Welcome to the December CANeLearn News.
As we embrace the colder weather and shift our attention from our students to family and friends, the CANeLearn Board of Directors wishes you the best of the holidays. We hope the warmth and rest bring renewed energy during the new calendar year.
This month’s newsletter offers insight into current e-learning changes in many provinces along with the usual assortment of curated ideas and resources.
Photo credit: @rlabonte
Cross-Canada Roundup: K-12 Provincial e-Learning Changes 2022-23
Photo via Kissco
Awareness, understanding, and the role of online learning environments has expanded rapidly since “emergency remote teaching” was thrust upon the entire K-12 system during COVID. While much of the practice that resulted has been criticized, the benefits of centralizing online learning opportunities were not lost on governments and school district senior managers. As well, many parents were exposed to the benefits (or ‘affordances’ as Tony Bates likes to call it) of e-learning. Below is a run-down of that centralization movement across Canada.
Atlantic Canada has always had consolidated, centralized programming for e-learning (distance or online learning). There have been few significant changes in that practice, only minor changes in which authority is leading program operations.
Last year 56 distance learning pilot projects spread over 39 educational establishments and organizations in Québec. Documents suggest that there were at least 1650 students involved in some of these pilot projects. Beyond the established SOFAD adult online correspondence program, the rest of the programs are ancillary as government policy is for most learning to occur in the school classroom.
Ontario saw significant changes with the launch of a two mandatory e-learning course graduation requirement, the only jurisdiction in Canada to do so. Full implementation still has many questions yet to be answered including how to scale existing e-learning courses, where students will access and work from, if there is sufficient hardware, supervision, and support, and what impact increased online enrollments will have on face-to-face classes. The central OeLC and CAVLFO consortia and Ministry are leading the implementation.
Following a comprehensive review of the K-12 education system that concluded in March 2020, the Ministry released an action plan report that called for the province to develop a provincial remote learning strategy, including an online high school to enhance access to programming and learning across the province.
The Saskatchewan government has established a new Crown Corporation to oversee centralized online education in the province through a planned acquisition of Sun West School Division’s Distance Learning Centre (DLC). Teachers, regardless of where they live, will have employment opportunities to work for the online school.
Alberta changed funding regulations and provided a competitive grant program designed to encourage school authorities to build capacity to serve students from outside of their geographic boundaries. This is in contrast to other provinces where centralization and consolidation of e-learning programs was the strategy.
Changes in BC e-learning have been underway since 2018. The formerly distributed learning policies were replaced by interim online learning policies with a timeline for full implementation on July 1, 2023. The future landscape will see designated Provincial Online Learning Schools (POLS) able to enrol students from outside their home district, as well as their own students, while District Online Learning Schools (DOLS) will only be able to enrol students from within their own district. POLS will be required to sign new agreements with the Ministry, use the provincial LMS, and follow a new accountability and quality assurance (AQA) model.
Similar to Atlantic Canada, Yukon and Northwest Territories have centralized programs that are funded directly by the Ministries and often run directly by the government.
Watch for more information coming with next week’s release of the 2022 State of the Nation report full of updates on last school year’s registrations, policy changes, and comprehensive details on the state of e-learning across Canada. Find out more at https://k12sotn.ca/
Ideas & Resources
Free lesson plans to help students think critically about how algorithms influence our lives – Common Sense Media
Some of The Best Free Digital Storytelling Tools for Teachers -Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
Hybrid learning and the rate of change: “No one wins with this hybrid simultaneous learning.” – Geoff Johnson
Teaching students the benefits of planning backwards – University Affairs
Photo by @rlabonte
Online Learning Research – Tips from Michael Barbour
A good summary of the research related to full-time online learning is available here (see pages 41-51).
A good summary of the research related to supplemental online learning is available here (pages 49 and 70-73).
Online learning is well understood — Digital Learning Collaborative
Online student support: A framework for embedding support interventions into the online learning cycle
Support is one of the crucial elements of online students’ success. This paper offers a systematic review of the 28 empirical studies on effective support strategies and interventions. The analysis suggests that the effectiveness of the support provision depends on the time when support is offered. Read more here…