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Supporting Remote Learning - Use What You Know

Supporting remote learning often begins with what we know best. Some families will not have access to the internet or have the technology at home to support learning. While telephones are older technology, they work well to connect and communicate with others remotely. Similarly, paper and pencil, a cellphone picture of a project emailed to a teacher, and texting are all familiar techniques we can use to maintain our teacher/learner relationships. The role of whatever technology we use is to support and extend student learning.

“In order to help learners adjust to having less direct guidance, it is important to give learners opportunities to work on developing skills and learning about topics that are of interest to them.” (Continuity of Learning Planning Guide for Teachers, BC Ministry of Education, March 2020)

Some resources for instructional resources and strategies, and mental health and well-being:

Using Wifi to Make Free Cellphone Calls

Don’t use up your minutes making cell phone calls when you can use your free wifi.

Select this link if you use Telus for their instructions to enable free wifi calling for Apple and Android phones.  Other providers may offer wifi calling using iPhones or Android phones.

Internet for Low-Income Families

Telus Internet for Good supports thousands of low-income Canadian families with children under the age of majority currently receiving income assistance under the Employment and Assistance Act or disability assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (collectively, “BCEA”).

For more information visit "Telus Internet for Good".
They are also accepting the Child Tax Benefit return as evidence to support the application.

Shaw has also opened up "Shaw Go WiFi", Canada’s largest WiFi network, to everybody. Shaw will give everyone complimentary and unrestricted access to Shaw Go WiFi network hotspots regardless of whether or not they’re a Shaw customer. More information on Shaw's webpage.

Getting Tech Support

Our Information Technology team has recently opened up our ticketing system for all faculty to quickly & easily submit a tech request. We ask that all tech requests be submitted through our ticketing system – this ensures our Helpdesk can contact you in a timely manner and assign an appropriate team member to look into or resolve your issue. This is a significant change in workflow for all of us, having a centralized tech request repository helps us help you quicker!

Remote Desktop Support

We’re aware at this time that physical distancing/work from home may mean a shift in how we service your computer; in these cases we may suggest a remote desktop session. This is something our team can offer (with your permission) to view, control and assist in troubleshooting/installing/fixing something directly on your Mac or PC. We will offer this service where appropriate.

SD64 Supported Technology Tools


The following resources have been vetted as BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) compliant and are actively being used in The Gulf Islands School District. If there is another tool you are considering, please check with your principal to ensure it meets the guidelines of FIPPA. Please refrain from signing up for free resource offerings that require student accounts and possible collection of personally identifiable information unless you have vetted the resource through your principal and it is approved through Instructional Technology Services.


The province has announced some reduced restrictions on BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) to allow people in the public sector to work from home. This does not mean we can move away from our existing posture around protecting the privacy of students, families and staff. What it does mean is that if there is demonstrated need that cannot be supported by already approved resources or resources that are privacy compliant, consideration will be given to authorize use of a tool that would normally not meet our privacy standard. Please do not register for a free or paid resource tool that requires student accounts and data storage outside the country without having it vetted through your Principal and Technology Services.

Office 365 is our core resource for collaboration and sharing. Each staff member is provided an account in the system.  To support all aspects of remote learning, every student is now provided with an Office 365 account.  For students in grades K through 8, this mirrors the anonymised login and password for their Gmail accounts if they have one.  Upon request, classroom teachers will be provided with login information to facilitate students and families establishing these new accounts.


Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. The service integrates with the Office 365 office productivity suite.
Microsoft Teams provides FOIPPA compliant instant messaging, video messaging, and classroom management resources like assignment or quiz distribution.

Check out these online training resources to learn more:

Click HERE to learn how to set up your own Teams.

You can get started with teams online right from your portal.
Optionally, you can download the standalone Teams App for Mac, PC, Android or iOS here.

Need Account: Yes | Cost: No | Data Location: Canada | Anonymize Data: Yes | Retain Control of Data: Yes | Student Performance Information: Yes | Submitted By: SD64 | Grade Range: ? |


Zoom Has been licensed by the Provincial Government for us in K-12 Schools as a tool for remote learning. Like any tool we use in the classroom (whether in person or digital), it's important to be aware of appropriate use, privacy & security. We recommend all faculty review the Zoom Privacy Policy & review best practices for hosting a digital classroom.

Zoom Privacy policy for K-12
Scheduling a new Zoom Call
Best Practices for Securing your Digital Classroom
How to keep Uninvited guests out of your Zoom Event

Pro Tips
We have enabled many best practices on your behalf to ensure a smooth start in hosting your digital classrooms. Features such as password protecting your meeting have been enabled by default for the security of our young learners. See below for some quick tips on setting up a Zoom Event.

1. Mute Participants on Entry: Enabling ‘mute participants on entry’ can prevent a lot of headaches right out of the gate. Participants can enable their mic during the call later if needed.
2. Students don't need logins to join: Simply start the call & send your students the generated weblink to get started.
3. Participation is device agnostic: Most devices will support Zoom participation right through a web browser. Participants can also join through the Zoom App on their Mac, PC, iPhone or Android device.
4. Locking down chat: This is optional and up to the teacher. This can prevent unwanted chat between students. Determine what works best for you and your class.
5. Control Screen Sharing: This gives teachers more control over their Zoom Event and prevents participants from sharing random content.

Ready to get started?
Download Zoom for Mac & PC

Need Account: Yes | Cost: Paid by Province | Data Location: USA| Anonymize Data: ? | Retain Control of Data: Yes | Student Performance Information: No | Submitted By: SD64 | Grade Range: ? |

Many of our Educators utilize the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) suite as a resource. This is a great learning tool our District has used for years, and there are a number of recent updates to this platform. As such, many of our educators are very well versed in the many tools offered in this suite – we encourage everyone to learn from & lean on each other to best utilize this suite.

Before using Google classroom, review the Gulf Islands Acceptable Use Guidelines for GAFE found here.

If you don’t have a Google Apps for Education email (ending in please submit a ticket and our team will be more than happy to get you going. Most of our students will already have an Google account.  Faculty and students can login to their GAFE Account using their account here.

To learn more about the New Google Classroom, click here for a full tutorial.

Need Account: Yes | Cost: No | Data Location: USA | Anonymize Data: Yes | Retain Control of Data: ? | Student Performance Information: Yes | Submitted By: SD64 | Grade Range: K-12 |

Information to come

We are assessing this resources and will post relevant information soon. Stay tuned.

Need Account: ? | Cost: ? | Data Location: Canada | Anonymize Data: ? | Retain Control of Data: ? | Student Performance Information: ? | Submitted By: ? | Grade Range: ? |

Ipass - Integrated Performance Assessment for Student Success

Information to come

We are assessing this resources and will post relevant information soon. Stay tuned.

Need Account: ? | Cost: ? | Data Location: Canada | Anonymize Data: ? | Retain Control of Data: ? | Student Performance Information: ? | Submitted By: ? | Grade Range: ? |

Information to come

We are assessing this resources and will post relevant information soon. Stay tuned.

Need Account: ? | Cost: ? | Data Location: Canada | Anonymize Data: ? | Retain Control of Data: ? | Student Performance Information: ? | Submitted By: ? | Grade Range: ? |