Blended Learning Project

Welcome to Blended Learning at the Toronto District School Board.

This Fall we invite you to participate in one of three new courses developed for TDSB literacy classes. These courses are designed to take about 2 hours a week over a six-week period but you can decide to do them in a shorter time or a longer one.

There are core activities for all learners. There are optional activities for people who have more time or who want to do more learning on this topic.

Each course uses a blended learning approach.

This means that each class will use online resources to start to explore the topic. You can bring in any other resources you wish. You can use those resources in your class and you can share them with the other TDSB classes participating in the course.

There will be activities to do online, activities to do in the class and activities to do in the community.

Your class will report on what you are learning in class discussions and online forums. Each person can write in the online forum or you can elect a class reporter to write for your whole class each week.

The courses include ideas for project work. Each class can decide how to conduct the projects. The courses are designed to be a starting point and instructors and learners are encouraged to adapt activities to meet their learning needs and desires.

In the needs assessment phase of this project (when Tracey Mollins visited your class and talked to you about how you are using computers), it was no surprise to us to learn, once again, how the experience, creativity and innovation that instructors - and learners - bring to LBS program at the TDSB are the program’s great strength. We hope that these courses will be a place where instructors and learners can share ideas about resources, activities and approaches. As one instructor laughingly said, “What happens in the classroom, stays in the classroom.” Online classrooms are places where geographical barriers disappear and communities of interest and learning circles can flourish.

The online classroom “platform” we will be using is called Moodle. It works in a similar way to many other online classrooms. You do not need to know anything about Moodle or online classes to take part.

Tracey Mollins will visit each class to get you started. She will provide ongoing support over the six weeks. She will read the forums and check in on how people are participating. She will post reports and new activities each week. She will come to visit you again at the end of the six weeks to see how things went – to find out what you liked, what you did not like, what course you are planning to try next and your ideas for further explorations of blended learning.

Each instructor can choose one course for each class. In all courses, learners will
  • practice reading and writing
  • use research skills and report on their findings
  • develop an index of resources they can refer to in the future
  • evaluate web resources as to ease of use and relevance

The first 3 courses are for Level 1 and 2 learners:
Our Stories:
We hear stories about celebrities and famous people all the time. What about our friends and the people in our families? What are their stories? What can we learn from them? What are our stories? What can people learn from us? In this course we look at art, poetry, songs, videos, interviews, conversations and other ways people tell stories. We practice listening, critical thinking, writing an opinion, and using technology to learn in new ways. We talk about:
  • all the ways people tell stories
  • why stories are important
  • the stories from our communities
  • the stories we would like to tell and how we will tell them
Your Rights in the Workplace:
This course is for people who want to learn more about their rights as workers. In this course, we discuss where we have worked, what types of work we enjoy and why we enjoy this work. We will learn about employment standards and the difference between working in a unionized workplace and a non-union workplace. We will look at some specific rights as set out in employment standards for overtime, vacation, and pay. We will look more in depth at health and safety and the right to a safe workplace, the right to learn about health and safety and the right to refuse.

Know Your Body: Reflections and Research about Being Healthy:
This course is for people who want to who want to learn about what it means to be healthy. Participants will read and review a story from the Learning Edge on their choice of topics and will explore and review a website on a related topic. We will learn about how to evaluate health websites. We will discuss the difference between information that has been posted by governments, researchers, doctors, clinics or drug companies. We will talk about what we do to stay healthy and we about how to be a good patient advocates for ourselves and our friends and family. Participants will also have an opportunity to do some creative writing about what makes them feel healthy.