Margarida Romero: Becoming digital creators, no longer mere consumers

In this École branchée Educational Rendezvous, Margarida Romero explains why students of the 21st century should use technology to create rather than just use it as a consumer.

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In this École branchée Educational Meeting, Margarida Romero explains why the students of the 21e century must use technology to create rather than just be consumers.

The “École branchée educational meetings” are podcast interviews with school stakeholders from here and elsewhere. In this episode, our collaborator (and concept designer) Marc-André Girard talks with Ms. Margarida Romero, professor of educational technology at Laval University.

From the outset, Ms. Romero said she was happy to have discovered, on her arrival in Quebec, that the training program of the Quebec school already included skills from the 21e century, as the development of creative thinking. On the other hand, she noted that the ICT competence did not go far enough by limiting itself to actions such as knowing how to search for information on the Web and having good search criteria.

Use the tools to become digital creators

According to her, learning computer science and developing a relationship with technological knowledge must go much further than just positioning yourself as a digital consumer.

She argues that students should not only use existing technological tools. They must have the opportunity to use these tools in order to become digital creators. “When faced with a problem, they need to be led to think and find answers that will involve code, robot-building and digital manufacturing in general,” she says.

This creative thought, the pupils can first acquire it outside of the technological universe. Analyzing, modeling, structuring information, organizing it, adopting techniques for implementing solutions, these are all skills that they can develop in a fun way before embarking on digital creation itself.

In this regard, she gives the example of a kindergarten class that started a project by creating a tale, before being challenged to code the tale with different programming tools. Other students were able to experiment with the code through a creation project of a city model.

“It's about posing challenges to students for which they don't know the solution in advance. And in fact, we manage to show them that there are several possible solutions depending on the tools used, ”says Romero.

What is the point of teaching robotics and programming?

To the big question What is the point of teaching robotics and programming?, she replies that “the school is too focused on literacy and numeracy. We have lost the notion of manufacturing. Robotics makes it possible to return to the source and to learn while building ”.

In closing, for teachers who would be tempted to experiment with programming with their students, but who do not feel comfortable, she strongly recommends teaming up with a colleague who already knows about it. The number of teachers who have their students coded is growing and it shouldn't be too difficult to find a mentor.

Listen to the entire podcast to learn more about Margarida Romero's teaching model.

Marc-André Girard speaks with Margarida Romero.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.