#JNEQc (Return to the round table) The importance of the relationship with students in distance education

Digital Education Day (JNÉ) is in full swing! Here is a report of the educational meeting hosted this morning by Stéphanie Dionne, who talks with RÉCIT, CADRE21 and École branchée. A great opportunity to discuss the importance of maintaining the teacher-student bond when teaching takes place outside the school walls.

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The Digital Education Day (JNE) opened this morning with speeches and discussions with the Ministers of Education Jean-François Roberge and of Digital Transformation Eric Caire, which were followed by an interesting conference on distance education of Cathia Papi, professor in the Education Department of TÉLUQ University and responsible for training I teach remotely.

Subsequently, registrants were able to hear a live educational meeting hosted by Stephanie Dionne of École branchée. A great opportunity to discuss the importance of maintaining the teacher-student bond when teaching takes place outside the school walls.

Beyond technology, distance education represents a major human and relational challenge. We must never forget the human behind the screen. This message was carried by the three speakers: Melissa Bricault, educational advisor at the local RÉCIT of the Seigneurie-des-Milles-Îles School Service Center, Audrey Miller, CEO of École branchée, and Jacques Cool, Director General of CADRE21.

What is the starting point when we are concerned with maintaining the link at a distance?

For Ms. Bricault, it is essential to create moments of socialization with the students at the start of distance learning courses. “Let's take the time to dialogue with the students before getting into the content. Let's get them to name their emotions. A young person who carries an emotional baggage will not be able to direct his thoughts towards learning. "

“Let's replace our digital anxiety with digital benevolence,” Mr. Cool summed up. According to him, it is important to accompany, collaborate and co-develop, support and breathe in an extraordinary context like the one we are all targeting at the moment. It is the feeling of personal efficiency of each one that will be increased.

“There are differences, but also similarities in teaching and learning in the classroom and at a distance,” notes Audrey Miller. For her, we must take the time to separate technological and human concerns, work on both to gain confidence, then join them together afterwards. “What unites all this is the importance of the emotional bond. Yes, the technical side sometimes holds back teachers, but there are also ways to use it advantageously. "To be able to maintain, or even develop, the link, in my opinion, it is necessary to develop a minimum of basic digital skills, first to feel confident, then to continue to offer varied educational opportunities, to differentiate , use several media, promote teamwork, etc. However, we must remain focused on the educational intention, the ultimate goal, because it is easy to get lost, ”she explains.

She also addressed the thorny question "should we force young people to open their microphone or their camera?" For her, "it's a technical question. If we take it from the side of the intention and the human, does that indicate to us that something in our educational organization could possibly be modified? "

So what to focus on to maintain the link?

At a time when fatigue hangs over many, Audrey Miller offered 3 tips.

  1. Pay attention to the variety of communication channels that can be opened with the students: “Because at the start, if there is no channel, there is nothing that passes! For example, some need to be asked how they are doing before they are ready to work. Others need to be reassured by seeing a work plan, or by understanding what they will use it for. Some people need to get or provoke a reaction, "let go of their fool". Some will naturally come to seek help from the teacher, others need the teacher to come to them. "
  2. Then look at the best practices designed to forge links in the classroom, such as those identified by research in socio-emotional learning (in English: social emotional learning). “According to the experts, these practices will also work remotely, because they are precisely the“ best practices ”! Examples: mentoring, tutoring between students, time to discuss the process, exchange feedback, common places to discuss and help each other even outside of school hours (e.g. Instagram), an engagement committee including to both teachers and students, etc. "
  3. Finally, invest in your professional development in terms of digital skills. “If you don't feel comfortable with the basics, the rest is more difficult, and that's okay. "

Several teachers are concerned about the application of the rules of conduct in distance education. To this end, Mélissa Bricault suggests opening a dialogue with the students. “Let's get them to think about their use of digital technology. Let's work upstream with them. Let us not hesitate to make room for parents in this discussion. I am convinced that this will prevent unpleasant situations. It will be for the benefit of all. "

Jacques Cool believes that teachers must bet on their pedagogical creativity in order to get through the current period and adapt their practice. “The resources are there for the teachers. The panorama has never been so well filled in order to mobilize (oneself), to commit to achieve new professional learning. Above all, they must not live this moment alone, in isolation ”.

The last word certainly comes back to him: “To each his own Mount Everest. We must all begin our ascension. No one can stay at base camp! "

It's your turn

The educational meeting ended with a question asked to the participants: If you were a distance student, what would you need to feel that your teacher is there for you? All are invited to respond: monurl.ca/elevejne

We will get back to you with a summary of the responses in the coming days!

Also note that the replay will be offered on the YouTube channel from the Ministry of Education in the coming weeks.

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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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