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Published May 9, 2011 | Multidisciplinary

Three Great Resources for Getting Started Using Information Technology with your Students

Soon the winter session will have become a memory and in a few weeks, we can start thinking about the upcoming fall semester. Semester's end is a great time to reflect on our progress and problems in dealing with specific student skills.

With exam corrections and grade submissions past, one can begin, slowly, to plan an educational activity that could motivate students to explore or better understand a given subject. (If you knew the time I spent planning activities to help my students to distinguish between the concepts of "classical conditioning" and "operant conditioning"! I had just discovered Sniffy, the Virtual Rat, when I left teaching!).

As we are in the Twenty-first Century, the right technology will surely be available!

Is this your first educational activity using ICT? Bravo! Here are some resources that will greatly facilitate your thinking and help you get off to a great start.

1. For Inspiration, Check Out Profweb Stories and Scenarios:

  1. Stories: This category is a source of endless inspiration. Included are stories of learning activities using ICTs done by teachers to enrich their teaching and their students' learning. As Profweb has many stories, I suggest you use the search engine and type in keywords that meet your needs. For example:

    If you are looking for stories about motivational activities for students, start by typing the keyword "motivation." I found 19 stories including the following:

  2. Scenarios: This section contains "turnkey" activities that you can use as is or adapt. Each scenario provides the context necessary for the implementation of the activity and the achievement of educational goals (the preparation, procedure and equipment required). Scenarios are classified according to program and discipline which makes navigation quite easy!

2. Consult your IT Rep to Plan and Script an Activity

Your IT Representative has the expertise required to make the connection between pedagogy and technology and is able to help you take your current activities into account when developing new materials. The IT Rep is essential when planning an ICT educational activity. The Rep is aware of current IT trends, knows the strategies to adopt and the pitfalls to avoid. By consulting your IT Representative, you can save dozens of hours of research and investigation.

3. Use the IT Scenario Grid to Check Your Activity's Potential for Success

There is now an extremely useful tool to see if the educational IT activity being designed will have the expected results.This is the analysis of an IT pedagogical activity which can be completed online.The grid was designed based on the conditions that promote successful integration of ICT, conditions identified by Christian Barrette as part of his work on behalf of ARC (L'Association pour la recherche au collégial).

This grid allows you to analyze your activity from four considerations:

  • Your expectations in terms of the activity's impact on student success.
  • The appropriateness of the teaching method you have chosen based on the educational objectives of the activity.
  • An identification of the ICT resources required according to the teaching method adopted.
  • The organizational conditions required for the implementation of the activity such as the availability of required equipment and technopedagogical support.

A good suggestion is to fill out the grid with your IT Rep for an experienced second opinion.

I hope these few suggestions will be helpful. In addition, I would like to use this column to wish you a restful yet exciting holiday!

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