School District 73 has a tremendous resource in Kamloops Open Online Learning (@KOOL).
With a widely dispersed population, stretching from Blue River to Logan Lake and Westwold, SD73 needs a plan to provide high quality learning experiences to students who may not have access to programming in their hometowns.
Online delivery of education has a long history with deep roots. We have come a long ways from the days when remote students had to wait weeks for printed packages of materials, usually text, but sometimes audio cassettes, were delivered through the mail. Now, with instant, high-speed access through broadband connections in most towns and satellite access in rural areas, high quality education can be streamed almost anywhere.
For example, a high school student in Clearwater might want to take Physics 12, but with limited resources in Clearwater, she might normally not be able to do so. Fortunately for her, @KOOL offers Physics 12 online, so she can register in the course and work her way through at her own pace and with the assistance of a teacher with an academic background in physics.
Another example might be a student who has significant difficulty processing verbal information. A student like this performs much better when given the time to read content, rather than having to be frustrated at not being able to take adequate notes. Rather than a lecture being largely missed, this student can access the content anytime and anywhere since her coursework through @KOOL is also available on her phone.
Examples like these are already active in SD73, but there is far more that could be done.
Imagine a teacher at any of our schools who wants to increase the amount of educational student interaction in her course, so she decides to offer short tutorials online through Moodle (the software that hosts courses for @KOOL) for students to watch at home, and then she uses her class time for students to engage in a debate or other cooperative activities.
The infrastructure for this is currently in place in Kamloops, all that is needed is some targeted support for teachers who wish to take advantage of the benefits of rich learning experiences afforded by modern online technologies and learning environments.
@KOOL by Colin Madland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.