Virtual School Meanderings

January 7, 2011

HICE 2011 – Together@Distance: Online Learning In The Pan Arctic

The second session that I am able to blog from the 9th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education was:

Time: 1:15 – 2:45 PM 1/6/2011 Room: Nautilus 2
Session Topic: Education Technology
Session Chair: Rubrecht, Brian

Together@Distance – Online Learning in the Pan Arctic

Childs, Elizabeth – Government of Nunavut
Armstrong, Collene – Government of Nunavut

And you can see all of the K-12 Online Learning And The 9th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education that I was able to find in the program.

The session itself wasn’t about K-12 online learning in the end, it was focused on adult basic education (i.e., literacy) at a distance for Inuit communities, primarily in the territory of Nunavut.

The territory of Nunavut includes 25 communities spread out over 20% of Canada’s landmass.  There is a population of about 30,000 and 80%+ speak Inuktitut as a first language (which is also the official language of the territory).  On the K-12 front, there are 43 schools, 650 teachers and 8800 students.  Internet access is provided through satellite, largely by a number of different territorial and federal Government programs.  There is now at least one commercial provider operating in some portions of the territory (although the cost is prohibitive for the vast majority of residents to have home access).

The education in the territory is based upon the aboriginal or Inuit belief of Inunnguiniq – making a human being.

What We Know

  • “Surprisingly large number of Inuit and non-Inuit are seeking out distance learning opportunities at the secondary and post-secondary level.”
  • “Southern distance education courses rarely meet the needs of Nunavut students in context, cultural, relevance, and pedagogy.”

Together @ a Distance is the name of the actual project and it is available at:

Moodle Site –
Portal Site –

The project has created five freely available courses that may be of interest to VSM readers:

  1. What is e-learning
  2. How to adapt an e-course
  3. How to teach an e-course
  4. How to design an e-course
  5. How to facilitate an e-course

The presenters then went through the actual online adult literacy research project (which I didn’t get many notes from).  Both presenters were quite friendly after the session ended, and if you have any questions beyond what my notes have provided I would suggest contacting them at:

Collene Armstrong – collene-dot-armstrong-at-pointsnorth-dot-ca
Dr. Elizabeth Childs – echilds-at-telus-dot-net

1 Comment »

  1. […] HICE 2011 – Together@Distance: Online Learning In The Pan Arctic […]

    Pingback by Aboriginal Focused Programs in Canada « Virtual School Meanderings — January 18, 2011 @ 9:06 am | Reply

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