Long-distance education hitting right notes

A group of high school students in rural Newfoundland and Labrador shared their music class with the minister of education on Wednesday.
Minister of Education Clyde Jackman had the opportunity to participate in a long-distance education music class on Wednesday. (CBC)

A group of high school students in rural Newfoundland and Labrador shared their music class with the minister of education on Wednesday.

Clyde Jackman participated in a long-distance education class in Spaniard's Bay, while music students across the province watched and listened.

Everyone was connected on a large-screen television.

Jackman said it's remarkable how technology can offer a wide range of programming to students in rural and remote regions.

"What an opportunity, because many of these students would not have been able to do music in their regular settings," he said.

"It was a pleasure to play guitar with these students, via videoconferencing, and to witness first-hand how distance education is making teachers with expertise in specific subject areas available to students in rural and remote areas."

Education minister Clyde Jackman participated in a long-distance education class with students from Rushoon to Grey River.
​​Through distance education, teachers in specialty areas such as music, French and skilled trades are able to connect in real time with students in small schools.

Andrew Mercer is one of those teachers.

"The advantages of being able to access a qualified music teacher from any corner of the province far outweighs the small disadvantages you have from being not physically in the same room," he said.

Long-distance education programs are facilitated by the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation, which offers more than 40 courses to about 1,000 students in 110 high schools in the province.

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