How is the “teacher effect” transposed in a digital context

Christine Hamel, professor at Laval University, presented a conference entitled "The teaching effect in a context of digital use in class and at a distance" as part of the most recent transfer session of the School in a network. . Here are the highlights.

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Christine Hamel, full professor in the Department of Studies on Teaching and Learning at Laval University, recently presented a conference entitled “The teaching effect in a context of digital use in the classroom and at a distance”. Here are the highlights.

From the outset, Professor Hamel wanted to reassure her audience:

Yes, the teacher can have a big effect on the success of his students, but he shouldn't put too much pressure on himself either. All the players in the school environment have a role to play in bringing young people to success.

Christine Hamel

Since last March, with the acceleration of the use of digital technology in education, the teaching effect has changed somewhat. “While the use of videoconferencing was still marginal at the start of the year, it has become a normal practice for the majority. However, we can say that the screen is still a screen. There is a challenge to make the interaction optimal to promote the transmission of knowledge, ”she says.

Indeed, how can the teacher identify students who do not understand or who do not dare to ask questions behind the screen? How can he be sure to follow everyone from a distance? What practices will be adopted to maximize the organization of teaching-learning or to frame collaborative work?

In this context, Ms. Hamel shared her observations, largely inspired by her experience with Networked School, which has twenty years of existence. 

  • Activities need to be meaningful to truly support student engagement. Focus on creative and collaborative work rather than on the masterful transmission of content.
  • Students need to interact with the teacher on an individual basis. Schedule time for a one-on-one discussion with students and build on constructive feedback that will support learning. 
  • Students also need to interact with their peers. Find ways to get students to work together. This presents a great challenge for distance education, but it should not be overlooked. 
  • Digital tools can support learning if they are used to enhance a learning activity and not to replicate it 'like before'. Go back to the educational intention: everything does not have to be digital even if you are at a distance.
  • Write to learn: get students to write more so that they leave traces of their learning, without being corrected and graded. Ask them to write spontaneously, even if it is in text format, so that they can express themselves and share more. 

The direction effect

Following Professor Hamel's presentation, Virginie Hallahan Pilotte, principal at St-Joseph school in La Baie and St-Félix school in Saint-Félix-d'Otis, testified about her role in facilitate the teaching effect. According to her, it is possible to transpose Ms. Hamel's observations into her relationship with her school team. “My teachers are my learners and I must support them in their own professional development, especially in the appropriation of digital technology”.

My teachers are my learners and I must support them in their own professional development, especially in the appropriation of digital technology

Virginie Hallahan Pilotte, director of schools

Christine Hamel's conference was part of the programming of the Network School Transfer Session, which was held on October 8 and 9. 

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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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