Disruptive Innovation in Education

Chatter High Logo

Edmonton, AB:  Starting today, teens across Canada can logon to a fun, online platform designed to help them discover career possibilities. ChatterHigh uses a gamified approach to meet curriculum requirements around career exploration. Students are challenged to complete a daily quiz that leads them to surprising insights, through approved partner websites, about their future work. The first national competition launches today at the blendED 2015 Symposium, in Edmonton.

The blendED 2015 Symposium, as the first of its kind in Alberta, is devoted to practical and comprehensive approaches to blended and online learning for educators, technology coordinators, curriculum developers, and administrators from the K-12 sector. “The Canadian eLearning Network’s mission is to foster leadership in e-learning,” explained CEO Randy LaBonte, “Hosting the ChatterHigh National Competition launch at our inaugural blended and online learning symposium highlights the impact technology-enabled learning can have for students and we are proud to support the program.” Following six successful years in Alberta and British Columbia, the Victoria-based company believes the accessible gamified format encourages students to talk about their future.

Lee Taal, founder and CEO of ChatterHigh explains more, “ChatterHigh harnesses skills students already have, guides them to effectively investigate resources on the internet, and offers them real rewards for their efforts. The National Competition runs six weeks starting today. Students login to a short daily quiz that takes less than 10 minutes to complete. They research and learn about a host of post secondary and career options while teachers and parents see a higher level of interest in the future.”

Partners who support ChatterHigh with questions range from universities to associations and professional organizations eager to share information about possible future work and education. The 2015 National Competition supporters include the University of Lethbridge, Douglas College, and the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC).

“ChatterHigh enables students to explore so many post-secondary learning opportunities,” explains Mary Lynne Campbell, Executive Director of the Alberta Public School Board Association. “It’s a marvellous way for our students to learn more about the range of exciting programs and career paths that are available to them as they continue their learning.”

Visual Opportunity: Three students from Austin O’Brien High School demonstrate how ChatterHigh works on different devices.


ChatterHigh is a free, daily online activity for high school students that takes less than ten minutes to complete. It is a highly accessible channel to learn about postsecondary pathways, possible career goals, as well as age appropriate health and financial information.  Since it meets curriculum requirements, educators can easily integrate the activity into the classroom as an assignment, complimenting self-assessing activities used to help students identify areas of interest.  The difference is that ChatterHigh makes this experience fun, and it creates a sense of community as students explore possibilities.

By the Numbers:

  • To date, over 2 Million questions have been answered on ChatterHigh.
  • ChatterHigh started in  2008 with a three-year pilot in Victoria, BC.
  • The site was first available in Alberta in 2013.
  • Each day over twelve thousand questions are being answered on ChatterHigh
  • This past spring, 2600 Albertan students visited 143,000 web pages to explore options.
  • From BC to PEI schools raised over $100,000 through their ChatterHigh activity

Expert Opinions:

“Although there is a wealth of labour market information available, it’s helpfulness is too often lost because it is too overwhelming to sort through. ChatterHigh is doing a great service by making labour market information not only interesting and relevant but, even more importantly, accessible to 21st century students. It effectively engages not just students but also schools, institutions, and organizations, by combining elements of social media, questioning, gamification, competition, and community service. It is an incredible feat done with simplicity and elegance.“
Gray Poehnell, International Speaker, Trainer, Author, Career Consultant, Aboriginal Career Specialist

Teachers as ChatterHigh Champions

“Being out in a rural area, the students do not get very much exposure to universities and various career opportunities. ChatterHigh provided them with the opportunity to explore universities and the programs they had to offer, throughout BC and Alberta. The students liked the idea of earning points and entering draws for a chance to win a certain prize! The majority of the students chose to donate their points to Free The Children, an organization dedicated to building classrooms in less fortunate countries. This became a competition of who could donate more to help the children! With the students actively engaged, ChatterHigh became a part of our daily routine. They are all looking forward to future competitions and contributing to a good cause! “
Dustin Barry, Teacher, Prespatou Elem-Secondary

“My planning 10 students did very well with the ChatterHigh competition and the daily logging in to complete the questions, with many connecting on the weekends. As a teacher, I randomly participated with my students at times. The ease of access, variety of topics, earning of “monies” and badges kept my grade 10s involved everyday. I will be using this again next year and expanding it to other classes that I teach. With exposure to so many different career and post secondary resources it can only be seen as an asset for students. “
Mrs. Vicki Willis, Secondary Educator, Fraser Valley Distance Education School   

We use ChatterHigh in Grade 9 to plant the seed of career planning and research. ChatterHigh gives students exposure to diverse occupations and post-secondary programs. The research component exposes students to information they would not have discovered on their own. ChatterHigh serves as a great means for guided discovery. The questions dealing with life management such as finance, taxes and health provide a balance of topics, equipping students with knowledge and skills for the future.
Louan Statchuk & Sherry Leppa, Guidance Counsellor & CALM/Excite Teacher, Olds Jr/Sr High, Alberta

Disruptive Innovation – Education and Career Guidance

“ChatterHigh makes it possible for us to engage with thousands of students, parents and educators in a relatively short period throughout BC. Through ChatterHigh’s provincial competitions we are able to reach students and provide them with valuable information about in-demand careers in trades and technologies. It’s a win – win! Without ChatterHigh there is no way we would be able to reach so many.”
Alix Cameron, Discover Skills BC

“We have found ChatterHigh to be the most effective portal for directly engaging with the BC high school community, bar none.”
Michael Boronowski, MA
Former Manager, Student Recruitment and Client Services,
Marketing and Communications, BC Institute of Technology

What students say about ChatterHigh:
“ChatterHigh gets me”

“Our ChatterHigh experience was great! The built-in links to current information exposed us to the variety of postsecondary and career options that we would have never considered before.”
Student feedback from Mr. Lynn’s Planning 10 class, North Peace Secondary


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