Congratulations to our 2021 Empowered Educators!

2021 brought new challenges, but that did not stop a record number of Ontario educators from achieving their Empowered Educator Micro-credential by completing all six modules in our Ontario Extend program and navigating a year of new transformations in education and digital pedagogy.  

We are proud to celebrate our Empowered Educators, who persevered in the midst of a global pandemic and pivot to new practices in digital teaching and learning in 2021. We recognized this year’s educators at our first-ever graduation ceremony in December.  

“Congratulations to everyone who has participated in the eCampusOntario Ontario Extend program and invested in their own personal and professional learning development, particularly the nine dedicated educators who became Empowered Educators in 2021. We have collectively navigated the shift to emergency remote teaching, which has set us up well for realizing the full potential of virtual learning. The keen interest and dedication demonstrated by these Empowered Educators emphasizes the increasing importance of supporting Ontario’s post-secondary educators with relevant digital fluency programming as they work tirelessly to improve the virtual learning experience with every semester.”

Dr. Robert Luke,
CEO, eCampusOntario

Since 2017, eCampusOntario (eCO) has engaged over 1,200 educators to enhance digital fluency for teaching through the Ontario Extend professional learning program. The program encourages educators to think differently about their approaches and practices through a learning journey focused on a combination of foundational upskilling and reskilling with digital badges being awarded upon the completion of each module. Through the successful completion of all six modules, participants receive their capstone Empowered Educator Micro-credential, to congratulate and celebrate their commitment to invest in their own personal and professional learning and development.

Congratulations to our 2021 Empowered Educators!

Postsecondary education is evolving. The Ontario Extend program introduced me to revolutionary teaching practices I can implement using educational technologies. I look forward to teaching with the ideas eCampusOntario delivered and recommend this program to all postsecondary educators across Ontario.
I'm always looking for professional development opportunities that will allow me to improve my teaching practice. So I was excited to hear about this opportunity when I attended the TESS conference. Each module has a different focus resulting in a well-rounded program overall. My biggest takeaway relates to educational technology. I need to continue to experiment with technology and look for new tools to meet the pedagogical goals I set for my students (and keep them excited and engaged). I’m looking forward to applying some of the things I have learned in the Ontario Extend program to my future courses.
The Empowered Educator program offered me the opportunity to reflect on my teaching philosophy, teaching practice, and to learn new skills in a safe and supportive community. The scholarly content, module structure, and activity-based design of the program was key to helping me focus on and progress pedagogies that are meaningful to me. The flexibility built into the program also allowed me to scaffold and evolve my learning in a way that made sense for my teaching practice and my schedule.
The Ontario Extend program provided a wonderful opportunity for me to connect with others in the community to shore ideas and practices in technology-enabled teaching and learning.
The Ontario Extend program has provided me with so many valuable experiences as a teacher and learner. I can tell I have become a stronger and more well-rounded teacher throughout this journey. I appreciated the opportunity to experiment with new tools and sharpen the ones I was previously familiar with. I look forward to implementing many of the online technologies I have learned about and continuing to engage with the community in the future.
My biggest takeaway from the whole experience with Ontario Extend was the sense of connection with the larger educational community.  Previously my experience having conversations about practice has been somewhat isolated to a select group in my professional network, but this selection of workshops gave me a greater sense of being part of a larger community of educators, learning, experimenting, and growing together.
Ontario Extend offers learners an opportunity to renew their teaching practicing by exploring new and innovative technology to support students. The modules review teaching pedagogy and the assignments allow the learner to experiment with author-intuitive platforms and applications. By interacting with the discussion boards and the Ontario Extend activities and assignments, I have developed a tech-saavy toolkit to refresh my course work. Each module was engaging and relevant!
I was unclear exactly what the Ontario Extend program was really about but enrolled after taking the curator module as a facilitated program at Conestoga College. I really enjoyed the program. It challenged me to reflect on who I was as a teacher which is great as after teaching for a while, we can get a little comfortable. Most importantly, it introduced me to the world of OER and lead to me completing the UBC Program for Scholarly and Open Education and created an ongoing commitment to work in this field from the viewpoint of social justice.
We were given the opportunity to visit each of the areas of study, just enough to know what is there and establish which of the areas we want to visit further in the future. I look forward to re-visiting many of these new skills in the future. It was refreshing and enjoyable to learn the perspectives of other faculty from different colleges."
Completing the six badges (Teacher for Learning, Technologist, Curator, Collaborator, Experimenter, and Scholar) of the Ontario Extend program made me feel more confident to incorporate technology into my teaching. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) module reminds me that teaching excellence is a journey and it encourages me to continue to improve my teaching practices.  Special thanks to all the friendly, knowledgeable, and supportive facilitators who encouraged me to finish the Empowered Educator micro-credential badge this year. The learning environment was flexible, positive, and fun.
"The Ontario Extend program checked all of the boxes in my professional development search - it allowed me to experience a microcredential program as a learner, I was able to work at my own pace and on my own schedule, and most of all, it exposed me to all kinds of tools and techniques that will result in a more engaging experience for my students. Every component of the Empowered Educator badge pushed me from my comfort zone, exposing me to new ideas and technology. Not only did I experience a lot of new technology during the program, I've bookmarked many sites to continue exploring in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you eCampus Ontario!"
Participating in the Empowered Educator program has provided me with an incredible amount of knowledge & resources. I am extremely appreciative that I was able to complete this at my own pace, feeling fully supported along the way. I have a sense of confidence in my practice and am grateful for the relationships built along the way.

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