Manon Légaré has been contributing for several years to the integration of ICT in primary school. This teacher at the Prés-Verts school of the Commission scolaire de la Capitale considers the integration of technologies to be a turning point in her teaching career.
Always looking for new pedagogical approaches to place students at the center of their learning, this daring teacher went so far as to integrate programming into her lessons. With her students, she has presented his experience during the Rendez-vous des écoles francophones en network (REFER) 2017. Today, she defines programming as a third language to be mastered at school.
The École branchée spoke with Manon Légaré on subjects that fascinate her: technology, programming and innovative projects!
Why is it important for you to use technology in your teaching?
Manon Légaré: It is easy to observe that when students use technology in the classroom, they find themselves in a context that allows them to develop different talents such as creativity, collaboration, communication, decision-making, planning as well. than teamwork. This leads students to reach different stages of autonomy in the learning cycle.
Social networks allow me to discuss and share with other passionate teachers as well as to work on my students' communication in a motivating and meaningful way. Students become communicators and designers of their learning. We can now publish and share our projects around the world with such speed. We can also do activities with teachers and students from all over different continents.
When our students use technology, they are in a process that promotes decision-making, work organization and planning. Plus, they can easily bring out their personality by putting their creativity into action. When they work online we can follow them and comment on their work live.
What prompted you to incorporate programming into your lessons?
Manon Légaré: I quickly became interested in programming with my students because when students program, they develop important mathematical concepts such as creative thinking, effective collaboration, good systematic analysis, reflective, iterative design and lifelong learning. .
What are the virtues of educational programming in your opinion?
Manon Légaré: By the same token, when students do programming, they find themselves in the design process. A student's project begins with an idea. He creates a prototype (a model), he brings and experiments his solutions himself and fixes them when things do not work as expected.
How do these projects help motivate your students? How do you go about arousing the interest of your students?
Manon Légaré: The programming work as well as the work on various sites offered to teachers allows students to work as a team. They love to learn while handling the different ICT platforms with classmates. It is motivating for them to collaborate with teammates in order to carry out the various tasks requested by the teacher and to reach a consensus on the best ideas.
When it comes to programming, this learning is not about turning students into professional programmers. However, learning to program has benefits for everyone. It allows students to express themselves in a fully creative way and it helps them develop as logical thinkers and better understand how new technologies work. The pupils are very motivated and even those with more difficulties find their account there. Students are not just consumers of technology, but become designers when they use it for educational purposes.
Tell us about your plans for the current school year.
Manon Légaré: Once again this year, I am making full use of technology. Currently, my students create comics online as part of my teaching in French. We write books online as well as various magazine articles that students develop themselves using different platforms. We will publish our work on a padlet and we will share them later with the parents of the school. In addition, my students use the platform Seesaw and its various functions to publish their work. My students also follow me on ChallengeU, they find their classmates there as well as all the work to be done. We will start working on programming in the month of November in class and participate in a competition.
In November, we will also be doing animation cinema. The project consists of the production of short films in which the pupils work as a team to create from A to Z the sets and the scenario and carry out the editing. We will publish the results of the presentations on social media Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other platforms used in the classroom.
What advice would you like to share with teachers who, like you, want to make more use of technology and digital technology in their teaching?
Manon Légaré: It is not necessary to have a perfect mastery of technology to use it with our students. You just have to trust yourself and our students. You have to allow yourself to learn to learn with them. Our students spend a lot more time on computers than we do. Our role is to lead them by teaching them how to make good use of it, by developing their critical judgment and by educating them to surf the Internet safely. We will never be able to fully master all the available platforms and that is not the point. We must not let ourselves be overtaken by the technological knowledge of our students, we must use it and take advantage of it to enrich our teaching. We do not have as much time as our students to appropriate the different technologies and this is not necessary. Let's use our students as resource people.
Here are some experiences that I have had and which clearly demonstrate that, as a teacher, we must make the most of the potential of our students:
When I give training to other primary and secondary teachers within my school board, I am always accompanied by a few students who come to demonstrate with ease the use of ICT. When I give a conference, at a convention or at an out-of-class presentation, I always share my experience with technologies accompanied once again by a few students.
Tell us about a momentous moment lived with your students.
Manon Légaré: We received the Minister of Education, Mr. Sébastien Proulx, and the Prime Minister, Mr. Philippe Couillard, at the Prés-Verts school last year. It's quite exceptional to meet political leaders during your career, right in our classroom. It was the students who introduced our guests to how the classroom works. They are the ones who used the technology in front of the journalists. I was very proud because they were able to demonstrate their knowledge, their skills and their know-how.
Do you have any other things to share?
I would like to share this favorite video from Sebastien Stasse which, in my opinion, should be watched by all teachers: