The image of grandma or grandpa lounging in front of the television, enjoying a well-deserved rest at the cottage, thinking only of traveling, tinkering or gardening, is one that persists for many. However, this image is outdated. Luc Gendron, a committed grandfather, wants to form the Quebec Network of Curious and Connected Grandparents in Education.
"In the 21st century, grandparents are quite active and have a range of skills that could be used to advantage in schools, especially digitally," he says.
He himself has developed a unique expertise in international digital business since 1996. Since 2018, he has been actively involved with the members of the parents' committee of a school service center in Centre-du-Québec. Now that he is a grandfather, he is convinced that this expertise could be put to good use to accompany schools in the realization of digital projects.
"I am certainly not the only one in my situation. There are many people who are curious by nature and have been living in the tech world for a long time. They have something to bring to the schools as we seek to accelerate the development of digital skills. They could act as mentors to the Ministry of Education and school principals, while contributing to the development of digital skills in schools," he believes.
A network of grandparents
If it takes a village to raise a child, there is an essential and overlooked component missing from the Quebec education ecosystem: grandparents. At least that's what Mr. Gendron, who previously wrote a post on the the role of curious grandparents in education on his blog.
Today, he would like to create the Réseau des grands-parents curieux et branchés en éducation du Québec (Quebec Network of curious and connected grandparents in education), which could give their time to meet various needs in the school network. He is thinking about some of the people he works with; this former executive of a large company, this expert in emotional intelligence in business, an expert in international logistics, a management coach and even a former director general of the Centre interuniversitaire de santé et services sociaux (CIUSS). "The expertise of these people should be able to be showcased in the school environment."
According to his vision, their contribution could be as much with the students in the classroom as with the school service center managers. Planning meetings of the various boards, communication between the CSS and families, reflection on major issues and practices, etc.
He expresses his vision in a longer text which we publish in the Opinion section of École branchée. It asks the question: Do you know curious and connected grandparents who would like to contribute to culture and collective intelligence? Do you know school service center and school administrators who are curious to capitalize on their expertise?
He invites you to share this short survey to intercept grandparents (or other interested onlookers) who would like to participate in a regional or provincial meeting to further develop the network concept.