"It is no longer enough to teach digitally, we must educate digitally"

While progress has been made in integrating technologies into schools, there is still some way to go and, above all, challenges to overcome, reminds us of the Higher Education Council.

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ATTENTION! The English translation is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)

in collaboration with Julie Chamberland and Sylvain Bérubé

The message conveyed in the report “Educating in digital” from the Higher Education Council (CSE) is clear: “It is no longer enough to teach digitally, we must educate digitally”. This is what Ms. Maryse Lassonde and Ms. Nadine Forget-Dubois explained during a lunchtime conference presented by the Edteq Association.

On March 17, during a webinar offered to all, the Association of Enterprises for the Development of Educational Technologies in Quebec (Edteq) received Mesdames Maryse Lassonde and Nadine Forget-Dubois, from the Higher Education Council , in a format Inspirational midi

This formula, as its name suggests, is an opportunity to take advantage of a short downtime to be inspired and the recent publication of the Report on the state of education needs 2018-2020 “Digital education” suited it well. Edteq had moreover had the opportunity to be heard, like many other people and organizations, while the committee composed of 14 members and chaired by Mrs. Jacqueline Dubé was busy fulfilling the mission entrusted to it. . 

It should be noted that CSE considers experiential knowledge essential, as mentioned from the outset by Madame Lassonde when she presented the 3 pillars on which all the opinions and reports of the CSE are based (the other 2 pillars being learned knowledge and democratic deliberations).

20 years ago, already ...

Twenty years ago, the CSE published a report entitled Education and new technologies? The conclusion was clear at the time: the use of technology can promote student success. If progress has been made since that time in terms of integrating technologies into schools, there is still some way to go and, above all, challenges to be met.

The most recent CSE report provides a current portrait of the use of digital technology in the classroom and presents ways to continue its successful integration. “Unfortunately, notes the CSE, a certain discourse to the effect that technologies are complicated to use and sometimes even superfluous still persists in schools. " 

Thus, "a gap between the values of Digital education action plan, launched in 2018, and the experience in schools continues to exist and limits the use of certain digital tools ”. However, in the digital age, “we need to master digital uses and tools. They are an integral part of our society and our lives. We can no longer miss it, ”recalled the two ladies during their presentation. 

After all, it was the great flexibility of digital technology that allowed the school network to get through the last year. “The achievements of the last year open the door to more advanced teaching practices, such as a possible personalization of learning at the pace of the students. "

However, they also noted that, while inequalities in access to computer equipment have decreased over the past year, inequalities in uses have, for their part, been brought to light. 

Skills, tools and resources

In order to take advantage of digital technology, the CSE has identified skills to be developed and tools and resources to be mastered for students, and also for teachers:

  • For the students
    • Prepare for lifelong learning
    • Understanding the algorithms
    • Develop critical thinking
    • Knowing how to exercise digital citizenship
    • Gain autonomy with current digital tools
    • Recognize and exploit free resources
    • Go beyond digital consumption to make informed use of it
  • For teachers
    • Integrate digital tools to achieve learning goals
    • Teach digital literacy across disciplines
    • Assess digital literacy
    • Have a choice of appropriate digital resources
    • Design free resources
    • Work with libraries to establish learning hubs

A change of perspective

“Faced with the changes that have taken place in our society, the goal for teachers should not be limited to using digital technology in the classroom. It is insufficient. The objective is to meet training needs through digital technology, ”indicates the CSE. However, the organization is aware that teachers can sometimes struggle to navigate the available digital resources and the demands of the program, as well as all other day-to-day obligations. 

Three major orientations were proposed by the CSE in order to support teachers and effect the change of perspective:

1- Set up the material and administrative conditions necessary for a smooth use of digital tools

  • The bandwidth, the capacity of the electrical system and the lack of devices should no longer be obstacles to the integration of digital. 
  • Better collaboration between IT and educational services would achieve a judicious balance between network security and educational needs.

2- Align the curriculum, learning and assessments

  • The essential character of digital competence should be reflected in the curriculum
  • Assessments of this skill should be able to be done in an authentic context, in connection with current uses and focus on current issues.

3- Respond to the need for continuing education and support for teaching staff

  • Teaching must be redesigned as a collaborative task, in which the teacher acts in concert with other professionals to support students in their learning
  • Initial training programs must make more room for digital technologies

Of course, the CSE recognizes, a period of adaptation will always be necessary when using new technological tools. However, he advocates a common and shared learning, student-teacher. “The teacher does not have to master all the tools. It should focus on student learning. "

The few dozen participants were able to ask their questions and the exchanges were prolific on the discussion thread, as what the subject has not finished talking. It is desirable that the contents of this report generate support and find an echo in the community by being widely disseminated through various means of communication so that the information reaches teachers, pedagogical advisers and other educators.

In addition : 

Dimension (s) of digital competence related to this article
11- Develop critical thinking with regard to digital technology

To see the Framework.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
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.

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