Yesterday, the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) released a new report entitled A Fall Like No Other: Between Basics and Preparing for an Extended Transition During Turmoil. The report, which is co-authored by two of the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada researchers, has the following executive summary:
This report is second of three reports designed to chronicle how each province and territory in Canada managed their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this second report, as with the first report Documenting Triage: Detailing the Response of Provinces and Territories to Emergency Remote Teaching report (Nagle, Barbour, & LaBonte, 2020) that described how each jurisdiction managed their emergency remote teaching during Spring 2020, is to report on what occurred, not to assess its quality. This report is designed to delineate what actions each jurisdiction took: the tools, content, and devices provided, curated, and/or created; and, the nature of instruction that occurred. The third report will provide vignettes authored by education stakeholders sharing their stories about what actually transpired in their school and community.
Sponsored by the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn), a leading voice in Canada for learner success in K-12 online and blended learning, this report highlights the announcements, supports, and policy changes each Canadian jurisdiction made to continue to promote learning throughout the pandemic. Information was gathered for each province and territory through government websites, educational organizations, and current news releases. This information highlighted each jurisdiction’s strategies to provide supports, resources, and technologies appropriate for the continuation of teaching and learning. A website1 was created to host this report series along with an archive of online workshop presentations based on each report.
This second report provides a description of what was announced and provided for by provincial and territorial Ministries of Education during the Fall 2020. While a national view is considered, the approach taken varied among each of the provinces and territories. Some jurisdictions required students to wear masks in school buildings, others did not. Many jurisdictions required masks to be worn when physical distancing was not possible. Some jurisdictions announced specific plans for remote learning, others relied on existing online learning programs for students who remained at home. Few jurisdictions announced or published specific plans for professional development or training for teachers new to remote learning. Most schools opened as planned with physical distancing measures, restricted movement, and encouraged outdoor activity when possible. Remote learning choices were offered, but there were issues of managing choices as parents chose to shift from remote to online or the reverse after the school year started. Teachers had to be shifted from teaching in the classroom to teaching remotely or in a hybrid format as student groupings and classroom attendance shifted during the opening months.
For the most part, the supports and resources provided by each of the jurisdictions continued as in the Spring, including access to mail delivery of educational learning packages, radio and television broadcasting, centralized learning management systems, and access to a variety of digital tools. Some provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia provided technology to students. All jurisdictions – except for Alberta, Ontario, and New Brunswick – provided resources that did not require internet access. Further, some jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut continued to make specific considerations for Indigenous students.
1 The website is available at https://sites.google.com/view/canelearn-ert/