these sites with updates shared previously… 

Wordtune – A Great Artificial Intelligence Based Writing Assistant
An artificial intelligence-powered writing assistant that helps users improve their writing style.

Stephen Downes: A Dozen Neat NASA Resources for Students and Teachers
NASA is a model of what other scientific agencies could do to advance interest and engagement in the field. This page points to a number of free NASA resources.

Stephen Downes: List of Educational YouTube Channels
Stephen has long argued that YouTube is one of the best learning applications out there. This post lists dozens and dozens of educational YouTube channels.

62 Educational Netflix Shows to Stream in Your Classroom
Students love watching videos and luckily there are a lot of education ones you can showcase in the classroom. Netflix has a wealth of documentaries and series to stream. List is organized by grade level.

Leveraging Tech Tools to Build Community in Your Classroom
Slideshow on the what, why, and how of community building.

Common Sense Selections for Learning
The Common Sense seal program recognizes outstanding media with an official seal for quality and impact. Common Sense Selections for Learning are best-in-class media resources and tools that facilitate great learning experiences for students and educators.

Best Digital Education Tools for Teachers to Teach Online
While there are tons of options out there in the form of apps, software, and programs, they are definitely not all created equally. Parents, teachers, or school districts looking for a better way to take on hybrid or home-based virtual education can improve classroom participation, information intake, and much more.

Kahoot Guide to Creating Engaging and Fun Learning Games
Kahoot is a game-based learning website that allows teachers and students to create, explore, and play a wide variety of educational games.

OER K-12 Resource List
Links to a variety of resources for elementary and secondary curriculum with icons indicating relevance to Canadian and Indigenous content as well as by subject matter.

Engagement Strategies for Hybrid & HyFlex courses
HyFlex combines the terms “hybrid” and “flexible.” Hybrid refers to teaching and learning that integrates face-to-face synchronous and online asynchronous learning experiences. HyFlex learning gives students flexibility and choice by allowing learners to choose their participation path for each class. This comprehensive resource is CC-BY-NC-SA licensed and provides suggestions and resources for utilizing hyflex-hybrid engagement activities in your online and/or classroom teaching.  Page seven offers examples of engagement strategies and resources as does page 27.

Beyond the Basics: Teaching with Zoom’s New Tools
If you’re stuck in a Zoom rut and tired of limiting your classes to basic video, screen sharing, and polls, Beyond the Basics is free online training from Contact North | Contact Nord’s e-Learning Training Facilitator.  Learn how to increase engagement and accessibility for all types of learners by:

  • Enabling live transcriptions for added accessibility
  • Using PowerPoint in a virtual background as a more immersive way to present
  • Using focus mode to help learners avoid distractions by only seeing the host’s webcam
  • Using immersive view for creative discussions
  • Setting up and using exit surveys for all types of feedback

The link above will take you to more information and a schedule of live training sessions.

What is a Padlet? Teachers’ Step by Step Guide
Padlet is an online bulletin board that teachers and students can use to collaborate, curate, and share digital content. The way Padlet works is simple and easy: users create padlets and add posts to them; others interact with publicly shared posts (e.g, through comments and reactions) or contribute by adding more resources. Posts can contain various types of digital content such as text, videos, audio recordings, screencasts, weblinks, graphs, images, GIFs, and many more. Check out this great guide from BCCampus.

WEBSITES you didn’t know you NEEDED to know!!

A collection of video resources of websites you did not know you need! This is the winner from Jen Giffen’s BlendEd BC Demo Slam

Videoconferencing Alternatives: How Low-Bandwidth Teaching Will Save Us All
When we try to replicate classroom experiences in an online environment, it’s easy to think of video conferencing as our go-to tool for all sorts of learning objectives—and for good reason. Most of us have participated in a video conference at work or had a video chat with friends or family at some point. We like the idea of being able to see and hear our students while interacting with them in real-time just like we do when teaching face to face. But there are two key factors that make this approach problematic.

Teaching Online Resources
The online teaching experience involves pedagogical methods that can be very different from those that many instructors are accustomed to using in a face-to-face environment. Fostering self-directed learning in a digital environment, conceptualizing the learning goals and methods of assessments, requires learner-centered practices and intentional instructional design.  Includes resources providing foundational support for teaching online.

Frameworks, Tools, Resources
A directory of links to resources compiled by BCcampus. Updated frequently.

Information Directory: Blogs and Opinions, Books and Videos, News, Research and Reports
An information directory created to fill the need for Canadian-based information, specifically British Columbia, on open education; however, content from many English-speaking countries is included. This is an ongoing resource that is updated as information becomes available.

Embracing Ways of Knowing
BCcampus supported the co-creation of the OER Pulling Together: A Guide for the Indigenization of Post-secondary Institutions. These resources are designed to

  • Engage with varying audiences, including administration and educational leadership, teaching faculty, student services personnel, researchers, and instructional designers;
  • Include resources and considerations on meaningful and authentic engagement;
  • Supplement rather than replace training currently offered.

Conferencing Tools for teaching & learning: Best practices
Included are considerations for general etiquette, hosting virtual office hours, facilitating group work and presentations, lecturing, showing videos, hosting external presenters, and managing the space. Additionally, theoretical frameworks to support best practices when teaching online are provided.

BlendEd
A UK program of professional learning by and for teachers to support the pedagogy of blended learning. BlendEd helps teachers, school leaders, and other educators design effective teaching and learning that makes the most of digital technologies – in the classroom and from home, live and self-paced, in-person and online.

Creating and Using Rubrics for Assessment
Useful ideas for creating and using rubrics with guidelines for assessing a wide variety of activities, including e-portfolios, video and multimedia projects, teamwork, and research process.

Tips to Make Your LMS Content Accessible
While focused on Moodle, the information contained in this post can be applied to any LMS.

Designing for Accessibility (PDF posters) 
Includes tips for designing content for accessibility for special needs such as autism, dyslexia, users of screen readers, low vision, physical or motor disabilities, deaf or hard of hearing, and anxiety.

An Important Distance Learning Resource for Teachers, Students, and Parents

Wide Open School offers free learning activities for all grades. Students can browse activities related to various subjects including social studies, emotional wellbeing, reading and writing, math, arts, music, science, English language learning, digital citizenship, and more. Within each of these activities, you can search for materials by grade level or search label. You can for instance search for activities that include videos, worksheets, lessons, etc. Some of these activities offer free downloadable materials. You can also share them to Google Classroom.

Tools for Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning, or PBL, challenges students to design and engage in more authentic, extended, and complex learning. But while PBL is a trusted strategy for increasing student engagement and learning, it’s not easy to orchestrate. If you’re doing it right, students will be engaging in a variety of interest-driven projects all with various needs and on different schedules. So how do you manage it all? Tech can be a huge help. This list gathers some useful productivity and organization tools that can help both teachers and students keep track of, finish, and assess projects. There are also a few tools designed specifically for PBL, as well as plug-and-play PBL experiences. Learn about these tools here

Rough Guide for Spotting Bad Science

Being able to evaluate the evidence behind a scientific claim is important. Being able to recognize bad science reporting, or faults in scientific studies is equally important. Includes 12 points to help separate the science from the pseudoscience. Download the PDF here

ABC Learning Design 

Spreadsheet template to facilitate the collaborative design of learning scenarios. Check it out here

Stay Connected!

  • Use #CANeLearn to stream specific items of interest to members. Join the conversation!
  • Follow @CANeLearn, “like” us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  • Check out our Members’ Site
  • Join CANeLearn – only $50 for associate membership!

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.

eLearning

May 30, 2022

CANeLearn May 2022 Newsletter

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 3:08 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

A newsletter from this pan-Canadian e-learning organization.

No images? Click here

Photo credit: Ellen Kinsel

Welcome to the May CANeLearn News.

As we flow into the closing month of another school year, holding rock steady but letting those things we cannot control flow past us is the focus.  In this issue are several new announcements and an incredible new report on potential privacy breaches during the pandemic.   We also have several resources worth checking out.

Announcements :

Also, take a look at the Governments Harm Children’s Rights in Online Learning article below.  It draws attention to technologies adopted during the pandemic and their ability to collect student data without approval and/or awareness of school districts.  Many in the online community are shocked, including Tony Bates.

We hope your journey to school year-end is smooth.  We will send another newsletter with our annual list of summer reads toward the end of June.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter #CANeLearn, Facebook, or YouTube.

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

Read, watch, listen

Four lessons from online learning that should stick after the pandemic

Overnight, institutions scrambled to keep education moving, while bridging the physical distance between teacher and learner. These efforts resulted in digitally mediated physical classrooms using the internet — not online education. While these two options sound the same, they are not. Bridging physical distance through technology alone doesn’t address additional adjustments required to address learner needs. Four distinct aspects of online learning that should stick post-pandemic: learning to learn online, designing online teaching with purpose, blending space and time online, and continued disruption with AI.

Read the full article here

Remote learning continues to affect student outcomes – study

Research shows 64% of Austrlaian parents say their kids have been seriously impacted by continued disruptions due to COVID-19. More than half or participating parents feel their children have fallen significantly behind academically and are struggling to catch up. In addition, 46% of parents also feel the constant disruptions will also lead to long-term impacts on their academic progress and job prospects.

Read the full article here

K-12 Students’ Experiences of the Synchronous Remote Teaching and Learning Environment

The use of online, distance, and remote teaching is a growing phenomenon in the K–12 context. However, within this field of research, focus has primarily been on the use of asynchronous (not real-time) remote teaching and with a specific focus on the experience of teachers. The aim of this pilot study was to explore K–12 students’ experiences of the synchronous (real-time) remote teaching and learning environment.

Read the full article here

Game-Based Learning Prepares K-12 Students for a Digital Future

As educators seek tools for online environments, one of the solutions they’re increasingly turning to is game-based learning. One of the best ways for students to learn is through play, and growing up in a digital world, they are already playing video games outside the classroom.

Read the full article here

Remote teaching during the pandemic disadvantages students in New Jersey’s lower-income school districts

The rollout of remote teaching in New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic was haphazard, under-resourced, inequitable delivered, contributed to student and teacher stress and may exacerbate digital and social inequality.

Read the full article here

 

 

eLearning

Photo by @scottgraham on Unsplash

Indigenous pedagogies and online learning environments: a massive open online course case study

Arguments based on a case study and analysis “that forms of Indigenous pedagogical practice are possible in the online environment” The Indigenous pedagogy described takes a holistic approach to learning, using the Medicine Wheel to incorporate all four aspects of being: spirit, emotion, body, and mind.

Access the full paper here

EdTech — Three Things to Stop, Improve and Start

The sixth and final installment in a series that looks at current trends and research to help faculty, instructors, and education providers meet the evolving needs of students.

Read the full article here

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute: Research Clearinghouse

Links to 10 recent publications on topics ranging from educator preparedness to K-12 students’ experiences in a remote learning environment to parental satisfaction.

Link to the list here

Why They Come and Go: Comparing Special Education and General Education Students in Cyber Schools

Considerable published research explores drivers of parental choice of face to face schools, but few works address reasons for attending cyber schools, and how student characteristics affect those reasons. This study tests whether students with designated special education (SPED) status differ in stated reasons for attending a multistate cyber charter school network.

Read the full article here

Remote classes affected students and teachers differently worldwide: Waterloo study

A Waterloo study found that switching to remote learning affected university students and teachers quite differently in developed and developing countries. While students and teachers in developing countries had trouble related to infrastructure, such as a lack of internet connectivity in some rural areas, student challenges in developed countries were more related to distractions or not having a dedicated space at home for online learning.

Read the full article here

Governments Harm Children’s Rights in Online Learning

In a report released by Human Rights Watch, governments of 49 of the world’s most populous countries harmed children’s rights by endorsing online learning products during Covid-19 school closures without adequately protecting children’s privacy.

Read the full article here and a related article here

20th Annual Digital Learning Symposium

October 19-21 – Downtown Vancouver BC

Registration is open!

More information here

Call for Proposals is NOW OPEN!

Deadline for Proposals is June 15th, 2022

For questions and further information contact conferences@bcedl.ca.

  • Modeling hybrid learning & full technology solutions

  • Focus on evidence-based quality online/blended solutions

  • Sharing insights, effective online pedagogy, and research 

 Register here

Julia M Cameron via Unsplash

Computers for Schools

For Ontario Schools, Libraries, Charities, and Not-for-Profits. 

Computers for Schools Plus

Renewed Computer Technology (RCT) is a federally funded not-for-profit, charitable organization that refurbishes computers and delivers them to schools, First Nation bands, charities, non-profits, individuals, and families living with limited income in Ontario. We provide this equipment through our largest program, Computers for Schools Plus, which has been successfully operating for over 25 years. In 2017, the national program, CFS+, celebrated the delivery of it’s 1.5 millionth computer! 

Launched in 1993 by Industry Canada, Computers for Schools Plus program is a national, federal government-led initiative that operates in cooperation with a network of non-profit organizations across all Provinces and Territories, and in Ontario, through RCT. RCT has distributed over 455,000 computers to date!  

To learn more about the CFS+ click HERE!  OR to watch our CFS+ video, click HERE!

Resources for the Digital Classroom

Reading

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Wordtune – A Great Artificial Intelligence Based Writing Assistant
An artificial intelligence-powered writing assistant that helps users improve their writing style.

Check out these sites with updates shared previously… 

Stephen Downes: A Dozen Neat NASA Resources for Students and Teachers
NASA is a model of what other scientific agencies could do to advance interest and engagement in the field. This page points to a number of free NASA resources.

Stephen Downes: List of Educational YouTube Channels
Stephen has long argued that YouTube is one of the best learning applications out there. This post lists dozens and dozens of educational YouTube channels.

62 Educational Netflix Shows to Stream in Your Classroom
Students love watching videos and luckily there are a lot of education ones you can showcase in the classroom. Netflix has a wealth of documentaries and series to stream. List is organized by grade level.

Leveraging Tech Tools to Build Community in Your Classroom
Slideshow on the what, why, and how of community building.

Common Sense Selections for Learning
The Common Sense seal program recognizes outstanding media with an official seal for quality and impact. Common Sense Selections for Learning are best-in-class media resources and tools that facilitate great learning experiences for students and educators.

Best Digital Education Tools for Teachers to Teach Online
While there are tons of options out there in the form of apps, software, and programs, they are definitely not all created equally. Parents, teachers, or school districts looking for a better way to take on hybrid or home-based virtual education can improve classroom participation, information intake, and much more.

Kahoot Guide to Creating Engaging and Fun Learning Games
Kahoot is a game-based learning website that allows teachers and students to create, explore, and play a wide variety of educational games.

OER K-12 Resource List
Links to a variety of resources for elementary and secondary curriculum with icons indicating relevance to Canadian and Indigenous content as well as by subject matter.

Engagement Strategies for Hybrid & HyFlex courses
HyFlex combines the terms “hybrid” and “flexible.” Hybrid refers to teaching and learning that integrates face-to-face synchronous and online asynchronous learning experiences. HyFlex learning gives students flexibility and choice by allowing learners to choose their participation path for each class. This comprehensive resource is CC-BY-NC-SA licensed and provides suggestions and resources for utilizing hyflex-hybrid engagement activities in your online and/or classroom teaching.  Page seven offers examples of engagement strategies and resources as does page 27.

Beyond the Basics: Teaching with Zoom’s New Tools
If you’re stuck in a Zoom rut and tired of limiting your classes to basic video, screen sharing, and polls, Beyond the Basics is free online training from Contact North | Contact Nord’s e-Learning Training Facilitator.  Learn how to increase engagement and accessibility for all types of learners by:

  • Enabling live transcriptions for added accessibility
  • Using PowerPoint in a virtual background as a more immersive way to present
  • Using focus mode to help learners avoid distractions by only seeing the host’s webcam
  • Using immersive view for creative discussions
  • Setting up and using exit surveys for all types of feedback

The link above will take you to more information and a schedule of live training sessions.

What is a Padlet? Teachers’ Step by Step Guide
Padlet is an online bulletin board that teachers and students can use to collaborate, curate, and share digital content. The way Padlet works is simple and easy: users create padlets and add posts to them; others interact with publicly shared posts (e.g, through comments and reactions) or contribute by adding more resources. Posts can contain various types of digital content such as text, videos, audio recordings, screencasts, weblinks, graphs, images, GIFs, and many more. Check out this great guide from BCCampus.

WEBSITES you didn’t know you NEEDED to know!!

A collection of video resources of websites you did not know you need! This is the winner from Jen Giffen’s BlendEd BC Demo Slam

Videoconferencing Alternatives: How Low-Bandwidth Teaching Will Save Us All
When we try to replicate classroom experiences in an online environment, it’s easy to think of video conferencing as our go-to tool for all sorts of learning objectives—and for good reason. Most of us have participated in a video conference at work or had a video chat with friends or family at some point. We like the idea of being able to see and hear our students while interacting with them in real-time just like we do when teaching face to face. But there are two key factors that make this approach problematic.

Teaching Online Resources
The online teaching experience involves pedagogical methods that can be very different from those that many instructors are accustomed to using in a face-to-face environment. Fostering self-directed learning in a digital environment, conceptualizing the learning goals and methods of assessments, requires learner-centered practices and intentional instructional design.  Includes resources providing foundational support for teaching online.

Frameworks, Tools, Resources
A directory of links to resources compiled by BCcampus. Updated frequently.

Information Directory: Blogs and Opinions, Books and Videos, News, Research and Reports
An information directory created to fill the need for Canadian-based information, specifically British Columbia, on open education; however, content from many English-speaking countries is included. This is an ongoing resource that is updated as information becomes available.

Embracing Ways of Knowing
BCcampus supported the co-creation of the OER Pulling Together: A Guide for the Indigenization of Post-secondary Institutions. These resources are designed to

  • Engage with varying audiences, including administration and educational leadership, teaching faculty, student services personnel, researchers, and instructional designers;
  • Include resources and considerations on meaningful and authentic engagement;
  • Supplement rather than replace training currently offered.

Conferencing Tools for teaching & learning: Best practices
Included are considerations for general etiquette, hosting virtual office hours, facilitating group work and presentations, lecturing, showing videos, hosting external presenters, and managing the space. Additionally, theoretical frameworks to support best practices when teaching online are provided.

BlendEd
A UK program of professional learning by and for teachers to support the pedagogy of blended learning. BlendEd helps teachers, school leaders, and other educators design effective teaching and learning that makes the most of digital technologies – in the classroom and from home, live and self-paced, in-person and online.

Creating and Using Rubrics for Assessment
Useful ideas for creating and using rubrics with guidelines for assessing a wide variety of activities, including e-portfolios, video and multimedia projects, teamwork, and research process.

Tips to Make Your LMS Content Accessible
While focused on Moodle, the information contained in this post can be applied to any LMS.

Designing for Accessibility (PDF posters) 
Includes tips for designing content for accessibility for special needs such as autism, dyslexia, users of screen readers, low vision, physical or motor disabilities, deaf or hard of hearing, and anxiety.

An Important Distance Learning Resource for Teachers, Students, and Parents

Wide Open School offers free learning activities for all grades. Students can browse activities related to various subjects including social studies, emotional wellbeing, reading and writing, math, arts, music, science, English language learning, digital citizenship, and more. Within each of these activities, you can search for materials by grade level or search label. You can for instance search for activities that include videos, worksheets, lessons, etc. Some of these activities offer free downloadable materials. You can also share them to Google Classroom.

Tools for Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning, or PBL, challenges students to design and engage in more authentic, extended, and complex learning. But while PBL is a trusted strategy for increasing student engagement and learning, it’s not easy to orchestrate. If you’re doing it right, students will be engaging in a variety of interest-driven projects all with various needs and on different schedules. So how do you manage it all? Tech can be a huge help. This list gathers some useful productivity and organization tools that can help both teachers and students keep track of, finish, and assess projects. There are also a few tools designed specifically for PBL, as well as plug-and-play PBL experiences. Learn about these tools here

Rough Guide for Spotting Bad Science

Being able to evaluate the evidence behind a scientific claim is important. Being able to recognize bad science reporting, or faults in scientific studies is equally important. Includes 12 points to help separate the science from the pseudoscience. Download the PDF here

ABC Learning Design 

Spreadsheet template to facilitate the collaborative design of learning scenarios. Check it out here

Stay Connected!

  • Use #CANeLearn to stream specific items of interest to members. Join the conversation!
  • Follow @CANeLearn, “like” us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  • Check out our Members’ Site
  • Join CANeLearn – only $50 for associate membership!

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.

eLearning

May 16, 2022

20th Annual Digital Learning Symposium – Returns Oct. 19-21!

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 6:03 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Note the update on this Canadian e-learning conference.

No images? Click here

20th Annual Digital Learning Symposium

October 19-21 – Downtown Vancouver BC

Registration is now open!

Full information and registration here!

The BC Partners in Online Learning –  led by the conference committee of BCEDL, CANeLearn, and BlendEdBC – are proud to present the 20th Annual Digital Learning Symposium held on-site at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in beautiful downtown Vancouver, October 19-21st, 2022. Virtual attendance will be offered as a viable option for those who are unable to attend in person.

Call for Proposals is NOW OPEN!

Deadline for Proposals is June 15th, 2022

October’s Symposium (#DLsympOct22) will continue the work done over the past two decades in our province to foster the use and relevance of the most up-to-date educational practices and tools for digital learning in both the blended and fully online environment. Our focus will be the upcoming changes to BC’s online learning sector with themes of ‘new beginnings,’ along with acknowledging the other provincial and timely focuses of Indigenous education and inclusion. In addition, we will examine how to develop environmental stewardship through the digital landscape.

We encourage you to reserve your spot at the October event soon, as there are a limited number of registrations available. 

We look forward to your support! For questions and further information, please do not hesitate to send us a note at conferences@bcedl.ca.

Sincerely, the DL Symposium Planning Committee

  • Modeling hybrid learning & full technology solutions

  • Focus on evidence-based quality online/blended solutions

  • Sharing insights, effective online pedagogy, and research 

Stay Connected!

  • Use #CANeLearn to stream specific items of interest to members. Join the conversation!
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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.

eLearning
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May 2, 2022

CANeLearn April 2022 Newsletter

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 8:03 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

A newsletter from this pan-Canadian e-learning organization that showed up on Friday.

No images? Click here

Photo credit: Anthony Delanoix via Unsplash

Welcome to the April CANeLearn News.

As the blossoms of Spring herald the warmer weather approaching, there are better days in store for educators.  Our curation of online articles offers some insight into our optimism, but they also speak to the need to constantly refine our focus and to reach out and learn from each other.

On that note, some upcoming learning opportunities from CANeLearn and our partners that might be of some interest include:

  • July 8 CANeLearn Leadership Summit  [online]
  • 20th Annual Digital Learning Symposium October 19-21 – Vancouver [hybrid]
  • OTESSA Second international conference May 16-20 [online] — Scroll for info

Note the shift of the annual DL symposium to October to align with the BC provincial Pro-D day.  Watch for a call for proposals coming soon!

Also, scroll down for links to resources and ideas to build into your practice now, or as you prepare for the next school year that is just around the corner!

April Digital Learning Symposium – Archives available

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter #CANeLearn, Facebook, or YouTube.

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

Read, watch, listen

Blended Learning: Three Things to Stop, Improve and Start!

Blended learning is the future of education in a post-pandemic world. The third instalment of Stop, Improve, Start offers up bite-sized suggestions on how to make it work for everyone.

Read the full article here
Read the full series here

Classroom learning is back, but does that spell the end of digital learning? Here’s why it shouldn’t

Universities are welcoming international students back to campuses, but should that herald the end of digital learning?  No says the authors, the quality of education is now tied to the quality of hybrid in-person and online learning and is one of the three top factors international students consider when choosing a study destination.

Read the full article here

School decision-makers missed the mark with pandemic policies, say parents

Parents say the well-being of kids was not a priority for policymakers. Sixty-seven percent of those with children under age 18, up to 72 percent for six to 12-year-olds, said not given enough consideration was given to the well-being of children when making decisions during the pandemic.

Read the full article here

How student perceptions about online learning difficulty influenced satisfaction during Covid-19 responses

This study investigates the transition to online learning during Covid-19 to identify factors that influenced students’ satisfaction with the online learning environment. The study found that students’ experience with online learning can be negatively affected by information overload and perceived technical skill requirements.  Qualitative evidence suggests a lack of social interactions, class format, and ambiguous communication also affected perceived learning.

Read the full article here

 

Defining quality and online learning

Institutions are struggling to define online or digital learning for their students. Students need to know whether a course requires attendance on campus, whether they need to be online at a set time, and what kind, of course, it will be (fully online, blended/hybrid, etc.). Online learning has several well-established sets of quality assurance standards that were established prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, in general, these standards were totally ignored as institutions moved to emergency remote learning.

Read the full article here

 

The Digital versus Brick-and-Mortar Balancing Game

The blended campus required after two years of upheaval calls for out-of-the-box thinking about what to keep and what to discard from both digital and physical work and learning spaces. Technology leaders face critical decisions regarding workplace culture, physical classroom design, and traditional campus spaces.

Read more here

 

eLearning

Photo by @scottgraham on Unsplash

How I adapted my teaching and landed on my feet when COVID turned classrooms upside down

A first-person account by a teacher in Alberta on how he and his colleagues used technology and ingenuity to stay connected with students with the pandemic forced all classes online.

Read the full article here

12 Golden Principles for Effectively Using Learning Technologies

  1. Good teaching may overcome a poor choice in the use of technology, but technology will never save bad teaching; usually, it makes it worse.
  2. Each medium has its own aesthetic.
  3. Educational technologies are flexible.
  4. Every medium has specific educational benefits and limitations.
  5. Multiple media are usually more effective than a single medium, but this has to be balanced with efficiency.
  6. Interaction is essential.
  7. Student numbers are critical.
  8. New technologies are not necessarily better than old ones.
  9. Teaching is a skilled discipline, with strong theory and research to support technology decision-making.
  10. To exploit fully the potential of technology, the teaching also needs to change.
  11. Teamwork is valuable – but expensive.
  12. Technology is not the issue.

    Read the full article here

While all school-aged children have been affected by the pandemic, it hasn’t been equal for everyone

While experts are still exploring just how these disruptions are changing the learning landscape, Professor Kathryn Underwood, from Ryerson’s School of Early Childhood Studies, notes that the pandemic experiences of disabled children have been mixed, with some children benefiting greatly from being at home and being online. But many children have also experienced extreme isolation, poor educational experiences, and a lack of access to services they are entitled.

Read the full article here

 

Pandemic Effects: Ableism, Exclusion, and Procedural Bias

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed social organizations and altered children’s worlds. The narrow focus of governments on the economy, childcare, and schooling does not reflect the scope of experiences of families and disabled children. We describe emerging findings of what the effects of the pandemic closures demonstrate about the social valuing of childhood, disability, and diverse family lives in early childhood education and care.

Read the full article here

Key Strategies for Engaging Students in Virtual Learning Environments

The student engagement and relationship-building strategies discussed in this report are based on the current practices of teachers working in virtual schools or programs. Their expertise is provided as a way to aid teachers and administrators of both traditional and nontraditional schools and districts that have teachers and school leaders who are developing their skills and abilities as virtual educators.

Read the full article here

Open/Technology in Education Society and Scholarship Association

Second international conference

Online – May 16-20, 2022

Theme: Critical Change

Transitions of Online Learning and Teaching

Addressing the New Inequities

Sustaining Positive Change

 

 

Link to:

Registration Information

Keynote Speakers and Invited Speakers

 

Register

Resources for the Digital Classroom

Reading

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Stephen Downes: A Dozen Neat NASA Resources for Students and Teachers
NASA is a model of what other scientific agencies could do to advance interest and engagement in the field. This page points to a number of free NASA resources.

Stephen Downes: List of Educational YouTube Channels
Stephen has long argued that YouTube is one of the best learning applications out there. This post lists dozens and dozens of educational YouTube channels.

 

Check out these sites with updates shared previously… 

62 Educational Netflix Shows to Stream in Your Classroom
Students love watching videos and luckily there are a lot of education ones you can showcase in the classroom. Netflix has a wealth of documentaries and series to stream. List is organized by grade level.

Leveraging Tech Tools to Build Community in Your Classroom
Slideshow on the what, why, and how of community building.

Common Sense Selections for Learning
The Common Sense seal program recognizes outstanding media with an official seal for quality and impact. Common Sense Selections for Learning are best-in-class media resources and tools that facilitate great learning experiences for students and educators.

Best Digital Education Tools for Teachers to Teach Online
While there are tons of options out there in the form of apps, software, and programs, they are definitely not all created equally. Parents, teachers, or school districts looking for a better way to take on hybrid or home-based virtual education can improve classroom participation, information intake, and much more.

Kahoot Guide to Creating Engaging and Fun Learning Games
Kahoot is a game-based learning website that allows teachers and students to create, explore, and play a wide variety of educational games.

OER K-12 Resource List
Links to a variety of resources for elementary and secondary curriculum with icons indicating relevance to Canadian and Indigenous content as well as by subject matter.

Engagement Strategies for Hybrid & HyFlex courses
HyFlex combines the terms “hybrid” and “flexible.” Hybrid refers to teaching and learning that integrates face-to-face synchronous and online asynchronous learning experiences. HyFlex learning gives students flexibility and choice by allowing learners to choose their participation path for each class. This comprehensive resource is CC-BY-NC-SA licensed and provides suggestions and resources for utilizing hyflex-hybrid engagement activities in your online and/or classroom teaching.  Page seven offers examples of engagement strategies and resources as does page 27.

Beyond the Basics: Teaching with Zoom’s New Tools
If you’re stuck in a Zoom rut and tired of limiting your classes to basic video, screen sharing, and polls, Beyond the Basics is free online training from Contact North | Contact Nord’s e-Learning Training Facilitator.  Learn how to increase engagement and accessibility for all types of learners by:

  • Enabling live transcriptions for added accessibility
  • Using PowerPoint in a virtual background as a more immersive way to present
  • Using focus mode to help learners avoid distractions by only seeing the host’s webcam
  • Using immersive view for creative discussions
  • Setting up and using exit surveys for all types of feedback

The link above will take you to more information and a schedule of live training sessions.

What is a Padlet? Teachers’ Step by Step Guide
Padlet is an online bulletin board that teachers and students can use to collaborate, curate, and share digital content. The way Padlet works is simple and easy: users create padlets and add posts to them; others interact with publicly shared posts (e.g, through comments and reactions) or contribute by adding more resources. Posts can contain various types of digital content such as text, videos, audio recordings, screencasts, weblinks, graphs, images, GIFs, and many more. Check out this great guide from BCCampus.

WEBSITES you didn’t know you NEEDED to know!!

A collection of video resources of websites you did not know you need! This is the winner from Jen Giffen’s BlendEd BC Demo Slam

Videoconferencing Alternatives: How Low-Bandwidth Teaching Will Save Us All
When we try to replicate classroom experiences in an online environment, it’s easy to think of video conferencing as our go-to tool for all sorts of learning objectives—and for good reason. Most of us have participated in a video conference at work or had a video chat with friends or family at some point. We like the idea of being able to see and hear our students while interacting with them in real-time just like we do when teaching face to face. But there are two key factors that make this approach problematic.

Teaching Online Resources
The online teaching experience involves pedagogical methods that can be very different from those that many instructors are accustomed to using in a face-to-face environment. Fostering self-directed learning in a digital environment, conceptualizing the learning goals and methods of assessments, requires learner-centered practices and intentional instructional design.  Includes resources providing foundational support for teaching online.

Frameworks, Tools, Resources
A directory of links to resources compiled by BCcampus. Updated frequently.

Information Directory: Blogs and Opinions, Books and Videos, News, Research and Reports
An information directory created to fill the need for Canadian-based information, specifically British Columbia, on open education; however, content from many English-speaking countries is included. This is an ongoing resource that is updated as information becomes available.

Embracing Ways of Knowing
BCcampus supported the co-creation of the OER Pulling Together: A Guide for the Indigenization of Post-secondary Institutions. These resources are designed to

  • Engage with varying audiences, including administration and educational leadership, teaching faculty, student services personnel, researchers, and instructional designers;
  • Include resources and considerations on meaningful and authentic engagement;
  • Supplement rather than replace training currently offered.

Conferencing Tools for teaching & learning: Best practices
Included are considerations for general etiquette, hosting virtual office hours, facilitating group work and presentations, lecturing, showing videos, hosting external presenters, and managing the space. Additionally, theoretical frameworks to support best practices when teaching online are provided.

BlendEd
A UK program of professional learning by and for teachers to support the pedagogy of blended learning. BlendEd helps teachers, school leaders, and other educators design effective teaching and learning that makes the most of digital technologies – in the classroom and from home, live and self-paced, in-person and online.

Creating and Using Rubrics for Assessment
Useful ideas for creating and using rubrics with guidelines for assessing a wide variety of activities, including e-portfolios, video and multimedia projects, teamwork, and research process.

Tips to Make Your LMS Content Accessible
While focused on Moodle, the information contained in this post can be applied to any LMS.

Designing for Accessibility (PDF posters) 
Includes tips for designing content for accessibility for special needs such as autism, dyslexia, users of screen readers, low vision, physical or motor disabilities, deaf or hard of hearing, and anxiety.

An Important Distance Learning Resource for Teachers, Students, and Parents

Wide Open School offers free learning activities for all grades. Students can browse activities related to various subjects including social studies, emotional wellbeing, reading and writing, math, arts, music, science, English language learning, digital citizenship, and more. Within each of these activities, you can search for materials by grade level or search label. You can for instance search for activities that include videos, worksheets, lessons, etc. Some of these activities offer free downloadable materials. You can also share them to Google Classroom.

Tools for Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning, or PBL, challenges students to design and engage in more authentic, extended, and complex learning. But while PBL is a trusted strategy for increasing student engagement and learning, it’s not easy to orchestrate. If you’re doing it right, students will be engaging in a variety of interest-driven projects all with various needs and on different schedules. So how do you manage it all? Tech can be a huge help. This list gathers some useful productivity and organization tools that can help both teachers and students keep track of, finish, and assess projects. There are also a few tools designed specifically for PBL, as well as plug-and-play PBL experiences. Learn about these tools here

Rough Guide for Spotting Bad Science

Being able to evaluate the evidence behind a scientific claim is important. Being able to recognize bad science reporting, or faults in scientific studies is equally important. Includes 12 points to help separate the science from the pseudoscience. Download the PDF here

ABC Learning Design 

Spreadsheet template to facilitate the collaborative design of learning scenarios. Check it out here

Stay Connected!

  • Use #CANeLearn to stream specific items of interest to members. Join the conversation!
  • Follow @CANeLearn, “like” us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel
  • Check out our Members’ Site
  • Join CANeLearn – only $50 for associate membership!

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.

eLearning

April 26, 2022

PPM 167 Mandatory Online Learning: Policy to Practice

A few weeks back I was able to attend the 2022 Digital Learning Symposium virtually.  The initial keynote for the conference was:

Mandatory eLearning in Ontario: From Policy to Practice

Recently, the Ontario government released PPM 167, a policy that requires Ontario students to complete two online learning courses as a requirement for graduation. In his address, Todd will be speaking about the Consortium model, a model which has existed since 2005, and how it will be leveraged to help support 37 of Ontario school boards in collectively providing the online learning opportunities that their students will need to meet this new requirement.

Highlighted will be the fundamentals and principles of the Ontario eLearning Consortium (OeLC), some of the intricacies of its governance and operations, and the many benefits afforded by a collective grassroots approach undertaken by educational leaders and practitioners in similar portfolios from throughout the province.

https://padlet.com/todd_pottle/ppm167 (contains all links, resources, and slide deck shared during the address)

Todd Pottle

Ontario eLearning Consortium
Executive Director
Ontario, CA


Contact Me

Todd is a Secondary School Administrator on secondment as the Executive Director of the Ontario eLearning Consortium – a grassroots partnership of Ontario School Boards that, since 2005, have worked together to deliver secondary courses online, develop resources, provide PD, support educators, and increase learning opportunities for students. Currently, the Consortium supports 37 member Ontario School Boards, both Public and Catholic, representing students who reside in both metropolitan and rural areas throughout all regions of Ontario. Todd is also the Team Lead for the Ontario Principal’s Council (OPC) Teaching and Learning Through eLearning (TLTE) program for administrators, an instructor for Queen’s University’s TLTE program for teachers, and has been a Textbook Author and the Lead Writer of a number of curriculum writing initiatives.

The main reason I wanted to share this was the Padlet link above – https://padlet.com/todd_pottle/ppm167 – which I think has a wealth of resources for anyone interested in K-12 online learning (regardless of jurisdiction).

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