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Published June 2, 2008 | Multidisciplinary

Your Vacation Views

For three years now, Profweb has made IT integration in Quebec's colleges its beat. As summer approaches, the Animawebs take one last look back before heading out to the meetings and conventions that close the academic year.

A Committed Team

This column is the 71rst in English and the 120th in French. Every Monday, a member of the college community has given our readers a look into their world through the Animaweb Column.

Whether a representative of an organization or association, an IT Rep from an anglophone or francophone college or a member of the Animaweb Team, the author or authors of the weekly column ensure that Profweb stays current and that Monday morning is always a Profweb event! Profweb is only available on-line, a reflection of our mission to promote IT in education.

A Wealth of Information

Our readers can consult our pages from their homes or anywhere else that has the Internet.

Reporting on IT in education within the different colleges of our network isProfweb's most essential task as it defines itself as Qubec's college crossroad for IT Integration. Stories "from the trenches", important tips and expertise from the sites of our Personal Space see the light of day and benefit from the immediacy of the web as well as its omnipresence. Our readers can consult our pages from their homes or anywhere else that has the Internet.

During the last three years, 95 members of the college community have generously accepted to share their discoveries and their expertise developped over the years. This wealth of information has been expressed in 21 stories in English and 62 in French, as well as five English reports and ten in French. These authors are not only shaping the use of technology in education but are helping to define our college culture. For Profweb, their voice is essential.

The Leading Edge of Technology Behind the Scenes

A site such as Profweb cannot continue to report on technology without putting its own advice into action. Content comes not only from the Animaweb Team and certain IT Partners, but in the form of automatic feeds. Our open code web-authoring software Typo3 also has been updated. Profweb works hard to remain technically leading edge.

This year saw two major technical projects put into place - Discipline based research and the Personal Space. The first required great coordination among our various contributing partners. Not only did the research function become web-based, but the Eureka repository had to also become discipline-based.

Jonathan-Marc Lapointe

In the Personal Space, a major effort was required to integrate users' sites into data accessed by the research function. This allowed those teachers who use the Personal Space to choose whether to make their material accessible to other members of the teaching community. Automatic installation of collaborative software also became an option. Our technical advisor, Jonathan-Marc Lapointe was an active participant in this process.

The challenge of this work was making technical decisons which did not impede the flow of information during the updates. Upcoming Profweb presentations will illustrate the value of these developments.

The Reader Response Feature Is Our Readers' On-Line Voice

There is a way of contributing to Profweb other than by writing columns, stories and reports; use the Reader Response Feature. As of now, the number of comments written has doubled over last year's figure. We know that commenting about a text is no easy task, and we take your effort seriously. Each comment is read by the author as well as the members of the Animaweb Team. Your feedback lets the author know that people out there are listening and are inspired by what has been written. It lets all of us at Profweb know that we are succeeding at creating a community of practice.

Vacation Views

Believe it or not, after three years, we're still excited. Next semester, we plan to build on our past successes. We're looking to 'turn you on' to at least one of the thousands of learning objects found on Profweb's Resources pages.

In Profweb's English service, the improved personal space will host a forum or blog to serve the Humanities programs in anglophone colleges. This is a first step in creating a network of discipline-based forums for anglophone colleges. This proposed community of practice could rapidly become a community of knowledge and a focus for activities among many of the IT partners.

What's your opinion? Are you already a Profweb weekly regular? Do you think of Profweb when you think of IT in education? This column will be on-line all summer. Take a minute whenever you have a coffee break to send us your views. A new Animaweb column will be on-line August 25.

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