High school students to explore career opportunities in provincewide competition

FREDERICTON (GNB) – High school students across New Brunswick will take part this month in a provincial educational competition.

ChatterHigh is an online educational game that engages students, teachers and parents in labour market information and career planning.

“This is an innovative way to encourage students to start thinking about their future,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. “By being exposed to various career possibilities through the competition, students will be better informed to make decisions about their future and will have important tools to help them navigate that stage of their life.”

Participants research and answer 10 questions each day that relate to various careers. Each correct answer will earn their school one point. Post-secondary institutions in New Brunswick will provide questions for students to answer. The questions will require students to watch a video series on labour market information on the provincial government YouTube channel, visit and other online resources including the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.

“ChatterHigh is an innovative way to get kids engaged and thinking about their futures,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny. “I hope to see all of our high-school students and teachers involved in the competition.”

The competition will run from Sept. 19 to Oct. 28. The 17 schools with the most points will receive a monetary prize. Schools with a similar number of students will be competing against each other and prize money will be proportionally allocated to the top winners of each pool. Schools can use the winnings at their discretion for a school-community project.

The Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour has provided $5,000 for the winning schools.

“With a tsunami of information online, researching options can be overwhelming for today’s youth,” said Lee Taal, founder and CEO of EdTech ChatterHigh. “As a result, many students are not aware of the resources and pathways available to them, even in their own province. New Brunswick is a leader in adopting innovative platforms to help their students. We are pleased to partner with them to run a provincewide competition using our online educational game to make exploring this information fun.”

EdTech Digest – Cool Tools


CREDIT Ruffalo Noel Levitz | 2015 E-Expectations ReportHigh school seniors believe the most influential resource for researching colleges is the actual college website (80 percent). High school juniors seldom ask school counselors when they have questions while researching college (4 percent), but instead turn to college websites for the answer (71 percent) source  To help higher education engage with high school students, ChatterHigh has developed an effective learning resource for teachers that provides a fun, free, curriculum based edu-game for students to explore deep in college web and social media assets. Students receive a free, mobile, daily, 10-minute, 10-question edu-game in the form of a quiz. Teachers receive a free and simple classroom dashboard to track, monitor, and assess student participation and progress. With the support of ChatterHigh staff or on their own, colleges develop quiz questions that lead students to web and social media content proven to help students with decision making. A new gamified and programmatics based communication channel specifically designed for higher education to engage high school students is right on time—as, these days it seems: if it isn’t between their nose and their phone, it doesn’t exist. Learn more…

Higher Ed Marketing: Gamification is New Tool for Recruitment

Christine Birkner
Marketing News Weekly
Key Takeaways

​What? Higher ed marketers are finding that brochures and high school recruitment visits alone aren’t helping them recruit new students.

So What? ChatterHigh, an online gaming system for high school students, directs them to college and university websites, anonymously, through educational quizzes.

Now What? Consider incorporating data and digital targeting methods into your higher ed marketing programs.

In their bids to attract new students, marketers at colleges and universities are finding that brochures and high school recruitment visits alone aren’t cutting it anymore. Enter ChatterHigh, a Victoria, B.C.-based online gamified engagement platform for high school students that helps direct students to college and university websites, anonymously, through educational quizzes.

Marketing News Weekly caught up with Carl Repp, COO of ChatterHigh to discuss the platform, his advice for attracting prospective students and the challenges facing higher ed marketers.
Q: How does ChatterHigh work? 
A: In Canada, one of the difficulties universities have is getting the kids in the [high school] classrooms to engage. There are a number of reasons for that: One is that schools are protective of students, for good reason. Everyone wants to protect students’ identity and not have corporate Canada and corporate America coming into the classroom. We provide the opportunity free for students and schools. It’s a 10-question gamified quiz where the questions are written by universities and colleges, and the answers are provided through the university or college website. Universities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars creating these great websites, but how do you get students to engage with them more than once, and how do you get your brand to the students, other than buying Google ad words? There are really only a few channels that are available. Right now, we don’t have any direct competitors in the marketplace. We allow colleges and universities to send their questions directly to students, and direct them to the university website. What the universities do with them once they’re there is up to them. Sometimes they create specialized landing pages, or let them know how to speak with one of their counselors. We’re landing them there, and we’re landing them deep inside the website, which is more valuable than saying ‘check out our website.’
Q: Any success metrics you can share?
A: Because we gamify it, students create levels, so we know that they’re landing on our partners’ websites. We’re running a national campaign in Canada right now, and since Oct. 26, we’ve had over 200,000 student engagements with our partner websites, and we’re averaging 12,000 engagements per day on our partner websites. We went national in Canada this summer, and we’re moving into the U.S. market in 2016. 
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges facing higher ed marketers today?
A: There was a time when colleges and universities didn’t have to compete with each other because the pie was big enough, but, it’s shrinking. Kids don’t tend to understand careers in general. They think, doctor, lawyer, firefighter, the ones they know. They don’t know that you can go to college and become a brew master—and, you can. Colleges need to find a way to get that information to students. The other is filling the funnels: They might have programs that they know are good programs, but they can’t focus on setting out questions that are directly targeting specific populations that they think might fill those programs. Then, there are issues with retention. The rate of dropout is about 30% [at] a lot of universities. It’s better for kids to understand the program before they get in. … Kids also are turning to other sources for education. Kids become coders. They’re taking courses that are online and have no grades associated with them. They’re learning to code on their own, and they’re getting hired by really good companies, and making a lot of money. There’s competition between colleges and universities and other career programs, and there’s a shrinking market, overall.
Q: What’s your advice for higher ed marketers to succeed in this new competitive landscape?
A: Education, in general, is usually six to 10 years behind business, and three to four years behind the health care industry. The trends that are happening in business and health are based around analytics. It’s about using data to make smart decisions, and making sure you’re targeting the right places and how that’s working for you, not just throwing things at the wall continuously and hoping it works. … You have to target digitally. Just having recruiters travel across the country and visit high school gyms just isn’t going to work anymore.
For more higher ed marketing news and complete coverage of the AMA’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, visit 
This article was published in the January 2016 issue of Marketin​g News​.

Author Bio:
Christine Birkner
Christine Birkner is the features editor for the American Marketing Association. E-mail her at, and follow her on Twitter @ChristineBirkne.

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Media Release

Electrician, doctor, teacher, digital analyst – teens find their future work on ChatterHigh

Disruptive Innovation in Education


For more information contact:

Lee Taal – Founder, CEO


October 26, 2015          For Immediate Release:

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. Background information available:

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:

twitterChatterHigh 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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