What if assistive technology tools were also used in general adult education?

Although adult general education centers (AGE) welcome many students under 18 years of age from the youth sector, the integration of digital tools, particularly technological aids, is a marginal practice. Karine Jacques, a remedial educator, has initiated a new collaborative project to raise awareness among FGA stakeholders.

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Although adult general education centers (AGE) welcome many students under 18 years of age from the youth sector, the integration of digital tools, particularly technological aids, is a marginal practice. Karine Jacques, a remedial educator, has initiated a new collaborative project to raise awareness among FGA stakeholders.

The FGA's clientele is far from homogeneous. It is composed of adults, of course, but also of young people, the majority of whom come from the alternative sectors, have left the youth sector, suffer from intellectual disabilities (they must be enrolled in school until the age of 21), etc. More than 30 % of the clientele is under 19 years old and 50 % is under 25 years old, according to the data from the Department of Education. It is easy to imagine that these students' academic journey was difficult before they arrived in the FGA class.

Karine Jacques has been a remedial teacher for several years at the FGA. She has always had a concern for academic continuity for incoming high school students, which includes an interest in technological aids used by students with learning disabilities. As soon as she obtained a support position for all of the province's training centers, she decided to set up a collaborative project to raise awareness of digital uses in the classroom among FGA stakeholders and thus better support students.

"In general, FGA teachers have little knowledge about learning disabilities and technology tools. The work that has been done to democratize these tools in primary and secondary schools is not necessarily made available to adults. So, today, I want to do my part in this regard," explains Karine.

For example, technology support tools are not routinely used. And for a variety of reasons, students' past academic records are not always accessible. Sometimes practitioners wait until students have experienced failure before clearing them. "We understand that many young people who are at FGA have already experienced their share of failures. I tell teachers, 'Go, let them use the tools. Remove the barriers so they can experience successes!"."

The WOW Project

Within the framework of the WOW project, she gathered of the FGA actors (Complementary Educational Services Professionals, Pedagogical Consultants, Teachers, RÉCIT Consultants, etc.) from six school service centers (see list below). 

Five virtual meetings will have taken place by the end of the school year. Remedial educators and RÉCIT consultants will also co-teach in classrooms with teachers of the common basic training (FBC) (pre-secondary and 1er cycle of secondary school). Finally, a digital collaborative space is available to participants.

Beyond the use of digital tools for students, Ms. Jacques hopes, through this project, to bring school workers in adult education centers to collaborate together, to share their good works and their learning with each other. "We can also bring digital tools for teaching and not just for learning. But we're taking it one step at a time."

A total of 23 teachers are officially involved in the project, which has received financial support from the Ministry of Education and other partners (see image below). Already, Ms. Jacques is seeing a lot of interest and teachers have shown interest in joining the group. Although they cannot participate in the meetings or benefit from co-teaching, they can have access to the documents and resources developed, always in a spirit of sharing.

The future of the project is not assured for next year, but Ms. Jacques hopes that it can continue. Its objectives are clear: "To intervene in the prevention of difficulties through the use of technological assistance tools and to develop a professional learning community to help CBF clients with digital technology.

Good to know:

  • The RÉCIT FGA offers its customers techno-pedagogical troubleshooting without an appointment from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Simply log in to the platform.
  • The National Special Education and Inclusion Service also offers virtual support to Quebec school workers on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Access directly with Teams.

Participating Adult Education Centres

  • St-Louis and Louis-Jolliet Centre (CSS de la Capitale)
  • Center Val-des-Sources, Windsor and Magog (CSS des Sommets)
  • Center des Patriotes (CSS des Patriotes)
  • Center des Belles-Rives (CSS des Trois-Lacs)
  • Center du Nouvel-Envol et de Valleyfield (CSS de la Vallée-des-Tisserands)
  • Center Léon-Bloy (CSS des Grades-Seigneuries)
  • New Horizons (Eastern Township School Board)

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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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