It’s time that students came first rather than last

Two years of pandemic restrictions have taken a toll on our kids

It’s time that students came first rather than lastFinally, provincial governments are loosening public health restrictions. Based on what many health officials are saying, there’s a good chance that our country will be largely free of these restrictions by spring. And not a moment too soon, particularly for our young people. Even though kids are in the age group that is least likely…

Teachers’ unions are undermining their own long-term viability

Parents can no longer rely on the public system for their kid's education

Teachers’ unions are undermining their own long-term viabilityFinally, schools across Canada are starting to reopen. Most provinces had switched to remote learning at the beginning of January to assess the impact of the Omicron variant. But now, thankfully, these remote learning sessions are coming to an end. Given this trend, it looks likely that all Canadian students who want to be back…

How independent schools provided quality education in the pandemic

The public system, on the other hand, failed in its response to Covid-19

How independent schools provided quality education in the pandemicAs Ontario’s public schools struggle to accommodate students in a new school year amid what could be a fourth wave of COVID-19, what can the provincial government learn from the last 17 months? For starters, the government needs to accept that huge, industrial-scale schools (typical in the public system) are pretty weak at responding to…

University students return to campus for a unique school year

Safe, successful learning are top priority as nearly 36,000 students converge on U of A campus

University students return to campus for a unique school yearThe eagerly anticipated first day of the University of Alberta’s 113th school year will see students welcomed back on campuses for the first time since the pandemic began almost 18 months ago. “I have been looking forward to the arrival of students with great anticipation,” said U of A president Bill Flanagan. “I know many…

Remote learning helped parents, teachers relate to each other: study

Perspectives gained during pandemic could improve ongoing communication to support students

Remote learning helped parents, teachers relate to each other: studyThe COVID-19 pandemic caused major upheaval, sending students home to remote learning and leaving teachers and parents scrambling to adapt. But it also created the opportunity for a deeper appreciation of their respective roles and challenges, according to a study led by a University of Alberta researcher. “It afforded everyone the chance to understand what others were…

Virtual U School makes a big impression on young students

The program gives students in Grades 4 to 9 a week-long exposure to life on campus

Virtual U School makes a big impression on young studentsThere isn’t usually a chorus of sad students saying “Noooooo!” on the last day of class, but University of Alberta U School organizer Michaela Mann was thrilled when she heard it last fall. That reaction to the end of their class showed just how much the youngsters loved the program, despite having to go virtual during the…

Covid-19 an educational catastrophe for disadvantaged kids

200,000 young people have lost complete touch with their schools

Covid-19 an educational catastrophe for disadvantaged kidsThere are fewer students at my school this year. There are also fewer disciplinary issues, but it has become even more difficult to establish and maintain contact with our at-risk students and their families. I didn’t realize until recently, however, that this is a global issue. There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted…

The case for creating informal neighbourhood schools

In the midst of a pandemic, home-schooling is an important option. And tutor-led neighbourhood schools can help fill the curriculum gaps

The case for creating informal neighbourhood schoolsMany parents are frustrated by the limited educational choices their children have right now. For example, a recent article in the Calgary Herald (“Parents regretting in-person classes with no options to go online”), suggests that parents are concerned about sending their children to school. They’re equally concerned by the lack of spaces in online courses…

Schitt’s Creek star spikes enrolment in U of A online Indigenous course

Tens of thousands of new students from nearly every country in the world have joined Dan Levy in relearning history from Indigenous perspectives

Schitt’s Creek star spikes enrolment in U of A online Indigenous courseSince its launch in 2017, the massive open online course Indigenous Canada has been among the most popular MOOCs in Canada. But in 2020, its popularity skyrocketed. “It all started in March with COVID,” said course instructor Paul Gareau. “Normally around 300 new students register each week, but in March we started getting around 1,000. Then, when…

Online learners falling behind in their reading skills

Especially if they already struggled with reading before COVID-19

Online learners falling behind in their reading skillsLast spring’s COVID-19 school closures put young, struggling readers further behind in their skills – and the situation won’t get better unless there are changes to online and at-home instruction, suggests a University of Alberta reading expert. A comparison of reading ability scores among students in Grades 1 to 3 in a sampling of Alberta…