In the spring of 2022, we told you about the WOW project, which aimed to bring together adult general education (AGE) stakeholders to discover digital tools and share learning. We met with Brigitte Bourbeau, a teacher at the Centre d'éducation des adultes des Patriotes, to hear about her experience.
"For me, this project learning community, it's all positive. I felt less alone. We have developed a collaborative spirit. We think together to find solutions. It's very motivating," says Ms. Bourbeau.
Trained in special education at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, she has worked mainly in the primary sector. In 2007, she was invited to make the jump to FGA. "I had the desire to give these students a boost, to give them confidence in their abilities."
Through her teaching, she had not explored digital tools much until now. There are so many human situations to deal with in FGA that it can easily get pushed aside, she says. The proposal to join the WOW project was an opportunity for her to learn more about using digital tools in the classroom.
Technology tools to help free your brain
For students, learning to use digital may simply be learning to check their email and send more professional messages through their school service center address. "That is already a lot for some."
For others, it's possible to go further. "Assistive technology tools help students free their brains and focus on the real task. It makes their day-to-day life smoother. So they don't run out of battery," the teacher notes. For example, she has been able to explore text-to-speech and immersive reading.
The teacher found that she had to create specific opportunities to get these students to use these resources. For the FGA clientele, the use of assistive technology tools may still be perceived as a crutch and not as true resources that can contribute to success, although some students come directly from the youth sector where they already had access to these aids.
When we spoke with her, she had also started using PolyPad in the classroom. It is an online application that helps explain mathematical concepts in a more concrete way.
The continuation of the WOW project
As part of the WOW project, group meetings were held to allow the twenty or so participants to exchange and discover new practices together. In addition, a team was created in the Teams platform to encourage ongoing exchanges. "Several channels have been created and the exchanges are regular. It allows us to progress as an educator."
In April, the future of the project was not assured for next year, but since then, instigator Karine Jacques has received confirmation that the learning community will be able to continue its activities for the 2022-2023 school year. "All the principals have seen significant results in achieving the three objectives and, even though funding is still uncertain, want to free up their teachers for the learning community," she says. Brigitte Bourbeau will definitely be there!
Objective 1: Destigmatize the use of support tools
Objective Two: Develop a culture of collaboration among stakeholders
Objective Three: Increasing the educational success of Common Core students
(Re)read the article published on École branchée in April 2022 : What if assistive technology tools were also used in general adult education?