Your RÉCIT: What is it and who is it?

LBPSB RÉCIT Barry Hannah working with a circuit
LBPSB RÉCIT Barry Hannah. Photo by C. Truesdale

Over the years I have had the privilege of working with the various local RÉCIT consultants and have always been impressed by their depth of knowledge and commitment.

For a bit of historical background, the RÉCIT was founded in 2000 with the mandate to support and develop the use of information and communication technologies. The emphasis is on pedagogy and how ICT can best enrich teaching and learning.

There are two levels of RÉCIT: the national and the local. For the Anglophone sector, part of LEARN’s mandate is to serve as the national RÉCIT. It is with this hat that LEARN provides many resources about the integration and uses of technology in the classroom. LEARN consultants work with their counterparts in the French National RÉCIT to develop materials and, in some cases to translate materials that were developed for the French sector.recit-logo

Are you using Cartograf? Paul Rombough worked closely with Steve Quirion of the RÉCIT National – Univers social to develop this tool.

A great example of sharing via translation is the LES on creating Manga. Ben Loomer wrote about this project earlier this year in his blog post The Story of Manga: Do something like this but better.

LEARN also works closely with the local RÉCIT. While every board, as well as Adult services and Vocational Education has a person responsible for the RÉCIT dossier, in many cases this does not make up the total of his/her job. Despite that, I marvel at what they are able to accomplish. They are the ones dealing with the grass roots, the teachers who rely on them to support their use of technology both for themselves and their students, as well as to introduce them to new ways that technology can impact their students’ learning. They are the ones making sure that the deployment of new technology goes smoothly. They work hard to keep abreast of new developments in educational technology, constantly learning to see what fits in with their clientele (makerspaces, robotics, blogs, using tablets, new apps…).

Did you know?

  • The RÉCIT consultants often work together to design and present workshops at conferences such as QPAT, LEARN events, LCEEQ…
  • The RÉCIT consultants share what they learn with each other and with you through their board portals.
  • Some of the RÉCIT consultants maintain Pinterest boards to share with their teachers.
  • Avi Spector’s (Adult Ed RÉCIT) blog, Beyond the Tools http://beyondthetools.com/, is full of great ideas about teaching with technology.

Not sure who your local RÉCIT is? Just look here for those working at the K-11 level http://learnquebec.ca/en/content/recit/local.html and here for those working at the provincial level http://learnquebec.ca/en/content/recit/recit_list.html .

While it is good to know whom to turn to for help, it is also important to be clear on the kind of help you want.

When using technology with your class, think about –

  • What do I want my students to accomplish / learn?
  • Will the use of technology make what the students are learning more meaningful? Deeper?
  • What technology will best suit what I want my students to accomplish?
  • Will technology help me differentiate learning for my students?
  • Or just ask: Would technology help in this LES?

Your RÉCIT consultant can better serve you when you start with pedagogy – what are you teaching and why. They may have the answers on how technology can serve that purpose and deepen the learning for your students. They will also know the possibilities and limitations of technology both in terms of access and new developments.

Additional Links:

CORAL: New initiatives in adult education

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CC BY 2.0 – flickr.com/photos/f_rabelais/

post by Barbara Goode, Cheryl Pratt and Suzanne Longpré, LEARN

The Adult Education & Vocational Training sector (AEVT) is the only growing sector in most English school boards in Quebec. According to Ministry indicators, in 2011-2012,  30 441 adult students were enrolled in English language primary and secondary programs province-wide. Total youth and adult enrollments for the nine English boards in the same year were 122 612 (excluding kindergarten numbers) so adults formed about 26% of all student enrollments. While these adult students represent a very diverse demographic, including barely-out-of-school teens, a significant segment are returning to school “rusty” after many years in the workforce or with a resolve to obtain their Diploma of Vocational Studies despite their learning or socio-economic difficulties. In addition, boards have been encouraged by Ministry policy to capitalize on the enormous educational demands of developing countries such as China and India, especially in vocational training. As a result, international students also comprise a rapidly-growing segment of enrollments. Many of these international students face the challenge of studying course content in their second or third language.

Since its inception, LEARN’s global mandate has included the provision of support and services to the Adult General Education & Vocational Training sector of English language school boards. Our new LEARN team called CORAL – Complementary Online Resources for Adult Learners – is now talking with centre personnel to gather ideas regarding potential projects to meet the needs of staff and students. This calendar year, we have developed and piloted an adult tutoring service in collaboration with the boards. It has been widely recognized that adult students need additional support to complement what centres and teachers have been able to provide. Based on board data and these discussions LEARN CORAL’s first initiative is to progressively implement these free online tutoring assistance in Mathematics, French and English.

It’s important to point out that this tutoring service will not compete with Quebec’s English course delivery currently available to adults through existing initiatives like the Eastern Townships Distance Education Centre, English Montreal’s DEAL, or SOFAD. Our real time (“just in time”) online tutoring will provide a valuable complement to these centres and to the support offered by classroom teachers. We have begun with centre-based start-ups over fall-winter 2015-16. The response has been very positive. Surveys completed by teachers and students have indicated a high level of interest and enthusiasm for the service. To date the following centres are getting underway:

  • RSB-Access
  • LBPSB -WICC
  • SWLSB -Vimont
  • EMSB-James Lyng

As we build capacity and adapt the model based on input from our early participants, the service will be expanded to serve adult students registered in either general education or vocational training in all nine English-language school boards in Quebec.

For further information or to get involved, contact Barbara Goode at: bgoode@learnquebec.ca or Suzanne Longpré at slongpre@learnquebec.ca.

For another post about new initiatives in adult education, you can read this post about ramification in an adult education language classroom.

L’initiative de citoyenneté numérique

girl_cellphoneCe billet est le fruit d’une collaboration avec l’équipe de l’initiative de citoyenneté numérique, DSCA-SAR, MEESR.

De nos jours, les outils numériques sont omniprésents. Nous les utilisons donc de façon quasi quotidienne que ce soit pour des raisons personnelles ou autres. En tant que citoyen du monde, plusieurs aspects du secteur numérique ont un impact sur nous que l’on soit spectateur ou acteur. Il est donc important de former des citoyens numériques proactifs, responsables, créatifs, prudents et empathiques.

L’initiative de citoyenneté numérique http://citoyennetenumeriquequebec.ca/ propose plusieurs ressources et stratégies qui peuvent soutenir :

  • le perfectionnement des éducatrices et éducateurs,
  • l’apprentissage des élèves en classe,
  • les parents et leurs enfants dans l’exploration du monde numérique.

Les ressources et les stratégies offertes sont sous forme de liens vers des capsules vidéo, des plans de leçons, des activités à faire en classe, des jeux, des applis ou du perfectionnement professionnel.  Prochainement, du perfectionnement sera aussi disponible sous forme de badges numériques pour chacun des thèmes de l’initiative. Pour un tour guidé du site, visionnez cette vidéo :

Les principes de base de la citoyenneté numérique sont : respecter, protéger et éduquer. Chacun de ces principes a des objectifs en lien avec les neuf thèmes proposés par l’initiative soit :

  • Communication en lignecitnumerique
  • Sécurité en ligne
  • Plagiat/droit d’auteur
  • Cyberintimidation
  • Bien-être physique
  • Bien-être psychologique
  • Publicité et marketing
  • Achat et vente en ligne
  • Empreinte numérique
  • Compétences informationnelles

Pour de plus amples renseignements, vous pouvez suivre les nouveautés de l’initiative sur Twitter @DigCitQc ou encore visiter la chaîne YouTube https://www.youtube.com/apprendreetguider.

Si vous voulez célébrer la citoyenneté numérique, une des leçons (clé en main) du site pourrait vous servir. http://www.citoyennetenumeriquequebec.ca/media/lessonplan

La semaine de la citoyenneté numérique est du 19 au 23 octobre 2015.

Pour toutes questions et/ou commentaires contactez Elaine Roy à Elaine.Roy@education.gouv.qc.ca

L’équipe de l’initiative de citoyenneté numérique

DSCA-SAR

MEESR

Being Human Online: It takes a village

mix_verena

A digital surprise for me this week was driving up to a brand new Starbucks drive-through and being asked what I would like to order – from a video screen. Imagine my shock when a real person on a screen asked me what I would like to order. It wasn’t just their physical appearance that caught my attention, it was the fact that the Barista could see my lips move and figure out what I was actually ordering. There was no need to clarify what I wanted, because they could hear and see what I was trying to communicate. In fact, when they saw my eyes move back to the menu after ordering my “Pumpkin Spice Latte”, they asked if I would like something else. The video screen not only made me feel good by connecting with a person who actually understood me, Starbucks was able to sell me more product. A late night drive through to another restaurant with no video screen, but the usual sound speaker left me with the wrong order, hungry and frustrated.

Working online from home means my water cooler break moments (when I am feeling confused about something, frustrated or need a break) involve connecting with my work colleagues in Skype. This week, I learned about the new Moji’s in Skype – clips from movies that have an uncanny knack to say exactly what you are thinking. Fellow work colleagues and my own family LOL (laugh out loud) while repeating the same video clips over and over again. The newest digital saying in our family is, “Again! Again!” (Meaning watch it again!) When Skype didn’t work this week, my work colleagues and I learned how dependent we have become on the quick text service that has become the means to check in for online teams. We also learned how dependent we are still on each other, and Skype is the tool that helps us connect and feel like part of a team.

Both drive-in video screens and Skype describe tools that help me develop relationships with others and communicate more effectively as a human being. They are also helping to create a sense of community, encouraging me to feel like I belong to something bigger.

Key Points to Human Interaction and Learning:

Learning is about:

  • Engaging students;
  • Clarifying what students need; and
  • Ensuring that students are offered continuous support and encouragement in a timely manner.  

Online courses that promote digital content interaction over human interaction do not personalize learning in the same way.

A current example of an online course that is content driven that personalizes learning for students is an online course with summative assessment options (like quizzes) that have answers with immediate feedback. For example, interactions are based on computer feedback like, “Great work, keep going” or “You need to go back and review the content again, then you can proceed.” If a student is frustrated, confused or needs to check-in with someone, you will have to send an email to the teacher and wait for them to get back to you. While it is a step in the right direction in terms of some kind of interaction, computer feedback is not the same as human feedback.

An online learning community that promotes personalized learning:

  1. Starts with some kind of digital content;
  2. Introduces inquiry questions that are designed for learners to explore the Internet  for themselves and to connect with others;
  3. Encourages students to explore different learning paths;
  4. Clearly communicates scheduled times to meet for review or guided digging into a topic; and
  5. Provides, promotes, and encourages other opportunities for students to connect with teachers, peers, parents and community experts in the moment

An online learning community encourages the learner to trust themselves, their peers, their teachers and other community members in order to learn. 

How can K-12 Online Teachers promote Human Interaction?

“It takes a village to raise a child” and online learning promotes these kinds of sustainable, human focused and trust based learning opportunities. However, learning how to figure out whom to connect with and how to examine the credibility of online connections is instrumental in creating online learning communities.  The integration of social media and authentic digital tools, and modelling how to build bridges to connect with others rather than build classroom walls in online courses, will help to develop critical media literacy skills that ensure that we are preparing students for real life in our global community.

What are some ways you (or online teachers you know) are creating community in your online classrooms or providing your students with human focused learning opportunities? I would love to hear from you!