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Published December 18, 2006 | Multidisciplinary

Is technology really the solution for educating our kids?

Whatever the answer is, we can’t turn back. Even the most resistant of our colleagues find themselves, inevitably and inexorably entering grades on Omnivox or Bleu Manitou, and some of them even come to like it. At Vieux Montréal we have just received the indicators of academic success for the year 2005-2006 in a volume of 218 pages plus annexes. We all have had our moments cursing these reams of statistics that the computer makes available about our students, their grades, their successes and most of all their failures. Information overload or not, technology in education grows with each passing year,

  • PowerPoint is everywhere. The French side of Profweb has two best practices (pratiques pédagogiques) stories which are good examples of this phenomenon – Anne-Marie Boucher who used IT in her social studies classes and Léo Soucy who used IT in a literature class to present narrative concepts transmitted through character relationships in literature.
  • DECclic is a one-stop shop for course documents, weblinks, forums and more. Type ‘DECclic’ on Profweb’s search engine and you will find at least ten concrete examples of how this platform is making inroads in collegial teaching.
  • Collaborative software is also finding its niche in colleges throughout Quebec, particularly those that are in rural regions. Vanier and the English section of Cégep de Sept-Iles are coordinating a humanities project over the enormous distance between them. Another best practice from the French side of Profweb presents Geneviève Lizzé who talks about the Cégeps en réseau project.

With IT more and more present in our classrooms, a gradual change in teaching approach is taking place. These days, teachers interact with participants, explorers or developers more and students less. Participants are expected to be proactive as well as reactive. Teachers still fulfill their traditional role, presenting information, promoting exchanges and discussion, but also have a new function, that of guide, suggesting research topics and readings that could open doors for students in their personal academic development.

Are the stories discussed above representative of collegial teaching in Quebec? If not, are the majority of profs ready for this change? Are we as a society ready to let our children manage their own learning?

We at Profweb are looking forward to working with you to explore this frontier of new tools and the new teaching approaches that they engender. Please make us a part of your IT experience; help the Animaweb team to spread the word about your successes as well as your failures, so that the college community can profit from the broadest transmission of knowledge and news that we can offer.

Best wishes during this festive season!

We'll be back on January 8th.

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