November 2020 Newsletter

November CANeLearn News

We trust this newsletter finds you safe, healthy, and coping in these yet even more challenging times.  We are here to help keep children the focus, our feet moving forward, determination intact, and ourselves, family, and everyone in our personal place in this world as safe as possible.  The world moves forward despite, and we hope some of the activities noted in this CANeLearn newsletter help inform your current and future professional activities.

Upcoming online workshops and conference sessions are featured this month to help inform and support every teacher’s teaching skills and practice, online, on-campus, or any combination of both.  Many are free but may require registration.  Of note (others found below):

  • WEBINAR: CIDER session on presence in the Community of Inquiry – Wednesday, November 25, 1:00-2:00 pm Eastern – No registration required — Online at: (active at time of event)
  • WEBINAR: A Fall Like No Other Part 2 – Friday, December 4, 1:00-2:00 pm Eastern – This online workshop will summarize the ‘voices’ of education stakeholders from various jurisdictions as to what happened in their school, community, or home. — Register here— see more details below

State of the Nation: Individual Program Survey – We need your help! 

  • The annual State of the Nation: K-12 E-learning in Canada report reflects the most recent data collected by provincial and territorial Ministries of Education, but from individual programs as well. 
  • For e-learning programs that have not already submitted data, or are wishing to update their individual program survey responses, please visit at your earliest convenience:

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter #CANeLearn, Facebook, or YouTube.

Photos, unless otherwise noted, by @rlabonte or Unsplash

Featured Events

Featured Events
WEBINAR: Emotional Presence Indicators in an Online Community of Inquiry: A Scoping Review and Delphi Study of Student and Facilitator Experience
November 25, 1:00-2:00 pm EST

Presence in an online Community of Inquiry is multifaceted, involving conditions that emanate from both the facilitator and the members of the learning community.  This presentation articulates the preliminary findings of an in-progress dissertation research project about the indicators of emotional presence in a community of inquiry learning. 

Online through Adobe Connect at: 


WEBINAR: A Fall Like No Other Part 2
December 4, 1:00-2:00 pm EST

Join the authors of the third report in a series designed to chronicle Ministries of Education’s managed responses in Canada to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This online workshop will summarize the ‘voices’ of education stakeholders from various jurisdictions as to what happened in their school, community, or home.  

Register here


WEBINAR: How to Leverage the Six Learning Types to Help Students Succeed
December 10, 11:00-12:00 am EST

How can we best use technology to help students learn well?  To answer this question, it’s important to think first about learning, and only then ask how can technology help to make this easier. Join Professor Diana Laurillard, at UCL Institute of Education, who developed the Six Learning Types based on the Conversational Framework, to discuss these six basic types of learning that faculty and instructors can use in their online and blended courses and how to use the six types of learning in relation to different kinds of technology.

Register here


WEBINAR: Ask Ron Anything About Zoom
December 16, 1:00-2:00 pm EST

Here’s your opportunity to ask those nagging questions you have about teaching effectively with Zoom. Contact North | Contact Nord’s Research Associate and leader of our successful Zoom webinar series, Dr. Ron Owston, fields questions on any aspect of teaching with Zoom. More information…

Register here


18th Annual Digital Learning Symposium
April  2021 (dates to come)


Digital Learning Annual Conference
Austin, TX and Online/Virtual
June 14-16, 2021

PD CalendarSee more here…

#OTESSA21 Call for Proposals

Theme: Northern Relations – Connecting Open/Technology, Education, Society, and Scholarship

Submission deadline: November 30, 2020, 11:59 pm PST

Conference dates: May 31-June 3, 2021

OTESSA encourages researchers and practitioners to share their scholarship on the complexities that technology and open educational practice raise for education, society, and scholarship, as well as come together to build connections, collaborations, and critical conversations. More information can be found here.

Learning to Teach Online

A free six-module 0pen educational resource developed by Dr. Michelle Schira Hagerman

Includes reflection and practice activities for teachers to complete. Module topics include

  • Teaching Online: Relationships are Everything
  • Equity and Accessibility: The Foundations for Good Online Course Design
  • Planning, Pedagogies, and Learning Management Systems: The Nuts and Bolts of Online Teaching
  • Assessment and Evaluation in Online Courses
  • Establishing and Modelling Norms in Online Courses
  • Meeting Standards of Practice in an Online Practicum

More information can be found here.

In the News

Athabasca University to Create One-of-a-kind Online Learning Environment

Athabasca University is enhancing its digital learning technology to build the learning environment of the future, providing learners with an engaging and immersive experience unlike any other in Canada. AU has partnered with industry-leading experts D2L and Ellucian to innovate and improve the learner experience with an approach that is a first for post-secondary institutions in Canada. It will bring together all aspects of online learning as a seamless whole, including the management of learning, data records, academic and financial services, credentialing, and learner support. Read more here.

How Hybrid Learning Is (and Is not) Working during COVID-19: 6 Case Studies

Most US school districts are currently using “hybrid learning” — a mix of in-person and online instruction. The precise nature of that mix varies from school to school based on factors including the local rate of COVID-19 transmission, the availability of funds to support new instructional approaches, and willingness of students and staff to return to buildings. 

Education Week talked to educators about how they developed their hybrid learning models, how they’re working so far, and what they have planned for the months ahead.

Read the full article here.

Four Reasons Every Course Should be Designed as an Online Course

The time to plan for the post-COVID university is before the pandemic ends so whenever that shift occurs, your school will be ready to hit the ground running. Failure to plan now for life after the pandemic is the fastest path toward regression to pre-pandemic norms. One idea for consideration would be a commitment to design every course as an online course for resiliency, flexibility, quality, and extensibility.

Read the full article here.

10 Lessons for a Post-pandemic World

Dr. Tony Bates indicates there are many lessons to be learned, including the selection of ten that affect all students, instructors, and administrators in Ontario colleges and universities:

  1. Online and blended learning will increase substantially post-COVID-19.
  2. Support for instructors is essential for quality online learning.
  3. We know how to do quality online and blended learning, but we can also learn from emergency online learning.
  4. COVID-19 showed the need for more flexible assessment methods.
  5. COVID-19 resulted in innovative teaching, but will it stick?
  6. We are beginning to see the advantages of media and open educational resources for teaching and learning.
  7. More attention is being paid to online access and equity.
  8. We need more flexible learning spaces.
  9. Lessons learned for administrators.
  10. We need more (and better) data.

Read the full article here.

The Landscape of Merging Modalities

If you are engaged in online learning and are confused by the terminology, you are not alone. On today’s higher education campus, there are likely a dozen new terms being used to describe different configurations around the modality of courses. Modality typically refers to the location and timing of interactions. What used to be a simple binary of face-to-face or online has now become so extremely complex that our ability to understand each other has become impaired.

Read the full article here.

Resources for the Digital Classroom


  • list of 300 sites covering a wide range of K-12 subjects curated by a grade 12 student from Toronto – check it out here

Common Sense Education Resources

UNESCO Resources

Quality Matters Emergency Remote Teaching Checklist

CANeLearn’s Emergency Remote Teaching Resources, Tools, Ideas 

  • CANeLearn has published a page with a collection of resources from other organizations, emerging tools, and ideas about pivoting to remote teaching
  • Check it out here

eCampusOntario’s updated list of tools and resources

Worth digging into…


BCcampus’ Resources for Finding and Using OER

  • From quick links to learn about Creative Commons licenses and attribution, general OER collection sites, open textbooks, and open media searches this BCcampus PDF document has it all at your fingertips!

Creating an Online Community, Class or Conference – Quick Tech Guide

  • Check out Stephen Downes’ CC-licensed Google doc guide with tools and resources to  use technology for communicating and sharing with others online
  • From calendars to collaborative documents to sync/asynchronous communication, Stephen has it all here 

K-12 Community of Inquiry: A case study of the applicability of the Community of Inquiry framework in the K-12 learning environment

  • Garrison, Anderson, and Archer’s Community of Inquiry framework continues to evolve and remains one of the central models for understanding online pedagogy over the past two decades.
  • This recent publication from Kyle Sanders and Anissa Lokey-Vega from Kennesaw State University situates the model specifically in a K-12 environment
  • Check out the Abstract and links to the full text, or download it for summer reading

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute: Quarterly Research Clearinghouse Newsletter

Supporting Teachers in the Transition towards Distance Education: Challenges and Means

  • During the lockdown as a result of the pandemic, it became necessary to deploy distance education in many countries, at all levels of education.
  • This article presents the creation of a training course aimed at helping teachers to shift from in-person classes to distance learning.
  • It highlights the issues and challenges encountered and pinpoints the first observable impacts of this course, as well as in-progress and upcoming developments.
  • Read more here

Adventures in Archives

Check out links to past CANeLearn events

Featured Event

  • CANeLearn researched what K-12 school districts across Canada have offered in the way of programming and supports during the pandemic.  Check out the research project website for reports, recordings, and slide decks.

All archives here