CompTIAWorld, Issue 6, Fall 2019

CompTIA Member Matters

Cisco’s Connected North Initiative Empowers Youth in Canada’s Indigenous Communities According to Statistics Canada, indigenous youth graduate high school at approximately half the rate of their non-indigenous peers. While there are a variety of factors that may contribute to this, the fact is that Canada’s northern, remote communities don’t have access to the learning resources the rest of the country enjoys. That’s where Cisco Canada’s Connected North initiative comes

in: The program delivers immersive and interactive virtual education as well as mental health and wellness programming to these communities via Cisco TelePresence technology. Mark Collins, vice president, Cisco Canada, and CompTIA Canadian Business Technology Community Executive Council leader, says the goal is to use advanced technology to connect classroom experiences and services to students. “Our goal has been, and continues to be, to deliver experiences that encourage students to come to school. We listen to community leaders and help them deliver the services that are most in need, whether those connect students with experts, experiences or ideas.” Launched in 2014 with one school in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, a territory in Canada, Connected North now serves 10,000 students from 42 schools across the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. The Connected North teamworks with each school to customize content and

address unique needs. Content is rooted in indigenous themes of culture and tradition, and indigenous ways of knowing and learning. The program has been so successful that in 2016 Cisco migrated Connected North to dedicated charity partner TakingITGlobal in order to foster growth and scale. Cisco Canada, in partnership with TakingITGlobal, has built an ecosystem of over 60 funding partners to support growth, including federal, provincial and territorial governments, private sector leaders, private foundations and individual donors. “Connected North helps overcome the digital divide. Students in remote northern communities are being given the same learning opportunities as students in southern Canada,” said Collins. “This is a new digital model for learning in the north. But it’s more than a network to deliver 21st century learning. It’s a network of hope.” Mark Collins, Vice President, Cisco Canada

"This is a new digital model for learning in the north. But it’s more than a network to deliver 21st century learning. It’s a network of hope.”

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CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

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