The UGDSB offers more than 400 online courses, available to eligible secondary students. eLearning Courses are credit courses authorized by the Ontario Ministry of Education through e-Learning Ontario. They are for eligible students and they are delivered by qualified, Upper Grand DSB teachers. The Upper Grand District School Board is also a member of the Ontario e-Learning Consortium. With the other member school boards, we work together to optimize e-Learning programs and enhance student learning through emerging technologies and innovative practices. Through this partnership students in the UGDSB have access to a broader range of courses taught by Ontario Certified Teachers in other boards.
Over the last few years, there has been exponential growth in the use of technological tools and resources in Upper Grand schools. Students don’t stop using this technology when they get home, as a good number of these resources are available to them 24/7. The board created Digital Saturdays as a way for parents/guardians to learn more about the technology their children are using daily. Digital Saturday is an opportunity to explore and learn about:
- New technologies in the classroom like Chromebooks, UGCloud
- Assistive technologies to support all learners including Kurzweil and Read&Write for Google
- Robotics and coding and virtual reality in the classroom demonstrations
- Online digital resources for assisting student learning such as UG2GO, UGCloud and Homework Help
The format of the event has evolved over the years, starting as formal presentations where experts showed parents and guardians how the technology works. Now, Digital Saturday is an open house with students as the experts, giving presentations and demonstrations.
Chromebooks in the classroom and public libraries
The UGDSB is the highest user of Chromebooks in Canada, proportionally. The board was the first in Ontario to have a large deployment of Chromebooks in our schools.
In an effort to reach as many students as possible, while bridging the digital divide, the board has placed Chromebooks for student use in all 25 public library branches across the district. Each public library has been outfitted with five Chromebooks that are available exclusively for Upper Grand students to access and complete their homework and assignments. Not all regions in the Upper Grand have the same access to residential broadband networks. Internet access is not always available or affordable for all families. Many rely heavily on public Internet services, such as those offered in libraries. The Chromebooks program aims to provide equity of access to the Internet and technology for all students in the board and also ensures students won’t have to wait in line to use a computer in their library. Students can use the laptops in the libraries, or take them out for a period of time.
Chromebooks can be found in all 14 library branches in Wellington County, seven branches in Guelph, two in Orangeville as well as the Shelburne Public Library and Grand Valley Public Library.