By Guillaume Bilodeau, ICT resource teacher at Fernand-Seguin school (CSDM)
At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the then Minister of Education unveiled his Digital Education Action Plan. Here are the three main orientations of this Plan:
- Support the development of the digital skills of young people;
- Use digital technology as a vector of added value in teaching and learning practices;
- Create an environment conducive to the deployment of digital technology throughout the system.
In order to tie in with these, each school in the province has been allocated a significant amount of money to purchase computer equipment. As a result, when I returned to my position as ICT resource teacher last September at Fernand-Séguin school, new computer tools gradually entered our school.
Among these, a 3D printer quickly aroused the curiosity of the students. However, this sophisticated device requires the development of new work skills; this is why an expert volunteer parent came to introduce students and teachers to the use of this type of tool. The latter also offered extracurricular programming workshops to graduate students last spring. Since the start of this school year, this parent and I have been meeting regularly. We collaborate to put forward digital educational projects and, at the same time, encourage teachers to join us by setting up a learning community.
Moreover, the Minister of Education, as part of the digital shift and the policy of academic success, recently granted a major financial measure to our school to facilitate the establishment of this learning community. This money will make it possible, among other things, to build educational activities related to programming. The teachers will therefore be released to participate in the development of these activities and to set up a teaching sequence in computer programming from kindergarten to grade six.
Computer Programming Learning Community
One of our objectives is now to welcome third cycle students within our CAPI. Recently, a group of fifth graders came to ask me if they could do part of their French project using Tinkercad 3D design software. Their goal was to draw and print, using the digital tools at their disposal, the different parts of the tallest monument in the world, the Burj Khalifa, a 163-storey tower located in Dubai. These motivated young people have therefore completed their project and will soon be called upon to share their knowledge with their peers. To do this, over the next few weeks, a computer brigade will be set up in order to offer support to students at other levels.