March 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the Spring Break – an extra-long one for many this year with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.  These are unprecedented times we live in, everyone is challenged but it is encouraging to see how Canadians have come together and are following our health authority’s advice.  It may be time to break out pictures from past trips, like this one of my trip into the depths of a limestone cave.  It may be a fitting representation of the vast unknown we face each day right now.

With the pandemic, we are seeing many schools across North America closing their doors and shifting to online learning.  For those of us who have taught online for years, we know that this “switch” does not happen overnight or through a one-day orientation for classroom-based teachers.  Offering remote instruction via live lectures or lessons with online assignments does not equal engaging online learning.

CANeLearn has compiled several resources that speak to the challenges that many teachers could be facing in the near future if forced to teach remotely.  We also have included other news, resources, and tips to help you in your own practice.

We are also planning to move the April 19-21 Digital Learning Symposium online due to the BC directive banning gatherings of 250 people or more in meetings in hotel facilities.  As such, we can now open up the event to all Canadian educators.  Watch for news coming with information and a revised program.

Have a safe, comfortable, and hopefully peaceful Spring Break “staycation”.  We will look back on this time soon enough, but unlike previous pandemics, its impact likely will remain with us for a long time.

Photos, unless otherwise noted, by @rlabonte or Unsplash

In the News

ETC offers free online webinars

  • The Educational Technology Committee (ETC), a network of Ontario Colleges, is offering live on line webinars and archiving recordings
  • Check out their website for topics that range from video tools to boosting learner engagement

2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report

ADLC funding being phased out

  • Block funding for Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC) is to be phased out over next two years
  • Check out the CBC release

New reports: Future of learning

  • The Future of School has published several impact reports on emerging blended and online learning as well as teaching with technology
  • Check them out here

eCampusOntario H5P Studio

  • eCampusOntario launched  H5P Studio – a place to create, share, & discover interactive learning objects
  • Check out the site here

National Survey Postsec Online

  • Ontario postsecondary institutions have seen 14% Annual Growth in Registrations in Online Learning
  • This exceeds Canada’s national average of 10%
  • Check out eight other key findings

Why students choose online

  • The Evergreen Education Group has published a report on why students choose online learning
  • Read the report here

Featured Events


Blended Learning Practice MOOC

A free, 4-week course open all March from

Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Athabasca University

Learn more/register at


2020 Digital Learning Symposium

April 19-21

Now Online — Information coming soon!


OTESSA ~ Inaugural Conference!

Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association

May 31-June 2 in London ON


FAME20 Art & Technology Conference

August 22 in Vancouver


Clayton R. Wright List of EdTech Conferences via @Downes

Resources for the Digital Classroom

Voices into action

  • Free online humanities resources and human rights teaching resources from Voices Into Action
  • Middle school teachers, find out more here, for secondary teachers here

Common Sense Education Resources

UNESCO Resources

  • School closures in a growing number of countries are occurring in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19
  • Closures are disrupting the education millions of students across the globe
  • UNESCO is sharing 10 recommendations to ensure that learning remains uninterrupted during this period and has provided a document on how to plan distance learning solutions during temporary schools closures
  • Check it out here

Quality Matters Emergency Remote Teaching Checklist

COVID-19 – The Watershed Moment for Digital Pedagogy?

  • With COVID-19 continuing to impact people around the world, institutions everywhere are moving to remote work and looking at how teaching can continue in the event of university closures
  • Read this discussion highlighting the barriers and drivers for online teaching

Adventures in Archives

Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL) Symposium 2020

  • Check out the shift in the organization and its focus based on this assortment of keynote presentations from the October Symposium in San Antonio posted here

Joe Sisco’s Keynote from blendED Alberta

See all CANeLearn archives here   (members only)