The role of the teacher is changing

(previous page) Several years ago, a teacher using the overhead projector managed to capture the attention of his class. Then, some teachers dared to use a computer […]

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Several years ago, a teacher who used the acetate projector managed to capture the attention of his class. Then, a few teachers dared to use a computer in the classroom and project material onto a white screen. It was the heyday of PowerPoint.

Now more and more schools are equipping themselves with equipment so that students can directly use the technology. The benefits are proven. The Eastern Townships School Board, where there is one laptop per student, observed in particular a facilitation of the work of teachers and learners, better access to current and quality information, increased motivation and attention of students and the development of autonomy of young people. We also note that technology allows individualized and active learning in addition to leading to the development of technological skills.

In an ideal world, everyone would have their laptop or tablet connected to the Internet (without restriction as to the types of content since the school would have a code of ethics endorsed by the students, as in Jean-Eudes College, for example), and each class would be provided with a minimum of a robotics kit and an interactive whiteboard for sharing. But this is rarely the case. Several teachers have to deal with a laboratory down the hall, a cart of laptops to borrow, an interactive whiteboard.

Philippe Auger teaches elementary school in Boucherville. During the first ten years of his career, he did not use technology at all. Not because he didn't taste it, but because there just wasn't access! Since taking up his post at Young Discoverers, it's no longer too much of a problem, but he finds the daily logistics cumbersome: “My students regularly use the laptop trolley, but first I have to reserve it, install the computers on the desks before the students arrive, it takes time! Then you have to save the work on a USB key, put everything away and start over the next day… ”However, he perseveres and believes that he could no longer teach without ICT.

For his part, André Cotte, free software advisor for education at Société GRICS, sums up the situation well. “As it stands now, using technology in the classroom makes the teacher's work harder when it should be the other way around. "

We can see that the school is a turning point. The training program requires the development of technology-related skills in students. Many teachers fear and resist having to become computer experts. Those who are ready to board sometimes search for computers without finding them. And those who do not understand how their role must change use it to perform the same tasks as before, on digital media!

"Since the beginnings of the use of technologies in schools, the education community has been used to buying a lot of equipment and reserving few resources for training", we write on the website of the STORY of the social universe. Teachers must be trained in the use of the tools, but also taught to be learning guides, animators of passions, mentors, guidance counselors. They should be reminded that technologies are tools to achieve a goal: learning.

On this subject, Mario Asselin, director general of Opossum and former school director, thinks that some teachers are put off by the idea of using ICT in the classroom, because it would plunge them back into the cycle of learning. After several years of teaching, they have acquired a comfort and the idea of having to face failure and difficulty again in learning on their own does not suit them. “Some find it difficult to admit that there is expertise outside the walls of their classroom. They even deny the obvious! For example, if Pluto was a planet in their day, they persist in teaching it that way. "

In interview at Infobourg in 2009, Pierre Poulin, teacher in an iCl @ sse, explained that his role has changed with the proliferation of technology in his class. “Teachers are no longer the agents of knowledge. They need to learn to be open and to collaborate more with their students. You have to learn to teach differently. Yes, there will be masterful teaching in our class, sometimes we can't miss out on explaining concepts. But, we want there to be something else that reaches the students more. "

Marie-France Fortin also had to considerably change her way of teaching when iPads arrived in her classroom in September. “Each student must become super competent in an application, he becomes THE specialist. For example, I have two students whose job it was to explore a note-taking app and explain it to others. My dyslexic and dysorthographic students can record me and listen to their class notes again in the evening. Their duty was to put that in a word processor. "

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About the Author

Audrey Miller
Audrey Miller
General manager of École branchée, Audrey holds a graduate degree in educational technologies and a bachelor's degree in public communication. Member of the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec, she is particularly interested in the professional development of teachers, information in the digital age and media education, while actively creating bridges between the actors of the educational ecosystem since 1999. She is involved these days in particular in Edteq Association and as a member of the ACELF Communications Committee. When she has free time, she is passionate about her children, his rabbits, horses, good wine and... Web programming!

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