Welcome to the February CANeLearn News
February: The month where it seems winter just wants to hang on. Despite the days getting longer, the groundhog’s shadows are following us!
Friday Online PD
On Friday the 18th Annual Digital Learning Symposium (#DLsymp21), brought to you by CANeLearn and the BC Partners, launches with a Well-Being pre-Symposium workshop designed for online educators. Scroll down for more or check out the website .
What Needs to be Done About Online Learning in the School Sector?
This series of articles by Dr. Tony Bates, who is keynote on April 23 of the #DLsymp21, 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.
18th Annual Digital Learning Symposium!
Pre-Symposium Workshop this Friday!
Online April 22nd and April 23rd
Leading flexible learning models, environments, and online instructional approaches
Join us February 26 for the Well-Being workshop
A Pre-Symposium series tailored for the online educator
Mark the dates: Upcoming Online Conferences
I Actually Like Teaching in Zoom
Many accounts of teaching on Zoom or other online platforms recount its horrors. And much is horrible: teachers and students without stable internet connections or adequate technology; too much intimacy, with overcrowded homes that teachers or students might find embarrassing for others to see; and not enough intimacy, with the human connection attenuated online. Read USC prof’s ‘Zoom good side’ here
Behind the “Mic” During a Pandemic: Making Virtual Instruction More Engaging for Students
Sitting in front of a computer monitor is not new for students. there are ways that online teaching can be made more vibrant by imitating a classroom environment. Read Hyderabad prof’s success strategies here
Counterpoints to Teaching in Zoom & Behind the Mic
Read Tony Bates Concerns re “Zoom School”
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute Quarterly Research Clearinghouse Newsletter
Includes the following articles:
Bay Area district plans to offer distance learning in fall even after campuses reopen
It remains unclear when California’s K-12 campuses will reopen for in-person instruction, but one Bay Area school district has committed to continuing distance learning in the fall and beyond — at least as an option.
Teacher Presence: why and how to be visible in remote and blended learning
Every teacher knows that teaching is a social process and the relationship between a learner and their teacher supports their learning. The connection we make with our students is vital but how do we develop and nurture that connection when teaching online?
subject matter networks
We live in a networked world. Is it even possible for one person to have sufficient expertise to understand a complex situation such as this pandemic? So do we rely on one subject matter expert or rather a subject matter network?
COVID-19 has transformed education – here are the 5 innovations we should keep
COVID-19 has been extraordinarily challenging for students and the disruption will likely persist beyond the rollout of a vaccine. However, in the space of 12 months, students and teachers have radically redefined their roles in higher education. Significant difficulties have largely been met with determination and invention.
How Online Teaching Practices Increase Graduation Rates
One of Canada’s oldest e-learning schools is sharing how it achieves one of Canada’s highest graduation rates for Indigenous students. “Best practises for online education are needed due to the dramatic increase in online education brought about by Covid-19,” says Mavis Sacher, head of school for SCcyber E-Learning Community. The school has published an article based on its 20 years of e-learning experience, sharing tips for teaching practises, curriculum development and presentation, and school policies. SCcyber E-Learning Community is Canada’s first online school tailored to Indigenous learners. Since 2000, the school has conducted more than 20,000 grade 7-12 classes at more than 64 different sites. It has received several provincial, national, and international awards for its innovations in education.
7 Innovative Approaches to Course Design
The pandemic-driven switch to remote learning alerted many faculty members to the importance of course design. In an online course, keeping students on track requires clarity and structure; it also demands that instructors think intentionally about how to motivate and engage students, prompt interaction, and assess student learning without the crutch of in-person proctoring. The author discusses seven innovative learning- and learner-centered approaches to course design that seek to encourage student participation, critical thinking, and metacognition and reflexivity, and promote social-emotional development.
Advances, Concerns Distractors, Promise and Opportunity for Online Learning in 2021
More focus on the development and imaginative use of AI for instruction. More focus on the development and imaginative use of AI for instruction. All of us with a stake in the future of higher education are wrestling with five significant questions at the start of 2021:
Video Conferencing Systems and Experiential Learning
This is an interesting comparison of the value of different contemporary videoconferencing systems for experiential learning. The authors, all from Ohio State University’s Department of Educational Studies, started with seven different videoconferencing systems then narrowed them down to four: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and WhatsApp.
Indigenous peoples in Canada have and continue to experience colonization. It is because of this, that educators need to develop culturally safe learning opportunities for students by partaking in a learning journey that includes meaningful planning and reflection. Despite the good intentions of educators when integrating Indigenous content, cultural appropriation, tokenism, and misrepresentation can become a problem in the classroom.
Online or Face-to-Face
Reminders (posted in January)
Virtual Money Fair
Consider holding a Virtual Money Fair that involves students, either learning at home or in the classroom, posting them on the secure CFEE website. 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.
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 teams will be competing on March 27 – the event is open for registration.
Sign your students up to watch on March 27!
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. The fourth is due out soon!
Resources for the Digital Classroom
Active Learning Online: Yes You Can
Because of their versatility, active learning activities can be designed and conducted in a variety of environments and formats. As we are getting more familiar with teaching and learning online, we discover various possibilities to actively engage students throughout the course. It does seem quite daunting, especially because it feels like these activities are more difficult to accomplish and monitor virtually. But leaving those fears aside, the author discusses what we need to be mindful of when using active learning in our online courses. Read the full article here
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.
Principles for Remote Instruction: Notes from a #TLAC Masterclass
Participant notes from a workshop about excellent remote instruction, delivered via excellent remote instruction. Read more here
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. There are tons of moving pieces, and 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
From previous newsletters
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 that 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. Check it out here
ABC Learning Design
Spreadsheet template to facilitate the collaborative design of learning scenarios. Check it out here
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