Student APOP_411 = Teacher Support
Although computer use facilitates learning activities, complete mastery of this potential is not always acquired by students before arriving at the college level. Teachers need to help their students on technical questions related to IT tools in order to achieve academic goals. Furthermore, integrating required skills into the ICT profile of the network's programs encourages success. Is this integration the exclusive responsibility of the teacher who is helping students to learn how to use common technological tools?As a result of teachers' opinions, APOP_411 emerged as a service to lighten this task by offering troubleshooting technology support to students outside of the classroom to facilitate the integration of an ICT profile at the college level. Dedicated to helping students, this service addresses the reality of young users; it's local, easy to access, user-friendly and available when needed.
Translating Theory Into Reality
How does that translate into concrete terms? Next January, APOP_411 student synchronous service will go online on the VIA teleconferencing platform, Mondays through Wednesdays from 6PM to 11PM, outside the normal operating hours of most schools. The asynchronous service will be available from the APOP website using an electronic form. Thus, when any technical glitch or other obstacle to achievement arises within the context of work being produced, students will immediately receive the support necessary from their peers acting as resource people as well as front-line contacts. They will be trained, supervised and monitored by APOP's Management Team which will ensure the quality and relevance of responses to requests for information. In addition, to respond effectively, student mentors will have access to various resources such as InukTIC and The World of Images as well as a database of software commonly used in the classroom. Content will be regularly and systematically updated, and responses will be recorded in order to share the resulting solutions.
As a test run, APOP_411 student will start small. The English service will be offered exclusively at Dawson College. In cooperation with Dawson College and its IT Representative, selected teachers have agreed to support this initiative by enrolling their classes into APOP_411. Interested students can also subscribe to the service voluntarily. Educational stakeholders, teachers and the IT Rep, receive confirmation of student enrollment into groups, and a comprehensive bimonthly review of APOP_411 applications from registered groups.
Usage statistics help to document the assistance provided by the student resources, while providing an updated picture of the needs of college students. Throughout the process, as well as at the end of the pilot project in May 2012, participating students (applicants and resources) and educational stakeholders will be invited to share their comments and suggestions for an update on the potential of the service in terms of improvements and adjustments as well as the strategies to achieve them.
In short, after analyzing the results gathered through the pilot project, we will be able to deploy the APOP_411 student service to the member institutions of APOP's Collective Professional Development Fund (CPDF) who wish to join.
Who knows, maybe, in the near future, a synchronous version of APOP_411 teacher will make its appearance!