A collaborative writing project based on the work of Montesquieu

On November 3, 4 and 5 at the Académie Lafontaine in Saint Jérôme, the #accesEdu conference was held, a meeting of “connected” educators.

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On November 3, 4 and 5 at the Académie Lafontaine in Saint Jérôme, the #accesEdu conference was held, a meeting of “connected” educators. This conference made it possible in particular to demonstrate that social networks are privileged places to read, write, communicate and share.

Among the panoply of workshops presented, the choice was difficult to make. I let myself be attracted by that of Nathalie Couzon and I discovered a woman overflowing with creativity in her teaching of French literature in the digital age. I am not presenting here a summary of the workshop. Rather, I am dealing with one of the many projects presented which illustrates Nathalie's pedagogical thinking and the techno-creative response of her students.

Persian Letters

The work, which dates from 1721, was first published anonymously in Amsterdam. Montesquieu, a writer of the Age of Enlightenment, feared censorship at the time. When his name was released, he claimed he was only the translator of letters from two Persians who had traveled to Paris. This is a particularly interesting book. Written in the form of letters and invented from scratch by Montesquieu, this novel is an account of the journey of these two Persians through Western Europe. These two foreigners take a naive look at the new culture they are discovering. This literary production is in fact only an artifice used by the author to criticize the monarchical regime and the mores of his contemporaries.

The collaborative project

The project # Persian Letters 2.0 is a collaborative rewrite of a heritage work through which students use the internet to communicate and work jointly with students from another continent. The digital collaborative literary work was produced by the 2nd year students of the International Institute of Lancy in Switzerland (classes of Mesdames Caroline Duret and Corinne Jacomme) and the secondary 4 classes of Nathalie. It was titled Being in the world.

The students were invited to take a critical look at the contemporary world, drawing inspiration from Montesquieu and discovering his work at the same time. In 2017, Persians would no longer be stunned by a trip to the West. On the other hand, if video game characters left their virtual environment to visit our planet, they could serve as a pretext for a contemporary rewriting of Persian Letters.

Different ways to discover the project

François Jarraud wrote in the espresso of March 20, 2017: "the letter-writing genre, characteristic of travel and exchanges in the Age of Enlightenment, is replaced by a new, digital form: the mapping of productions makes it possible to understand how much the internet opens up, also pedagogically new spaces and new horizons to write and share the world ”.

The card "Persian Letters 2.0" demonstrated by the diversity of the subjects chosen by the pupils as well as their planetary distribution.

I invite you to come to Thinkling Persian Letters 2.0 Rewriting of the epistolary novel to discover the trailer of the work produced by a Swiss student by clicking on the yellow dot. Impressive!

Our collaborative wall on Padlet will let you know the appreciation of this project by the students of Nathalie Couzon.

Finally, the project was the subject of a publication entitled " What creative uses of digital technology for learning French? »In the collective work Creative uses of digital technology for learning in the 21st century, edited by M. Romero, B. Lille, & A. Patino (Eds.) and published by Presses de l'Université du Québec.

It was also presented by Caroline Duret during the REFER in March 2017 with Isabelle Capron Puozzo, researcher at the Haute École Pédagogique HEP-Vaud (Lausanne-Switzerland) during the round table Pedagogy and creativity in the digital age (from 2:40 to 17:55), and on the occasion of last iPad Summit in Montreal in May 2017 (p.26 to 35 of the PDF).

Let yourself be inspired!

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About the Author

Ninon Louise Lepage
Ninon Louise Lepage
Ninon Louise LePage is a pedagogue and museologist who recently came out of premature retirement to be reborn as an educational designation. She has taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Sherbrooke in science education, in addition to working at the Canadian Heritage Information Network as a museology consultant. She also writes for our French friends at Ludomag. She also invites all interested to contact her so that she can talk about you, your students, your school and your particular experiences in digital and computer education.

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