This course has been developed to meet some of the needs of preservice teacher candidates who must now prepare to teach online in ways that might have seemed “optional” before the global COVID-19 public health crisis caused schools to pivot to online instruction at scale. At this moment (August, 2020) school boards in Ontario, Canada (our context) are quickly creating fully online elementary and secondary schools to ensure that all students attending publicly funded schools can receive the best possible instruction according to the modalities that families have chosen. Secondary students attending school physically and in person some or all of the time will, in most cases, also complete some of their schoolwork online. Across the province, and the nation, educators are also anticipating the need for everyone to return to fully online schooling should public health officials find that it is no longer safe for students, teachers and staff to gather in bricks-and-mortar schools. In sum, the pandemic has forced certain necessary shifts in operations. This course, however, is meant to help us stay focused on core pedagogical considerations that will enable online learning — in whatever form required — to be as supportive as it can be, all things considered. This is the first iteration of the course, but it will surely evolve over time.
We are indebted to many colleagues for critical and generous feedback.
In particular, we thank the following people for giving of their time and expertise to identify important oversights, gaps, silences, organizational issues and other ways to improve the course. Thank you sincerely to:
- Gladys Chin (Toronto District School Board)
- Leigh Graves Wolf (Arizona State University)
- W. Ian O’Byrne (The College of Charleston)
- John Richardson (Ashbury College & University of Ottawa)
- Andy Hargreaves (Boston College & University of Ottawa)
- Paul McGuire (University of Ottawa)
- Heather Swail (University of Ottawa)
- Sue Gooderham (University of Ottawa)
- Diane Watt (University of Ottawa)
- Tracy Crowe (University of Ottawa)
Of course, any errors, omissions or technical problems with the course are entirely the fault of the co-authors and should not be taken as a reflection of the quality of peer review.
Although this course has been developed for students at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education, it is also being used by colleagues at other universities across Canada and shared with students in other teacher preparation programs globally. If you are using some or parts of this course to support the work you do, please let us know. We would love to have a sense of how this course is being taken up by colleagues working in education provincially, nationally and internationally.
For inquiries about the course, to report problems, or to offer comments please contact Dr. Michelle Schira Hagerman directly: mhagerma at uottawa dot ca