With an estimated 800 videoconferencing units in schools across the province, videoconferencing enables Alberta students to access unique learning opportunities – from remote courses to the ability to interact with subject matter experts. Videoconferencing can also be used for the remote delivery of student services and professional learning for teachers.
A growing number of jurisdictions are using videoconferencing for full-course delivery, improving access and flexibility for students. Teachers are also using other technologies – such as laptops and electronic whiteboards – to enhance the experience of students taking classes by videoconference.
Alberta Education has provided more than $13.5 million to support videoconferencing capacity in the K-12 education system. This includes providing funding directly to jurisdictions to purchase videoconferencing equipment and supporting implementation programs to help teachers get the most of this technology. Alberta Education also worked with other government departments to create a centralized videoconference network using SuperNet, making videoconference sessions more accessible.
Alberta’s Success in Videoconferencing
Alberta Education, as a leader in educational videoconferencing, has participated in videoconference events that highlight the potential the technology has to enhance teaching and learning and allow students to interact directly with others across long distances.
- GTEC 2008 Award of Distinction
Alberta Education's (Stakeholder) School Technology Branch received a gold medal for its Videoconferencing in the K-12 Education System initiative at the 2008 GTEC Awards of Distinction Gala in Ottawa on October 27, 2008. The gold medal in the Human Dimension category recognizes the way in which technology touches the lives of so many Alberta students.
- Elevate 2008
Alberta Education hosted ELEVATE 2008, an international videoconferencing event in Banff in August 2008. Over three hundred delegates heard keynote speakers, participated in live videoconferencing sessions and met with other videoconferencing enthusiasts from around the world.
- Robert Bateman Videoconference Event
Students in Edmonton and Irvine had the opportunity to learn about drawing and the natural world outside their doors from world-renowned Canadian artist Robert Bateman. Minister Ron Liepert and two Grade 4 classes participated in the videoconference event which was recorded for further educational use on LearnAlberta.ca.
- Alberta Education at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2006
Alberta Education connected Smithsonian Folklife Festival participants to Albertan youth from all areas of the province in a series of ten videoconferences, showcasing the talent and diversity of Alberta students.
Videoconferencing Research Projects
Alberta Education supports a range of applied research projects to investigate effective practices in the use of videoconferencing in a variety of teaching and learning environments.
Calls for Proposals - Successful Applicants
Videoconferencing Implementation Support
Alberta Education works with partners to support the wider implementation of videoconferencing in Alberta schools.
Videoconferencing Provincial Support
Provincial videoconferencing support is provided by VC with 2Learn.ca and sponsored by Alberta Education. The VC with 2Learn.ca team is providing support and professional learning opportunities to teachers and school authorities.
VCAlberta.ca, developed with funding from Alberta Education, provides advice and answers questions related to videoconferencing in Alberta.
Updated April 2013