Virtual School Meanderings

January 18, 2011

Aboriginal Focused Programs in Canada

More than a week ago, I got the following mention in Twitter:

This is actually a topic that I’ve discussed in the past on this blog, but never in a specific manner (i.e., various entries on the topic, but nothing that brings it all together).  So I promised Angela that I would post an entry last week about this, but the week just got away from me.

To the best of my knowledge there are four aboriginal focused K-12 online learning programs in Canada:

  1. Keewaytinook Internet High School (Ontario)
  2. Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate (Manitoba)
  3. Credenda Virtual School (Saskatchewan)
  4. Sunchild E-Learning Community (Alberta)

In the past I have posted entries about reports that have been published focused on these programs:

In addition, the last two editions of the State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada reports have included content related to these aboriginal programs.

  • 2010 edition
    • Brief Issue Paper – Keewaytinook Internet High School: Moving first Nation Students ahead with Technology in Ontario’s Remote North (pp. 14-17)
    • Vignette – Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate (p. 46)
    • Vignette – Credenda Virtual High School (p. 48)
  • 2009 edition
    • Vignette – Keewaytinook Internet High School (p. 30)

Beyond these four programs, there have been several publications and presentations focused upon the provision of K-12 distance education primarily to an aboriginal population in Canada:

These are all of the K-12 online learning resources focused on Canada’s aboriginal population that I am aware of.  For those who have a more direct involvement in this community, am I missed any?

Also, for my readers south of the 49th parallel, are there any K-12 online learning programs or resources in the United States specifically focused on Native Americans?  I am aware of the Fort Washakie High School (FWHS)/Wyoming e-academy of Virtual Education (WeAVE), but that is really the only one that immediately comes to mind.

June 28, 2010

Report: Optimizing The Effectiveness Of E-Learning For First Nations

One of my fine colleagues here north of the forty-ninth, Vince Hill (principal of Credenda Virtual School), alerted me this past week to the following report.

Optimizing the Effectiveness of E-Learning for First Nations

This report looks at how to optimize the effectiveness of e-learning to improve the educational outcomes of First Nations people living on a reserve.

Report by Ashley Sisco
The Conference Board of Canada, 43 pages, May 2010

Document Highlights:
E-learning can help close the education gap between First Nations people living on a reserve and Canada’s non-Aboriginal population. Based on a brief literature review and interviews, this report found that optimizing the effectiveness of e-learning in improving the educational outcomes of First Nations people living on a reserve requires: better engagement of First Nations in e-learning program development and implementation; the development of an e-learning strategy; an increase in funding amounts and the extension of funding terms for e-learning; the assessment of community needs and educational outcomes; building tools and capacity to support e-learning; the development of a strategy to improve teacher engagement; consideration of generational differences among students; the promotion of student commitment; the expansion and increased flexibility of programs, with holistic program delivery; and better integration of e-learning under the overall Indian and Northern Affairs Canada education umbrella.

To view this page and the link to the report, go to

Credenda is one of four aboriginal K-12 online programs in Canada – the others are Keewaytinook Internet High School, Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate, and Sunchild E-Learning Community.  As some of you may recall, I’ve written about Sunchild (see Advancing Aboriginal Inclusion Through The Use Of E-Learning Technology In The Aboriginal Community and Follow-Up: Advancing Aboriginal Inclusion Through The Use Of E-Learning Technology In The Aboriginal Community), along with Credenda (see Elluminate Newsline – December 2008 and Canadian Virtual School Focused On Aboriginal Students Received $2 Million Donation) – plus Keewaytinook was the focus of the vignette from Ontario in the 2009 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada (see page 30).  However, the Wapaskwa is knew to me – so I’m going to have to spend some time learning about this program.

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