The Rendez-vous RÉCIT: where are we with the robots?

“Where are we with our robots? ". This RÉCIT meeting was meant to be a time out to take stock of the first year of the Digital Action Plan in connection with the deployment of programming and robotics in Quebec schools.

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On March 19, the third virtual Rendez-vous du RÉCIT was held. Six free workshops were offered online in order to introduce educational actors to various themes that could be explored within the framework of the Digital education action plan. The recordings of these workshops as well as the resources presented will be available on the RÉCIT website.

One of the Virtual Meetings was titled “Where are we with our robots? ". This meeting was intended to be a break to take stock of the first year of the Digital action plan in connection with the deployment in programming and robotics in schools in Quebec. Similarly, two other webinars had taken place on November 20 and January 15th latest to provide teachers with maximum resources to facilitate the integration of robots in the classroom. This third meeting was now an opportunity to take stock of what has happened and continues to be experienced in schools for about eight months.

Programming, one block at a time

Pierre Lachance (educational advisor of STD STORY), who hosted this webinar, reminds us from the outset that robot programming at school is mainly done using blocks and that this common core between the different robots is necessary to facilitate appropriation of teachers who would be tempted to use several models. Pierre therefore mentions that most of the robots used in the classroom have five categories of blocks (movements, lights, sounds, delays and loops) which transpose quite well from one model to another.

“When you know how to program a first robot, this know-how becomes a considerable advantage when you want to explore a second. "

Programming to develop your thinking

"But why program? This is the question launched by the facilitator to the 40 or so participants gathered for the occasion. Programming is a new way of thinking for students, Pierre recalls, and it is a pretext for developing many skills in all school subjects. He also adds that the learner programs in the manner of a challenge to be overcome. It is therefore on the basis of a specific intention attached to the Québec school training program that the teacher provides the winning conditions for its realization.

Expert or guide?

Mr. Lachance insists on the fact that the teacher does not have to be or become an expert in robotics and programming. It must be present to support learners in a so-called non-response process. Indeed, Pierre mentioned that it is better to give clues to students rather than “debugging” a program for them. It is more beneficial to let the learners work so that they develop a maximum of skills than to arrive with an answer already ready in advance. The important thing is not the destination, but the journey itself. Programming and robotics are no exception to this popular saying.

Learn to learn

Pierre Lachance, before leaving room for some sharing of experiences, encourages participants to consult the training, self-study and support offers offered by the RÉCIT. Whether to take advantage of the advice offered by the various digital combo training course or to take a full course on the RÉCIT campus, several initiatives are present on the Web to facilitate the daily life of teachers in the development of their projects. Many robotics and programming documents are also available on the website of the Preschool STORY and on the

It's only a beginning

Looking at the number of experiences that were able to be shared during this webinar, it is increasingly clear that programming and robotics seem well established and strong in quality support. Whether in Mauricie, the Laurentians, Lac-Saint-Jean or Chaudière-Appalaches, several innovative projects thrill students and teachers day after day. They should be proud of their commitment and can take pride in being as proactive in the paradigm shifts brought by the 21st century.

You will have access to all their projects just here, in addition to all the documents that made this RECIT meeting a success across the board.

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About the Author

Maxime Laflamme
Maxime Laflamme is an educational advisor and project manager at École branchée. He is also editor-in-chief of the SCOOP! Educational guides. He has a bachelor's degree in preschool education and elementary education from the University of Sherbrooke and is pursuing a graduate degree in school management at Laval University. He transmits his passion for digital education and innovative practices through CréaCamps, conferences and workshops throughout the French-speaking world.

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