Connected classes in Saskatchewan to improve the offer of optional courses

In Saskatchewan, the Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CEF) has opted for trendy classes in order to offer more choices to students in small French-language secondary schools scattered throughout its territory.

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Our Council of Fransaskois Schools, in Saskatchewan, has several small French-language schools scattered throughout its vast territory. In order to increase the diversity of courses offered to students, a connected classes project has been set up.

Concretely, the project allows students to have access to a choice of specialized secondary courses, namely chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics. For the moment, 119 students from 4 different schools are concerned. 

As some francophone schools in Saskatchewan are very small, it is difficult to recruit teachers to offer specialized subjects to a very small number of students. In addition, given the distance between schools (sometimes up to 6.30 hours drive), it is unthinkable for teachers to travel on the territory. 

With the Connected Classes project, the teacher who teaches a math class at the Prince Albert school, for example, will also give his lesson live to other students in a connected room in another school. The maximum number of students for these connected classes has been set at 15 to facilitate follow-ups.

The project started a few weeks ago and Dominic Rivard, project coordinator, says he is very encouraged by the first results. In a telephone interview, he explained that previously, students had access to certain specialized subjects, but asynchronously. Being able to attend a live class changes the dynamic. They are more engaged in their studies, interact more with the teacher and other students, etc. “In a minority setting, that can make all the difference,” he added.

The main challenge of the project has been to ensure that the computer equipment works well in all the rooms so that the teachers can focus on the pedagogical aspect, and not on the technique. Although some adjustments are still in progress, the facilities are functional.

In order to prepare for this new pedagogical reality, teachers have had access to several days of tailor-made training since June, including several orchestrated by the École branchée team. These days of continuous professional development allowed them to gain confidence to better adapt their practice.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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