New Artificial Intelligence Course at Blyth Academy!

Blyth Academy Online Artificial Intelligence CourseBlyth Academy Online is giving students the opportunity to get a head start in one of the most powerful new industries in the tech world: Artificial Intelligence. Using the versatile Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum, we teamed up an expert in the field with our most talented computer science teacher to create the first Artificial Intelligence high school credit course in Canada!

Why is Artificial Intelligence so important for students? The applications for AI in modern society are endless. AI will develop much more than just new gadgets; it will heavily influence health care, national security, and likely every form of industry in our world. While AI is advancing rapidly at the moment, commanding an average $111,118 USD salary (Glassdoor), there is still plenty of room for growth. Despite the flurry of recent progress in AI and wild prognostications about its near future, there are still many things that machines cannot do, such as understanding the nuances of language, common-sense reasoning, and learning a new skill from just one or two examples. AI software will need to master tasks like these if it is to get close to the multifaceted, adaptable, and creative intelligence of humans (Wired). For high school students, AI should be a skill, or at least an understanding, that all have when entering the workforce, or even post-secondary school.

Since AI has only recently come to the forefront for the general population, there are very few programs for high school students to get involved in. Blyth Academy Online has created the first high school credit Artificial Intelligence course in Canada, hoping to make this new field more accessible to students in Canada and around the world. In this course, students will look at AI from both a practical and philosophical standpoint. Students will learn some introductory computer programming skills using Python, a commonly used computer programming language, as well as look at the nature of AI and its implications as it moves forward and changes our society. Students will learn how to use industry-level tools to train their own AI and solve real-life problems.

We welcome students of all backgrounds to take this brand new course and take their very first steps toward an exciting career in Artificial Intelligence!

Alexander Cui, Artificial Intelligence Course Writer

Alexander Cui, Artificial Intelligence Course Writer

Alexander Cui is currently an undergraduate at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) studying Computer Science and Machine Learning. He founded Whimmly, a startup that creates conversational A.I. for eCommerce, and created Open Mind, a Chrome extension that fights fake news, which was featured on CTV and Fox News. Alexander also founded Actout, a social justice educational organization that has taught over 600 high school and Master of Teaching students at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

Stacie Down, Artificial Intelligence Course Writer and Teacher

Stacie Down, Artificial Intelligence Course Writer and Teacher

Stacie Down has a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science as well as a B.Ed. from the University of Ottawa. During this time, Stacie studied a variety of programming languages, including Prolog, an Artificial Intelligence programming language.

Stacie has been a Mathematics and Computer Science Teacher and Course Creator at Blyth Academy Online for 4 years. She has created and taught Grade 9, 12, and SAT Math as well as Grade 11 Computer Science. Stacie believes in making learning fun and interactive, while creating opportunities to make connections within the material and to the real world.

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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