The seigneurial regime in the digital age

Last fall, Sophy James, a Secondary 3 teacher in Quebec and Canadian history at La Seigneurie school in Quebec City, decided to experiment with a new project with her students. This is how a lordship came to life in the playful world of Minecraft.

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Last fall, Sophy James, a Secondary 3 teacher in Quebec and Canadian history at La Seigneurie school in Quebec City, decided to experiment with a new project with her students. This is how a lordship came to life in the playful world of Minecraft.

Shortly after the start of the school year, Sophy received an email from the team of pedagogical advisers at her school service center offering various activities to try out in the social world. Looking for a different project that would allow her students to be more active in their learning, she responded positively to the proposal.

“I had never done a 'techno' project. A colleague told me about Minecraft last year, but nothing more. Then I thought it might be interesting to get out of my comfort zone, I wanted to try something new,” explains the teacher. She adds that the support she received from Sylvie Perron, high school pedagogy professional, and Étienne Filteau, technopedagogue, quickly gave her confidence. “Their support gave me a lot of security throughout the project. »

For this first time, she chose to carry out the activity The seigneurial regime with Minecraft, proposed by the National Service of RÉCIT, domain of the social universe. This activity makes it possible to achieve competency 1: characterize a period in the history of Québec and Canada. Sophy completed the activity with only one of her seven groups. Looking back, she is convinced that it was the right strategy to adopt for the first time, in order to gain confidence. Nevertheless, she will not hesitate to extend the project to all of her groups next year.

Build a seigneury and organize a guided tour

Concretely, the pupils gathered in groups of four, then each group chose a building of a seigniory of the time of the French mode (manor, mill, house of the censitaire, church) and carried out the construction with inside a Minecraft world.

After an introductory period for the project, students were given three periods to finalize their construction. "From the beginning, the students were committed. They quickly shared the tasks and helped each other. Those periods went by so fast! It was light, fun and the students were learning," says the teacher.  

After completing the construction of their building, the students had to prepare a virtual visit for their classmates. To do this, Sophy asked them to record a guided tour using the recording functions integrated into the Chromebook devices used by the students, or with Screencastify, an application that allows you to record what is happening on the screen while capturing voice. Again, it was about varying the learning activities for the students.

By living this first experience, the teacher had proof that she was not obliged to master a technology in order to use it with her students. “You just need to have some basic knowledge (knowing the vocabulary used, for example), then trusting the young people. Collective intelligence has done its work! “, she concludes.

In addition: To discover Screencastify, the CTREQ offers a short guide.


Dimension (s) of digital competence related to this article
3- Exploit the potential of digital technology for learning
6- Communicate using digital technology
7- Producing digital content

To see the Framework.

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About the Author

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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