PERFORMA and the IT Reps –
Partners in College IT Integration
PERFORMA (Le programme de perfectionnement et de formation des maîtres au collegial) has been in partnership with the IT Representatives' Network (IT Reps) since its creation in 2002. This relationship is based on the belief that the integration of information technology into colleges must be achieved through recognized instructional strategies. As Christian Barrette's research has shown, it is sometimes more difficult to analyze the impacts of new technologies with criteria which are established after the fact. The first goal of the partnership with the IT Representatives' Network is to provide accredited professional development activities for teachers served by the IT Reps.
The PERFORMA model helps teachers to carefully plan their learning and assessment activities through the use of technology. The help they receive as part of a formal credit course encourages a thorough consideration allowing participants to set learning goals, to monitor the progress of an educational activity and to correct errors for the next experiment.
A History of Collaboration
PERFORMA's first steps within the partnership were to ask IT Reps to guide their teachers towards its teacher training programs for technical expertise (CPEC) or for techno-pedagogical awareness (MIPEC, DE, MEC). It soon became clear that this collaboration was an extremely effective strategy for the promotion of these courses.
The Délégation collégiale PERFORMA, the Répondantes et Répondants TIC and the Regroupement des colleges PERFORMA have also worked to disseminate documentation resulting from PERFORMA's activities within the Network. This corpus of information now forms one of the pillars of the IT Representatives' Network. Examples of these activities include :
- BÉRUBÉ, B. and POELLHUBERT, B. Un référentiel de compétences technopédagogiques destiné au personnel enseignant du réseau collégial (A Technopedagogical Competency Framework for Teachers of the College Network), PERFORMA network, June 2005
- BILODEAU, C., DE LADURANTAYE, R. and MARTEL, C. Conception d'un modèle de plan d'intégration des TIC pour le réseau collégial (Development of a Model Plan for the Integration of ICT into the College Network), PERFORMA network, May 2006 (An excellent summary of the principles developed in this document exists as a Profweb report - A Guide for Integrating ICT into a Program.)
In addition, several masters theses of teachers trained in IT integration within PERFORMA are available at the College Documentation Centre (CDC). The contribution of IT Representatives, some of whom are also PERFORMA resource people, in creating the document entitled Rôle de la conseillère ou du conseiller pédagogique TIC (The role of IT pedagogical advisor) has identified new training requirements among IT Representatives. Although the academic background of IT Representatives is very varied, and it is difficult to identify common training needs, the skills of IT Representatives resemble those IT skills to develop in the second cycle (graduate) of PERFORMA's Masters Level Microprogram for Professional Integration into College Teaching (MIPEC).
The IT Representative must rapidly appropriate leading edge technologies, and each college also faces its own particular challenges. Although numerous pedagogical aids have been developed since the creation of the IT Representatives' community of practitioners, acquiring IT skills is not easy. These teaching and learning strategies often best serve those who have developed them, and we believe that the role of PERFORMA is not only to contribute, but also to offer professional development that will enable the IT Representative to better understand the role of information technology in their job.
PERFORMA has also benefited from this partnership as IT Representatives have developed both undergraduate or graduate PERFORMA courses, giving them in their college and sometimes at a network level. Examples for the French service include the course of Chantal Desrosiers on how to use DECclic as well as Roger de Ladurantaye's course on pedagogical strategies. In this way, new technologies do not arrive at colleges without pedagogical support for teachers. Finally, the dissemination of relevant information through PERFORMA as a partner of this network contributes to the evolution of educational technology.
PERFORMA and the IT Representatives Network have created a true partnership where resources are complementary, creating a synergy that sometimes goes beyond what was formally planned, but always targets the integration of educational technologies into teaching, learning and evaluation within the context of the program approach and a competency based pedagogy.
Are you a teacher who has benefited from the advice of your IT Representative? Their network is a rich source of information technology expertise. Take this opportunity to share your views about the contribution of your IT Representative to your teaching.
An excellent summary of the principles developed in this document exists as a Profweb report - A Guide for Integrating ICT into a Program