Current research in K-12 online learning in Canada has focused on defining distance learning and its current strengths and weaknesses. Yet the proliferation of technologies and digital learning spaces has led to the emergence of new instructional strategies and digital learning practices for teachers in many K-12 classrooms, both online and onsite. Traditional school-based classrooms are incorporating technology-supported open learning options, creating blended learning opportunities where at least part of instruction occurs in a classroom, part online at a distance, both combined with some element of choice in learning for students. For these emerging practices little is known empirically, only anecdotally, as research into these practices has been limited or nonexistent, particularly in Canada.
As you will hear in the authors’ discussion of the 2016 State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada report, many provinces and territories in Canada have some reference to distance education in their Education Act or Schools Act; the reference is typically used to describe distance education or to enable the Ministry of Education to create, approve or regulate K-12 distance education. However, with some exceptions, few provinces and territories have any regulations describing online or blended learning. This presentation will describe and discuss this current state of e-learning in Canada and the need for further research and study in the emerging field of K-12 online and blended learning, including the first systematic data collected on the level of and growth in blended learning across the country.
Session notes available in a Google Doc found at: