Ontario Education Minister, Hon. Liz Sandals, launches online community for teachers

TORONTO, March 31, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, Ontario Education Minister Hon. Liz Sandals officially launched TVO's award-winning online community, TeachOntario, at an elementary school in Oakville.

Created to support sharing, collaboration, and knowledge exchange amongst educators across Ontario, TeachOntario features content created by Ontario teachers for Ontario teachers. With its collaborative format, TeachOntario allows educators to stay up-to-date on the latest in teaching and learning, digital tools, and professional development, helping them to improve student outcomes.

TeachOntario was developed by TVO, in partnership with the Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF), its Affiliates and the Ministry of Education, and in consultation with teachers from a variety of districts across the province. TeachOntario is part of TVO's strategy to be the Government of Ontario's partner for digital learning, inside and outside the classroom and is the first teacher resource of its kind in Ontario. Showing early success, TeachOntario was awarded the 2015 IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award earlier this year and has almost 4,000 registered users.

Teacher-generated online discussion groups include: sharing math problems for the classroom, 3-D printing and Minecraft to support learning, creating Makerspaces, Digital Citizenship, and Full Day Kindergarten. Recent activity includes: Professional Learning Series, weekly interactive professional learning webinars hosted on Thursdays; the Teacher Learning and Leadership Program which provides updates about the program and examples of teacher projects from across Ontario; book clubs facilitated by The Ontario School Library Association, where teachers can discuss titles for use inside and outside of the classroom; and TeachOntarioTalks, multimedia blogs providing illustrative examples of innovative practices from across Ontario that address improving student achievement and student well-being.

TeachOntario is available at tvo.org/teachontario. The community is accessible 24/7 to educators in all grades in every school district across the province. Teachers looking to register can visit, TeachOntario and click on 'Register.'

Here is what people are saying about TeachOntario:

"TVO has shown great leadership in creating such an innovative networking tool for educators. I know TeachOntario will go a long way to connect and inspire teachers as they continue to help our students succeed."

- Hon. Liz Sandals, Ontario Education Minister

"OTF and its Affiliates are proud to have participated in the development of TeachOntario and congratulate TVO and our teachers on its success. TeachOntario creates an online educational community, developed by teachers for teachers. Teachers in Ontario's publicly funded educational system can come together virtually to learn, share, and discuss timely professional learning issues."

- Francine LeBlanc-Lebel, President, Ontario Teachers Federation President

"TeachOntario is an excellent example of how TVO is using technology to help re-invent learning. By bringing teachers together from across the province, TeachOntario provides an innovative platform for educators to share and collaborate in order to support improved student achievement and well-being."

- Lisa de Wilde, Chief Executive Officer, TVO

"TeachOntario is an excellent and innovative platform for teachers to lead educational improvements by sharing their knowledge, practices and resources with a rapidly growing network of educators across Ontario and with benefits for our students' learning, equity and well-being."

- Dr. Carol Campbell, Associate Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and Education Advisor to Premier of Ontario and Minister of Education

"TeachOntario to me is transformational. We share in TeachOntario so that we can inspire and be inspired by what other teachers are doing. Sometimes you just need that extra nudge or push to try something new and TeachOntario gives me that push."

- Maureen Asselin, Grade 6 Teacher, St. Mary Catholic School, Oakville

"Through TeachOntario I'm building a community of like-minded teachers and helping to facilitate their classroom explorations into the world. The online community serves as a reminder that you don't always have to reach across the world to make meaningful connections, amazing teachers are right here in Ontario."

- Joe Grabowski, Grade 7 Math and Science Teacher, St. John Catholic School, Guelph

"TeachOntario has given me a forum to share my thoughts and opinions with other educators, whom I wouldn't have had the chance to learn from if not for the platform."

- Emile Ferlisi, Special Education Teacher, Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School, Mississauga

"Over the past two years, TeachOntario has been one of my 'go to' resources to connect with other teachers to share ideas and resources. I love that I'm able to share my own learning with the greater education community in Ontario, particularly the work that I have been involved in with our TLLP project in mathematics."

- Daniel Rolo, Grade 5/6 Teacher, Our Lady of Fatima, Chatham

"TeachOntario is a one-stop location for excellent professional development for teachers. Because it's an online community, TeachOntario can break down barriers between teachers, particularly those that are working in remote locations, where answers are not readily available, and isolation can be daunting."

- Vicky Walker, Grades 10 & 12 Teacher, Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Thunder Bay

"TeachOntario provides a great opportunity to network with teachers across the province. The software is user-friendly and I find the curated resources very helpful."

- Melissa Jensen, Program and Innovation Teacher-Librarian Resource Teacher, Simcoe County District School Board, Barrie

About TVO
As the technological extension of Ontario's public education system, TVO's vision is to create a better world through the power of learning. TVO provides learning opportunities for Ontarians through innovative educational products, in-depth current affairs, groundbreaking documentaries, and award-winning TVOKids resources both inside and outside the classroom. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and is a registered charity supported by sponsors and thousands of donors. For more information, visit tvo.org.

Where to find TVO

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For further information: Media contact: Nicole Morrison, Public Relations Specialist, 416.484.2600 x2281, nmorrison@tvo.org


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