ul W. Bennett: Lessons on e-learning from the front lines of the pandemic

National Post
3/17/2020
by Paul W. Bennett

A tectonic shift is underway in the expanding global crisis unleashed by the rapid and unpredictable spread of COVID-19. Schools, colleges and universities are shutting down almost everywhere, leaving students, teachers and families in uncharted territory. With our educational institutions closed, educators are abruptly transitioning to e-learning, in the form of distance education or video-enhanced teaching programs.

“Online teaching takes preparation and planning,” says Michael K. Barbour, co-author (with Randy LaBonte) of the annual report, “The State of Online Learning in Canada.” It requires “the careful consideration of the tools,” their strengths and limitations, and the adoption of “pedagogical strategies” best suited to the means of delivery. “The situation we currently find ourselves in is one of triage,” Barbour claims. “It isn’t online teaching; it is remote teaching in an emergency situation.”

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