The picture above represents the hope we see at the start of the third decade of the 21st Century. The photo is sunrise at Abraham Lake in Alberta and offered to us by our gifted photographer and newsletter editor, Ellen Kinsel. CANeLearn hopes this new year offers everyone the patience and resolve to push beyond the challenges of 2020; may the objects in the mirror quickly fade from being closer than they appear.
This newsletter is full of tips, ideas, online PD, and some interesting challenges and insights. Rally your students for a couple of online contests and challenges in the next weeks. Here is a sample (scroll down for others):
Challenge4Climate Action — Hosted by convergence.tech
CANeLearn is thrilled to be a part of this unique initiative as a committee member and judge. Convergence.tech’s Student #Challenge4ClimateAction is now open for registration. $18k in prize money by creating ideas that help contribute to reducing our impact on the climate. Challenge dates are March 5 to 14. The challenge is a free, virtual event open to high school, college, and undergraduate university students. Scroll down for more details.
What Needs to be Done About Online Learning in the School Sector?
This series of articles by Dr. Tony Bates offers some suggestions about what can be done to improve the use of online learning in K-12, both during and after the pandemic. The first of these articles provides an introduction, additional topics will cover technology access, choice, foundational skills, curriculum, policies, and parents.
In closing, the CANeLearn team hopes, despite these challenging times of restrictions, overwhelming circumstances, relentless uncertainty, and the angst that results, that some humour, peace, safety, and kindness come into your heart — and that you have enough left to share with others.
Learning to Learn Online
January 18-February 21, 2021, via Zoom
A free course for secondary and post-secondary students. Each week requires approximately 5 hours of readings, activities, and discussions. Successful completion of weekly quizzes qualifies for a certificate. Read more here
January 14, 3:00 pm EST: Student perspectives of online and blended learning during the pandemic – Digital Learning Collaborative – Register here
January 18, 11:00 am EST: How to Effectively Use Zoom to Provide an Active and Engaged Learning Learning Experience for Students – Dr. Ron Owston Register here
January 19, 1:00 pm EST: How to Design Learning to Go Beyond Simple Digitization of the Traditional Classroom – Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd Register here
February 4, 11:00 am EST: How to Improve Student Engagement in Your College and University Courses by Using K-12 Teaching Techniques – Dr. Janet Wood Varner Register here
February 11, 1:00 pm EST: How to be Resilient in a Post Pandemic World: 10 Steps Toward Personal Mastery and Transformational Change – Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd Register here
February 17, 1:00 pm EST: How to Make Your Course Interactive and Engaging – Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd Register here
Western Canada Learning Network Members!
Online PD: TC2 Inquiry Projects
February 12, 2021 – 10:45 am – 12:15 pm via Zoom
Featuring 21+ new inquiry projects developed by The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2) for the WCLN and the BC curriculum, this session will explore how online and independent learning opportunities can be designed to engage grade 5-12 students in meaningful inquiry and development of competencies. Find out more about WCLN here. Main presenter: Wayne Waytuck (TC2). Free to WCLN members (school ID required). Register here
Mark the dates: Upcoming Online Conferences
Online or Face-to-Face
Virtual Money Fair
Consider holding a Virtual Money Fair that involves students, either learning at home or in the classroom, selecting a money topic that is of interest to them, undertaking research to explore and learn about that topic, and then preparing a creative and engaging video presentation that showcases the outcome of their research and what they learned. CFEE will be getting submissions from across the entire country, posting them on the secure CFEE website and then highlighting the winner announced at the National Money Fair. Prizes available up to $2000. Support materials and additional information can be found here: Talk with our Kids About Money
My Money, My Future: Canadian Financial Education Challenge
CIBC and the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education have partnered on a project to challenge youth to be creative and to draw upon their talents, skills, and passion to create a new resource that could be used to teach other youth about money and how to achieve a healthy financial life and future. It can be in either English or French. The resource can be a video, a podcast, a play, a booklet, a PowerPoint presentation, an animated PowerPoint presentation, a whiteboard animation, a song, a piece of art, an ad, a poem, a website, a video game, an animation. There is are cash prizes and Winning submissions will be showcased on a new VIRTUAL FINANCIAL LEARNING YOUTH CENTRE website for use by teachers, parents, and youth to learn about money, develop financial skills, and be better able to build a happy, healthy, financial future. More information available here
Challenge4Climate Action – Hosted by convergence.tech
Climate change threatens every part of the planet. It’s a global problem that requires global cooperation. The challenge aims to leverage the insights, creativity, and capabilities of the global student collective to address urgent threats to some of the planet’s most precious resources and ecosystems.
CANeLearn is thrilled to be a part of this unique initiative as a Committee Member/Judge. Convergence.tech’s Student #Challenge4ClimateAction is now open for registration. $18k in prize money by creating ideas that help contribute to reducing our impact on the climate. March 5 to 14. A free, virtual event open to high school, college, and undergraduate university students.
Applications to participate opened on January 11!
CANeLearn is researching what K-12 school districts across Canada have offered in the way of programming and supports during the pandemic. We published our first report in August, the second in November, that detailed what the Ministries and Departments announced in the Spring and Fall of 2020 for remote learning. The third report, Stories from the Field: Voices of K-12 Stakeholders During Pandemic, brings the voices of stakeholders from across Canada describing what they experienced.
In the News
Proof Points: The Lowdown on Flipped Classrooms
Mixed results from 114 studies on the benefit of flipped classrooms.
Successful flips did not reduce face-to-face instructional minutes, rather the power of the flipped classroom was in the active learning that takes place during class time, not watching videos at home. Extra quizzes ensured students watched the video lectures and remembered them. The design was central to success. Takeaways include:
Helping Students to Cope with the Mental Health Challenges of COVID-19
Mark van Ryzen from the University of Oregon offers insight into mental health and wellbeing for students during pandemics. He argues that properly designed small-group instruction can meet students’ need for interpersonal support and enhance their engagement in online learning.
In a Post-COVID World, Will Online Learning Become the New Normal?
Andrew Hanson, Director of Research at Strada Center for Education Consumer Insights, offers an opinion about how the COVID-19 pandemic crisis effectively accelerated long-term structural changes in how Americans were learning that may have occurred over several years. The big question for the future is whether the changes are temporary, or if we are at an inflection point toward a future where online and hybrid modes of learning become the new normal.
Consumer data reveals promising trends for the future of online learning:
Mere Engagement: Reflections About the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement
School leaders should not lose sight of the need for student agency and student engagement as they contend with the myriad challenges posed by COVID-19. In fact, an issue brief from the Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL) argues that we must reimagine what agency and engagement can look like in cases when students are learning virtually and unable to connect.
This article offers school leaders seven action steps to support students’ sense of mastery and ownership of their learning, along with promoting their sense of connection and belonging. They include:
Resources for the Digital Classroom
Supporting the Continuation of Teaching and Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Annotated Resources for Online Learning
This brief discusses the second module of a series which presents the results of a comparative analysis of emerging educational needs and responses as the pandemic unfolds across countries around the world. The overall goal of this series is to facilitate the rapid design process and implementation of adaptive responses to the emerging education challenges and to protect young people’s educational opportunities during and following the pandemic. Get the PDF here
Cooperative or peer learning is a thoroughly researched educational practice with consistently strong positive effects. PeerLearning.net provides a variety of benefits for teachers, students, and schools. Learn more here
Virtual Manipulatives to Use in Your Teaching
Toy Theatre offers a collection of virtual manipulatives that help model abstract mathematical concepts for deeper student comprehension. The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives offers resources organized into five categories: Number and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data Analysis and Probability.
ABC Learning Design
Spreadsheet template to facilitate the collaborative design of learning scenarios.
Ten Facts You Need to Know About Zoom
Must-Read Books on Online Learning
Common Sense Education Resources
Quality Matters Emergency Remote Teaching Checklist
CANeLearn’s Emergency Remote Teaching Resources, Tools, Ideas
eCampusOntario’s updated list of tools and resources
Adventures in Archives
Check out links to past CANeLearn events