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ChatterHigh Engages Calgary Students In Game Of Life

Deciding what to do with your life amid an overwhelming number of choices can be dauting for teens.

ChatterHigh tries to also make it fun, while allowing teens to compete to win money and prizes for themselves, their school or to support the international charity Free the Children.

New to Alberta this year, ChatterHigh is a website developed by Lee Taal, from Victoria, B.C., that uses game thinking and design elements to engage participants.

Students visit the website, usually for a nine-minute activity, to discover what’s out there in the world of careers.

It isn’t an aptitude test and doesn’t tell what careers they should choose.

Instead, an inquiry-based method of learning encourages students to explore and uncover what’s possible for themselves.

ChatterHigh can be incorporated into the Career and Life Management (CALM) curriculum for Grade 10 students.

Teachers use the interactive and fun platform to engage students in work that will help define their futures and career options.

Earlier this year, more than 1,200 Alberta teens participated in the first annual ChatterHigh Alberta Provincial Competition.

They explored post-secondary and career options, along with the reality check of how much money their dreams will cost, and what resources they can access.

The generation who never knew life without a computer or cell phone is trying to figure out where they should go next and ‘gamification’ is a natural channel to make those choices less overwhelming.

“ChatterHigh enables students to explore so many post-secondary learning oopportunities,” explains Mary Lynne Campbell executive director of the Alberta Public School Board Association.

“It’s a marvelous 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.”

If a student wants to be a Medivac nurse who flies the plane to rescue people trapped in the wilderness, they can” explains Taal.

“Kids these days are being brought up in a world where creating your own unique identity is everything- from having your own website, to the clothes you wear, to how you live your life.

ChatterHigh encourages teens to be as independent and creative as they want to be.”

This year, Alberta schools raised $3,355 for themselves. Between the Alberta and B.C. competitions, an additional $1,500 was raised for Free the Children.

Top schools in Alberta in their respective groups (based on school population) were Sir Winston Churchill High School in Calgary, Bert Church High School and W.H. Croxford in Airdrie and Alberta High School of Fine Arts in Okotoks.

-Postmedia Network

See original article in the Calgary Sun (Sunday, August 2, 2015)

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