The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is Ontario’s publicly funded web-based platform that allows educators and students to learn online in virtual classrooms. This virtual space is free, secure, and rich with content and resources to support educators who teach online or face to face. Within the virtual space, educators and students can access the following:
course or program content that includes lessons, learning activities, readings, and videos
digital learning tools for communication, collaboration and reflection (ie., discussion forums, calendars, news feeds, ePortfolio, blogs, dropboxes, etc.)
Digital Licensed Resources - applications recommended and supported by OSAPAC (ie., Mindomo, Pixton, Frames, etc.)
Ontario Educational Resource Bank - interactives, learning activities, etc.
eCommunity - Professional Learning Communities where educators network to support their learning needs
Professional Learning Modules for facilitated or self-directed approach to learn according to interest, schedule, and pace.
““If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” ― John Dewey
Blended learning is a broadly defined educational approach that can be formal or informal, and combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods. It combines the physical presence of both teacher and student with elements of digital activities such as accessing digital content and/or connecting with other learners digitally to extend learning experiences beyond the classroom. Unlike e-learning classes where students are physically separate from their teacher and classmates, blended learning occurs within a face-to-face class that happens at a specific place and time. Blended learning combines the support of classroom learning with the flexibility of e-learning.
Ontario's ongoing support for digital enviroments has lead to the creation of many examples for others to draw from. Below are a sample of some of the work that is occuring across the province.
Technology Enabled Learning Ontario has documented a number of these. Please visit their site to explore how educators across the province are leveraging digital teachnology to make a difference for students.