Dalbé-Viau high school launched this year a computerized learning enrichment program (PEAi). This ultratechnological project was presented as part of the 30e AQUOPS conference.
The PEAi classroom offers six interactive whiteboards (IWBs), for use by students only. Each team of five young people is assigned to a board and their desks are grouped around it. Of course, each student has a laptop, under his responsibility for the year, as well as access to a multitude of software and other technological tools. The teacher's desk is at the center of the classroom. Even if they are in secondary school, the students do not change premises. Rather, it is the eight teachers who have agreed to participate in the program who travel there. Éric Durocher, coordinator in charge, meets with teachers on a weekly basis. Its role is to train them, make suggestions for using software to perform the tasks, make them aware of new pedagogical approaches, etc.
The pedagogy of obstinacy
According to Mr. Durocher, you cannot approach a technological class in the same way as a traditional class. We have to change the pedagogical approach. At PEAi, we favor an interactive and collaborative approach. “I call it the pedagogy of stubbornness,” explains Durocher. Students negotiate and build together, they must push their reasoning and convince others, constantly justify themselves. Faced with a task, they must come to a consensus. The teacher's role in this approach is to create cognitive conflicts to prevent a leader from deciding everything and others daring to express their disagreement.
The enrichment component
This year, the integrative project is the production of a radio program, in collaboration with a community radio station in Montreal and a group of elementary school students. Students are expected to produce the entire program, from commercials and introductory music, animation and content.
Otherwise, several interdisciplinary projects mark the year of these students. Some examples: create a comic book on Antiquity, activity on the month of nutrition including a survey and a statistical analysis based on the collected data, etc.
In order not to waste time in class mastering the technical side of projects and leaving plenty of room for the subject, the PEAi students add to their agenda two computer lessons per nine-day cycle, which are given in the morning at 7:30 am Éric Durocher then shows them the technical concepts that will be used to carry out the next activities proposed by their teachers. For example, if the social teacher plans to do a video edit, students first learn how to do it and then are ready to do it in context.
Students participating in PEAi were first recommended by primary school teachers. Then, they took part in the selection tests which consist mainly in observing them in a teamwork situation. Indeed, admission to the program is not based on knowledge, but on aptitude for teamwork and motivation.
ISAP is a three-year program. The first year, the students experience an opening to their environment, in particular by carrying out projects with primary schools of the school board. The second year, it is the openness to the community that will be put more forward, for example by updating the website of a community organization, by giving a computer course to seniors, etc. . Finally, the third and final year will be devoted to opening up to the international market. Moreover, the students will organize a trip abroad from A to Z that they can take at the end of the year.
Dalbé-Viau high school is located in a disadvantaged environment (level 9/10) and benefits from special funding under the strategy Act differently from the Quebec Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport.
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