March 2019 Newsletter

Despite February’s cold bleeding into March, the time change combined with nature’s relentless drive for growth brings us thoughts of Spring.  This year’s traditional March break will mark the final passage of winter bringing the promise of longer days and warmth (we hope!).

Spring is also full of many professional learning events.  This issue highlights some, brings you research and commentary on the use of cell phones in schools, and provides you with reading to bookmark for the break.  Pay it forward – Pass it on!

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Featured Events

Featured Events

Don’t miss out on the digital learning event of the year!

April 7-9 Digital Learning Symposium 2019 – Vancouver

  • Join EdTechTeam Canada, Microsoft Canada, Moodle, Canvas, StudyForge, and leading practitioners for the annual DL Symposium! 

  • Learn new ways to implement, manage, and amplify digital learning in your virtual or in-person classroom!

Main Program (links to Summit):

  • Registration discount ends March 18 — Member pricing discount continues!

Sunday Pre-Summit — Google, O365, AR/VR, Coding & More…

  • Only $95 for hands-on, engaging digital learning – includes opening keynote and social! — A separate event of its own — Join us Sunday only, or for all 3 days!!

Info/Registration at


DLAC Inaugural Conference: Austin TX

Saskatchewan IT Summit 


2019 BOLTT (Bringing Online Teachers Together)

May 9-10 in Ottawa


blendED 2019: Alberta Blended & Online Learning

October 23-25 in Edmonton


Stay Connected!

  • Use #CANeLearn to stream specific items of interest to members. Join the conversation!
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  • Check out our Members’ Site
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In the News

Ontario to ban cellphones in schools

The Ontario government’s announcement that they would be banning cell phone use in schools sparked a Twitter outcry.  Here are some @CANeLearn curated responses:

@rlabonte: Unilateral policy decisions undermine teacher efficacy, independence, and ability to leverage existing resources to create engaged learning.

@jeffstewart71: Banning cell phones in classrooms is like banning the printing press. The real issue is the growing divide between technology, student engagement, teacher training, instructional strategies and policy. Answer = Digital learning curriculum.

@kverberk: If they want to remove a very real part of society from our classrooms with the hope that they will prepare students for the future better, they are sadly mistaken. Teachers should be teaching how to use cellphones, both educationally and responsibly.

@orange_bike:  “Impossible for students to learn effectively”? That’s an embarrassing overstatement. I don’t need the govt to ban cell phones. If I don’t want my students to use them, I’ll tell them to put them away.

@qflokstra: Concern about cell phone use in class is a legitimate issue; however, I think it is better managed by proactive, teaching solutions rather than an outright ban. Do we ban mobile use by staff?

Should schools ban spiral notebooks?

  • Given the numerous ways students can use their notebooks to derail learning, it’s a wonder that most schools still permit them in class, right? … Hold on a sec…
  • Read more here

“It must not disturb, it’s as simple as that”

  • Research on students’ voices on mobile phones in the infrastructure for learning in Swedish upper secondary schools
  • The study explores how students reason about the usage of their personal mobile phones in school
  • The students describe that the mobile phone is both a tool that facilitates their school work and a distraction that the teachers pursue
  • Despite this, the mobile phone is becoming a resource in the students’ infrastructure for learning
  • Read more here

Will K–12 Students Be Ready for the Technology of the Future?

  • Experts predict rapid changes in technology will require K–12 schools to adapt their teaching practices – more here…



Reading reprised: Selected articles for the break…


Horizon Report Preview 2019

  • Trends, challenges, and important developments in edtech
  • HigherEd edition
  • Check it out here

Top 3 Models of Blended Learning: Pros and Cons

  • Blended Learning is emerging as a dominant instructional strategy for implementation of new curriculum
  • Check out this short summary of three general models and their pros and cons
  • PDF document here

Emergence and Innovation in Digital Learning

  • A fascinating and powerful collection of papers exploring the foundations of online technology-enabled learning and the applications of these developments in practice
  • Several Canadian authors make contributions
  • Free PDF eBook available here

Universal Design for Learning: Three Aces Up Our IT Sleeves

  • By implementing UDL, higher education IT leaders can have a profound, quiet, positive (dare we say, sneaky?) impact on learner persistence, retention, and satisfaction—all while fostering best practices and reducing the number of unplanned urgent IT requests.
  • Read more here

From Signals to Seas of Change — ​Michael Fullan

  • A free article (5 free articles available) posted on the EdCan Network site
  • “deep system change in public education is inevitable over the next decade, and Canada is in a position to help lead the way ”
  • “It changes outcomes (namely toward global competencies); it changes pedagogy (by focusing on personally and collectively meaningful matters); and it alters context (where people pursue learning, and with whom)”
  • Fullan reports on advances in Ontario and Quebec as part of the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning initiative
  • Read more here…

The Web We Weave: Curation in Action

  • How do teachers apply specific curation tools?
  • How do educators make decisions about where to curate, how to build their collections and when to share with others?
  • How do educators weave the web we want?
  • Read more here…

From Contact North: 2017 Top Online Learning Books Worth Reading

  • 2017 was a strong year for books and publications with respect to teaching and learning in the digital age, whether through online and blended learning, open education or technology-enhanced learning. 
  • We selected ten books which help capture the ideas and best practices that emerged in 2017.
  • Click here for the full review…

That was 2017 in online learning

From the MVLRI Research Clearinghouse

OLTD/MEDL Major Project and Process Papers

  • Recent Masters papers on topics related to blended and online learning from Vancouver Island University
  • Read more here…

Happy reading!



Adventures in Archives

2018 BOLTT (Bringing Online Teachers Together) Conference

Links to Padlet curations here:

Open Education Week 2019

Check out recordings from the March Open Education Week here

CCC Digital Learning Day

Links to archives from the February 2019 online event here


IT4K12 Conference Highlights

  • Recorded presentations from the November ERAC annual conference
  • Archives here

Video Archives of blendED2017

See all CANeLearn archives here   (members only)