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Published February 16, 2009

At Your Service for Advice on IT Integration!

Do you need advice on how to integrate IT into your teaching and training activities? Your IT Rep or REPTIC is at your service!

A techno pedagogical breeze is blowing through the college network with no calm on the horizon! The digital natives, students who were born after the advent of the Internet, multimedia and instant information are arriving at the thresholds of our colleges. Knowing that their students will have to adapt in a society where IT mastery is essential for professional and academic success, teachers are bowing to the inevitable and becoming increasingly aware of the pedagogical potential of integrating IT into their classes.

Members of the IT Representatives' Network at work February 12 2009 in Collège F-X-Garneau

IT Reps in the Anglophone colleges and REPTIC in the Francophone colleges are responsible for the integration of IT into cegeps and colleges in Quebec and are members of the IT Representatives' Network (This link is to a directory where you can find out the name of your Rep). These technology counselors have observed that a growing number of teachers are integrating information technology into their courses. The Reps are increasingly consulted for aid in using IT in activities where students are active partners in their own learning process. Teachers are asking where to begin integrating IT into teaching and training activities, which resources are available and how they can be used effectively.

Integrating IT into a course or into a program requires thought and organization. This is why the college network has made available for teachers a number of resources, such as the Profweb portal which you are currently reading, as tools to use in this process. Our Stories are an inspiring read, and you can research the most useful examples by using the search feature by discipline with the appropriate keywords for information tailored to your personal interests, skills or other technological tools.

Furthermore, your IT Rep or REPTIC has the technical know-how and the tools available to accompany you in your endeavors. Below are a number of questions often asked by teachers followed by some quite intriguing answers!

Question

What computer and IT skills must my students master during their college studies? How can these skills be incorporated into the course or program that I teach?

Answer

The report on Computer Literacy and IT Leaving Profiles explains how your IT Rep or REPTIC can help you to integrate IT into a course or program. Furthermore the InukTIC website contains training videos to develop the IT and computer skills in the Leaving Profile.

Question

How can I determine my own strengths in using IT in my teaching? What skills do I need to master? Where will I find the resources that will allow me to gain these skills which are necessary to meet the goals that I've established for myself?

Answer

SavoirFaireTIC is a diagnostic tool which will be on-line in French this June. It allows you to determine your current IT skills as well as your needs for IT in education through questions related to real-life academic situations and then creates a personalized training plan using resources from the IT partners among other sources. Your IT Rep or REPTIC can be your guide through this process.

Question

Students send me e-mail for explanations about certain points covered in my courses. Should I respond immediately or wait to see if more write on the same subject? If the same questions are asked repetitively, what can I do to avoid rewriting the same thing? Is e-mail an appropriate way to respond to questions, anyway? Are there alternatives for on-line support?

Answer

In spite of its effectiveness, e-mail does have its limitations, and more effective resources are available. Your IT Rep or REPTIC can guide you in your choice of options as well as training sessions on this subject. Options to consider for student support include forums, video teleconferences and electronic portfolios.

Question

I have heard that using electronic portfolios can be an effective way of preventing plagiarism as well as an effective method for following student progress. Among other benefits is the use of the portfolio as part of a job search strategy. How does a portfolio work? What are the steps to take to set up such an activity?

Answer

The IT Representaives Network is developing a guide about how to design this resource to meet your goals, be they for purposes of learning, evaluation or presentation. Consult your IT Rep or REPTIC to find out more. There is also a Profweb report on the subject: The Electronic Portfolio - A Useful Tool to Support Technological Integration in the Classroom by Ginette Bousquet with information about different types of portfolios and resources lnked to them as well as a specific case study in the Sciences humaines program

I couldn't end this column without mentioning the excellent Profweb report by my colleague Roger de Ladurantaye. There is a step-by-step procedure for IT integration into cegep programs, some examples of this process and a generic IT integration plan which could serve as a model for your own activities.

Your IT Rep or REPTIC is your key to a world of quality teaching support. Use them to unlock the potential in your teaching!

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