Digital Learning

The Durham District School Board (DDSB) has developed various digital learning opportunities for students to explore and achieve success while online. Staff are regularly taking part in training activities to provide students with new and innovative online experiences. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the board has increased digital learning options such as DDSB@Home, FlexTime, RealTime, eLearning, and so much more. DDSB is dedicated to supporting the needs of all students.

Secondary School Hybrid Learning

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, students in all in-person DDSB secondary schools are learning in a hybrid learning environment. This means that they complete much of their classroom work both online in either a Google Classroom or a D2L/Brightspace classroom or at school when they are face-to-face with their teacher.

Students access their online classrooms through a Google Classroom link; and their DDSB login and password.  


More than 15,000 students participate in our virtual school, called DDSB@Home. To find out what the online school experience is like, please visit either of the following websites: 

DDSB@Home - Elementary

DDSB@Home - Secondary

Our elementary school is broken down into a variety of campuses, each with its own Principal, Vice Principal and Teachers. 

The DDSB’s virtual schools provide full day online learning for students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. 

RealTime and FlexTime Learning

Educators provide RealTime and FlexTime instruction in physical classrooms in a variety of ways, and virtual classrooms are no different. The information below are a few examples of the type of learning that students may be engaged in.

RealTime - During this time, the educator is visible and interacting with the entire class or smaller groups. Students may be engaged in learning opportunities such as: 
  • Whole class instruction and discussion through Google Meet
  • Whole group assessments, quizzes or tests that students work on while the teacher is visible and available to answer questions
  • Whole group brainstorming using a Google Doc or other online application to share ideas
  • The broadcast of a video or slides with the class with breaks for discussion and exploration
  • Students working on tasks assigned by a teacher while the teacher meets with small groups separately or responds to questions using the Google Breakouts Extension
  • Independent assignment time for students with teachers available and visible to answer questions and provide feedback
  • Where appropriate: Circle time, read alouds, word games, show and tell activities, or hands-on activities while the teacher observes and participates

*RealTime learning activities will vary between grade levels from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and will be applied in an age and developmentally appropriate manner in the classroom. 

FlexTime - During FlexTime, the teacher is available for questions or discussions, but may not be visible. Students may be engaged in learning opportunities such as: 
  • Videos and Slideshows
    Teacher-created or curated videos or slide-shows that students may watch independently. Students may complete a related activity. 
  • Class Discussion
    Virtual discussion boards such as a question in Google Classroom, where students and educators are not required to be online at the same time. 
  • Group Projects
    Students collaborating without needing to be working at the same time. Presentations or projects developed with shared tasks and use of comments and suggestions. 
  • Independent Student Task Completion
    Applying learning from RealTime sessions to individual tasks such as online quizzes, games or other activities which are often submitted to the teacher for feedback.



eLearning provides DDSB secondary students with a flexible alternative to the face-to-face classroom. This online setting can support a student's educational plan when courses are not available to them at their home school, when a flexible alternative learning environment is required or when matching student preferred learning styles to programming needs.

eLearning courses are not face-to-face courses. Students who wish to participate in this program should speak to their Guidance Department. For more information about DDSB eLearning click here. 

Distance Learning

From time to time, a classroom or a group of students may be required to work from home due to COVID-19. During this time, these classes will meet in their Google Classroom: online. Students and families will receive information from their school if this happens. 

Family Tips for Accessing Online Classrooms

These videos and docs have been created for parents and students:

My student's password is not working or they have forgotten their password 

Student passwords can be recovered if parents have registered email addresses at the time of student registration and verification (i.e. if the parent email contact is on file). To do so, go to and click on "Password Reset" in the upper right corner. Choose "Recover Password" on the next screen and follow the prompts. More information and instructions can be found here.

If this does not work, contact your student's teacher and they can submit a password request through an IT Incident Report on behalf of your student. They will communicate with you once the password has been reset (and provide the new password).

Signing into Chrome Browser 
Using a Chromebook - Comprehensive Sign-in, Classroom, & Meet
Signing into Google Classroom (PC/Chromebook)
Signing into Google Classroom (iOS) 
Student-Led Tutorial of Google Classroom
Parent Tip Sheet for Google Classroom 

Staying Safe Online

Now more than ever students are spending even more time online and DDSB is dedicated to teaching students the value of being smart and engaged digital citizens and how to stay safe online. For more resources and tips on how to navigate online safely, visit the Online Safety and Digital Citizenship page.

Every student whether they are learning online or at school is required to adhere to their school’s Code of Conduct.  While online, students in the Durham District School Board are reminded of specific expectations for online learning with the DDSB Student Code of Conduct and Distance Learning.

We have also created “Student Guidelines for RealTime Learning” that outlines the agreed-upon norms and expectations for student participation in the virtual classroom. It highlights that students should be aware of what others may see and hear in the classroom and how to participate virtually.

Google for Education

DDSB is please to offer all students and staff Google for Education Accounts and Gmail for students in grades 9-12.  Learn more about our Google Project and Guidelines.  Review frequently asked questions regarding Google accounts and Gmail privacy and security.

Learn more about our policies, procedures, guidelines, and resources  


The privacy of students is very important to us. Please see our most recent privacy statement for more information.

DDSB teachers are permitted to use third party websites and apps as long as they have been previously approved by our Cyber-security team. A list of these educational apps can be found by clicking on the link.