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February 12, 2013


“A Vision” by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association

by Peter Skillen

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.53.34 PMThe Ontario Public School Boards’ Association has produced this excellent document A Vision for Learning and Teaching in a Digital Age.  It is a call to the government of Ontario and to the Ontario Ministry of Education to take a strong leadership position to move the province forward in integrating the technological, and more importantly, the learning and teaching skills necessary for success in this era.

I don’t plan to editorialize here. (Imagine that!) Rather, I want to provide you with just a taste of the opening pages of the vision.

“This paper, authored by trustees and educators across the spectrum of Ontario’s public school boards, seeks to align and consolidate current dialogue to support the Ministry of Education in building a progressive and sustainable provincial vision for learning and teaching in a digital age.”

Our Vision:

  • Requires a purposeful cultural shift in our education system that focuses on engaging and inspiring our students, that fosters creative and innovative minds and embraces the enabling role of technology in expanding how, when and where learning takes place.
  • Is founded on the principles of equity of access and equity of opportunity
  • Acknowledges that schools are more than a collection of buildings – they represent a system of learning and a culture where learning and teaching reciprocally drive the use of technology
  • Seeks to lay the foundations for creativity and innovation and, through student learning and engagement, shape the future
  • Recognizes that we exist in an international environment requiring a global set of competencies and responsible, ethical social practices
  • Is centred within a provincial curriculum that reflects these values, aspirations and practices.

Our Vision Rests On the Pillars of:

  • Authentic Student Engagement
  • Inspiring and Inspired Teachers
  • Skills for a Digital Age
  • Responsible Digital Citizenship

Comments from some reviewers:

“A Vision for Learning and Teaching in a Digital Age is a well-considered approach to how and why our education system should embrace technological innovation as an important part of educational strategy for the province of Ontario.”

Martyn Beckett, Council of Directors of Education 

“This Vision speaks to me about where we need to go, with student learning and engagement at the forefront, as it should be.”

Brenda Sherry, Technology Coach, Upper Grand District School Board

“An impressive initiative that promotes the value of co-construction of knowledge – kids taking charge of their own learning.”

Peter Skillen, Manager, Professional Learning, YMCA of Greater Toronto 

“A Vision that values equity of access, inquiry-based learning, teachers and students as co-learners – an impressive synthesis.”

Royan Lee, Grade 7 teacher, York Region District School Board 

The focus on the teacher as a constant learner is one of the best ways to foster the love of learning in our students.”

Jamie Reaburn Weir, Secondary Teacher (English), Waterloo Region District School Board

”“Technology plays a huge role in our day-to-day lives in the 21st century, and it also needs to have an increased role in the classroom. The use of interactive tools allows students to learn at their own pace, enhances their experience and promotes deeper engagement.”

Hirad Zafari, President, Ontario Student Trustees’ Association 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 27 2013

    C’mon! Editorialize! 🙂 I read this, and thought that it has all the right words in all the right places, but left me wondering. So what? Kinda like I felt after reading Fullan’s latest. Is it just me that is tired of waiting while all the pundits decide that is worth doing something? I’d rather just do something.

  2. Feb 28 2013

    You ARE doing something Mr. Jagoe! 😉

    I am hoping that this vision paper serves as a ‘call to action’ for the Ministry and for School Districts. I am not a very strategic or political animal, as you know, so I can only encourage people to do whatever they can in the positions they currently hold.

    Like you, I am tired of waiting — but, we haven’t been waiting idly as we wait for strong central leadership – and funding.


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