Virtual School Meanderings

February 19, 2018

LEARN News | February 2018 – Share The Love

Note this newsletter from last week’s inbox.



LEARN CEO Message February 2018
Dr. Michael J. Canuel
Teach. Learn. Help. Love!



LEARN’s 4th Annual Teacher &
School Staff Appreciation Shout-Outs

Parents, students, and colleagues responded enthusiastically once again to our call for shout-outs highlighting some of the amazing educators working in Quebec’s English schools and centres. The educators celebrated in the three-post series in the LEARN blog work at all levels: daycares, elementary, secondary, and adult education (and even some of LEARN’s own incredible team members)! Enjoy reading about just a few of the people who make a difference every day to students across our province. Missing anyone? Please feel free to comment on our blog posts to add your appreciation.

Share The Love



Congratulations Beryl Boyle

Gaspé Elementary & Belle Anse Elementary Schools
Eastern Shores School Board
Gaspé, Quebec

Beryl Boyle is the principal of two small community schools, who has created a collaborative culture and a shared vision, in both schools and with community partners, where the needs of students come first. Beryl has a deep-rooted belief that investing in early literacy will be a foundation for student success. Under Beryl’s leadership, a four-day, all day pre-kindergarten program was established and has shown positive results. Identifying an unmet need, Beryl liaised with colleagues and community partners to create a sensory room to address the social and emotional challenges that can, at times, become barriers to learning. With outdoor classroom initiatives, community gardens, and a well-established entrepreneurial spirit, students are engaged and have access to a vast natural environment that can stimulate and enrich the curriculum.

Discover Beryl Boyle


OPEN SPACE DAYS 2017 / 2018

‘Learn By Doing’ Learnshops

LEARN’s Open Creative Space/STEAM initiative helps educators foster student engagement through active learning with high and low-tech materials. Our next OCS Day is Friday, March 16, 2018 – Sign up soon, as space is limited.

Attend LEARNshops


A thematic workshop on Raspberry Pi and Microcontrollers will be offered on February 23rd, 2018. Come and explore the potential of this affordable and versatile mini-computer and microcontrollers such as Arduino and micro:bit!

Explore Raspberry Pi


Black History is Not About
Black History Month

The threads of Black history in Canada are varied, often lost in the margins.  LEARN consultants & partner teachers are finding useful resources to help you expand upon the QEP programs.  Check out our developing Black History resources section for teaching and learning tools, curated web sites and video collections, and to find related social media connections.

Support Black History


Quebec Launch of Education Guide

A resource guide for educators from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (NI-MMIWG) has been developed and will be launched in Quebec. The Quebec launch will take place at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School (PETES) CLC of the Western Quebec School Board, on Tuesday, February 20th, from 9 to 9:30 am. The launch will be hosted by Lisa Howell, Kathy Schuiteboer, and their elementary students, and you are all welcome to join in person or remotely. More information and the invitation can be found here. Please note you must rsvp in order to receive an advance copy of the guide as well as details on how to join remotely.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sarah ( This resource will be available on the LEARN web site after the launch under the resources on Education for Reconciliation.

Attend the Launch



Teaching With Technology: Pedagogical Possibilities & Practicalities

The submissions in this issue highlight the importance of teacher stance and pedagogy, a range of interesting work using various forms of software and devices, competencies that can be developed in makerspaces, and a focus on developing intellectual agency in digital teaching and learning. Be sure to check out local EMSB RÉCIT Kish Gué, who is featured in a video interview about using technology in the classroom!

Read Our New Issue



Homework, Exam Prep, Help & Support

Our Winter Session ends on February 22.
Registration for our Spring Session opens March 26.
Tutoring resumes on April 3 until the end of June exams.

Register to Make a Difference


Virtual Campus Success Stories

Read More Success Stories


Student Friendly

How-To’s provide step-by-step descriptions of common tasks for students. Find content like How to do an Oral Presentation and How To Write a Lab Report – in student-friendly language.

Share LEARN How-To’s



Historical Thinking & Interagir

Once again LEARN participated at the LCEEQ Annual Conference. Access these educational resources for Secondary School on our website.

Paul Rombough, Pedagogical Consultant (Social Sciences) co-hosted a workshop with Matt Russell from the Western Quebec School Board on The Historical Thinking Classroom.

Historical Thinking Resources

LEARN Pedagogical Consultant, Julie Paré (français, langue seconde) hosted a workshop on Interagir en FLS – Conversation réfléchie.



Demos Teaching Fellowship

For the past few years, Desmos has been hosting an event called the Desmos Teaching Fellowship. Applications are open but only 40 teachers are accepted. Participants are flown to Desmos headquarters in San Francisco, all expenses paid, and together get to participate in the ongoing and exciting development of this amazing, and completely free online tool. It’s also an opportunity to gain accreditation as a Desmos Certified Presenter.

In 2017, Audrey MacLaren from our community was one of 40 teachers accepted but couldn’t attend because it conflicted with the GeoGebra event in Austria, to which Audrey was also invited as an honoured guest. She will be attending the Desmos event on July 13-15th 2018 instead!
Congratulations Audrey!

LEARN More About Desmos


LEARN’s Pop-Up Makerspace

LEARN hosted Pop-Up workshops in the Library at Laval Senior Academy on Friday, February 2, 2018 during the Robotics Competition. Hundreds of elementary students from the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board came to experiment with #artbots#spinart#circuitbugs and so much more!

Read STEAM Learning


UN Education for Global Citizenship

LEARN’s CEO, Dr Michael Canuel, and Christine Truesdale, Director of Pedagogical Services and Educational Technology, were invited to attend the international STEAM for Global Citizenship to Achieve the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) event held on February 5, 2018 at the United Nations in New York. High school students and educators from five countries shared their experiences of working together on the Global Classroom STEAM Challenge to develop real-world solutions to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in their communities. Distinguished guests from the UN, UNESCO and several organizations participated in a panel discussion about the importance of Global Citizenship Education for all students. Dr. Canuel is a member of the steering committee to support the enactment of the International Day of Education for Global Citizenship.

Watch the UN in Action


Robotics, Coding & Artificial Intelligence

LEARN was invited to attend the EMSB Press Conference on Robotics, Coding and Artificial Intelligence at Merton Elementary School in Côte-Saint-Luc. LEARN is proud to be a partner of the 22nd RoboCup International Competition and Symposium 2018 which will be held in Montreal from June 17 – 22, 2018 at the Palais des congrès. We are honoured to work with Sara Iatauro, EMSB ETS Robotics Consultant, and the acting General Chair for RoboCup 2018 and Dr. Changjiu Zhou, Vice-President and Trustee of the RoboCup Federation.

RoboCup 2018



Demystifying the CEGEP Experience

LEARN has partnered with VANIER College and will be hosting a Facebook Live event. The goal is to demystify the Cegep experience and prepare students for such a large step in their academic career. This session is for parents of Secondary 4 and 5 students who want to get to know a little more about Vanier College and Cegep in general. If you have any questions in advance, you may send them to: and they also be answering questions during the live session as comments come in.

Join Vanier Live!


Preparing for CEGEP

LEARN is partnering with VANIER College to bring Secondary 4 and 5 students two information sessions about life at CEGEP. Sessions will be broadcast through a videoconference (VC) system or from a computer with internet connection. A perfect opportunity for high schools to register their Sec. 4 & 5 classes to these sessions and help prepare students for CEGEP.

Register Here





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February 18, 2018

NCVPS E-lert – Feb. 15, 2018 – Spring Edition IV (Transfer/Flex/CR Update)

A newsletter from Thursday’s inbox.

Districts and Charter Schools,
Please forward this E-lert to your school-level stakeholders. We often have enrollment information for counselors, grades for data managers, tips for lab facilitators, announcements for testing coordinators, and strategies for school leaders, all of whom support your district’s and school’s e-learning efforts. If you are having difficulty viewing this email, you may view it as a web page here.
NCVPS E-lert – Feb. 15, 2018 – Spring Edition IV (Transfer/Flex/CR Update)


Calendar Check
Spring 2018 Dates
Start: Jan. 29, 2018
Drop/Add: Feb. 9, 2018
Last Day: June 1, 2018
See our calendar for progress report dates. We post updates every two weeks throughout the semester.
Essential Links
Pages to Bookmark

Connect with us on Twitter! Find us here. Tweet to us on Twitter at @ncvps or with the hashtag #ncvps.

E-lert Subscription
If you are not on the E-lert subscription list, but would like to be, please add your name to our list here.

Current E-lert News


Please see our update below on Flex learning, credit recovery, and transfer enrollments for Spring 2018.
Also, our first progress reports were posted today in the registration system. Be sure to check out how your students are progressing.
New Updates
Important Information
Thank you, and have a wonderful week!

SpringTransfersFlex Learning, Credit Recovery, and Transfers Enrollment Updates

In Spring 2018, NCVPS will need to limit the number of flex learning, credit recovery, and transfer enrollments after the regular registration period ends.  In the past, these three programs have always had extended registration periods to  accommodate the special needs of those enrollments.
Friday, February 16, will be our last day for open enrollments for those three programs.
After Feb. 16, we will only be able to accommodate seniors who need a course to graduate in spring.  Please open a ticket with our virtual support center to inquire about registration for graduating seniors.
In February each year, NCVPS provides enrollment numbers to DPI Financial and Business Services (FBS) to “sure-up” the funding for each district and charter. Any enrollment after the sure-up is paid out of available NCVPS instructional funding.  Flex learning, credit recovery, and transfer enrollments often occur after after “sure-up” and will be limited for Spring 2108 due to funding constraints.
The funding limitations will not impact Occupational Course of Study and Math 1 Intervention enrollments.

EarlyStartEarly Calendar Returning – Survey

NCVPS is restarting its Early Calendar program to meet the needs of the growing number of North Carolina schools that open on an early calendar.  We are rebranding the calendar as “Early Start” to eliminate the “EC” confusion with the Exceptional Children’s program.
Our teaching pool is not yet large enough to offer our entire catalog on the Early Start calendar, so we would like to survey schools to determine what their most pressing enrollment needs are for Early Start enrollment.
If a school begins its fall semester before August 15, they are a good fit for our Early Start courses.  If a school begins after August 15, they should enroll in our traditional calendar courses.

If you are an early start school, please complete the Early Start Survey for us, and we will post our Early Start course offerings for 2018-2019 school year in March on the NCVPS website and in the registration system.

SpringUpdatesSpring 2018 Updates

Remember to give students their usernames and passwords. NCVPS does not send login details to students. You can access login details for students by running an enrollment report in our registration system.
If a student’s login does not work on the first day of class, here are the troubleshooting steps for students:
  1. Be sure that you have your correct username and password. Your school will issue you this login information. NCVPS does not issue usernames and passwords.
  2. NCVPS uses Canvas for its learning management system. Many schools and districts also use Canvas. NCVPS has its own Canvas login web address. Be sure you are logging in to your NCVPS courses at this link:
  3. If this is your first time logging in, confirm with your e-learning advisor (ELA) that you are enrolled and not waitlisted.
  4. If you were just registered today, it will take 24 hours to get access.
  5. If you had an NCVPS class before in Canvas, and you changed your password, then that is the password that you will need to use.
  6. If you still cannot log in, open a ticket with our  Virtual Support Center. Be sure to include your name, PowerSchool ID number, school, and course that you’re trying to log in to.
  7. If your password has worked before, but you have forgotten it, use the “Forgot Password” feature on the Canvas login page. This will work if you have your correct email address identified in the course settings.
Jan. 29 – Classes Begin
Feb. 1 – Day-3 Student Status Report Posted in the Registration System
Feb. 7 – Day-7 Student Status Report Posted in the Registration System
Feb. 9 – Last Day to Drop or Add Students
We will still have a number of options for schools; however, please be aware of funding limitations.

Credit Recovery: Credit recovery enrollment will remain open for seniors only until March 29, 2018. Please open a help desk ticket to seek enrollment.

OCS: Schools can continue to enroll in existing OCS sections throughout the semester. We cannot open new OCS sections after Feb. 9.
1/2 Credit Health and 1/2 Credit PE Courses: Registration for our 2nd 9-week health courses will remain open until April 13, 2018.  See funding limitations.
Transfer Students: After Feb. 9, we will begin accepting transfers seniors who need a course to graduate in spring. They must meet our transfer criteria. Transfer students must already be enrolled in a traditional course at the school with an instructor AND have a grade to transfer in with. Open a help desk ticket to start the transfer process.
Flex Learning: Our Flex Learning courses help students who have a special or hardship situation. If any of the above options work for a student, you will need to use those options, but when you are out of options, check out our Flex Learning page for enrollment information. For Spring 2018, we can only accept seniors who need a course to graduate.  Open a help desk ticket to start the transfer process.  

GradesGrade Reporting

 CurrentPostedGradesWhat Grades Are Currently Posted?
Feb. 7 – Day 7 Status Report for Spring 2018 Posted
Feb. 15 – Progress Reports Posted in Registration System
Reporting Overview
See how your students are progressing! We post progress reports every two weeks in the registration system. These are unweighted grades.
Only our final grade report is a weighted grade report.
NCVPS posts student status reports after the third and seventh days of class. These reports indicate if students have logged in or not to their NCVPS courses. These reports are early warning indicators for schools.

NewCalendar2018-2019 Dates Set
We have our calendar dates set for next year.
We are restarting our Early Calendar program to meet the needs of the growing number of North Carolina schools that have an early start to the school year.  We are rebranding the calendar as “Early Start” to eliminate the “EC” confusion with the Exceptional Children’s program. We will survey early start schools in the coming weeks to determine what courses they most need. Be on the lookout for that survey in a future e-lert.
Key Dates

Summer 2018
Early Start Fall 2018
Traditional Fall 2018
Early Start Spring 2019
Traditional Spring 2019
June 18
Aug. 13
Aug. 27
Jan. 7
Jan. 28
June 29
Aug. 24
Sept. 10
Jan. 18
Feb. 8
Aug. 10
Dec. 14
Jan. 11
May 10
May 31
See our Calendar Page on the web.

DownloadAppDownload the NCVPS App!
NCVPS has a new free app developed by School Info App, which is recognized by District Administration Magazine as one of the Top 100 school applications in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Download the app in the Google Play and iTunes stores. Search for “NCVPS” to find the app in either store.
Current app features allow users to do the following:
  • Receive calendar and news notifications
  • Have quick access to course catalogs, online learning tools, and important documents
  • Translate messages to 30+ languages
  • See NCVPS social media posts
  • Follow specific teacher announcements
The app is not required for students or teachers. However, some of our teachers will be using the app as an additional way to contact students. We already have a few early adopters. iKeepSafe has certified the app for COPPA, CSPC, and FERPA compliance; although, no account is necessary to receive announcements or notifications from teachers or the staff.
New features and additional capacity will be added throughout the year.
We hope to see you in the app and look forward to your feedback!

NCVPS Resources

CultureCafeNCVPS Culture Cafe

The NCVPS Culture Cafe hosts hour-long online sessions for all students. Current, former, and prospective NCVPS students are welcome to attend!

The presentations are delivered by the faculty of NCVPS as ancillary instruction for interested students on a variety of cultural, gastronomic, historical, geographic and architectural themes related to the target languages of our World Language Department.
February 2018 Dates
Roman Marriage
When: February 12th
Time: 7:00 PM
Presenter: Mary Stevens and Frank Williams
Around the Spanish Speaking World – Cuba
When: February 15th
Time: 9:00 PM
Presenter: Señora Odom
Chinese Zodiac Signs w/ NC State’s Confucius Center
When: February 23rd
Time: 4:30 PM
Presenter:  Dr. Yangling Yu

TechUpdatesTech Updates
HelpDeskEmailIssuesHelp Desk Issues with Certain Emails
We are experiencing issues sending help desk responses to the following email domains:
When submitting a Help Desk ticket, please use an alternate email address other than one of the above domains. We are working to resolve the issue.

The Virtual Support Center is our one-stop shop for resolving technical and other issues, including enrolling, course access, funding, withdrawals, advice, and special requests.  

Please visit our Opening a Ticket webpage to see ticketing details and tips on expediting your ticket. 
Password Reset
If you have had your password reset through the Virtual Support Center, the new password will not expire unless you have reset it again. Occasionally, multiple people will request a student’s password to be reset (i.e. the student, ELA, lab facilitator, and/or parent), so the password is reset multiple times. This, of course, causes confusion.  It’s always best if only one person requests a password reset for a student.
If you have forgotten what your password was reset to, you can look up the help desk ticket to access the new password or click on “Forgot Password” on the course login page.
Students should make sure that NCVPS teachers have their correct email addresses, and those email addresses should be confirmed in our Canvas learning management system. This will allow students to receive messages from their teachers and peers in the course forum.
Here’s how to confirm student email addresses in Canvas:
Click on “settings” on your name in the upper right side of your course.
Click on “Add Email Address” under Ways to Contact on the right of screen.
Add your correct email if Canvas is not displaying your correct email.
Click on “Register email.”
Click the star next to your correct email address.
For additional information, please see our Tech Requirements:
North Carolina Virtual Public School
1017 Main Campus Drive, Partners I Bldg.,
SUITE 3900, Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone:  919-513-8550   |  Fax:  919-513-2557  |

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

Adam Renfro
Outreach and Support Coordinator
North Carolina Virtual Public School

North Carolina Virtual Public School | 1017 Main Campus Drive, Partners I Bldg., 
SUITE 3900 | Raleigh | NC | 27606
NCVPS Virtual Support Center:


[Webinar] Online Summer School Planning and Tips

Note this up-coming webinar.

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Online Summer School Planning Webinar

Creating a viable online summer school program is a challenge for many schools.

In this 20-minute webinar, we will provide recommendations to address academic needs and interests, along with best practices to facilitate a successful summer program.

We will also highlight a growing online summer program at Wesleyan School in Georgia, USA.

Attend this free webinar on Tuesday, February 27!

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February 17, 2018

Undoing Degree Inflation: Traditional Higher Ed’s Undoing?

As I say each week…  From the neo-liberal, educational privatizers masquerading as an academic body – so the term research here is used VERY loosely (as none of this actually represents methodologically sound, reliable, valid, or empirical research in any real way).

Check out this week’s highlights from the Christensen Institute.
Christensen Institute · 585 Broadway St. · Redwood City, CA 94063 · USA

February 16, 2018

USDLA Newsletter 2018 (02-14-2018)

A newsletter from earlier in the week. Newsletter
Dr. Farhad Saba
Founder, Editor
USDLA Hall of Fame Inductee Newsletter
Dr. John G. Flores, USDLA
CEO / Executive Director
Associate Editor
Download Report

2018 Top 10 IT Issues Higher education’s biggest concerns are converging with technology’s greatest capabilities. Evidence is mounting that digital technology is a major differentiator and a key to productivity and success within higher education. The 2018 Top 10 Issues reveal the broader strategic impact of technology on the entire institution. EDUCAUSE

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Revisiting the Reusability and Openness of Resources in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Courseware

The marketing of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Courseware gives the impression that it has the potential to contribute to quality open learning and opening up higher education globally. It is from this perspective that the potential contribution of Open Educational Resources (OER) units in the MIT Open Courseware to opening up higher […]

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Conversational Functions for Knowledge Building: a Study of an Online Course at University

Interactions in online courses have been studied by analyzing Conversational Functions used by participants. Cacciamani, Perrucci Khanlari (2016) developed a coding scheme, named CF4KB, consisting of four Global Conversational Functions (GCF), each articulated in two Specific Conversational Functions (SCF). The aims of the present study were to explore: 1) What are the more frequently SCF […]

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Implementation of New Communication Tools to an Online Chemistry Course

Online courses provide flexibility and convenience for students and have become very popular in recent years. With the advance of technology and change of habits for the uses of traditional communication tools among students, there is a need for educators to explore effective ways to communicate with students that fit their social-media life styles. Two […]

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Effect of Motivational Scaffolding on E-Learning Environments: Self-Efficacy, Learning Achievement, and Cognitive Style

The present research studies the effects of motivational scaffolding that favor self-efficacy and improve learning achievement in students with different cognitive styles in the Field Dependence/Independence (FDI) dimension, when they interact in an e-learning environment on mathematics. The research has an experimental design with two groups and a posttest. One group of students interacted with […]

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Online Degree Program Virtual Orientation: What to Expect

Online degree programs may require new students to attend orientation to acclimate them to the virtual classroom. One orientation format is asynchronous, meaning students read text or watch videos and complete the requirements whenever it’s convenient for them within a certain time frame; they don’t, for instance, need to participate in sessions in person or […]

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Online learning: Universities’ push for physical classes battles virtual trends

Australian universities are pushing back against Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff who has argued for a heavy shift to online learning, especially for undergraduate degrees. Although domestic unis admit in the long run circumstances may push some of them into it. Financial Review

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Virtual Reality for Learning Raises High Hopes and Serious Concerns

Is virtual reality finally ready to make inroads in K-12? Technology companies are making a fresh push, and some market dynamics could provide them a tailwind. But there’s plenty of reason to remain skeptical. Education Week

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How learning analytics can provide students (and teachers) what they want

The words analytics and data might seem alien or even intimidating to most of us unless you are a number-cruncher or a market analyst, why would they be of any use, right? However, Professor of Learning Analytics at The Open University, Bart Rienties, has spent much of his career researching how data can improve […]

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