Blended learning incorporates the best of online tools and face-to-face contact, offering students a variety of courses while meeting the needs of all learners. Essentially, the outcomes for students are constant, but everything else is variable allowing teacher collaboration on planning, facilitating and assessing student work. Teachers will work with students individually, in small group sessions as well as in seminar and guest speaker formats.
We talked with David Wood, former Canadian National Team Head Coach and Head Coach for the Academy Nordic Team. When asked what the benefit of blended learning is to his athletes, Dave commented that “student athletes who attend the program get both high end education and high end training, no compromise on either. These students experience stress surrounding both their competitions and school exams, with the Academy model we can marry the two and make their schedules manageable.”
Dave also commented on the importance of the teacher liaison position with The Academy. “The training load is like waves, with easier and harder periods. During the winter, the race schedule dictates everything” Dave said. The new model makes it easy to work the schedule around education, and coaches have one contact at school who understands both the athletic and academic pulls on a student. Because of the close proximity between the school and training facility, they also save time typically lost to commuting between the two.
The model has proven very successful, this year alone students in the program graduated to various American and Canadian universities, some with quite sizable scholarships. In the past, students have gone on to ski with the National Junior Development Team, National Talent Squad and to ski in the UK, Canada and the US.
With the additional flexibility the program will offer next year, Dave and coaches for the freeski, alpine and snowboard teams plan to intensify the pre-season training to help athletes progress further in their competitions. For example, nordic athletes will spend time sleeping on top of Granite Mountain to acclimatize to altitude. Watch the facebook page (www.facebook.com/redacademy) for updates as students travel between the peak and school daily.
For more information, contact Red Mountain Academy at (250) 231-8870 or firstname.lastname@example.org