This month those of us based in BC saw the best and worst of humanity on display again, this time cast against nature’s turbulent tapestry that is now battering the East coast. It causes one to ponder how to expect the unexpected – pandemic, wildfire, flood, road closure, power outage, gas shortage, post-pandemic hoarding… are we ever really prepared?
Yet beauty remains. Without experiencing the worst we can never truly appreciate the best as depicted in another elegant picture from Ellen. Thank you for the visual reflection. This month brings reminders and curations worth exploring (scroll down!).
We formed our network to share and learn and CANeLearn is holding steady on that track. If you have comments or suggestions about our direction, please email me at rlabonte@CANeLearn.net. I am proud to serve you and our network colleagues.
Photo credit: Ellen Kinsel
Read, watch, listen
Blended Learning: The Ultimate Resource Guide for 2021 – SMART Technologies
There are likely as many definitions of blended learning as there are education practitioners. Although there’s nothing terribly new about using technology in the classroom or pedagogical practices that promote competency-based progress, the term blended learning has gained new prominence, and it’s time for an agreed-upon definition. This guide exists to help discuss, develop, and improve K-12 education to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s world.
How Much Do You Know About PD on Tech?
Once you complete the quiz, you can see how your score compares to your peers, get the correct answers with detailed explanations, and be provided with additional readings and resources on the topic.
#OTESSA22 Call for Proposals DUE DEC 15
The Open/Technology, Education, Scholarship and Society Association (OTESSA) is excited to announce the call for proposals for the upcoming #OTESSA22 online conference. OTESSA 2022 will take place between May 16-19, 2022. With a theme of Critical Change, the conference 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 to come together to build connections, collaborations, and critical conversations.
12 guiding principles for teaching with technology – still relevant?
In Tony Bates’ 1995 book, he suggested 12 golden rules for using technology in education and training. It should be remembered that when he first drafted these ‘rules’, three years before the book was published, the World Wide Web was not in general use in education, and there were almost no fully online courses. How many of these principles still apply today?
Global Oxford University Press report reveals the most significant barrier to online learning
Oxford University Press published a new report which explored the digital divide in education following the shift to online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Sixty-eight percent of the teachers surveyed in this report felt that poor digital access (physical access to the internet or a device) was the most significant barrier to online learning. Another finding was that 61 percent of the teachers felt that their greatest challenge during the pandemic was engaging students in online sessions.
Kids who learned remotely felt they ‘mattered less’ than peers studying in-person, study suggests
A study of Canadian students suggests that children who learned remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic reported they felt they ‘mattered less’ than their peers who studied in person. Researchers examined students’ perceptions of mattering during the pandemic in relation to in-person versus online learning.
Pandemic’s online-learning evolution spells the end of snow days
When COVID-19 shuttered classrooms, it forced the adoption of technology that allowed students to learn from home – and its successful use means the Thames Valley District school board is now doing away with the unscheduled days off that were a rite of winter for generations across the region. The change won’t be popular with students — and it’s getting a frosty reception from teachers, too.
The Future of Blended Learning: What Educators Need to Know
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings. About two-thirds of educators are expecting their use of the approach to increase during the 2021-22 school year, according to a July survey by the EdWeek Research Center. Nearly 30 percent said they were betting it would “increase a lot.” Just 14 percent expected it to decline.Read the full article here
Hybrid and Blended Learning: Poor Planning and Rising Opportunities in Uncertain Times
The 2021-22 school year is already turning into a bumpy ride for many schools as misplaced early-summer optimism and the sometimes-rigid priorities limited the ability of educators to put in place flexible plans for teaching and learning and the use of educational technology. Yet some schools and districts did take a more forward-thinking and flexible approach for this school year. This report examines the role of digital learning to help schools face the rising challenges of this school year and experiment with new instructional approaches.Read the full article here
Oregon Middle School Returns to Online Learning After Fights
A middle school in Oregon will return to online learning this week, but not because of COVID-19. Reynolds Middle School says it will cancel in-person learning for three weeks to develop safety protocols to address student fights and other inappropriate behaviour. The school returned to in-person learning this fall but that return has been interrupted by COVID-19 cases among students and staff and the resulting quarantines. Students are “struggling with socialization skills” after such turmoil and need more social and emotional support.Read the full article here
Many teens still struggling with condensed school schedules, but relief is coming — for some
To keep students in cohorts and minimize contacts, pandemic-altered schedules have them learn fewer subjects at one time, but spend much longer in each class daily. Yet students must also progress quickly through those subjects before moving onto different courses since they’re expected to take the same total number of courses across the school year overall. These condensed schedules are taking a toll, say both students and school staff. Though some regions are planning to resume more normal timetables based on local public health advice, others are sticking with the modified ones for the rest of the school year.Read the full article here
Québec tried to keep schools open during the pandemic. Here’s what high school students experienced
Ever since schools closed in March 2020, COVID-19 brought a new reality into our lives. For adolescents, daily routines were transformed as schools closed, and students faced drastic changes in the way they learned. Research has shown that at least three aspects of teenagers’ lives are important for the development of their identity: feeling assured they have parental support, feeling competent, and being able to adopt a self-reflective attitude regarding the future. These aspects are developed through positive, secure, and stable relationships at school or at home, which in turn are an important asset for resiliency. The study examined adolescents’ perceptions of their adjustment, routines, state of mind, and relationships with friends, teachers, and families.
Taking the pulse of online learning in Canada
CANeLearn continues to build on its past research of online and blended learning and is embarking on building a base for quality in online pedagogy (see more about the design principles study here).
What we have published:
For a more recent description of pandemic pedagogy, check out our research site here: https://sites.google.com/view/canelearn-ert/
Upcoming Studies & CANeLearn Research
Remote Learning – how did we fare?
Post-pandemic policy and practice – implications for online learning’s future
Resources for the Digital Classroom
From previous newsletters…
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
Identify the best teaching tools for your classroom. Engage students and families around positive tech use. Support students’ emotional development as they use media for learning and for life. Links to resources.
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
CANeLearn’s Emergency Remote Teaching Resources, Tools, Ideas