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Ontario Tech faculty to help teachers with online instruction

(Ontario Tech photo)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Faculty at Ontario Tech University will be helping local teachers better prepare for online teaching.

As the university has used a blend of online and in-person learning for years, Ontario Tech’s faculty of education will share its expertise and best practices with teachers around the province.

The online teaching and learning conference will offer more than two dozen 90-minute interactive workshops for Kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers. They will be able to experience online learning techniques as though they are the student.

According to Ontario Tech Dean of the Faculty of Education Robin Kay, there’s no choice but to move teaching online right now, resulting in an adjustment period for teachers.

“It’s a really good opportunity for teachers to boost their skills – especially ones that have been resistant,” he says, adding it’s been an adjustment for some teachers to shift online.

“It’s sort of trying to think about how you teach in a different format,” he says, adding the faculty at Ontario Tech have been teaching online for 10 years, which is why they’re helping to put on these conferences.

“[The conference] is to help teachers ease into this, because it is going to be challenging to do it effectively,” he says.

Subject areas will include general or introductory online teaching, language and English, math, science and STEM, and more.

The workshop team will include more than 20 instructors from Ontario Tech, Rainbow District School Board, Durham District School Board, Toronto District Catholic School Board, and the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education.

Each workshop will be $10 per participant, and everyone will receive a full e-book with resources for all conference workshops.

“We tried to make it like a buffet,” says Kay. “Lots of conferences charge $100 or $150. We didn’t want to do that. We’re not trying to make money, we’re just trying to cover the expenses.”

Free lunchtime “virtual-networking” sessions will also be available to help teachers build support and personal learning networks.