Students have had graduation and post-secondary entrance success using the Connected Classrooms model of learning.
About Connected Classrooms
For the past four years, the FNSA and FNESC have been piloting the Connected Classrooms initiative, which is designed to facilitate joint offerings of specific grade 8 through 12 courses by a number of First Nations schools. Participating schools use a combination of technologies, including real time video conferencing, to connect and create an interactive classroom environment for students located in a collective of First Nations schools throughout BC. This project differs from other Distance Learning initiatives because the students participate in a real time virtual classroom with an instructor qualified to teach the specific subject, complemented with in-person support from an on-site educator.
In 2014/2015, twelve schools participated in the Connected Classrooms initiative, and collectively offered Math 10 Foundations and Pre-calculus, Math 11 Pre-calculus, 2 sections of Science 10, Chemistry 11, Biology 12, and English First Peoples 12 courses. These courses were provided to a total of 129 students. Students attributed their success in these courses to their ability to see and interact with the teacher and other students.
Results for all of the 2014/2015 Connected Classrooms courses will soon be available. However, results from 2013/2014 are available to demonstrate the success of this initiative. In 2013/2014, there were 96 course registrants, representing 72 different students (as some students took more than one course). Of the 72 students, 58 completed their courses – an 81% course completion rate.
Further, the results from the courses completed in January 2015 showed that of the 53 students from nine different First Nations schools who completed Science 10, 83% (44) passed the course.
All of the schools that participated in the Connected Classrooms Initiative in 2014/2015 are committed to doing so again in the upcoming school year, and one new school has also asked to join. Several other schools have expressed interest in joining if space becomes available for new students. In addition, Pre-calculus 12 and English First Peoples 11 will be added to the Connected Classrooms offerings for the 2015/2016 school year.
FNSA schools that would like further information about Connected Classrooms are welcome to contact Dawn McGuire-Reeves, FNESC/FNSA Connected Classrooms Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Participating in Connected Classrooms
As part of the project, participating schools receive video conferencing equipment. Participation may be limited by a school’s bandwidth and by available classroom space.
- Provide an onsite teacher to support student learning during the class time (also known as a supporting teacher);
- Collaborate with other partner schools to determine the course offerings for the upcoming school year;
- Agree to equipment implementation and testing prior to May 31 of the school year; and
- Agree to regular check-ins and feedback to discuss project challenges and successes.