Students may be off for the summer, but that doesn’t mean our Blended+ program plans are taking a break! Along with ensuring the in-person and online facets of the program are finalized, plans for the experiential off-campus component are only continuing to shape up.
First, what is off-campus experiential learning?
Experiential learning is an opportunity for students to gain skills and knowledge in a context that matters. In other words, it is educating through real-life experiences and reflecting on those findings, which leads to a deeper understanding. This expertise is more likely to stand out in memories and be applied to future learnings.
What will experiential learning look like in Blended+?
The first day of school will kick off with off-campus activities to begin forming relationships as a team. While our Blended+ Program Leads have incredible ideas about what they want to provide to students, it’s vital that each student has an opportunity to take ownership over their learning in the program. One of the belief statements at Calgary Academy is providing pathways as unique and varied as each of our learners, and Blended+ is no exception.
In September, all Blended+ students will take a trip to the Biogeoscience Institute: Barrier Lake Field Station in Kananaskis, where students will design their own experiments, conduct a field study, and learn how to analyze data to answer their questions. This interactive experience will address multiple curriculum outcomes in math and science for both Grades 9 and 10 in a way that will result in deeper learning.
Blended+ students will also work closely with SAIT throughout the year for opportunities to learn future-ready skills, including The Art of the Possible workshops at SAIT from the School for Advanced Digital Technology. Students will be engaged by hands-on programs, including machine learning, artificial intelligence, cyber security, virtual and augmented reality, and using Raspberry Pi (small devices for people of all ages to explore computing and to learn how to program) to automate tasks.
There will also be an emphasis on physical and mental well–being as students take part in experiences organized by our Physical Education department. These offsite experiences will focus on seasonal activities that students are more likely to continue as adults, including watersports, skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking.
Other off-campus excursions throughout the year may also include Telus Spark, WordFest, and Theatre Calgary, but the bottom line is that Blended+ will have no shortage of opportunities for students to apply to the real-world.