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Published March 24, 2013 | Multidisciplinary

Educating Our Students for Tomorrow’s Global Realities

This year’s theme for the AQPC’s 33rd annual symposium is Educating Our Students for Tomorrow’s Global Realities. It reflects a basic educational goal to not only create students to deal with the world in which they live but to deal with tomorrow’s global realities. Colleges are accomplishing this goal first by offering students a general studies component and, in general, by preparing them for citizenship in a world that is increasingly diverse due to cultural exchanges, population shifts and the multiplication of educational choices.

Information and communication technology is contributing to the multiplicity of methods that students are using to educate themselves. Learning management systems, online training, distance learning, digital tablets and even YouTube have had an impact. Pierre Lévy of the University of Ottawa will explore how these technologies are developing the cognitive skills required for a knowledge-based society in his opening keynote speech.

In total the symposium program contains nearly 35 workshops dealing with information and communication technology in education out of a total of 121. Of note is a round table dealing with the links between ICT and  academic success as well as sessions on the SHERPA electronic portfolio platform, ICT use in mathematics, the active learning classroom, and, of course, Profweb’s features.

College globalization and internationalization of programs of study are clearly central issues in the symposium's program. We can approach these issues from the perspective of educating people here and from that of disseminating the expertise of colleges on an international scale. In addition to the thirty ICT related workshops mentioned above, the AQPC symposium remains the ideal forum for reflecting on and sharing educational methods. To illustrate, this year's closing keynote speaker will be Rachida Azdouz, director of the Centre d’étude et de formation en enseignement supérieur of the Université de Montréal.

An important aspect of the conference will focus on services for the handicapped and how to be inclusive within an academic context. A presentation by Thomas Henderson, director of The Research Centre for the Educational and Professional Integration of Students with Disabilities (CRISPESH) will discuss Universal Design for Learning and its implications not only for the handicapped, but for the student population as a whole.

A Wealth of English Programming

Once again this year, three colleges have joined together to host the college network: Cégep André-Laurendeau, Cégep Marie-Victorin and Dawson College. And yet again, we have received a record number of submissions in English. The selection committee had thirteen workshop proposals to choose from in English, as well as the presentation by Thomas Henderson. Four other activities will be bilingual. Furthermore there will be six major conferences where instantaneous translation will be provided to attendees from English to French or French to English depending on circumstances. As a result, participants will have a choice of two or three activities in English in each time-slot of the symposium.

Conferences

As mentioned above, the symposium program includes six major conferences. Apart from the aforementioned presentations by Pierre Lévy, Thomas Henderson and Rachida Azdouz, participants will be able to attend the following:
  • Michel Lauzière, chair of the Commission de l’évaluation de l’enseignement collégial, will discuss the quality assurance strategies put in place by the Quebec College Network as a reflection of best practices of other large networks of higher learning worldwide.
  • Paul Bélanger, professor at Université du Québec à Montréal and director of the Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche et de développement sur l’éducation permanente, challenges colleges to meet the social need for continuing education development.
  • Antoine Ouellette, biologist, composer and musicologist, diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, will share his thoughts on the academic careers of people with handicaps.

    The symposium will come to a close celebrating the contributions of two great organizations of the college network. The year 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of both the CCDMD, the Collegial Centre for Educational Material Development and Cégep International Two receptions will be held Tuesday, June 4 and Wednesday, June 5 to honour their contributions to the college network.

    Hold the Dates!

    The symposium program will go online at the end of March. Registration begins in early April. Anyone with an interest in higher education, education in general or more specifically ICT in education is warmly invited to be a part of the excitement this June 4-6 at the Centre Sheraton Montreal.

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