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Friday, October 27 • 09:15 - 10:15
A Digital Solution for Distance Education and Training Programs

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Based in a remote area of north-western Alberta, Kayas Cultural College is on the First Nation’s Reserve Little Red River Cree Nation (LRRCN). The region is divided into three distinct communities within the region: Fox Lake, Garden River, and John D’Or Prairie. Travel is difficult between the communities, and options are dependant on both the season and weather condition. LRRCN is comprised of approximately 5,500 people with a large percentage of the population under educated and unemployed. Historically the education system has been undervalued and underfunded, which has lead to a lower success rate when compared to more urban regions in Canada. Due to it’s remote location the community has limited resources and infrastructure for many of programs which has fostered a need for new an innovative way to implement upgrading.

In the first segment of the presentation, we will demonstrate this call and how interactive the system is for both the instructors as well as the students, outlined below:

A post-secondary institution, Kayas focuses on academic upgrading for the community members within the reserve who the traditional education system has failed. With a campus in each community Kayas uses distance-based education to instruct class to students in all three locations seamlessly. Using the Microsoft surface hubs, a conference call between the three campus locations connect to create a true virtual classroom. Instructors engage with students at all locations and deliver engaging lesson plans to foster a stimulating learning environment for the students. We have found this blend of face-to-face and digital learning to be a great model for student success within our institution.

In the second segment of the presentation we will go over these programs and apps that are openly available in the Office 365 environment, detailed below:

Students are also all assigned Office 365 accounts, and student notebooks are created in the OneNote for Classroom app for each of their classes. This creates individual notebooks which contain all the aspects of a traditional binder you would expect - and more: course content, assignments, homework, and tests are all stored there. Instructors can mark student’s work directly in this environment which students can see and keep for further reference. This eliminates the need for a constant flow of emails to instructors which can become cumbersome both for students and instructors. Instructors can see at a glance who has updated their notebooks, and with what content, saving time and allowing for better feedback to students.

This approach has many advantages both in and outside of the classroom. While students are learning the core content of their courses they are also being prepared for higher learning outside of the reserve. Many student have little to no experience with technology prior to coming to Kayas and many of the innate skills they learn for exposure to technology here carry them forward to further success after graduation. We help prepare them for post-secondary opportunities or employment that would have otherwise been impossible without the skills and knowledge they attain here.


Friday October 27, 2017 09:15 - 10:15
Palomino F 20 Roundup Way SW, Calgary, AB T2G 2W1

Attendees (11)