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November 20th, 2017

Photo by Mali Bickley, TakingITGlobal.

With today’s technology and connected classrooms, field trips don’t need to be limited to the places you can visit on a school bus… you can even be 2,000 kilometres away!

The AGO recently joined forces with Connected North, a partnership between Cisco Canada and TakingITGlobal that provides immersive and interactive education services to remote and under-served Northern communities using two-way video technology. The goal was to provide access to the AGO and the art in our Collection to students who are not able to visit in person.

The students, ranging from grade four to grade eight, came from all over Ontario, including:

  • Keewaywin School in Keewaywin;
  • Victoria Linklater Memorial School, North Spirit Lake First Nation;
  • Ahgwahbuush Memorial School in Poplar Hill First Nation;
  • McCrosson Tovell Elementary School in Morson; and
  • Mine Centre School in Mine Centre.

Over the span of two weeks, different classes took part in a program called Canada and Ideas of Land, using the AGO’s Canadian Collection – particularly three works by artists Christi Belcourt, Manasie Akpaliapik and Kathleen Munn – to think about their relationship to land and then create their own artwork in response. All supplies were sent to the schools in advance.

We asked Audrey Hudson, who manages the AGO’s school and teacher programs, how she felt about the experience. “It was so exciting for us to see the students so moved by their visit and the art that we shared with them,” she said. “But it was also truly an opportunity for us to learn what was meaningful and important to these students – students we wouldn’t have met without the use of two-way video. Now that we have access to this type of technology, the possibilities for school and teacher programming is endless!”

Here are some examples of the artworks created by students out of these sessions.

Photo by Mali Bickley, TakingITGlobal.

Photo by Mali Bickley, TakingITGlobal.

Photo by Mali Bickley, TakingITGlobal.

We have all kinds of programs for students and teachers – both in Toronto and from afar. Check them out here.

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