(Educational use of tablets) The educational project

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Continuation of the file… the winning conditions 4 to 7, in connection with the educational project.

4. Appropriate the tablet… before the start of the educational project

“In the hands of the teachers before those of the students, you will deploy the tablets. And you will offer training to the teachers who will use it, ”suggests France Leclerc, from the local RÉCIT service of the Rivière-du-Nord school board, using her“ iPadiens ”commands.

Indeed, the lack of preparation of teachers, mainly with regard to the pedagogical use of tablets, would be another of the five mistakes committed by schools when they integrate this tool. Learning to integrate the tablet into meaningful learning activities is a lot different than trying out a few apps.

According to Steve Morissette, from the local RÉCIT service at the Sorel-Tracy School Board, success depends on the training of teaching staff, not least because it seems to increase their sense of competence considerably. “This experimentation time is very beneficial for thinking about the place that the tablet will take in teaching. Since some of them perceive it as an entertainment tool, quality training will enable its full educational potential to be realized. The training also allows teachers to fully understand the limits and advantages of the tablet in addition to giving them ideas for integrating ICT in the classroom. "

Without pedagogical training, the risks of missing out on the opportunities offered by a technological tool are greater. “A tablet is not a computer and has its own set of distinct advantages. Teacher training opens up horizons and better guides teachers to maximize the use of this tool in order to transform it into a lever for learning. Such thinking helps to reduce the digital divide between school and society, ”believes Mr. Morissette.

The importance of adequate teacher training is also confirmed by research. It is even the first of the 10 recommendations concluding the research report. “[…] It seems imperative that teachers be trained, both pedagogically (class management and didactic aspects of school subjects) and techniques, in the use of the iPad by students in a school context. Resources should also be offered to teachers in advance, in connection with the disciplines concerned. It is also important that these trainings be combined with time off so that teachers can, preferably in teams, try to put into practice what they have learned during these trainings. "

The community of practice is important to put in place to create a climate conducive to discovery and sharing. “We networked the teachers who were experimenting,” explains Daniel Ricard. We made time for meetings to discuss favorite applications and winning practices. "

5. Target your educational intentions

Why tablets in the classroom? To be unable to provide a convincing answer to this question would be another of the five mistakes committed by schools when they incorporate such technology. By finding good reasons for integrating the tablet in the classroom, it is easier to explain to parents and management his intention to guide students in a world where information is abundant.

“It is essential to set an objective of use, explains Daniel Ricard. In the case of our project in 6e year, the teacher wanted to eliminate 70 % from paper handling. He therefore developed effective methods to share documents and easily annotate them. "

Certainly, the tablet can meet several educational needs. “Will you use it to mobilize teachers? »Asks Julie Noël. "Will you be using it to provide assistive technology to students with special needs?" Will your concern be to differentiate your teaching, to facilitate access to information or to develop information skills? Will you focus on working in needs subgroups by providing applications that allow students to improve their knowledge? Will you focus on creativity? To ensure that the tablet's potential is maximized and to make use of it that suits you, it is important to target an intention that will serve as the basis for your project and guide your daily actions.

6. Opt for creative apps

If training is at the top of the various recommendations of the 302 teachers questioned in the research, a lack of knowledge of the resources available on the touch pad is one of the 9 challenges posed by this tool.

There is a strong tendency to go hunting for applications. However, we advise to fit them into a single screen. “I encourage teachers to install few applications, advises France Leclerc. This allows efficient and educational use of basic and free applications. Why go and get lost in the “candy store” of the App Store? When you think about it, ten applications are enough to reach the highest level of SAMR model. "

Several criteria can guide the choice of educational applications to use in the classroom. The national RECIT service for preschool education suggests evaluating the applications depending on their interface, their language, the advertising that is present there, the presence or not of in-app purchases, but above all depending on the training program. Pascale-Dominique Chaayez and Linda O'Connell classify the applications in five major categories : creation, consultation, consumption, sharing and communication.

They suggest giving preference to creative applications. “They have a great educational value, because they allow the child to build. He is not simply an activity consumer, but is active in his learning process. The possibilities of creation are numerous and the educational value of this type of exploitation is rich for the learner. […] The difference between the home or the daycare and the kindergarten class in the use of applications is that the child in class is accompanied by a teacher who will allow him to reach this cognitive level. "

“By living workshops in the classroom, the teacher will be able to further explore the creative applications that offer several possibilities,” adds Annie Marois. He will be less inclined to look for a consumer application related to the specific content of his lessons, because this can quickly become very cumbersome. "

Should we focus on free applications? “It depends,” says Annie Marois. If the free app features advertising or in-app purchases, you need to analyze what place these options occupy. If the light version only allows a limited number of productions or does not allow students' achievements to be exported, we have to ask ourselves whether we accept to live with this compromise. "

7. Simplify educational projects… and focus on content

Computer labs have a bad press in several schools in Quebec. Obsolete, faulty or poorly maintained computers discourage many teachers in the weekly period that they still call “computing”. However, one of the reasons for the craze for using the tablet at school is its ease of use. It allows young and old alike to quickly access a variety of information resources, to have a panoply of powerful tools at their fingertips no matter where you work, or to facilitate work organization. In addition, once the device is correctly configured, technical problems are almost non-existent.

"Ease of use is a factor favoring the integration of this ICT in the classroom," observes Sébastien Deschamps. No complex menus or technical adjustments to make such peripherals or features functional. The students are more independent and there is no more time wasted on technical questions. This is a very important point. "

Most of the applications available on tablets are easy to use, or even a stripped-down version of their computer equivalent. The essential functions remain present in the application and are often sufficient to carry out school tasks. The tablet is an intuitive tool thanks to which the student focuses more on the content than on the container.

Why make it complicated when it can be simple? “The tool is so easy to use that teachers are shaken,” notes Julie Noël. In training or support, many people see only the limits of an application and what it cannot do. There are also many who have no ideas for creatively using applications in the classroom. Why miss out on such possibilities? It is because it is intuitive that we can focus on learning. "

“Don't deprive yourself of using an application in class because you find it too simple or limited for the students,” adds Sébastien Deschamps. Never lose sight of the fact that the benefit of the tablet is to focus on producing content rather than learning a tool (finally!). Take advantage of it: the simpler the application, the more your students will be freed from technical constraints. It is precisely the simplicity of the tool that makes it a powerful educational tool! "

“Do not leave by seeing too big, summarizes for her part Suzanne Harvey. Simplify your project and you will maximize your chances of success. Don't forget to have fun too! "

In this file…


Classroom management
1. Have the courage to change your classroom management
2. Work in workshops
3. Do otherwise

The educational project
4. Appropriate the tablet… before the start of the educational project
5. Target your educational intentions
6. Opt for creative apps
7. Simplify educational projects… and focus on content

Skills development in students
8. Plan student actions
9. Empower students
10. Develop skills… which will be useful to them all their lives

Conclusion of the case
Useful Resources

Please note! The English translation of this text is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)