Ontario Improving Access to High-Speed Internet for Over 250,000 Students
Province Enabling Faster Access to High-Quality Online Learning Resources
Ontario is connecting over 250,000 students at approximately 850 schools with high-speed internet as part of a commitment to improve internet access at all publicly funded schools across the province.
Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education, was joined by Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph, at Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School in Guelph this morning to announce the next wave of schools in Ontario's broadband modernization program.
Improving access to high-speed internet will enable more students and educators to access high-quality online courses and resources regardless of where they attend school, helping students to learn the transferable skills that they need in a globally connected and technology-engaged world. Students can participate in interactive lessons on topics such as coding or math through online learning platforms like Homework Help and mPower. Educators can also communicate with parents about their child's learning and progress.
Providing more students with high-speed internet and virtual learning services is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Ontario is investing in the next phase of its Broadband Access for All Students initiative, bringing the total commitment to $90 million. The project will be completed by 2021.
- More than 70,500 Ontario students in 181 schools have already benefitted from secure and accessible broadband internet. This means that students and educators can increasingly stream innovative new content or share best practices, to provide rich learning experiences for students.
- In 2016-17, more than 600,000 students and educators used a Virtual Learning Environment.
- A Virtual Learning Environment provides access to 116 English-language secondary school courses and 105 French-language secondary school courses, as well as inquiry-based and experiential digital learning resources for students from kindergarten to Grade 12.
- Ontario is also funding the Innovation in Learning Fund, an ongoing investment of $10 million towards fostering greater innovation in learning and teaching for students.
- Through the Plan to Strengthen Rural Education, Ontario made significant investments in broadband speed, special education supports and experiential learning opportunities for rural and Northern students.
“I am pleased with the progress our government is making to provide students with safe and equitable access to broadband, no matter where they live. This second wave of funding brings us one step closer to our vision of an education system that provides all students in Ontario with the tools and resources to reach their full potential. This investment will strengthen student learning across our province.”
“As MPP for Guelph, I saw firsthand how significant the first phase investment in broadband was for strengthening the learning experience for students in our region. Now even more students across the province will have better access to interactive e-learning resources that will help them to develop the skills they need to succeed both inside and outside the classroom.”
“Since improving our schools’ broadband access, our students have been able to engage with more digital learning resources in exciting and innovative ways that help them to acquire important skills in science, math, coding and technology. This is a critical investment in our students’ futures, preparing them for success in a rapidly changing global world.”