Photo credit: Ellen Kinsel
Welcome to the March CANeLearn News
This month, Ellen’s picture speaks to the changes underway as we shift into a different spring than two years ago. The ephemeral melting of ice and snow begins exposing masked foundations and terrain, the solid base supporting new growth (yes, the daffodils are flowering in Victoria already). Spring speaks to the opportunity to reflect and learn from past experiences to build a more responsive and engaging community for those we care for and support.
This month’s news offers selected readings to help that reflection and the sessions at our April 6-8 symposium provide the online and onsite opportunity to build collaboratively those new opportunities.
Onsite and Online!
Get involved in publishing in the Journal of Online Learning Research which is expanding its focus to include a practitioner’s voice. More information here.
Read, watch, listen
Has online learning gone backwards because of the pandemic?
The pandemic exposed many teachers and instructors to online learning for the first time. Some teachers and students found that it could work for them with relatively minor adaptations. Overall, the majority of teachers and instructors have not changed their methods of teaching. It is still mainly lectures or teachers talking to students, sometimes for six hours or more, all online. In quality online learning, there is more planning and preparation. In particular, it is important to re-design the teaching to take account of the different learning environments from classroom teaching.
Emergency remote instruction is not quality online learning
Moving courses en masse into a crisis-responsive form of distance learning protected the health of our communities and preserved academic continuity for students. Faculty members and support staff displayed heroic levels of creativity, commitment, and courage to make it all happen. The National Council for Online Education feels the time is right to have a conversation about some widespread misconceptions that have arisen, chiefly the inaccurate use of terminology that has led to confusion. People conflate “remote” learning with “online” learning. Quite simply, the difference between the two lies in planning and preparation.
Let’s flatten the infodemic curve
As humans, we are a curious and innovative species. We want to understand the world around us and stay up to date on the challenges we face and how to overcome them. One way we do this is seeking out and sharing information — lots of it: scientific studies, official government communications, news articles, opinion pieces, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and social media. All of this is the infodemic. This article includes tips on identifying misinformation and disinformation.
Investigating Indigenous learners’ experience of online learning
A recent master’s thesis makes an interesting and valuable contribution to the literature. The author conducted in-depth open interviews about their experience of online learning with volunteer Indigenous students from across Canada. Using Garrison and Anderson’s Community of Inquiry as an organizing framework, the study explored a wide range of topics including financial challenges for the students, student support and advising, and administrative arrangements.
Read the full article here (includes a link to the full thesis)
Liberated learners: How to learn with style
Following in the footsteps of the Ontario Extend: Empowered Educator program is its predecessor, Ontario Extend: Liberated Learners. The original program worked to prepare educators to be better able to teach in a digital realm. The Liberated Learner seeks to do the same for the learners themselves. As such, the project has four modules: The Learner, The Navigator, The Collaborator, and The Technologist. Taken together, the modules aim to enable a well-rounded post-secondary learner. For Learners. By Learners.
Virtual learning, now and beyond
The pandemic-fueled expansion of online learning will certainly persist beyond the pandemic, and schools must ensure that the transition creates accessible, high-quality options for all students. Most recently, the surge in COVID-19 cases and persistent ambiguity around whether and how to close schools reinforces the fact that we have failed to build intentional on-ramps to virtual education. Leaders can employ evidence from past online learning efforts, emerging best practices, and data from the pandemic to understand how to build a path forward that capitalizes on the potential of online learning while avoiding the pitfalls.
Resources for the Digital Classroom
Stephen Downes: A Dozen Neat NASA Resources for Students and Teachers
Stephen Downes: List of Educational YouTube Channels
Check out these sites with updates shared previously…
62 Educational Netflix Shows to Stream in Your Classroom
Leveraging Tech Tools to Build Community in Your Classroom
Common Sense Selections for Learning
Best Digital Education Tools for Teachers to Teach Online
Kahoot Guide to Creating Engaging and Fun Learning Games
OER K-12 Resource List
Engagement Strategies for Hybrid & HyFlex courses
Beyond the Basics: Teaching with Zoom’s New Tools
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
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
Teaching Online Resources
Frameworks, Tools, Resources
Information Directory: Blogs and Opinions, Books and Videos, News, Research and Reports
Embracing Ways of Knowing
Conferencing Tools for teaching & learning: Best practices
Creating and Using Rubrics for Assessment
Tips to Make Your LMS Content Accessible
Designing for Accessibility (PDF posters)
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