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Published October 9, 2007 | Multidisciplinary

Profweb Reports - Snapshots from Lennoxville and Dawson College!

Profweb has a tradition of presenting at pedagogical days around the province. Our services are without cost and we even come bearing gifts of Profweb mugs and notepads. During this week, which is Reading Week at many schools, Profweb will be presenting at two anglophone colleges, Champlain-Lennoxville and Dawson College. Look in ourEvents column for details.

Profweb is pleased to make presentations at colleges for a number of reasons:

  • Readership increases as more teachers learn firsthand the advantages of regularly visiting our site;
  • Visits are a great way of finding material to use in our columns, stories and reports;
  • The IT Representative of the college is asked to give our readers snapshots of information technology at their schools.

This week was no exception, and we are pleased to present two mini reports from the schools that we will be visiting this week! As always, we hope that you will find them interesting and useful. If you would like Profweb to visit your school for any event, please write us at info@profweb.qc.ca.

Champlain-Lennoxville College

Yannick Daoudi, the IT Representative at Champlain-Lennoxville writes:

Having renewed a big part of our computer fleet over the summer and upgraded to Office 2007 in all the labs, two interesting IT projects are currently underway in Champlain-Lennoxville. One involves distributing free wireless access in and around the campus through the ZAP Sherbrooke project. The other is a pilot project using Clickers, which are remote personal response systems aimed at increasing classroom interactivity.

Jim Slocombe, a teacher in the History/Political Science Department has volunteered to test Clickers for his Introduction to Western Civilization and Middle Ages courses this semester. Each of his students will use a remote control to answer questions anonymously. A classroom is to be equipped with the necessary hardware (simple receivers plugged into a computer where the clicker software is installed) to compile the students’ responses. Jim will use these results to identify knowledge gaps and to guide the content of the course in realtime.

At the college, most teachers reserve and use the computer labs at least a couple of times per semester. What they do varies enormously and shows the adaptability of IT and the inroads that it has made at Champlain-Lennoxville.

  • Some use interactive websites specific to their discipline (Ex: Rules For Writers website for Tanya Bellehumeur-Allat in the English department);
  • Some have their students get familiar with important resource websites in their field (Ex: Health Canada website for Heather Grant in the Special Care Counseling department);
  • Some use software directly available in the labs (Ex: Adobe's CS3 Design Premium for the Fine Arts department);
  • Some have students buy interactive video CDs which they use with 
    accompanying workbooks (Ex: Exercises in the Art of Helping CD and workbook for Zita Mueller in the Psychology/Special Care Counseling department).

Teachers using IT generally find students are more motivated and get more involved in their work. Students also seem to enjoy working at their own pace. The ability to review information as many times as needed and the change from the regular classroom setting are real advantages. Some teachers mention that the automatic features of some of the online tools make it easier and more efficient for them to correct and grade their students.

At Champlain-Lennoxville, IT has become a part of our academic landscape. We are proud of what we have done to date, and we look forward to students benefiting from the past, present and future work and innovation of our teachers.

Dawson College

Geoff Kloos,Coordinator of Professional Development & Research of Dawson College, gives us more details about their ped day:

Dawson College will be hosting its largest pedagogical day event ever on October 12, 2007. Pedagogical Day Conference 2007 will have a selection of over 30 workshops, presentations and panel discussions planned for this day of learning, sharing and reflection.

The event is planned entirely based on teacher input. Every year, we put out a call to faculty for suggested topics; we then work to honour each of these requests by identifying resource people to present at our Ped Day. As our events continue to grow in scale, we are also seeing more local expertise in our offerings. Teachers from within the college are often hidden treasures, known only to their specific departments. Ped Day offers faculty a chance to learn about the teaching techniques, research projects and interests of their colleagues.

The day always kicks off with a keynote address by a renowned guest speaker. Past speakers have included Dan Levitin and Steven Pinker, who have set the bar high for future presenters. This year, the Dawson community is anticipating an eye-opening and inspiring address from global visionary and author, Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, who holds the George Ignatieff Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at University College, University of Toronto.

Homer-Dixon’s recent research has focused on threats to global security in the 21st century and on how societies adapt to complex economic, ecological, and technological change. For his Dawson visit, he will be discussing his latest award-winning work: The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization.

While the keynote is sure to be fascinating, it is just the beginning – over the course of the day, teachers have a selection of 32 workshops and seminars to choose from. This year’s roster includes presenters from within Dawson, along with other local cegeps, universities and agencies. Sessions will include themes such as “Difficult Emotions in the Classroom”, “Assessment Philosophy in Practice” and “Problem-based Learning”.

Workshops of interest in Information Technology include:

  • Textbook and IT Publishing by Véronica Gill,
  • Create Customised Web Categories for Specific Classes by Zsolt Szigetvari,
  • Vitrine Technologie: Éducation-Learning Objects & Repositories by Mark Butorac,
  • Audio/Visual Equipment Tutorial by David Bannout and Jean-Claude Duval,
  • Clickers in the Classroom by Nathaniel Lasry,
  • Web Publishing with FirstClass by Joel Trudeau,
  • Team Teaching in the Virtual World by Sophie Jacmin,
  • Using the Basic Tools of WebCT by Jim Sparks,
  • Profweb – On-line Resources for College Teachers by Norman Spatz.

Shortly after this year’s Ped Day Conference draws to a close (with the ever-popular wine & cheese get-together and raffle), the planning process will begin again for the following event. All Conference participants will be invited to share their thoughts using an on-line evaluation survey, ensuring that the event will continue to be shaped by Dawson teachers to meet their pedagogical needs.

Profweb would like to thank our authors for keeping our readers informed about events happening at their colleges.

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