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a man throwing water that freezes into snow
23.02.2018 - 5 min. Read

The Catch: Issue #12

What’s happening in technology-enabled learning this week?

Photo by Tevin Trinh on Unsplash.

Open Treasures

Chance the Rapper. Arcade Fire. The Killers. eCampusOntario. What do all these bands and/or not-for-profit government-funded organizations have in common? You guessed it. They have all been involved in one “a-palooza” or another. For more about the one that eCampusOntario is organizing, read the next paragraph.

Global Open Education week is on March 5 – 9, 2018. What are you doing to celebrate and participate and celebrate some more? If you’re looking for some ideas, check out last year’s global activities and sign up on the Ontario Events spreadsheet to share what you are doing! There are already lots of events listed, including a March 9th OER-a-palooza!

Sandbox Scoop

We’re thinking a simulated sandbox might just be more fun than a real one in that your sandcastle turrets and moats would be immune to real-world threats like weather, dogs, and kids who want to throw a bucket of water over your creation.

With eCampusOntario’s Virtual Simulations Sandbox, our vendor partner Labster is engaging learners by expanding physical spaces with virtual ones through their suite of lab simulations. One of our members, the University of Ottawa has teamed up with Labster, to broaden access by making five of their chemistry labs available in French as well as English. This accomplishment sparked the first integration of francophone labs in Ottawa’s Principles de Chemie (Principles of Chemistry) course in the Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 terms. Their evaluation plans are similarly formidable and formidable; we anticipate learning (and sharing the learning beyond the box!) from these innovations.

The Cutting/Trailing Edge

The Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) at OCAD University does what can only be described as lots of awesome things. If you were to continue on your trajectory of reading through this whole post, you could find out even more about all that stuff in the next section.

The Flexible Learning for Open Education Project (FLOE) is not, as you may think, a series of video tutorials for stretching in the outdoors. It’s about making learning on the web more accessible to all. Instead of reading more words here about what it is, go to this page and try out the learner preferences tool that they developed. Just click the “Show Preferences” button at the top and see how it gives you control of contrast, text size, style, line spacing, and other things. What a wonderful tool! If you happen to be in the position to potentially add their plugin to your WordPress page or to develop a website with this tool, please consider it!

Network Connectivity

Introducing you to the wonderful work of the IDRC! We were lucky enough to be able to interview Jess Mitchell, a Senior Manager in Research and Design at IDRC, on the eCampusOntario radio show known as Gettin’ Air! In it, Jess covers a lot of the amazing and oh-so-impactful work that they do. Be warned, though, that you may want to dust off your skateboard after listening. Listen or download here.

Behind the Content

“Life is waiting for you.” ~Raine Maida

And so is the Open Learner Patchbook! If you spent any time in Canada in the 90s, you could probably guess why the Open Learner Patchbook only has set its sights on becoming Canada’s second most popular OLP. It knows that it could never outdo Our Lady Peace for exposure. We would need a Starseed to do that and we’re not even sure what that is. However, second place is pretty cool. And the Open Learner Patchbook is pretty cool, too! It is a growing collection of how-to-student stories by learners themselves. We plan to patch them all together into a book, just like The Open Faculty Patchbook. If you know some learners who may be interested in telling their story, contact for more info.

Makin’ It Rain

“Got a handful of stacks; grab an umbrella. I make it rain. I make it rain.” ~ Fat Joe ft. Lil Wayne

We looked for another quote from OLP and Raine, but we turn to rap | hip hop to hype our current, currency calls.

  • Realizing the importance of Ontario educators’ expert eyes on open textbooks to fuel adoption, we are sponsoring 10 more reviews. Provide a constructive, critical review of one of our targeted textbooks and earn a quick $250. Deadline for reviews is March 15th. Find out how easy it is to contribute your peer review.
  • eCampusOntario is continuing our partnership with BCcampus to ensure our shared library of open textbooks meets the needs of more learners and educators. We are pleased to offer experts $1,000 to review an open textbook to meet accessibility standards. If you have experience en HTML meets WCAG 2.0 AA, we would love to hear from you! The deadline for remediation is March 17th. Find out how you can help.

The Catch is a weekly blog post on curated, created, and collaborated on by the eCampusOntario Program Managers: Terry Greene, Peg French, Joanne Kehoe, and Jenni Hayman. Other contributors include… you? Let us know if you have something that you think would fit nicely in here by emailing with the subject heading “Catch This!” or whichever subject heading you want to use, really.