AlphaPlus staff works closely with Ontario literacy and basic skills (LBS) programs to support their understanding and application of digital technology in ways that are relevant and exciting to learners, staff and volunteers.

To foster equality, access, excellence and creativity in adult education, we partner with educators from other sectors and jurisdictions as well as people working in fields relevant to literacy.

Our specialized staff have expertise in the use of digital technology in education and for administrative purposes as well as experience in and understanding of the adult literacy education field.

Tell us about your technology challenge or vision. We’ll match you to the right person and guide you to the right solution.

Six things to know about us

1. We are curious. We are creative explorers who approach all that we do with a learning mindset. We cultivate space for reflective practice and critical thinking.

2. We are helpful. We help literacy educators use technology in innovative ways. As we learn from the people we work with, we amplify their knowledge.

3. We are nimble. We collaborate in order to respond to evolving situations and new contexts with imagination and resourcefulness.

4. We are people first. We start by listening to dreams and assessing strengths. Our work is about nurturing dreams and building on strengths .

5. We are inclusive. We believe that by using digital technology in our sector we can create equitable access to learning and enhance learning experiences.

6. We are impressed. Our staff meetings are liberally peppered with stories of the amazing work, creativity and ingenuity we encounter as we work with adult educators across Ontario.

Alan Cherwinski

Executive Director

Alan has been the executive director of AlphaPlus since 2015, but his involvement with the organization dates to its founding. He was one of the original staff members who migrated from George Brown College and from the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library to support the Ontario fledgling adult education library that ultimately became AlphaPlus.

In a wide range of roles, Alan has spearheaded changes at AlphaPlus to address the evolving needs of literacy learners and practitioners. His agile approach to strategic planning and continuous improvement has kept AlphaPlus relevant, accessible, accountable and inventive.

As a leader in the literacy field with comprehensive knowledge of the affordances and limitations of educational and administrative uses of technology, Alan advances an understanding of information literacy and blended learning that moves the field forward.

As a leader of AlphaPlus in its capacity as an Ontario LBS support organization, Alan guides our work with adult learning programs to understand, research, plan and integrate emerging digital tools to meet the needs of staff and learners effectively and creatively.

And as a leader within AlphaPlus, Alan has created an imaginative workspace. He encourages professional learning and exploration that empowers the staff to experiment and innovate, and he embraces every opportunity to forge fresh partnerships that may lead to collaborative initiatives with other organizations.

Christine Pinsent-Johnson

Policy and Research Specialist – Education and Technology

With over three decades of experience in the adult learning sector, Christine has a robust understanding of the circumstances hindering learning opportunities and access, and the impact of effective adult learning-based policies and programs. She has been a literacy volunteer, tutor co-ordinator, computer and classroom instructor, curriculum developer and assessor in school board and community adult literacy programs.

As policy and research specialist, Christine applies her understanding of system dynamics, learner experiences, accountability processes and metrics, and pedagogy to support equitable and relevant learning opportunities. An experienced researcher, she also draws from evidence-based insights for initiatives, including an understanding of digital disparities in Ontario and Canada and the development of blended learning approaches.

Guylaine Vinet

Organizational Development Specialist – Education and Technology

For more than 20 years, Guylaine has worked in the adult literacy sector. Beginning her career as a librarian supporting literacy practitioners in the deaf and francophone communities, she now assists LBS organizations and practitioners in evolving their knowledge and application of technology and learning using coaching, team training and resource sharing. 

As an organizational development specialist, Guylaine provides service in French and English, specializing in information and cloud content management, curating learning resources, learning with tablets and mobile devices and technology problem-solving. Her areas of interest and professional development include online privacy and safety as well as assistive technology and information management. 

In her collaborations with LBS organizations as a technology consultant, Guylaine supports teams and educators to build their online resource collection, better understand digital privacy safety and best practices  and manage websites and content. 

Monika Jankowska-Pacyna

Organizational Development Specialist – Education and Technology

Drawing from her many years of experience, Monika supports adult education service providers to identify and implement technologies and tools that improve their work in the classroom and reduce administrative burden. She’s skilled in applied education technologies, marketing and communications and social media platform management. She loves using a brief solution-focused approach in her coaching practice. 

In her work as an organizational development specialist, Monika applies her knowledge of mobile apps, digital tools and customized websites to help LBS clients better support adult learners. She specializes in technology needs assessments, implementing learning and communications tools, organizational plans and data tracking, and knowledge sharing and exchange, and she loves delivering workshops and webinars. Monika is also the proud recipient of the 2019 Leaders in Adult Learning Award from Literacy Link Niagara.  

Her coaching clients can take advantage of her technical expertise in the uptake and application of Google Apps, Microsoft Office suite of products, e-learning and learning management systems , social media and events tools, online conferencing tools, graphic design software and e-commerce platforms.

Olga Herrmann

Policy and Research Specialist – Education and Technology

With twenty-five years of experience supporting adult learners along their unique learning journeys, Olga has been committed to fostering engaged learning environments and to helping adults find useful information along their education pathways, so that they reach the goals that matter to them. Always with the aim of not letting any adult learner fall through the cracks, Olga has taken on roles as an LBS practitioner, ESL instructor, learning strategist, vocational counsellor and career advisor in post-secondary settings and in community-based agencies.

As a policy and research specialist, Olga employs her post-graduate foundations in adult education, combined with her extensive front-line classroom experience and her innate curiosity, to ask nuanced questions that help shine a light on best practices, emerging challenges, and to identify innovative ways to enhance learning within a world where digital technologies are transforming teaching and learning. In this new frontier of blended learning, Olga strives to ensure that practitioners’ voices are heard by directly reaching out to programs and instructors, and to also determine how AlphaPlus might best share research and assist with collaborative work in the field that helps move to a more seamless integration of literacy and digital technology while staying true to what is relevant to adult learners’ lives.

Tracey Mollins

Professional Learning Specialist – Education and Technology

Tracey has worked in adult education (literacy, English as a second language (ESL), ESL literacy and practitioner training) at community programs, school boards, colleges, unions and networks. Her work is informed by her experience as an instructor and program worker as well as her project experience developing communities of practice, e-learning strategies, blended or distance curricula and models for online instructional design.

As a professional learning specialist, Tracey draws from the principles of connectivism to explore the realities and possibilities of teaching and learning in a digitally connected world. She specializes in the theory and facilitation of collaborative blended learning and reflective practice, the development of emergent curricula, resource curation strategies, and the creative use of learning management systems and education technology.