The rule of three? It is also made for the virtual!

Technopedagogue Marie-Andrée Ouimet presents her advice on transforming activities designed for the classroom into online activities.

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It's true, our habits have changed over the past year. But if there is one thing that remains for teachers, it is their desire to ensure that students are engaged, even from a distance. To this end, technopedagogue Marie-Andrée Ouimet puts into practice a “rule of three” specially designed for online courses.

Originally from Hawkesbury, in Eastern Ontario, and former educational advisor, Marie-Andrée Ouimet regularly presents workshops on the integration of educational tools. Recently, at the request of theACELF, she presented her advice on turning activities designed for the classroom into online activities.

Marie-Andrée Ouimet during a CréaCamp with the École branchée team in 2019

Three things to remember

To make students want to learn even from a distance, they must be given the chance to collaborate in real time with their peers. Young people definitely need to forge social and emotional bonds.

The objective, as teachers, is therefore to recreate this human bond so that students can continue to collaborate even online and that they remain engaged in their learning.

To do that, here are three ways to take up the challenge.

  1. Create a collaborative wall

Creating a collaborative wall allows students to share ideas, write a group plan, and communicate with others. Remember that a collaborative wall is in a way a whiteboard or a shared screen allowing participants to interact by entering ideas, suggestions or by sharing links, images or videos.

  1. Use video

Using video helps give students a voice. They can use it to express their opinions, demonstrate their understanding, and respond to communications from others.

  1. Leverage a variety of digital tools

It can be interesting to create a list of digital tools that students are already familiar with. The teacher then benefits from the students' know-how and can discover new tools. Then, by integrating them into educational activities, it allows students to stay on familiar ground. Nothing prevents you from exploring others together as well.

A concrete example

Let us now present a concrete example, assuming that the students have to introduce inspiring Francophone personalities to their peers.

In class, you would start with a discussion on this subject, giving examples of people from the cultural, sports or scientific world. Subsequently, your students would come together to form teams and reflect on the presentation of a committed Francophone personality. Then, they would share the portrait of the chosen personality.

In virtual mode ...

The initial discussion can take place through a video conferencing application. A summary of the discussion can be recorded in real time on a collaborative wall (eg Padlet, Miro) by screen sharing. Students can refer to it later.

Students can then be separated into sub-groups to work on their project. A variety of digital tools are available to help them record their research results and then prepare a presentation for the class (eg Canva, Genially, PowerPoint or Google Presentations). They will be able to insert digital images, photos or drawings as well as links to other digital resources. The presentation can be made live during a video conference, or they can film themselves and present their video afterwards. You can let them choose the app of their choice depending on your level of fluency.

Moreover, Marie-Andrée Ouimet insists on saying that you do not need to be an expert: “whatever the tool, the important thing is to be at least at ease” with it. here if you have to troubleshoot the students. To guide you, you can also choose according to the compatibility with the platform used in the school (generally Microsoft or Google).

Once all the portraits of French-speaking personalities have been completed, you can even take the activity further by bringing them together to make a virtual exhibition that will be accessible to all. It will be extremely motivating for the students to share all these important role models for them.

Looking for other online classroom activities? ACELF offers more than 500 in its Educational activity bank (BAP).

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About the Author

André Magny
André Magny
For more than 30 years, André Magny has been going back and forth between journalism and teaching French to teenagers and adults alike. Freelance freelance writer for various media including Francopresse, he was also a cultural journalist at Law in Ottawa and in charge of new technologies at Soleil de Québec. He also did sports journalism in France. He has a weakness for the Francophonie, culture, sports, cuisine and politics.

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