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Published April 12, 2010

Trends at APOP for 2009-2010

We all know we are supposed to be using more technology in our teaching and learning scenarios, but what and how? APOP is a government funded organization that supports the pedagogical use of information and communication technology at the college level. APOP is basically a group of people drawn mostly from the Quebec Cegep network that organizes meetings and activities and professional development opportunities, both on-line and in person. APOP's mandate is to find out what the college community needs to know more about in the IT field, and then to build opportunities for us to grow as facilitators of technology in our classrooms.

A screenshot from an APOP NetTalk

As another academic session comes to a close, APOP is embracing the current period of end-of-the-year projections with a detailed analysis of its future directions and activities. Although APOP's Francophone side has been far more active than its Anglophone component, NetTalks in English and other pedagogical activities have been an important indicator of the potential of APOP for the Anglophone sector. Observations contained in our annual reports are a basis for future projections in both sectors.

There is increasing interest for continuing education in a synchronous mode.

APOP's mandate is to find out what the college community needs to know more about in the IT field, and then to build opportunities for us to grow as facilitators of technology in our classrooms.

It appears that more and more members of the Quebec College Network have turned toward distance communication tools such as the synchronous video teleconference. The acquisition of peripherals, such as a webcam and headphones with a microphone, have become more widespread. The cooperative environment of distance communication has come to be seen as a great tool in the working environment. Continuing education participants at APOP have expressed a strong interest in online synchronous activities particularly on an as-needed basis.

As participants are increasingly unable to schedule fixed appointments, the trend towards instant access and just-in-time delivery has become a necessity. Participants need as much flexibility as possible when registering for IT continuing education and professional development, and interested parties can register for activities shortly before they begin which provides greater scheduling freedom.

Participants value informal contact with resource people.

APOP's printed information

Encouraging teachers to take their first step into sharing, meeting, learning online is a priority. Usually this means doing something in their subject area. Participants need concrete answers to their questions, and the principle of guided learning where participants become a dynamic part of their own learning process as well as the learning process of others has become increasingly popular as a method to motivate participants to explore information technology.

Given the quantity of information available on the academic uses of information technology, guided activities which suggest resources and present inspirational strategies and scenarios are increasing in popularity.

Encouraging teachers to take their first step into sharing, meeting, learning online is a priority. Usually this means doing something in their subject area.

Although the Internet and Web 2.0 give everyone the ability to access pertinent and detailed information, the time needed for research, analysis, and mastery as well as the time required to integrate this information into current professional activities is longer than most professionals have. Continuing educational activities to develop IT abilities need to be presented in a compact time frame yet in as pragmatic a manner as possible. Learning to use new software and other IT skills require the documentation of authentic teaching situations to favour the rapid transfer of skills.

These conclusions which have been drawn from our 2009-2010 activities such as the NetTalks and other continuing educational activities illustrate trends that will be an important part of APOP's future plans. .

APOP's Fonds collectif de perfectionnement (FCP) is a single payment plan for colleges to benefit from a number of our services in an unlimited manner. This new way of using our activities has allowed us to explore new techniques to maintain the interest of frequent users. The accent is put on accessibility simplicity, inclusivity, and the transfer and application of technology adapted to real teaching. To attain these objectives, APOP is looking to increase the frequency of our activities as well as to continue to ensure the maintenance of the highest relevance possible for the goals of our members.

As our projections are now being formulated, do you have any other information or suggestions that you feel would be relevant for APOP? Please put proposals and suggestions in Profweb's response feature below in order to ensure that they receive our fullest attention.

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