Regional Areas

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Crystal Gail (Grade 12)

If you had walked into Mr. Larry Danielson's grade 12 English class on September 9th, you would have witnessed Garden Valley Collegiate students actively participating in a discussion. Students were simultaneously contributing ideas, creating an enthusiastic atmosphere thick with...silence.

How can this be?

The explanation is simple. These GVC English students in Winkler, Manitoba, have the opportunity to participate in online learning. The online course enables instructions, assignments, questions and even attendance to be delivered through the school network. This means that students "...learn how to get the same information out of a written medium as opposed to a spoken medium," according to online student Janette Wiebe.

The same technology which makes learning online available, also allows students who are equipped with a PC and a modem to dial in to the school from off-campus locations. It was this dial-in access that last year allowed students from a school over 100 miles away to participate in a Technical Communications English class at GVC.

Currently in its second year of operation, the online venture is viewed as an accomplishment. "By most criteria," states Mr. Danielson, online initiator and teacher, "we have been more successful in our online program than we hoped." He went on to say, "One of our best signs of success is that there were two students applying for every spot available" at course registration this past April.

Teachers and students alike seem to view the online phenomenon quite positively. Former student teacher Miss Shauna Wiebe, who worked with the online courses, believes that "By working in this format, students are prepared for many of the new realities of the working world."

Students have described the online phenomenon as "Awesome", "Exciting", and "Fantabulous", noting they especially appreciated the flexibility the course provided. Online English instructor, Mr. Danielson, observes, "Being able to take the online course at any period of the school day or at home in the evening gives students more opportunity to take a specialized course without schedule conflicts."

GVC students recognize the privilege of being one of the first public schools in North America to participate in the online venture. The students and staff are proud to belong to a school that is on the cutting edge of technology, a school preparing its students for the turn of the century--and beyond.

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