Bridging the Gap with Virtual Classrooms and Online Learning

COVID-19 has shut down school buildings around the world, but the teaching and learning goes on for students of Oak Learners. 

Children are naturally good at learning – it’s what they do from the moment they are born! Children learn language, culture, social norms, and knowledge from everyone around them. For most children, learning doesn’t end when the school bell rings or when schools close for summer vacation. Most children are intensely curious and, given the right environment, will dive into the exploration of new knowledge!

Oak Learners has always been ahead of the curve in educational practice and when the education world prepared to pivot towards online and inquiry-based learning, Oak Learners was already there. Oak Online is our Virtual Learning platform, providing Day School, Academic Tutoring, Music Lessons, Yoga Classes and Inquiry based courses online and in real-time.


Inquiry-Based Learning as the best model of education

In 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Education recognized that inquiry-based learning offers “promise in supporting students to become thoughtful, motivated, collaborative and innovative learners capable of engaging in their own inquiries and thriving in a world of constant change”. Oak Learners brings together the latest research and access to online support systems to provide a unique opportunity for children and their families. Our project-based and personalized approach to learning addresses the immediate need for changes in education in Ontario.

The Ontario Ministry of Education has also recognized the “substantial and important connections between creativity, high academic achievement, economic and social entrepreneurialism, leadership, and problem solving” in its 21st Century Competencies discussion document and yet, 40% of schools have no music teacher or specialist teachers in other arts areas and many elementary teachers report that they are not equipped to deal with rising mental health concerns in their classrooms. As such, there has been a growing need to find new ways to provide learning opportunities, enrichment courses and opportunities for success for students in Ontario. 

Online Learning provides more flexibility for schools and students to access specialists and classes outside of the typical academic selections. Online learning is one way for students to access new courses and a variety of teachers to expand their learning experience and develop important connections between academic achievment and real-world applications.


Progressive and Flexible Learning for the 21st Century

Oak Learners has been offering flexibility to families since 2015. Parents collaborate with educators and support workers to create an individualized learning plan, delivered in a safe, nurturing and creative environment.  The progressive, interdisciplinary approach to programming engages students in the learning process and supports them in developing essential skills in 21st century competencies, including resiliency, goal setting, collaboration, technology and creativity.  

Recognizing the need for increased support for students who experience difficulty in the school system, Oak Learners brings together experienced and energetic educators to provide an enriched and supportive learning environment for their students. Key benefits of the boutique-style classrooms at Oak Learners include daily mindfulness practices and inquiry-based curriculum with full arts-integration. Low student-teacher ratios allow teachers to be completely involved in each stage of student learning and to build stronger and more supportive relationships among peers. With more support and teacher involvement, students are more motivated to succeed and become more involved in their own education, setting them up for future successes. 

The move to online learning provides a unique opportunity for teachers to further individualize learning and present material to each student in a way that is accessible and engaging. It is forcing everyone to think outside of the 4-walls of the classroom and find new ways to present curriculum to today’s students. At Oak Learners, we can’t wait to see where this new adventure leads!

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Kelly Farrell

Kelly Farrell is the Founder and Director of Oak Learners. She is dedicated to supporting learners of all ages and abilities reach their goals and love the learning journey. Kelly’s philosophy of education is based in the understanding that every child has the capacity to excel and succeed when they are given the tools and taught the skills to help them on their journey.
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