Online classroom brings southern experts to Arctic students

IQALUIT, Nunavut - The students are in the Arctic, but now the teachers can be anywhere.

Nunavut is launching a program today that uses technology developed by Cisco Systems to bring experts from across North America into classrooms in Iqaluit.

Students that have never seen a frog can now link to a university biology lab to see one being dissected.

The interactive, high-definition online video also connects southern students to their northern peers to give them their first close look at Inuit traditions such as kayak-building.

Similar technology has been used elsewhere in Canada.

But Iqaluit school principal Don Peters says this is the first time that online lessons have been integrated into the regular curriculum in the North.

Peters says a pilot program already increased classroom attendance, a major problem in Nunavut's schools.