Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship at CréaCamp Ottawa

On February 27, the CréaCamp Ottawa was held, organized in collaboration with the CEPEO. In this first article of the series, we introduce you to Julie, Michèle and Chantale, facilitators of the workshop on the development of the entrepreneurial spirit.

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On February 27, the CréaCamp Ottawa was held, organized in collaboration with the ICE (innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship) team of the Eastern Ontario Public School Board. More than 50 education professionals of all levels from Quebec and Ontario came together to reflect, explore and deepen new pedagogical approaches.

As with all the CréaCamps of the École branchée, the participants had to make a heartbreaking choice at the start of the day among the workshops offered by the team of facilitators. This was mainly made up of pedagogical advisers and dynamic teachers from CEPEO. The École branchée had the opportunity to meet with them in order to share with you their vision of education, digital technology and innovation!

In this series of articles, we present to you the craftsmen of CréaCamp Ottawa.

The development of the entrepreneurial spirit

This workshop was led by Julie Soini and Michèle Guitard from Mille-Îles public high school as well as by Chantal Larivière, educational advisor at CEPEO. The three facilitators were accompanied by Jean-Sébastien Reid from Entrepreneurial Education Idea.

A math, science and techno teacher, Julie is passionate about pedagogy, more particularly what relates to the development of the entrepreneurial spirit and the innovative and creative integration of technologies in schools. Michèle teaches French in 7e and in 8e year and coordinates the Intermediate Education program of the International Baccalaureate.

As an educational advisor affiliated with the TacTIC team of the CFORP, Chantal supports teachers in the reflection, planning and implementation of authentic and innovative educational scenarios.

What led you to lead this workshop?

Julie: I am an entrepreneurship lead at Mille-Îles public high school. With my great colleague Michèle, in 2017-2018 we set up an entrepreneurial project across our school (for ALL students and which involves ALL staff members). We are continuing this initiative this year. I am convinced that this type of project can only benefit the students as well as the school community. 

Michele: As Julie indicated, we are really passionate about innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. In my work as coordinator, I cannot help but see direct links with the pedagogy of the International Baccalaureate. We see how these elements can push all students, but also teachers, to surpass themselves. In addition, it was a first for me - animation for colleagues - therefore, a great coaching experience for me!

Chantal:  As an educational advisor in Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, my role is to support the various initiatives of the schools of the council. This day allowed me to showcase the winning practices of my co-facilitators Michèle and Julie.

What is most important to remember in developing the entrepreneurial spirit?

Julie: To truly motivate students to engage and undertake, the coach must be an active participant and learner, just like the student.

Michele: The pupil must remain at the center of the learning - it is tempting as an adult to lead and impose our ideas. At the same time, it is certain that we must be there to guide, encourage and motivate the students. The line is fine and that is why teachers really need to develop their coaching skills.

Chantal: We are moving from pedagogy to eutagogy, that is to say knowing how to learn. The child becomes aware of the learning process, in particular to develop his motivation, his perseverance, his resilience and his self-regulation.

What qualities are we trying to develop in students?

Julie: Commitment, open-mindedness and critical thinking. Help the student to get involved in his community, to understand the differences and to analyze the information bombarded by social media.

Michele: To use the qualities of the IB learner, I believe that the entrepreneurial spirit allows students to be sensible, open-minded and altruistic (especially when projects are community-based).

Chantal: Become engaged and responsible citizens! Students act and make responsible decisions that support quality of life for all, now and in the future.

What is the role of the teacher in an entrepreneurial pedagogy?

Julie: He is a COACH and also a learner. The teacher must get involved in motivating his students, but also in getting involved in one or more projects.

Michele: As a coach, the teacher is called upon to motivate and guide the student. It is certain that the student sometimes needs limits and must respect protocols (I am thinking, among other things, of fundraising campaigns). The coach is there to give him the necessary tools, to allow him to make reasonable tests and to encourage him.

Chantal:  The teacher's role is then focused on supporting the learner - she / he becomes a facilitator who monitors what the students are doing and who intervenes by questioning. This way of doing things encourages autonomy and more in-depth learning.

What did you take away from your experience as a facilitator at CréaCamp?

Julie: I enjoyed learning so much that there were other teachers who share our passion and who see the importance of developing an entrepreneurial spirit. I enjoyed the sharing of ideas and successes from the participants so much.

Michele: It's always interesting to see what the other teachers have experienced - both the participants and the other facilitators. The CréaCamp allowed me to recharge my batteries, to re-energize myself, because when you see that a variety of educators share the same vision, it's motivating!

Chantal: This second experience confirms to me that I want to experience a CréaCamp as a participant. These working sessions allow us to take a break and reflect on our teaching practices, to redefine it and to propel it further.

What is your educational crush?

Julie: My favorite was the video of the group that presented the workshop Inquiry and gamification learning. Very cool! The idea of " pitches " has created a lot of anxiety in me, but I love this format!

Michele: I really appreciated the École branchée team and the CréaCamp format. I find it FANTASTIC to allow teachers to discover something and to give them TIME to explore, innovate, reflect, create… It is a format that I did not know at all!

Chantal: For me, this is the atmosphere felt during a CréaCamp. At the beginning, the pedagogues are rather confused because they do not know the formula. Thereafter, it is the craze. They dive, they explore and they create educational scenarios. Finally, it is the boost of energy. They leave excited and proud of their career path. In addition, the CréaCamp format recognizes and highlights the skills of teachers who work in their classrooms every day. 

To learn more about entrepreneurial education and inspire you, here are two very interesting sites: Undertake this is learn and Quebec Network of Entrepreneurial and Environmental Schools (RQEEE). You can also read the article in Entrepreneurial Education Idea by Jean-Sébastien Reid, 7 reasons to become an entrepreneur at school.

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About the Author

Alexane Saint-Amant-Ringuette
Alexane Saint-Amant-Ringuette
Alexane is the editor of the École branchée online news feed. She has a bachelor's degree in international relations from the University of British Columbia as well as a master's degree in intercultural mediation from the University of Sherbrooke. She also acts as a communications advisor for the organization Idée Éducation entrepreneuriale.

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