A High Standard for Professional Educators
Every single person who facilitates a course through OntarioOnlineSchools.ca is an Ontario College of Teachers certified teacher.
These skilled professionals adhere to the same professional standards of practice that teachers in traditional classrooms adhere to. Many facilitators are also active school teachers, and as such, also adhere to the professional standards of practice that all members of education unions do.
Ontario Online Schools has the same professional expectations of our education facilitators as the public school boards have of their teachers. We decided to go this to alleviate concerns around safety and accountability in online learning environments.
All the education facilitators at Ontario Online Schools are carefully chosen because they are the type of educators who have demonstrated a mastery of the traditional classroom environment, a familiarity with technology and online learning, and most importantly, a consistent record of creating and delivering programming to students that is authentic, engaging, inclusive, culturally relevant, equitable, empowering, and properly prepares them for the challenges of the future. This is important to us because we want to replicate as much as possible, all the good that is being done in traditional classrooms every day, and the first step is to identify and recruit teachers who have demonstrated pedagogical exceptionalism in the classroom.
All of the people who design our courses use the most recent Ministry of Education course masters, and draw on their own current and recent classroom pedagogical practice, to ensure that the requirements, standards, and best practices in their online class mirrors those of their traditional classrooms. During the course design process, front and center in our minds is choosing content that students will find engaging, culturally relevant, and lend itself to providing intrinsic reward through completion, completely separate from students’ primary goal, which is to earn the credit.
By taking an engaging and culturally relevant approach to course design, we believe we have created a learning environment that students want to be in, rather than have to be in. As well, by choosing relevant and engaging content through which we teach the requisite curriculum skills, we hope to alleviate the concerns around the integrity of credits earned online.
Finally, because we are creating a network of online schools, we intend to work with local teachers, and ELearning experts to further modify content, with an eye to making it even more engaging for students. Because let’s face it: the curriculum skills are the same for all of Ontario’s students, but the content that
students in the GTA find culturally relevant and engaging, is very different from content that will appeal to students in the Near North, or in First Nations communities.