"Blended learning uses the tools of the provincial learning management system (LMS) to teach and support learning in the face-to-face class. Through blended learning, K-12 students can access high-quality course materials, course calendars and assignments during and outside school hours. These tools help students learn or review key concepts, stay organized, show what they have learned, submit assignments, track their achievement and communicate with others." (www.edu.gov.on.ca/elearning/blend.html)The Ontario Ministry of Education would like to see all students in K-12 gain exposure to blended learning within the next two years. Currently, there simply isn't enough professional development, and more importantly, peer teacher support to reach this very aggressive mandate. Without this support/ attention, growth of blended learning can't reach its potential. Parry Sound hosts one high school and eight elementary schools. For teachers to buy-in and invest significant time/ energy into making blended learning happen, they need to see this form of education delivery in action, and most importantly, they need to get release time with a local expert to assist with the set-up, experimentation and implementation within their specific classes.
We are one high school teacher, and three elementary school teachers who are proficient with the Learning Management System and blended learning. We will act as leaders, coaches, and mentors to facilitate professional development, lead workshops, and work one-on-one with teachers in the West Region of the Near North District School Board. In addition, we will create a resource bank of video tutorials to support growth of blended learning for teachers who are unable to attend our workshops.