BACKGROUNDER: The ORION-Shaw Project

George Bernard Shaw is one of the most celebrated writers and dramatists of the 20th century. The annual Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of Canada’s most popular cultural attractions, and the works presented are an invaluable teaching and learning resource for Ontario schools.

The ORION-Shaw Project is a pilot project of the new Sagittarius initiative of York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies to digitize teaching and learning literary resources for use by Canadian high schools.

Study guides for teachers have been developed and targeted to Grades 9 through 12 for In Good King Charles’s Golden Days and Grades 7 to 12 for The Devil’s Disciple. The subject areas targeted include drama, dance, English and history for King Charles, and music, drama, dance, English, social studies and history for The Devil’s Disciple. The curriculum expectations are covered with the pre- and post-show activities listed in the study guides.

York University’s Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning (ABEL) Program (www.abelearn.ca) is making the resource available to teachers and students through its bank of online resources.

Study guides are available to teachers in March. Teachers will be able to bring classes to the Shaw Festival performances beginning in June and throughout the fall.

As a special promotion, the Shaw Festival is providing two complimentary vouchers for two tickets to a performance of either of the two plays being digitized as a prize for correctly answered online quizzes. A draw will be held in the event of multiple students correctly completing the quizzes.

This project is among the new programs and services ORION is introducing to help students and teachers derive maximum benefits from ORION’s state-of-the art capabilities in supporting teaching and learning outcomes.

Nearly 800,000 Ontario K-12 students in 16 Ontario school boards are connected to ORION, which was created to provide an advanced private network to enable innovation for Ontario’s research and education institutions.

A second phase of the Sagittarius initiative will be rolled out in the fall, involving digitizing the works of African Canadian writers.

Learn more about the project at
www.yorku.ca/abel/Orion/Shaw/Sagittarius.html

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