2020-21 Grants for Student Needs: Modern Learning for Today and Tomorrow

The 2018 Auditor General’s report noted significant disparities in the availability of relevant up-to-date classroom technology across our province. OPSBA supports using technology as a vehicle to facilitate learning, but it should never be considered a replacement to guided face to face teaching and learning that occurs in school classrooms. Issues of poverty, lack of reliable and affordable internet services across the province continue to put forward a compelling argument against the mandating of technological approaches that will have limited accessibility and the potential to create greater gaps in equitable learning opportunities for vulnerable and marginalized student populations. School board approaches have demonstrated a commitment and expertise in providing e-Learning and other learning opportunities using technology, in a guided, progressive, and inclusive way that maximizes student success. 

OPSBA recommends:

  • Continuing investment through the technology and learning fund to enrich the classroom experience for students through access to tools and software, and to strengthen professional learning for educators who will use technology and digital resources to enhance student engagement, learning and achievement. This type of funding and future investments will allow school boards to ensure that technology in schools is current and relevant for the various student pathways.
  • The government continue the work of the Broadband Modernization Program to ensure there is equity of access for all school boards across the province.
  • Plans, programs and funding be based on a well-articulated vision rather than a “pilot project” approach.
  • The ministry should coordinate efforts with other ministries to ensure an accessible, equitable technology infrastructure across the province.
  • Providing funding to maintain and expand successful e-Learning consortiums (e.g. northern consortium, Ontario e-Learning Consortium) would be beneficial.