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Integrating the ICT Profile in an Educational Institution

The integration of the ICT Profile for Students can hardly succeed without the will and commitment of the academic institution. In this regard, we see that more and more colleges introduce objectives linked with the ICT Profile for Students in major orientations such as the Student Success plan, in the ICT Development plan and even in the Strategic Plan. Such decisions encourage the implementation of actions and investments in resources associated with the development of skills linked with ICT for students; it is also good for rallying the network towards a common goal. Consequently, we can then tie together the integration of the ICT Profile with local mechanisms such as annual working plans, capital budgets, professional development programs, first-year pedagogy, student support plans, etc.

Putting Together Winning Conditions

The successful integration of the ICT Profile in a college rests on the implementation of pedagogical and organizational conditions that allow for the professional development of teachers, the development of pedagogical activities and strategies, the creation of new services or revision of existing ones, technical support, adequate support to teachers, availability of equipment and necessary applications, etc. (Barrette et collab., 2011).

Teachers who might hesitate to integrate ICT in their teaching are often those who feel insecure about using technology and about their own technical and techno pedagogical skills. Resources and professional development opportunities must be offered to them when they need it. They must also be provided with constant support and be invited to move ahead as soon as possible. This support can be provided by pedagogical counsellors, for instance by the ICT specialist but also by the many services offered in the network. This is not magic, it won’t happen instantly. The development of teachers’ skills and continuous support are necessary for the success of this project.

Some colleges either improve or adapt existing structures to better support students and teachers (for example by grouping services) and also to better detect students showing signs of major technological difficulties (especially for those coming back after a break in their studies). Teachers must know how to guide students whose educational success may be compromised because of a lack of digital knowledge. For example, it may be a good idea to implement resources specially to help students use technology (help centres, mentoring, etc.)

Teachers must be able to rely on librarians and pedagogical counsellors, IT Service, Student Services, etc. Consultation, as part of a process on how to approach the use of ICT by students, will most certainly contribute to their success.

Recognizing the Mastering of ICT Skills

Even though it is by no means required, some colleges have put in place a process that formally recognizes the mastering of basic ICT skills for programs of study in which the ICT Profile was integrated. This recognition is generally given as a certificate. At Cégep de Drummondville for example, a certificate is offered to students that confirms their mastery of the technological and informational skills required in their technical program of study and which are in line with the demands of the labour market. Students appreciate this and it is recognized by universities and employers.

The Role of the Consultation and Collaboration in Integrating the ICT Profile

The college network has worked together for many years to offer teachers, students and pedagogical counsellors a framework (The ICT Profile for Students), support, resources and useful tools to promote the integration of ICT in courses and programs of study. All of these elements play a role in supporting actors during this important process related to the development of informational, methodological, cognitive and technological skills essential to current and future college students, workers and citizens.

Teachers are invited to talk about their integration projects, their concerns and the resources offered in their college with members of their department, their ICT specialist, their college librarian, pedagogical counsellors assigned to their program, and administrators. when it comes to integrating the ICT Profile, whether it be at the scale of one course, one program of study or one institution, consultation and collaboration are the best path to take.

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