I am sitting in a training meeting for an online course platform as I am teaching a blended learning course this semester. What is blended learning? When you teach both in-person and online. It is the newest trend in both high school and post-secondary schools. Last year Ottawa U started offering blended/hybrid courses that were a mix of both so that people did not have to always go downtown for class every week for 3 hrs. It does help get more people enrolled in the M.Ed. program as so many students (like me) work full-time or are even from way out of town. Half of my grad school courses have been online. I’ve only had one in-person class in the last two years. Anyways, at the new job, I was asked to take up the blended learning project – so here I am.
Right now we are learning how to change text colours, create links and how to start a discussion board – most of this stuff I already know because of running this website (I am self-hosted) or my past jobs where I’ve been in charge of an online course. But, it is nice to get out of the school for the day and see some of my friends from other schools.
This winter has been brutal and once again it was snowing during the morning commute. As I’ve mentioned – here in Ottawa we do not get “snow days”. Although some people can and do work from home – teachers are expected to make their very best effort to get to school regardless of the weather or if buses are cancelled. In the last couple of schools, a bus cancelled day meant that there were no students and you had the day to catch up on work. You still had to be there. The last time the schools were full-out closed was in 1998 during the big ice storm – since the power was out for days. We are allowed to go to our nearest school if it is especially bad out and some teachers do that. Most schools are very “get there when you can” and ask us not to rush.
(View from my daycare’s street on Friday)
On Friday, it took me 2 hours and 40 minutes to get to Barrhaven. I left my house at 7am, dropped off Max at 7:30 and finally arrived at the school for 10:10. It was absolutely ridiculous. It took me an hour just to get out of Orleans. I made a few phone calls from the car to say that I was going to be late and to get someone to cover my class. I did not anticipate that it would take me that long but there was little I could do. Ottawa is a bit crazy at the ends of the city because we have all these greenbelts and rivers/canals to cross. In Orleans there are really only 3 ways to get in and out. We have only one highway that moves through the city. I took the main streets and that was probably a mistake. But – my class was covered and next time I am going to take rural roads to get to the school – avoiding the city.
Today was the same thing – 1.5hrs to get to my destination. It took an hour to get out of the east end again. At least I wasn’t the only one – Many people were late today. Go Ottawa weather!
I had heart shaped pizza from Boston Pizza on Friday – it was delicious!!
Doesn’t that look yummy!!!