The OVS Podcast – A Brighter Future, Powered by OVS

Brighter Future Podcast Blog Header

Ontario Virtual School is kicking off the rest of Season 3 this month on A Brighter Future, Powered by OVS, with a series of episodes about adapting to the changing public school system, the Ontario cellphone crackdown, and the new apprenticeship pathways for senior high school students. Before we jump into what’s to come, let’s talk about how we started!

How A Brighter Future, Powered by OVS First Hit the Air

Ontario Virtual School wanted a place for our teachers to share learning strategies and tools for students. We wanted a bank of episodes that students could review at any time and gain some quick tips to improve their education experience. All the OVS podcast episodes are still relevant today. Each episode covers different learning strategies, education tools to improve academic success, and spotlight interviews with different educators, universities and colleges, parents, and students. These episodes are within 20 to 60 minutes in length and offer handy tips for improving your learning.

Season 1: Learn about how you Learn!

Alicia and Dwayne Podcast

When the school first started the podcast, they asked teacher and course developer, Ms. Alicia Cuzner, and education and learning technology expert, Dwayne Matthews, to take the mic! Alicia and Dwayne focused Season 1 on how the mind functions, and how we learn. They wanted students and parents to understand how learning works within the brain, and how we can optimize learning by understanding how the mind works

Podcast Blog Mood and Mindset

Episode 1: How Online Learning Can Help Mental Health and Episode 4: Mood and Mindset talked about bullying, microaggressions, racism, general anxiety students face and how through online learning, there has been a drop in this. These episodes also explored strategies on how to observe ourselves and change our behaviour through mindfulness.


Episode 2: Sleep, Memory, and Learning and Episode 3: Executive Functioning and Memory Strategies break down how the brain works, and why sleep is so important. Dwayne and Alicia discussed the types of memory, and how sleep impacts memory and executive functioning.

Podcast Blog Memory

Season 2: The Education System and University Admission

Season 2 focused on how the Ontario education system works and tips on how students and parents should navigate it. Each episode also included a Secondary School Spotlight, where Alicia interviewed a different Canadian college or university (or an institution that is both) in each episode. Alicia asked questions that students would want to know to University of Ottawa, Trent University, Seneca College, Algonquin College, Western University, University of Toronto, and others!

Episode 1: What is an IEP?, Episode 2: Accommodations Vs. Modification, and cover all the “buzz words” that often get thrown around in an education setting. These buzz words include learning disabilities, ADHD, Individual Education Plan, accommodation, and modification. 

The goal of these episodes is to tackle the stigma around learning disabilities, and why it is important to use any accommodations that are assigned to you in an IEP. 

Alicia talks about how to navigate the process of getting assessed for a learning disability with a psychological educational assessment, and how the IEPs are made in Ontario.

Episode 4: Online Vs. In Person Learning ties all the information together by discussing how online learning can be beneficial to anyone struggling in a typical learning environment. Episode 3: Behind the Research in Education and Episode 5: Math and Memory break down the current research in how we should learn math and arithmetic, the rise in Math anxiety, as well has how ideas about learning have changed over the past few decades.

Lastly, Episode 6: Goal Setting, Episode 7: Successful Student, and Episode 8: How to Take Notes cover the essential tools to be a successful student. Alicia and Dwayne discussed different types of goals and how to use them, as well as the importance of goal setting for learning. They also talked about what a successful student looks like, and how to become a successful student.

Season 3: The Student Experience

Season 3 is currently in the works and is focusing on the student experience. This season has Student Spotlights in the episodes that highlights different students’ journeys with education. Each student is a past or current Ontario Virtual School student who is either full-time or part-time with the school. So far there are three published episodes, with three more to be released this spring and summer. Episode 1: Effective Communication Skills and Episode 2: Thinking Schools discuss how students should tackle different types of school questions based on the objective of the question. We also hear from the first two Student Spotlights, Paula and Nathan. In Episode 3: End of Semester Tips, Alicia discusses how to prepare for the end of the year. This podcast also includes an interview with OVS’s Vice Principal, Ms. Andrews. 

Give us a Listen!

Stay tuned and listen in on any steaming platform! Just ask your home system to play “A Brighter Future, Powered by OVS” and start optimizing your learning!