TORONTO — The Ontario government is expanding access to high-quality online learning courses for secondary school students through partnerships with school boards, TVO and TFO. Starting today, secondary school students will be able to preview online course content at www.ontariocoursepreview.ca. The move is a significant step forward in providing greater quality, choice and flexibility to students. As part of the Broadband Modernization Program, the government has taken action to ensure network connectivity to all schools in Ontario. The government has now confirmed that internet connectivity is complete at nearly 100 per cent of schools — 4,841 elementary and secondary schools are now connected, with three active connectivity projects underway in remote schools.
Students will be able to preview the online courses, which will help students and families make informed decisions for online course selections for the 2022-23 school year. New online courses will be added to the preview sites over time, providing Ontario secondary students with more options to reach their academic goals and meet the new online graduation requirements (opt-out provision remains available for all students). School boards make a selection of online courses available to students who can register through their local school as part of the course selection process. The move positions Ontario as a leader in providing modern, online learning options that will ensure students have the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
Expanding online course options will provide students with greater choice and flexibility in meeting their education needs while augmenting their learning experience and building digital literacy and other transferrable skills. School boards will continue to deliver Ontario-certified teacher-led online courses in a manner that respects the unique needs of the French-language and Catholic systems. The online course previews give students and families an idea about what teacher-led online learning looks like. Additional courses may be offered by school boards. Students should connect with their school to see what courses are offered and how to register.
“We have created the gold standard of online learning courses that are dynamic, led by an educator, and offer course variety for students,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We are placing a major emphasis on real-world learning by embedding life and job skills into the curriculum — while ensuring they learn in digitally connected classrooms, regardless of where they live.”
The Ontario government’s new requirement for online learning is outlined in Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) No. 167, including eligibility and implementation requirements and parent opt-out provisions. The PPM also clarifies that, for students currently in Grade 10, up to one credit earned remotely during the April 2021 to June 2021 school closures will count towards the online learning graduation requirement.
As part of a strategy to reduce barriers to online learning, the provincial government is improving access to the internet at all publicly funded schools in Ontario. Under the Broadband Modernization Program, schools across Ontario have completed improvements to their broadband networks, so that students can access online learning resources. The program also provides more efficient technology to support affordable network scale-up and enhanced cyber protection in the future and addresses long-standing internet access challenges faced by students and educators in northern and rural communities.