Over the last few months, Contact North has been gradually adding an impressive range of online resources to its Educator Portal. As well as the numerous articles already available for free downloading or online access, there are several more in the pipeline. Each has been developed by leading experts in the topic area who are collaborating with Contact North.

 The resources are organized under the following headings:


Beyond learning management systems?: This study examines recent developments in LMSs and the impact of new web 2.0 technologies on LMSs. The introductory paper is already posted, and the main research report, the executive briefing, and the summary will be posted soon.

Cloud computing – education will never be the same discusses the opportunities and risks that cloud computing presents for the post-secondary education sector, what we can learn from how some are already making use of this technology, and how we proceed from here. This is the first in a series.

Ten guiding principles for the use of technology in learning is already available. This is a set of guiding principles, which has informed Contact North’s planning and served its network well over the past number of years.

 Open educational resources (OER) – Opportunities for Ontario is already available and discusses how can we leverage OER and what are the obstacles to moving forward.

A Template for Strategic Planning in Online Learning in Ontario Colleges and Universities is already available and provides a template in the form of a check list that can help institutions to frame the planning process.  The template consists of specific questions that need to be addressed if an institution has decided to make a strategic commitment to online learning.

 Publications on Technology in Education is a ragbag of different papers (some from secondary sources) on various topics related to the use of technology in learning.

A border simulation in a virtual world from Loyalist College, Ontario


Pockets of innovation is very interesting. Currently it contains 25 case studies of innovation in online learning within individual Ontario post-secondary institutions, with another 25 at least to come. It provides a unique insight into what is actually happening at the grassroots level in Ontario post-secondary education. This group of articles on innovation will be reviewed in detail in a later post, but there are some excellent examples in this list.

Share your story invites Ontario instructors to share their innovative practices by contacting Contact North and being a case study for the series.


Online learning researchers (in Ontario) is a searchable database of almost 160 researchers working at public educational institutions conducting research in the fields of online and digital learning. The database is also searchable by research topic. The web site for each researcher is also available.

Tell us about you and your research invites Ontario researchers in online learning to join the database and collaborate with other researchers


Faculty and instructor training programs showcases the current 70 faculty and instructor training programs at Ontario’s public colleges and universities and provides opportunities for institutions to collaborate and build on current training programs. The database of programs is also searchable by topic.

Professional development is a dynamic online repository of nearly 300 worldwide professional development opportunities that support skills and capacity of faculty and instructors with respect to the innovative use of technology in post-secondary education and training. Events are posted from around the world, where the primary language of interaction will be in English.

Learning platforms training lists training opportunities for instructors on Contact North’s web conferencing, audio conferencing and video conferencing systems

Training resources provides a range of downloadable training documents for the effective use of Contact North’s web conferencing platform, Saba Centra.

Trends and directions

This section provides up-to-date and relevant information on trends and directions in online learning, some from secondary sources. They include:

My own 2012 Outlook for online learning and distance education

Three videos from Sir John Daniel that challenge what we think we know about post-secondary education

Fast Forward: how emerging technologies are transforming education and training

Five critical challenges with far reaching consequences for online learning

Lifelong learning as a key driver of innovation in post-secondary education in Ontario

Perspectives on Online Learning by [12] Ontario College and University Presidents

Strategic Directions for e-learning in Canada (by me)

The top 10 reasons why Ontario is #1 in online learning in Canada (not by me).

News Room

News on developments that affect online learning in Ontario are posted by month


This is a very quick overview of a wide range of resources, and I hope provides enough information for you to go in and pick and choose what you are interested in. Further resources will continue to be added to the site each month. Although some of the resources are specific either to Contact North partners or to Ontario, many are generic and will be of value for most online educators.

As mentioned earlier, in subsequent posts I will be going into more detail regarding some of the articles, especially those that are provocative, and also in some cases I will ask the authors to do a guest blog on their topic..

Happy reading!


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