Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Exploring the Group of Seven - Style, Influence and Canadian National Identity

In November 2016, a painting titled Mountain Forms, by Group of Seven member Lawren Harris, became the most expensive artwork ever to sell at a Canadian auction.

Macleans magazine reports that “of Canadian artwork sold in the last 50 years, six of the top 10 most expensive were Harrises, each having sold for more than two million dollars, according to the Canadian Art Sales Index. “He’s the cultural manifestation of what the Canadian soul is all about”.”
Framed by Fortune.  Macleans magazine, November 25, 2016

We wanted to explore the style of the Group of Seven and the influence their landscapes have had, not only on Canadian art, but on our sense of Canadian national identity.  This new Special Edition has resources about the Group of Seven as a unit as well as about the artists themselves.  You will also find resources and links that explore some of the actual places used for the artists’ landscapes.  Learn about the Group of Seven’s unique style and their success and influence in the Canadian and international art communities.  As always, we have included lesson plans in our Teacher Resources section and online interactives for students.

Visit our new Group of Seven Special Edition at:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays!

From the Team at The 2Learn.ca Education Society, we wish all educators a relaxing holiday season.  All the best in the new year as you return to class to continue inspiring and teaching the leaders and artists of tomorrow.

We’ll see you again in January when we share more great resources.  Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 28, 2016

An update to Special Editions about Fracking and Coal

Once again these energy and environmental topics are hot topics in the news.  We took a look at our Special Editions about fracking and coal and added some new resources to help you and your students understand these important issues.  These Special Editions will provide educators with teaching resources and students with valuable digital content. Great for Science, CTS and CTF.

A study from the University of Calgary has investigated the connection between fracking and recent earthquakes in northern Alberta and BC.   The findings may be able to help the industry prevent future seismic activity.  You will find articles about the study in the Issues section of our Fracking Special Edition.  You will also find student interactives and explanations about fracking.

The Future of Coal
The Alberta provincial government and Canadian federal government have both recently announced plans to phase-out coal by 2030.

To find a collection of classroom resources about coal, coal mining, specific Alberta historical references and the environmental impact of coal, visit our Future of Coal Special Edition.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bullying Awareness Week: November 13-19

This week, the media is filled with videos and articles about Bullying Awareness Week.  The theme this year is “Stand Up! (to bullying)”. Before we mention 2Learn.ca's collection of resources, we’d like to share a powerful video that came out this week.  Molly Burke is a motivational speaker; she worked with CBC to create this video letter to her bullies.

Kids Help Phone defines bullying as “when someone uses their power to hurt, frighten, exclude, or insult someone. It is always done on purpose and is usually repeated.”

In planning for conversations about treating others fairly and respectfully in your classroom, you can use 2Learn.ca’s curated collection of resources as a place to start.  You will find links to bullying prevention organizations, teaching resources and student interactives.  We have included resources from a wide range of government, education and non-profit organizations.

To find resources and interactives specifically about cyberbullying, visit the links directly below the cover image in the Special Edition.  These links will lead you to student interactives about Cyberbullying in the Net Smart sections of our student sites.  There are also links to resources specifically for teachers and parents.   

Take a chance to look at these resources during Bullying Awareness Week.  You may not need them today, but you’ll know where to find them if you do. If you have a favourite bullying prevention resource, let us know and we'll add it.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Media Literacy Week: Let’s Get Making and Creating

Media Literacy Week is happening next week, October 31 - November 4.  As described on the website, Media Literacy Week is “co-led by MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation [and] puts a spotlight on the importance of digital and media literacy as a key component in the education of children and young people.”  2Learn.ca has been a proud collaborator of this event for several years now.

The theme of Media Literacy Week this year is Makers and Creators, “celebrating the ways parents and teachers can help young people become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurial by embracing media production, remixing, maker and DIY culture and coding.”
To find more great resources about Media Literacy Week and this year’s theme, visit http://www.medialiteracyweek.ca/.

Several years ago, 2Learn.ca recognized the importance that was being placed on students’ ability to create content and be active learners in the classroom.  Coinciding with related work being done by our Provincial Team Teachers in schools across Alberta, we built the Create 2Learn.ca website, a collection of resources with recommended digital tools and tips for many kinds of “creating”, including videos, images, presentations and 3D printing.

The Create 2Learn.ca website also has a section filled with articles, tips and lessons specific to Makerspaces.

Take some time this week to check out all of the great resources on the Media Literacy Week page as well as the resources that we have here at 2Learn.ca/create.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Great Resources for Halloween + Forests

October is one of our favourite months; we get some of our highest website visits this month.  There are so many fantastic ideas to help your classroom learn cool things while celebrating the fall season. Here’s a quick reminder of some of our Halloween-themed sites.

Enjoy Halloween is a collection of resources that will help you take advantage of opportunities for spooky (and not-so-spooky) fun and learning.  You’ll find stories, poems, online interactives, math and science activities, arts and crafts and recipes for treats.

  Creepy, Crawly and Cool
For all those students who love to read and learn about animals, this collection of resources about bats and spiders includes videos, online stories in both fiction and non-fiction, and mythology.  Don’t miss the teacher resources to help get your students interested in the creepy and crawly.

This Enjoy page is for those older students who enjoy the current pop culture fascination with zombies.  There are resources for CTF and CTS students about costume and makeup.  There are also some sites and videos that take a look at cultural and scientific explanations for zombies. Teachers, be sure to check out the zombie-themed resources for teaching STEM subjects.

In addition, we created a new Special Edition this fall about Forests and Climate Change.  This site is filled with resources (videos, articles, lesson plans) that could be used in Science, CTF and CTS classrooms.

We hope that you find some of these resources helpful as you plan your classroom activities this October. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Countdown to 20 Years

Back in 1997, the original Provincial Team of the newly created Telus Learning Connection [Catherine (Kullman) Macklam, (the late) Brian Cleary, Janet Bell, Kay Steward and Denis Chalifoux] were tasked to create a website. Of course, one of the big questions was "what would we call it?". Would it be called the TELUS Learning Connection or should it stand on it own with a unique domain name?  And also could it be a ".ca" extension?  Back then, ".ca" was only obtained through an application process to organizations that could prove that they had interests in more than one province. At the time, the TELUS Corporation which had heavily sponsored 2Learn.ca in the early years in Alberta, also operated in Ontario. Phew! But how did the name come about.  It was before a time when so many names and titles started showing up as combinations of numbers attached to words, so we were not getting on a bandwagon.  The concept of "2Learn" came as a result of the team gathered in a conference room within a design firm. That firm would develop the logo based on the team's brainstorming what the domain name would be. It was probably not our most difficult decision, but it was a good one that had long term implications. Thinking back on how over the years the name of the initial organization morphed from the TELUS Learning Connection [TLC] to The 2Learn.ca Education Society with some calling it TELUS 2Learn along the way.  Could we have anticipated being here almost 20 years later?

And what else couldn't we have anticipated in 1997? [Click on the items to read more]. Some science biggies like - how about that Pluto would no longer be a planet or that scientists would detect water on Mars? That we would communicate with and watch Chris Hadfield recording Space Oddity [over 32 million views and counting] on the space station.

That someone would skydive from space

Touch Screens would be almost ubiquitous and constantly improving.  

wrist band would monitor our health, deliver text messages or play our favourite music. GPS, a U.S. government owned program primarily for military use, would be part of all our daily lives. The advent of 3-D printers  would be an essential component of makerspaces in schools  We would be able to watch just about anything on our phone, including the videos above, and each other.

While it's always interesting to 'wow' each other with all the changes, particularly in personal technologies - there are many lists of fascinating technologies and terms not around even ten years ago. 

And yet some things are given longevity because there is a need.

One of the most insightful observations the late, great Stephen Jobs made back in 1996 was that people were already suffering from “information overload” and that ”most people get far more information than they can assimilate anyway.”  That team of people who laboured over the name of 2Learn.ca in 1997 knew that teachers would appreciate the help in gathering, reviewing, collating  and presenting web resources for classroom use. That hasn't changed as a goal for all the team members that have worked and continue to work on 2Learn.ca  - like Theresa Paltzat who became our digital librarian in 2007 before few knew that job title. 

As the primarily text-based web changed from those early days in 1997 to a multimedia resource, so 2Learn.ca adapted. As classroom technologies changed from stationary to mobile, from videoconferencing to web-based Skype or Hangout type environments, 2Learn.ca has continued to provide support for classroom teachers in their busier-than-ever roles in the classroom. 19 years since inception, we still average 5 million hits a month from teachers and learners around the world.

We hope you find what you need on 2Learn.ca as you begin the 2016-2017 school year and know we will be here to assist teachers as we can. Let us know what we can add to make the site more useful to you. We wish you a great start to your school year!