My Learning Journey-->

Category: blogs-339

Topic 3 Blog

Individual post #3: How can you ensure equitable access to authentic, meaningful & relevant learning environments for all learners in K-12 open and distributed learning contexts? What did you already know, what do you know now based on the course readings and activities, what do you hope to learn?

Prior to the readings I was familiar with the UDL principles and the idea of inclusive education, however now I am more familiar with how to meet all student needs in an online setting as well. I hope to further learn techniques to create an effective online learning environment as I think that the process of learning about online learning is ever evolving and from this pandemic we will learn many useful skills that can be used for both online classes and platforms but also for in class. Technology is always developing and therefore we are learning from it and how the resources can be useful.

A key aspect in regard to creating an equitable, accessible, meaningful and authentic learning environment in online and open learning is design. In order to ensure that all students are the centre of their learning and that they are empowered in their learning, we must consider the diversity of student learners and a good way to do that is through the UDL principles. This provides multiple ways for students to succeed as it fosters options. As such, Basham et al., (2018), suggests that this model goal is “to remove barriers in curricula and across digital as well as physical learning environments.” (p.480). To learn more about the UDL guidelines visit: .

Retrieved from:

According to Basham et al., (2018), these guidelines are “meant to proactively address the academic, social and cultural distinctions of today’s schools.” (p.480). As such it recognizes more than just the all external factors which makes me think of the psychological effect on children and how these considerations would lead to increased motivation. Which makes me think back to my Ed-d 301 class that addressed student needs in relation to self-determination theory and the circle of courage for example. As well as Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model as it parallels the idea that everything has an influence on the individual and the child is at the centre of their learning.

Retrieved from:

Retrieved from:

These models can and should be considered when designing online lessons as they foster student engagement and motivation. Hence it allows children to be the centre of their learning. The designing principles suggested by Kral and Swab (2012) also align with this idea!

Therefore, the addressed factors above help guide us to create a purposeful design that will help empower our students in online and open learning environments. By considering UDL guidelines we are providing students with opportunity of choice that can support their individual learning styles and needs. Heather in our course Slack addressed the need of communication, this stresses the need of relationship building again online and shared a great article that helped teachers transition online. Throughout online learning I think it is important to align with FIPPA guidelines and meet student needs and worries. As such creating a safe space where the Kral and Swab principles can be accomplished through various means is crucial. As these cannot be accomplished until the students and families feel comfortable online and in open learning, we must foster the idea of the learning process and how mistakes are ok.


Basham, J.D., Blackorby, J., Stahl, S. & Zhang, L. (2018) Universal Design for Learning Because Students are (the) Variable. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 477-507). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from

Kral, I. & Schwab, R.G. (2012). Chapter 4: Design Principles for Indigenous Learning Spaces. Safe Learning Spaces. Youth, Literacy and New Media in Remote Indigenous Australia. ANU Press. Retrieved from:

Topic 2 Blog

Individual blog post #2: How would you describe the historical and theoretical trends in k-12 online and distributed learning? What did you already know, what do you know now based on the course readings and activities, what do you hope to learn?

Before the current pandemic, I never really realized how involved Canada was in e-learning. It is fascinating that Canada is known to have the most students’ per capita enrolments (before Covid) (Barbour and Labonte, 2018). I also did not realize that BC was the leader in elearning! It will be so interesting to see the growth and development after the pandemic as I think there will be a new appreciation for online learning and technology in general. Hopefully this historical transition will prompt Canada to be involved in more research.

Before doing these readings, I knew that Canada and the US have very different policies and structures related to the education system. Hence, I believe this Handbook stressed the importance of considering the diversity of online programs. Although in Canada it is within the provinces and territories ministry of educations, each has uniqueness’s.

Reflection on some of these ideas made me think of my experiences with online learning and how that has shaped my learning today. Throughout high school, I did classes at SIDES and  École Virtuelle! These experiences helped me understand of the different types of learning spaces. Whether that be distributed learning, blended, online / elearning and open learning! Prior to this topic, I would have never considered online learning other than online. Now I understand that online learning can take many forms whether that be face to face, partially online (uses online discussions for example) or fully online (Barbour and Labonte, 2018). Online / elearning according to Barbour and Labonte (2018) is “The implementation of computer technologies to education. “(p.602). It is crazy to think that with that definition in mind, I have basically done some form of online learning all my life! I have used technology for different purposes and at different levels as such the SAMR model explains this idea very well!

Retrieved from: Image credit: Sylvia Duckworth, via @DavidGuerin


I think the historical and theoretical trends can be described by past experiences. In a world that is constantly involving in terms of technology! We are always learning! Therefore, experiences like the current pandemic can shape our new visions and approaches to teaching and learning. Learning theories have shaped our understanding and ability to create student centered learning (Bates, 2014). Theories shape the way the teacher thinks and addresses things in the classroom. As such a behaviourist approach could be to include reward systems in the classroom. This is shaped by theorists such as Pavlov and Skinner. Constructivism known theorists include Piaget and Vygotsky; Vygotsky Zone of Proximal development is still considered today! Connectivism focus is on interaction amongst peers. Thus, building connections and learning from each other as analyzed by Siemens and Downes (connectivism theorists). All in all, these have shaped our understanding and teaching practices and we can include various elements of these in order to create a diverse a student-centered approach! However first we must understand the roots in order to address student needs!

Retrieved from:from my blog post from a previous class:



Barbour, M & Labonte, R. (2018) An Overview of eLearning Organizations and Practices in Canada. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 600-616).Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Bates, T.(2014). Learning Theories and Online Learning. [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Topic 1 Blog

Prompt: Individual blog post #1: How can teachers effectively build relationships by encouraging safe communication and interactions in K-12 online & open learning spaces? What did you already know, what do you know now based on the course readings and activities, what do you hope to learn?

I have always believed in the collaboration aspect of education as well as the use of zone of proximal development. As stated by Garrett (2018), the zone of proximal development “reinforces how knowledge and learning increase through interaction and collaboration”. However, now I can further expand my knowledge and understand some of the impacts of online learning and how we can select tools to support growth and peer learning. It is interesting how research demonstrated there was positive outcomes related to progress of learner to content interaction. However, the others (learner to learner and learner to teacher) had less of an impact (Garrett, 2018). In contrast, it also recognizes that it could be due to the design of the courses. This realization stresses the need to effectively consider all situations as it demonstrates the need to create purposeful online learning surfaces. As such, this aspect leans into the social presence model as described by Garrett (2018). Therefore, educators must create a lesson plan that supports meaningful connections and interactions.

Made using Tech Smith Capture, retrieved from: Quotes from Garrett (2018) reading

In order to build safe conversations and relationships, courses must follow a purposeful design. For example, group projects and peer comments create a dialogue between students. Without these aspects it would have been hard to collaborate especially if you did not enroll in the class with a friend. This makes me think of students who are transitioning to a new school (whether that be due to moving, or grade level) who are supposed to form new connections and work collaboratively. As such measures and tools must be in place to do so. If we as educators set parameters that support interaction, there can be connections made. As such, including group work and various multimedia surfaces (Padlet, Slack, Freshgrade, Google… etc) can benefit the learner, which can thus expand beyond classroom work and into friendships. It is also important to consider the privacy of these and where the information is being stored as this can cause ethical concerns and make it inaccessible. As discussed in Regan and Jesse (2019) article, privacy is a key concern amongst parents and we as educators need to be aware of that. In my previous courses, I met new people, expanded my PLN as we collaborated using Facebook messenger and now the class is over, yet we are still connecting!

All in all, I believe that technology has served as a great tool especially during these uncertain times, however I still believe that in person classes are essential as it is harder to meet human connection. Therefore, I still think that although it may be effective for some, it is not always ideal for all circumstances. The same can be said for in person as there are benefits and challenges for different models as we all learn differently!

Made using Tech Smith Capture retrieved from

However, with these readings I am able to learn and further discover techniques and tools that can further develop skills that may seem to be missing online!


Garrett Dickers, A. (2018) Social Interaction in K-12 Online Learning. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 509-522 ). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Regan, P., & Jesse, J. (2019). Ethical challenges of edtech, big data and personalized learning: Twenty-first century student sorting and tracking. Ethics and Information Technology, 21(3), 167-179. DOI: 10.1007/s10676-018-9492-2

What is Human-Centered Instruction?