Week 2: Online Learning in Canada

There are two main topics to pursue this week: the state of educational technology and its use in Canada, and digital literacy as a basis for informing pedagogy and content in learning. These topics, practical and philosophical in nature, are a starting point for our explorations in this course.

State of Technology in Education

Canada is a rich country, but public education at the post-secondary and particularly at the K-12 level have been under financial stress for over a decade. This is the backdrop to a diverse set of environments between and even within provinces and territories. Surveys don’t do justice to the innovative steps taken in some classrooms across the country, but equally, assertions of funding, hardware and curricula dedicated to IT or digital literacy competencies do not acknowledge the lost opportunities sacrificed to lack of planning, professional development and planning that are needed to make technology supported learning successful.

This week we will review a few accounts of the progress made in the use of educational technology. It is always interesting to be able to situate your own context within the larger picture.

Digital Literacy

Digital literacy is widely accepted as a key component of developing our learners. Just what it means is much less widely accepted. We will look at several possible ways of defining digital literacy and what a definition might mean to the way we teach with technology. This is an important subject for us as educators. We may not land on our ‘forever’ stance on digital literacy quickly, but we have to acknowledge that this is a difficult subject that impacts how we teach.

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