Dossiers / Pédagogie / Outils pédagogiques

Profweb - The Quebec College Crossroad for IT Integration

2013-09-29


                     

Martin Parrot, French language editor Profweb

Catherine Rheaume, French language editor Profweb


Profweb - A Must for Teachers
Profweb is the Quebec College Crossroad for IT Integration. It has two major components:

Profweb's website presents French and English texts to inspire college teachers who wish to integrate IT into their teaching.

• Some of these are stories where teachers in the college network share their experiences on the use of IT in the classroom.
• Others are columns published by Profweb's partner organizations. These texts highlight resources available to teachers for successful IT integration.
• Finally, Profweb also publishes reports. These are more substantial texts that focus on a particular topic.

Profweb also has a Personal Space offering free website hosting for members of the Quebec college network. Any college teacher can apply for an online space to host academic resources.

Today a resource of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MESRST), the Profweb site was created in 2005 at the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport (MELS), in collaboration with its various partners in the college network operating within the realm of information technology.

Why read Profweb?

Profweb publishes weekly texts intended for all college teachers in all disciplines, whether they are novices or experts in the use and integration of technology in the classroom.
Profweb contains more than 200 stories by teachers in our network. Short and explicit stories from the trenches cover a wide range of educational experiences related to IT, full of tips and tricks that teachers of any subject can apply. Here are some examples:

In Integrating Active Videos into Active Learning, Yann Brouillette has created videos that reflect his interests in chemistry, film and active learning. As these films have been posted on YouTube, Profweb’s readers can use them in the classroom or as a model for other productions
In Screensharing with LiteShow III to Create an Active Learning Scenario, Edward Awad tested LiteShow III in his General Biology I (101-NYA) classes during the fall semester of 2012 as part of an APOP IT Project to support local initiatives in Anglophone cégeps,. Results suggest possible low cost active learning options throughout the college.
In Use of High Fidelity Simulation in Nursing Education, Gloria Jaramillo and Lyne de Palma helped their nursing students further develop, refine and apply knowledge and skills in a realistic clinical situation using high fidelity simulation. These simulators are computerized, interactive, life sized manikins that can be programmed to provide realistic patient response and outcomes to nursing care.
In The Engineer's Pulse, Stephen Cohen found that bringing his personal blog into the classroom has made a real difference in the instruction he can offer to his students, while keeping his privacy intact.

Many columns are also available on the Profweb site.

Accessible and multifaceted, they feature new tools and practices related to the integration of IT in college. Columns have presented topics such as Sherpa, a digital portfolio and ‘Repeat After Me’ Moodle’s virtual language laboratory. They have presented information on technology as a tool for self-assessment as well as the growing use of tablet computers in education, the challenges of such use, and its success! These articles are excellent resources for teachers. Take, for example, the contribution of the Vitrine Technologie-Éducation which teaches us how to create a digital textbook with Wikipedia. In the blink of an eye, a teacher who wants to create a digital textbook for a class is guided through the process of creating such a tool. Different ways to use this new teaching tool are discussed, and platforms that can be used are mentioned. Readers are introduced to a rewarding and easy to master teaching practice!

Meanwhile, Profweb's reports cover topics as diverse as Twitter's pedagogical applications and universal accessibility in education. Reports are detailed explorations of tools with educational potential or teaching strategies related to IT. If stories focus on experimentation, reports document the expertise developed around certain practices. They state innovations in the use of IT in the Quebec college environment. For example, one of our reports is on the use of blogs in education. In this case, the reader is introduced to the history of the blog, the different software available to aspiring bloggers, as well as a suite of educational environments conducive to the use of blogs as part of college instruction.

Finally, the best way to stay informed about the texts that are published weekly in Profweb is unquestionably to subscribe to the site's newsletter, Profweb Expresso. The weekly newsletter contains news about the site in addition to a schedule of continuing education activities, events and tips on different tools. This is a great way to stay leading edge on IT practices and events around the province.

Why use the Profweb Personal Space?

In addition to the resources available on the Profweb site, there are contributions by teachers who have taken advantage of the free access to a personal space. Indeed, Profweb offers college teachers a place where it is easy to set up a wiki or blog with a few clicks. This space, which can serve as a "sandbox" for testing, can remain private, but teachers can open their space to their class or to the world, depending on the window that their educational activity requires. The Personal Space illustrates the dynamism of teachers in Quebec CÉGEPs:

• The Technical Communication site by Lisa Deguire, an ESL teacher at Cégep de Jonquière
• The wiki en électronique industrielle by Michel Villeneuve, a teacher at Cégep André-Laurendeau
• The BioWiki used in the course of evolution and the diversity of life by Martin Bolduc at Cégep de Rimouski
• The blog Statistique by Samuel Bernard, a teacher at Cégep régional de Lanaudière - Terrebonne

These sites are a reflection of the development of IT integration in colleges, as well as the support that Profweb can offer.

Changes on the Agenda for Profweb!

Since the Profweb site dates from 2005, and as time undeniably passes very quickly when it comes to technology, a new look and a reorganization of the content of the site is now required. A website redesign is in progress and the improved version should be online in 2014.

The changes that will occur in the Profweb site will be more than cosmetic. In Winter 2013, the Profweb team conducted consultations within the college network to learn and better respond to teachers' technopedagogical needs. One of the key elements that emerged from the consultations will be the center of the site redesign, namely the idea of facilitating access to information. This obviously requires a streamlined interface, and the following changes promise to make navigation on Profweb a more enjoyable activity:

• The search engine of the new site will be much more effective and efficient.
• Navigation between different texts will be facilitated, and they will be grouped both by theme and by discipline. Making more links between content, it will be possible for Profweb to further inspire and better equip the teachers who are its readers.
• The Profweb team will endeavor to publish online texts that readers can easily scan for meaning at a glance.

The new Profweb will continue to work closely with its partner organizations to support teachers by presenting the products and services they offer so that teachers can see their usefulness. It goes without saying that the stories remain at the heart of Profweb. The key is that Profweb be as close as possible to teachers' reality.

Finally, the new site will be designed to promote interaction and exchange in order to enable Profweb to truly become a clearinghouse where teachers can both gain inspiration and get answers to their questions.

Profweb offers all the college network a wealth of valuable resources. In the future, Profweb wants to become more accessible and inspiring! Take a tour now to see how much it has to offer!



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