Season’s Greetings

Important Notice: Teachers with EduLINC.org Courses

Avenue.ca launched in August as the new learning portal for IRCC-funded language training. Teachers with courses on the old portal, EduLINC.org, should be planning their migration to Avenue if they haven’t already done so. edulinc.org will no longer be accessible to students after December 23, and will be available only to teachers until March 31,2021. On March 31st, EduLINC will shut down permanently.

  • teachers need to request an Avenue account (they will not be set up unless requested)
  • mentors can assist teachers who need help
  • teachers who began their training on LearnIT2teach.org will resume their training on Avenue

Avenue PD Options

FREE Learning Technology Professional Development for IRCC-funded language training programs.

Teacher preparation to deliver online or blended learning & a leading-edge learning management solution for language learning on Avenue.ca.

Since 2010 New Language Solutions has operated the LearnIT2teach Project for the benefit of IRCC-sponsored language teachers. Until August 2020, our learning portal was EduLINC.org, but on August 17th we launched a new and much improved solution, www.avenue.ca.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS:

The Avenue – LearnIT2teach Project is supported by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to offer LINC teachers and managers in IRCC-funded programs the tools and training to integrate Technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) into language training programs. Threaded throughout the training are Chickering and Gamson’s good teaching principles1. Teachers in the online STAGEs have support from a TESL mentor with TELL experience, as well as access to a Live Help ‘on-call’ expert.

1 Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education By Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson.

We offer IRCC-funded language training professionals four stages of teacher professional development, plus a Learning Technology Innovation Leadership course for coordinators or teachers who want to lead innovation locally:

PRE-STAGE 1

This stage is only necessary if a teacher has lower digital skills. All teachers complete a diagnostic test and if they achieve 70%, they proceed directly to Stage 1. If they don’t, They’ll need to complete a digital skills development course that takes up to four hours.

STAGE 1

This stage takes place online and introduces the LearnIT2teach approach to blended and online learning. Stage 1 gives an overview of further STAGEs of training available to eligible teachers. Participants are oriented to important e-learning concepts. The stage emphasizes how the courseware and Avenue support PBLA through a guided tour of sample activities and resources available in the LINC courseware.

PRE-STAGE 2

This online training provides a fast track to the requisite skills teachers need to start deploying the courseware and using it with students. After successfully completing multimedia quizzes and software simulations, LINC teachers are ready to start using the courseware with newcomers shortly after entering STAGE 2.

STAGE 2

Upon entering this STAGE, participants start delivering and adapting the courseware to their teaching context. They identify their target CLB or LINC level(s) and are set up with their own courseware pre-loaded with activities, PBLA resources and PBLA-compatible modules at CLB3 and higher levels. The focus of STAGE 2 is on using the courseware in blended or online learning, and participants are required to deploy and manage the courseware with learners for a minimum of 4 weeks. Basic course editing is introduced in STAGE 2 and Tutela.ca integration requires participants to use an instructional resource from this site in their course delivery.

STAGE 3

STAGE 3 builds on the participant’s course editing skills, and it emphasizes using the courseware in ways that support best practices in settlement language training. Teachers in Stage 3 continue to develop more advanced course editing skills. Participants now have the option of choosing assessments related to blended delivery or fully online delivery. Participants must use the courseware with learners to complete STAGE 3, and they are required to create an assessment that is used as an ePortfolio artifact. Tutela.ca offers over 400 SCORM2 and many many H5P learning objects in its collection, and the STAGE 3 training provides information about how to access these resources.

This stage offers TESL Ontario members a PTCT accreditation in “Online/Blended Language Training Using Moodle”.

2 SCORM, which is an acronym for Shareable Content Object Reference Model, is an international e-learning standard for packaging learning content.

STAGE 4

  • Teachers master the creation of their own e-activities and the skills needed to upload them to a digital repository (Tutela.ca) where they can be shared with other professionals across Canada.
  • Provides an introduction to Hot Potatoes and TexToys software, enabling teachers of all levels
  • Introduces teachers to project-based learning and webquests
  • Familiarizes teachers with Web 2.0 tools that can be used in language instruction
  • Participants build on their Stage 3 H5P authoring basics, and learn to create more advanced H5Ps.
  • Offers TESL Ontario members a PTCT accreditation in “Developing e-Materials for Language Training.”

Learning Technology Leadership Training

LearnIT2teach provides administrators & lead teachers & aspiring learning technology leaders with training resources to help them put the courseware to work in their programs. The LINC Administrator’s Guide to Integrating & Managing Blended Learning is available as a PDF (http://learnit2teach.ca/wpnew/support/administrators/Admin_Manual.pdf) or hard copy.

We also hold online webinars for lead teachers and administrators.

Certificates of completion will be provided at the end of each STAGE, and these can be used as part of the PD requirements to maintain your TESL Ontario teacher accreditation.


LINC TEACHERS:

“Many of our activities can be linked to the courseware, allowing students to try vocabulary or reading exercises more than once.”

“Students enjoy being able to share ideas with their classmates through the forums, and being able to see and benefit from their classmates’ work.”

“I know I am able to provide them with a much richer experience using this method than I would be in any other way.”

“I enjoy the creativity of customizing my courseware, and I also enjoy the convenience of being able to reuse the work for each subsequent session of my class.”

“I also have the opportunity to learn about new technology and new ways to interact with the learners.”

“The LearnIT2teach provided me with a mentor who was infinitely patient and responded to all my queries and questions. The Stages are designed with ESL instructors in mind. It’s very methodical, it’s step-by-step, there’s support every step of the way.”

“The forums and wikis create a collaborative and social learning environment for students. Students can be encouraged to reflect on what they are learning in the SCORM activities, relate it to their own experiences, share opinions, ideas and resources, and collaborate on creating common understanding.”

LINC ADMINISTRATORS:

“The majority of students have advanced technological skills and this feels natural to them. It’s what they want and it’s what they need.”

“Every teacher who has embraced it has realized the benefits. There’s a lot of work up front, but after that it’s smooth sailing. All of them feel it helps them be more organized and deliver a more relevant message to the students.”

“It helps me to define what I need in the 21st Century teacher. So the teachers who come with the skills or who are very willing to embrace the skills; that’s the teacher I’m looking for now. Having teachers at all levels with comparable skills makes my job easier.”

LINC LEARNERS:

“It gives you the opportunity to review, to listen, to take time to understand as often as you need and want.”

“I like it because I can study and practice language at home and anytime, when I need it or want it. Also, I can find information which I missed.”

Avenue.ca is here!

IRCC’s new learning portal for online and blended settlement language training.

The time is now for a much improved and enhanced Moodle-based national learning management system for English and French settlement language training. EduLINC has been serving the LINC Sector for ten years, but it needed to do more.

Avenue, like EduLINC, is a four-skill modern solution to online or blended
language training. Soon, logging into Avenue will also mean logging into Tutela, providing access to hundreds of Made-in-Canada learning resources for LINC. The Avenue learning management system runs on the latest version of Moodle, and includes new activities, such as the Workshop module and improvements to existing activities such as H5P.

Avenue offers more tools to administrators and teachers, including a user account manager giving teachers control over their course enrollments, student accounts and making it easier to move students between classes. Avenue supports modernized task-based learning through an e-Portfolio solution. And the courseware inventory of PBLA-aligned learning resources is growing as developers like New Language Solutions and the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks release new modules.

PROVIDING ONLINE COURSEWARE FOR LEARNERS & TEACHER PREPARATION TO MAKE IT WORK

Why integrate Technology-enhanced Language Learning (TELL) into your class?

  • Supports online distance learning with a full suite of synchronous and
  • asynchronous learning and teaching tools.
  • Multiple modalities (classroom and online) give your teaching more impact: provide learning opportunities in the classroom and again online, and learning is more effective.
  • Supports the long tradition of using computers in the classroom and builds better practices in blended learning that benefit learners and their teachers.
  • Social media like wikis and blogs provide opportunities for student-to-student communication and collaboration.
  • Information technology in the ESL classroom helps prepare your learners for the worlds of work and education in Canada today.
  • Improved learning tracking and accountability: you will have access to
  • gradebooks and other reports documenting all learning activity in the courseware.

LEARNER COURSEWARE KEY FEATURES

  • aligned with LINC Curriculum Guidelines and Canadian Language Benchmarks
  • learner courseware & teacher training has tools and tips on how to support PBLA
  • a growing collection of PBLA-aligned courseware modules
  • social media like forums, wikis and blogs provide opportunities for student-to-student communication and collaboration
  • supports best practices in blended learning when used with the LINC 1-4 and 5-7 Classroom Activities books
  • hosted for free by New Language Solutions
  • offers anytime, anywhere access to students using standard web browsers and free browser plug-ins
  • mobile-friendly for those with tablets or smartphones
  • tools for managers to monitor local courses, assign substitute teachers, and access detailed learner activity reports.
  • Avenue is fully customizable by teachers entering training STAGE 2 in the teacher training.
This diagram illustrates the interlocking pieces that make Avenue effective in the LINC Sector.

Moodle is our LMS of choice because it’s open-source software and license free. And it’s supported by a worldwide community of millions of educators. It has about 50% market share in Europe and Latin America, and 30% in North America. An LMS provides a virtual private learning space that enables online distance learning and complements face to face learning when implemented in blended or hybrid learning.

What does an LMS solution represent for the LT Sector? It’s an opportunity for deeper engagement with learning, and building social engagement into an online classroom. It enables more flexibility in program design and delivery. It supports anywhere anytime learning.

User Account Manager

Avenue offers more tools to administrators and teachers, including a user account manager giving teachers control over their course enrollments, student accounts and making it easier to move students between classes.

Enhancements are on the way

  • Important enhancements to the Avenue portal will roll out over the next few months. Getting the Class Register up and running is a priority for our developers. This will allow teachers to update their learners’ account information. It will also give teachers access to students ePortfolios. There will be a link to each students’ ePortfolios on the teacher’s course page.
  • Avenue will support modernized task-based learning through an e-Portfolio solution [released on November 20th, 2020] and a growing inventory of PBLA-aligned learning resources.
  • Tutela integration with the Avenue learning portal will allow teachers to access Tutela without the need to log in a second time [This change is imminent.]. When it’s fully functional teachers will be able to browse Tutela and choose resources and add them to their storage space on Avenue.
  • A custom Moodle mobile application is in development for Avenue users. It will improve access to course content.

To learn more details of the Avenue solution and the New Language Solutions response to COVID-19:

Hope to see you on the Avenue!

New Part 1 Learning Technology Leadership Group Begins Saturday, January 16th!

Six-week course is online and mentored

If you are a professional in an IRCC program looking to lead innovation in a LINC or ELT program, we have two-part Moodle-based online training to offer. Each part has six weekly units and the time demand is about two hours per unit. The course content includes readings, podcasts and videos, and course activities and lots of forum discussion to encourage sharing and collaboration with peers in the sector.

Google Form Sign Up

Part 1, a pre–requisite for Part 2, focuses on:

  • An orientation to Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) historically, and Technology-enhanced Language Learning (TELL) more currently. In the TELL class, learning technology is threaded through learning to be as pervasive and encompassing as information technology is in everyday life;
  • Blended learning as a language training practice;
  • The blended learning courseware and hosting provided by the LearnIT2teach to the LINC sector at Avenue.ca;
  • The teacher training options provided by the LearnIT2teach Project to IRCC-funded language training professionals.

Part 2 focuses on:

  • Case studies of LINC blended learning implementation together with practical tips and strategies;
  • Developing personal leadership skills to support learning technology innovation in a language training program;
  • Increasing knowledge of theory, evidence and better learning technology practices in the language training sector;
  • Formulating arguments and strategies to encourage and enable learning technology innovation within an organization, and with clients and funders;

Articulating the outline of a plan for local learning technology innovation.

If you are looking to delve deeper into the question of innovation in the settlement language training sector, use the Google Form to sign up for the January 16th group or indicate your interest in doing the course later.

Here are some comments from participants in the course:

“I would say that this course successfully took my knowledge of computers in the classroom through a profound paradigm shift. What I had previously seen as computer assisted language learning was only the tip of the learning opportunity iceberg. By looking at the use of technology to enhance what goes on in the language classroom, this allowed the door of expanding technology to be pushed wide open. Technology has a huge part to play to not only assist but enhance language learning. The Edulinc [Avenue] Courseware already created along with the amazing LMS tools available can make instructors jobs easier and more rewarding. With the concept of the flipped classroom, Teachers can be freed up to work one on one with students helping them develop skills at the students own pace instead of being the talking head at the front of the room. I am truly convinced this shift can and will be made in LINC classrooms in the future.”

“The six modules that we’ve gone through actually got me to refocus on my own understanding and gave me opportunities to think both deeper and wider on technology and blended learning in the language classroom. I really appreciate the integration of a wide range of materials and topics related to blended learning in this course, from theories to process and to the latest applications of technology in the educational fields. It has now dawned on me that our settlement language training sector has a lot to catch up to align with the 21st century. It is intimidating to a lot of our instructors because we are at the cross road between the old and new, and the new is approaching so fast. You don’t know how much you’re behind until you have the chance to see what’s out there. This course opens my eyes.”

“I’ve really enjoyed this online learning experience. It has been a pleasure reading all the well written posts from the group on the forum. I look forward to starting the next phase. The real work awaits with the plan on implementation.”

LINC Service Provider Survey

In our ongoing effort to build our database of LINC service providers, please take a few minutes to enter information for your organization in our online survey. We are also anxious to collect information about service provider responses to the COVID-19 pandemic so the survey has a number of additional questions. The survey takes about ten minutes to complete. Individual responses are confidential, but we will share the overall results of the survey in the digital newsletter and the next issue of the Avenue bulletin.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/linc-spos?&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=avenueca_is_here_irccs_digital_learning_platform_for_the_settlement_language_training_sector&utm_term=2020-09-21


Digital Newsletter

The Avenue – LearnIT2teach Project produces 11 monthly issues of its digital newsletter a year. To be informed on project news and get expert tips and advice about learning technology in language training, please consider subscribing. Here is the link to the latest newsletter and a subscription form: http://learnit2teach.ca/wpnew/news/

Also, please find us on Twitter @learnit2teach!


Our Project Response to COVID-19

Just like all LINC service providers, the project was caught by surprise by the pandemic and the suspension of face-to-face classes. Early on, we identified two groups of teachers by their preparedness to pivot to online teaching when the COVID crisis began:

  1. Teachers who already employed a LINC blended learning strategy in their face to face instruction, and whose learners had been oriented to using Moodle and information technology in their learning;
  2. Teachers who had previously made minimal use of information technology. A sub-set of the second group was teachers who personally had limited skills with information technology.

The first group of teachers and their learners were clearly better prepared to shift from face-to-face to online learning but teachers still needed our help to adapt blended learning courseware to online distance delivery. The second group needed urgent interventions and assistance to minimize frustrations and help them enable online learning and coach their learners through the courseware set up and orientation required.

The project responded with six initiatives:

  • Webinars to help teachers transition from both LINC Blended Learning or no significant use of online technologies to online distance learning: From April to the end of June, twenty Zoom webinars were developed, delivered and archived to coach teachers through relevant issues.
  • Live Help: The hours of our synchronous online chat link to learning technology experts were extended by one-hour per day Monday to Friday.
  • EduLINC Teacher Forum: A discussion forum was created in EduLINC and all the active teachers in the system were automatically registered. The forum has become a very active venue for sharing of challenges, barriers, expert help and opportunities.
  • COVID-19 Bulletin mail out: A bulk email to all the SPOs in our database (about 240) was written and distributed. The focus was on informing SPOs about our initiatives to support their local response to the pandemic.
  • Streaming Video: In preparation for the launch of Avenue on August 17th, a 13-minute video was researched, scripted and developed. The video describes the history and aims of the project, the project response to COVID-19, and the new Avenue solution to online and blended learning.
  • LearnIT2teach Training Updates: The training has been modified to better prepare teachers for online teaching. Changes include a new course to enhance the basic digital skills of teachers and a new section in Stage 3 with strategies for teaching fully online.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges and surprises. With many LINC programs returning in September after summer breaks, we don’t know whether service providers will be able to engage immediately with face-to-face teaching or be obliged to continue with online distance learning. If face-to-face learning is possible, even temporarily, it will be an opportunity for non-participating programs and teachers to orient their teachers and learners to Avenue. A resumption of face-to-face will enable outlier service providers to engage with better practices in online distance learning should a suspension of face-to-face again become necessary.

The Avenue project must continue to be nimble in our responses to changing conditions. Fortunately, our network of expert mentors continues to be a strength of the project. They number 18 and are spread from coast to coast. The project still has capacity to welcome more teachers and service providers and enable language teaching professionals to provide LINC online or blended learning.


Avenue pour CLIC

Nous voulons attirer l’attention des organismes qui offrent CLIC : le système de gestion de l’apprentissage MOODLE, pour LINC ainsi que pour CLIC, est identique.

Que la formation linguistique soit en ligne ou hybride, les enseignantes et enseignants qui enseignent les cours CLIC disposent désormais d’un support virtuel moderne qui intègre les quatre compétences.

De nombreuses ressources d’apprentissage en ligne ont été élaborées pour LINC au cours des treize dernières années et sont facilement accessibles dans Avenue.

Cependant, des ressources ne sont pas encore disponibles pour l’apprentissage du français.

Toutefois, grâce au projet « TELL ON » et au ministère des Services à l’enfance et des Services sociaux et communautaires de l’Ontario, un certain nombre de ressources en ligne pour le français langue seconde déposées sur Tutela seront bientôt disponibles directement à partir de Avenue.

Le projet « Avenue – LearnIT2teach » est prêt à appuyer l’innovation technologique pour les cours CLIC. Nous sommes à votre disposition pour répondre à vos demandes de renseignements afin de faire progresser CLIC et de créer des occasions d’apprentissage en ligne et hybride pour les apprenantes et apprenants.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, nous vous invitons à communiquer avec Gilles Aubry à Gilles@avenue.ca.


AVENUE.CA IS HERE!

IRCC’s new solution for online and blended settlement language training

The time is now for a much improved and enhanced Moodle-based national learning management system for English and French settlement language training. EduLINC has been serving the LINC Sector for ten years, but it needed to do more.

Avenue, like EduLINC, is a four-skill modern solution to online or blended language training. Logging into Avenue also means logging into Tutela, providing access to hundreds of Made-in-Canada learning resources for LINC. The Avenue learning management system runs on the latest version of Moodle, and includes new activities, such as the Workshop module and improvements to existing activities such as H5P.

Avenue will offer more tools to administrators and teachers, including a user account manager giving teachers control over their course enrolments, student accounts and making it easier to move students between classes. Avenue supports modernized task-based learning through an e-Portfolio solution and a growing inventory of PBLA-aligned learning resources.

Mid August

  • Teacher accounts emailed
  • Migrated courses
  • New courseware
  • Orientation video (teachers)
  • Updated LearnIT2teach teacher training
  • ePortfolio solution released

Early September

  • Account manager/assign learner accounts
  • Learner orientation video
  • Course delivery
  • September – December
  • Teacher accounts set up/Course migration ongoing

December

  • 15th – Avenue accounts to all teachers
  • 23rd – Course delivery ends on EduLINC
  • Course migration

To learn more details of the Avenue solution and the New LanguageSolutions response to COVID-19, watch a 13-minute video introduction to Avenue.

You can also follow up that video by watching an archived Zoom Tour of Avenue by our Manager of Distributed Learning, Jim Edgar.

On Friday, September 11th, our Project Manager of Distributed Learning, Jim Edgar, presented a Zoom webinar on 10 Reasons to Migrate to Avenue from EduLINC.

This 30-minute presentation explored ten reasons for teachers using EduLINC to migrate to Avenue.ca, IRCC’s new national web portal for settlement language training. The session included an overview of Avenue and demonstrated some features currently available at the site. Avenue development is ongoing and the presentation included information about updates in the coming months.

We hope to see you on the Avenue!