Les défis de l’école d’aujourd’hui

Je viens de passer deux jours au Sommet de l’iPad de Montréal, un congrès éclectique qui faisait place aux jeunes élèves d’écoles primaires et secondaires présentant projets et APPS avec leurs enseignants, aux enseignants, conseillers et administrateurs ainsi qu’aux chercheurs universitaires de la communauté internationale. Une rencontre entre « convertis » pour citer Ron Canuel, mais qui, à mon avis, nous permet de pousser notre réflexion sur l’innovation pédagogique un peu plus loin et prendre conscience des défis pour l’école d’aujourd’hui.

Voici où j’en suis :

Défi #1 : Engager tous les élèves

Placer les élèves au cœur de l’apprentissage, aller chercher leurs forces, permettre à certains d’aller plus loin ou à d’autres d’apprendre différemment, selon leurs besoins pour éventuellement les amener aussi plus loin.

cerveauLise Galuga, nous a parlé des pratiques en Ontario où les enseignants doivent faire un rapport sur les habiletés d’apprentissage et les habitudes de travail des élèves. Ceci ressemble un peu aux compétences transversales qui ont déjà été plus importantes chez nous. Ces habitudes et habiletés sont liées aux fonctions exécutives du cerveau et les recherches démontrent que les élèves ayant bien développé ces dernières ont de meilleures chances de réussite à court et à long terme. À notre collège, nous avons développé un programme en première secondaire où l’on enseigne explicitement ces fonctions exécutives et les enseignants doivent rendre compte des progrès des élèves deux fois par année. Par ailleurs, ceci nous donne des pistes pour mieux aider les élèves qui en ont besoin.

Défi #2 : Innover, oui, mais pas à tout prix.

Tout le monde s’entend que l’ère de séduction de la technologie dans les écoles est révolue. La technologie fait partie de nos vies et celles de nos élèves à l’extérieur de la salle de classe et on s’entend qu’elle est un outil maintenant indispensable.

Cependant, il faut toujours garder en tête l’intention pédagogique et voir si la technologie peut être l’outil qui nous aidera à atteindre nos objectifs. J’aime bien le modèle TPACK pour cette raison, parce qu’il tient compte de la pédagogie, des savoirs et de la technologie.TPACK-new

Ces derniers temps, plusieurs enseignants m’ont confié sentir de la pression pour arriver à des pratiques transformées (modèle SAMR) en tout temps. Sur ce sujet, les propos de Thierry Karsenti se sont faits rassurants : « Le but n’est pas d’innover en tout temps, le but c’est d’apprendre » (conférence, 1er mai).

Défi #3 : Enseigner est un art, une science

L’art et la science de l’enseignement, le Dr Robert Marzano en a fait son affaire aux États-Unis et je lui emprunte l’expression. Après plus de 20 ans dans l’enseignement au Québec, en Ontario, dans les écoles privées et publiques et dans quelques musées, je crois que nous devons former les enseignants et les futurs maîtres à réfléchir sur leur pratique, à l’étudier, à la transformer. Nous devons aussi leur apprendre à se créer des réseaux professionnels (communautés d’apprentissage à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur des murs de l’école). Ceci est commun dans les autres professions : médecine, droit, etc.

Défi #4 : Changer la culture de l’éducation

J’entends souvent, « je n’ai pas le temps! » Je me suis même attrapée à le dire moi-même, puis j’ai fait une prise de conscience. Si on ne prend pas le temps de s’arrêter, de réfléchir, on devient des automates qui enseignent. On ne prend pas de bonnes décisions quel que soit notre rôle en éducation.

J’ai le privilège et le plaisir de travailler dans une école où la réflexion professionnelle fait partie des mœurs. On y consacre du temps, on a même créé des matinées où l’on commence à enseigner plus tard pour permettre aux enseignants de se rencontrer en communautés professionnelles. Tous les enseignants se fixent des objectifs professionnels en début d’année et doivent en faire un rapport par écrit avant de partir pour l’été; on l’appelle justement : la réflexion professionnelle. Ces initiatives et ces changements sont venus de discussions entre enseignants et membres de la direction et bien que tout ne soit pas parfait, ces pratiques ont mené à plusieurs innovations pédagogiques dans notre établissement.

Je suis chercheure dans l’âme. J’ai une passion pour la recherche-action parce qu’elle est transformatrice pour ceux qui s’y engage. J’en ai parlé dans un autre billet. Je demeure convaincue que pour changer de paradigme en éducation à notre époque, le changement doit être mis en oeuvre sur le terrain et faire son chemin vers les universités et puis au gouvernement.

L’ère est à l’innovation et non à l’intégration

Hier, j’ai participé au REFER (Rendez-vous des écoles francophones en réseau) au foyer Collège Saint-Jean Vianney. J’en suis sortie un peu plus transformée.

Le panel d’experts francophone composé de François Taddei (biologiste – France), Simon Collin (UQAM), Christine Renaud (E-180), Marcel Lebrun (Psychologue -France) et Ron Canuel (ACE) a présenté pistes et approches pédagogiques au 21e siècle.

Ce que j’en retire principalement, c’est pourquoi on s’acharne à parler d’intégration des technologies de l’information dans les écoles alors que la technologie est omniprésente dans nos vies et comment, par le biais cette technologie omniprésente, pouvons-nous faire place à plus de créativité dans nos classes. Tous les experts s’entendent sur une chose, la plupart des métiers que nos jeunes feront à l’avenir n’existent pas encore, donc la créativité et la pensée critique seront les habiletés essentielles à leur réussite. Or notre contexte éducatif actuel ne laisse pas beaucoup de place à ces dernières. Trop d’enseignants subissent et succombent à la pression d’enseigner pour répondre et réussir les examens du ministère. C’est ça la priorité dans beaucoup de classes nord-américaines.

Comment changer, direz-vous?

Changeons d’abord la façon d’aborder la technologie dans nos écoles. Arrêtons de parler d’intégration des TIC et lançons deux défis à nos collègues : comment pouvons-nous innover nos pratiques pédagogiques avec la technologie qui est présente dans nos classes? Et, par le fait même, comment pouvons-nous réveiller la créativité chez nos élèves?

Mais pour changer, il faut prendre le temps de réfléchir, de se poser des questions, de rencontrer et de discuter avec des collègues… des « brain dates » (Christine Renaud).  Et du temps au quotidien, les enseignants n’en ont pas! Les innovateurs, qui passent souvent « sous le radar » (Ron Canuel) sont des passionnés qui vivent, respirent et mangent de leur art, mais ce n’est pas la norme. Il faut donc créer des espaces et du temps dans nos écoles pour permettre aux enseignants de sortir de leur quotidien et de réfléchir. Il faut leur donner du temps!

Cela fait plus de dix ans que je me penche sur le développement professionnel des enseignants. Les recherches le démontrent que la transformation d’un enseignant et de sa pratique se fait de façon efficace lorsque celle-ci est initiée par l’individu. Allez lire Donald Schon (The Reflective Practitionner), cette œuvre date de 1983, mais est toujours valide. Il en est de même pour les travaux de Shulman (Theory, Practice and The Education of Professionals) et les livres de Tony Wagner. Je crois profondément que si le gouvernement voulait réellement revitaliser le système de l’éducation, il entreprendrait une réforme au niveau de la formation des enseignants et aussi réviserait l’emploi du temps des enseignants pour leur permettre plus de temps de réflexion et d’innovation. Il est intéressant de constater qu’en Finlande par exemple, pays qui a un haut taux de réussite mondialement selon les normes de la PISA, donne ce temps de réflexion pédagogique à ses enseignants et la formation universitaire pour ces derniers est complètement différente de ce que nous connaissons en Amérique.

Idéaliste et utopique, direz-vous? Peut-être, mais chaque idée a son départ et c’en est une que je vais continuer de faire cheminer.innovation

Oeuvres citées:

Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, Basic Books

Shulman, L.S. (1998). “Theory, practice, and the education of professionals” The Elementary School Journal, Vol. 98, No.5, pp.511-527

 

Teaching Naked

José Antonio Bowen is Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts and Professor of Music at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas Texas. He is also the author of Teaching Naked (2012).

At EduTech14 in Toronto, Bowen recently discussed the three major changes, in his view, that universities face with regards to technology: 1) The relationship to knowledge; 2) social proximity; and 3) customization and gaming. Bowen stated that, university professors today might at best prepare their students for their first job.

Knowledge

Some of the realities we must face are that students have access to more information through their phone than the campus has available in its library. Bowen also compared APPS as internet filters, later using this analogy for what we want students to be. Bowen also stressed that all the High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) on Bloom’s taxonomy are increasingly important in the era of high access to technology in all spheres of education. “In thinking about our relationship to knowledge, technology is great for content,” the discussions, reflections and knowledge building should happen in class. Bowen suggesting assigning video watching at home or reading a Wikipedia page on a given subject, George Washington for example and then finding three mistakes and reporting back to class the next day. Another great suggestion was to Google everything on your syllabus and see what you and your students will find. In class, we need to teach the non-googable. Podcasts are also a great way to teach to the many, as opposed to the middle. He also suggested faculty should have a look at EdX and Phet for online learning.games

https://www.edx.org

https://phet.colorado.edu

 

Social Proximity

“Make more time for your students”, this is what Bowen suggested. Show your passion to students, this matters more than you think. Be transparent, explain everything, introduce readings by linking them to real world examples and make connections with the world and your teaching (tweet, post, etc)… bring it to your students.

Give up making announcements in class, the world doesn’t work that way anymore. Again, e-mail, tweet, post, use your portal for these. The same goes for your reflections and final thoughts; post them, make them available online. On the other hand, demonstrate and model your reflection process in class. Make the connections in real-time. A Learning Managing System (LMS) is passive.

I liked the idea of establishing e-communication guidelines and publishing them on your syllabus, i.e., establish how you will communicate, create a schedule for online office hours, be clear and consistent about what information will be communicated through which channel and limit the forms of communication. Bowen reminded us that, “somebody needs to be on-call, 24-7, your bank is.” Use Facebook for this, create a group so students can post questions and maybe someone else will get to it when you are off hours.

 

Gaming

Getting students to the right level of frustration is what we can take away from gaming. Are our classes engaging enough… or frustrating enough for students to feel challenged? Again, it is about making questions that Google and Siri cannot answer. Socrative or Smashfact are interesting platforms and apps that allow for quick game-like interactions and feed the teacher with what the students have learned.

Douglas Kiang whom I saw at the iPad Summit in San Diego in February also talks bout this. He calls it progression dynamics and compares this to karate belts and reminds us of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) whereby there is a problem in the room and students are in different zones, so we tend to teach to the middle. But in gaming, with just the right dose of frustration, we might lead students to do some critical thinking and metacognition. Kian suggests a 45-minute rule to figure out a problem which is sufficient to get them in the “flow” (Mihály Csíkszentmihályi) and “flow doesn’t happen in a linear class.

Kiang concluded his session in saying that 1) games support critical thinking and safe risk-taking; 2) games are catalyst for learning; and 3) make your classroom a place where it’s okay to fail.

Bowen wrapped up his talk with a simple point form “teaching naked” cycle:

-       email to prepare – your entry point matters

-       content is for first exposure

-       exams are to evaluate

-       writing is to reflect

-       class time is to challenge

-       use ecommunications to reinforce

I would love to hear from educators or professors who have adhered to these principles in their classrooms. What were some of your successes and challenges?

Getting teachers to be researchers of their practice

Nathalie at the centre  of her students' learning and researcher of her own practice.

Nathalie at the centre of her students’ learning and researcher of her own practice.

For the past 6 months, I have engaged in a collaborative research project (action research) with my colleague, Nathalie Simard, a grade 3 teacher who has sought to transform her practice by using a project-based learning approach and integrating a class set of iPads.

Action Research is a qualitative form of research that puts the practitioner at center of the research process. The teacher takes control of the research questions and reflects on her own practice.

I have been doing action research with educators for over 10 years and one thing that I like about it is that it brings out the professional with a capital P in teaching.  It leads teachers to develop and demonstrate a profound mastery of their craft (Sagor, 2010) And I believe this relates to what Tony Wagner means when he suggests that:

Nearly every profession has reinvented itself to create forms of collaborative problem-solving – except education. How might groups of educators be organized to go beyond mere “learning communities”—a current catchphrase—to work on ongoing problems of practice in schools and districts? What might communities of practice look like in education?

This type of inquiry also leads to, informed, committed action that gives rise to knowledge rather than just successful action, which in turn contributes to growth of knowledge bases in the profession (Shulman, 1998).  Shulman, by the way is the father of PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge), this relates to my previous post about TPACK.

Donald Schön (1983) suggested that practitioners in various fields reflect-in-action. He held that professional practice includes an element of repetition. Thus, a professional practitioner is a specialist who encounters certain types of situations over and over again. Schön further stated that when a professional “reflects-in-action he [sic] becomes a researcher in the practice context. He [sic] is not dependent on the categories of established theory, but constructs a new theory of the unique case” (p.68).

I believe this is the type of case research that is needed in the field of educational technology and my current work with Nathalie Simard exemplifies how practitioners themselves can undertake such research efforts.

http://celt.ust.hk/teaching-resources/action-research

Action Research Spiral

 

Action research is said to have evolved from the work of social psychologist Kurt Lewin (1890-1947), who was concerned with social issues and with the process of studying theoretical and practical problems together. His model includes a process in spiral steps, each comprising of planning, action, observation and the evaluation of the result of the action (Kemmis, 1988, McTaggart, 1994). His primary emphasis was on action research as a form of professional problem solving  (Noffke, 1997). Lewin’s version of action research emphasized a collaborative process, i.e., a group of people addressing a social issue. “It was cyclical, with each cycle of research affecting subsequent versions of planning, acting, observation, and reflecting” (Kemmis, 1988). This resulted in dynamic research constantly evolving in response to the reflections of each phase (Noffke, 1997). Although Lewin is widely recognized as the grandfather of action research, and clearly his motives were laudable, one criticism of his type of inquiry is that there was a distinction between the researcher and the researched, which can create power inequity.

What I have described up to this point relates to conducting research as an outsider.  Because action research can often be conducted by outside consultants whose task may be to inform management decisions.  However, an alternative method of inquiry has surfaced in recent years whereby the researcher takes part in the action research process as an insider. This method is called Participatory Action Research (PAR) and, while it holds the same fundamental tenets as action research, participatory action research is a form of “insider research” (Kemmis & McTaggart, 2000), in which participants move between two positions. On the one hand, they see themselves, their understandings, their practices and their settings from the perspective of insiders who see these in an intimate way.

Conversely, they also see themselves, their understandings, their practices and their settings from the perspective of outsiders who do not share the partiality of the inside view but also who do not have the benefit of insider knowledge. Alternating between these two perspectives helps the researchers achieve the critical distance necessary to transform educational theory and practice (Noffke, 1997).

I also believe that this type of practitioner research is transformative and moves teachers forward onto the SAMR continuum and weighs in on their TPACK.

Work cited:

Kemmis, S. & McTaggart, R. (2000). “Participatory action research” in Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.) Handbook of Qualitative Research, Second Edition, Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp.567-606

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054

Noffke, S.E. (1997). “Professional, personal, and political dimensions of action research” in M. Apple (Ed.) Review of Research in Education, Vol. 22, Washington D.C.: American Educational Research Association, pp. 305-343

Noffke, S.E. (2009). “Revisiting the Professional, Personal and Political Dimension of Action Research” in Noffke, S.E. and Somekh, B. (Eds) The SAGE Handbook of Educational Action Research, Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 6-23

Sagor, R. (2010).  Collaborative Action Research for Professional Learning Communities, Solution Tree Press

Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, Basic Books

Shulman, L.S. (1998). “Theory, practice, and the education of professionals” The Elementary School Journal, Vol. 98, No.5, pp.511-527

From TPACK to SAMR – What does it really mean for teachers?

In working with grade 3 colleague, Nathalie Simard, on an action research project looking at iPad integration in her class. She and I are working through the SAMR and TPACK models to make meaning of them and looking at what the implications are for the classroom and fellow teachers.

Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model (2012) has been on almost every slide of every presenter I have seen in the past year. It reminds me of Marc Prensky’s 2005 article in Edutopia entitled “Adopt and Adapt 21st Century Schools need 21st Century Technology.” Prensky talks about a 4 SAMRstep process for teachers integrating technology; moving from 1) Dabbling, to 2) doing old things in old ways, 3) doing old things in new ways, to ultimately 4) doing new things in new ways.
When I read the article 8 years ago, I was really struggling as to how I would get to step 4 as a teacher. However now, having gained experience working with technology and helping teachers integrate technology in their classroom, I understand that in order to get to Prensky’s level 4 or to Puentedura’s transformative section of his model, teachers must be willing to transform their practice. It’s no longer about adopting and adapting to technology, it’s about making a shift in our practice. This might be our greatest challenge as we attempt to incorporate more technology in our classrooms: 1:1 or BYOD programs.

This brings me to the TPACK model (2006). Mishra and Koehler state that effective technology integration for pedagogy around specific subject-matter requires being in tune with these various components, yet we must keep in mind that every teacher’s situation is different and unique and no combination of content, technology and pedagogy will apply for every teacher.TPACK-new
Thus, ideally, as administrators and coaches, we must carefully work with teachers respecting where they are in their career stages and help them prepare for a shift, if need be, in their practice. We must accompany them in this process in order to make technology integration a successful venture.

Technology is and always will remain a tool, but it does alter the ways in which our students learn and we must do our share in changing some of the things that we do to facilitate better learning for our students.

I have been working with a colleague one-on-one doing action research. She has confirmed that by keeping a journal for our project she often finds the answers she is looking for to transform her practice as well as better her teaching using technology and never losing sight of her pedagogical goals. She volunteered to do this with me. She was willing and ready to change her ways… without of course throwing everything she has done for 20 years out the window.

How do you do it? How do you motivate your troops? Is coaching teachers one-on-one ultimately the way to go?

Ipad Implementation – Take aways from the iPad summit in San Diego

Tom Daccord held that there are 5 key elements to keep in mind when implementing a 1:1 iPad program.
The first being Placing iPads inside the pedagogy because the most important factor for integration lies in the instructional core. According to Daccord, technology should be placed in the centre of learning and we need to move beyond substitution (Puentedera, 2013) and place the device INSIDE of the pedagogy. Furthermore, Daccord stressed that leaders who have a vision of what they want the students to do with the device are successful in implementation.
The second key aspect is to Prepare teachers before the launch. It is important to communicate evergreen* (crosscurricular) apps to teachers BEFORE students arrive. Also, leaders should not expect faculty to transform their personal use of the device to a professional one. Daccord emphasized that productivity concerns stiffen creativity in teachers and proposes focusing on the 4 Cs: Consume, Curate, Create and Connect. Teachers need to connect to each other, their community and beyond. First and foremost, it is important to have a community based discussion (department heads) and have one evergreen app that will be crossdisciplinary. Then, cultivate leadership, teacher-leaders and foster peer-peer interactions.
Other key points include Communicating your reasons for choosing the device; it’s an object to think with that will engender expert thinking and complex communication by getting away from routine cognitive and routine manual tasks which will in turn lead to innovation, creating solutions to our problems. This is what humans do and computers don’t. Finally, to successfully implement the program, leaders must Grow institutional capacity, tap in those teachers who are not afraid to fail and have a progressive mentality. They can help others. Peer to peer PD is the most valuable. Create a help desk where teachers can drop in and get help. Last but slowly, Go 1:1, but Grow slowly. And remember that the best classroom management in an engaging lesson.
Audrew Watters brought up some interesting points with regards to Who owns the data. And as leaders in our institutions, it is our responsibility to have discussions with parents about the apps that are one their children’s devices and who has access to the data these will generate. The site Terms of Service Didn’t Use summarizes some of the most common sites and apps we use by our students and rates them by giving them a pass or fail in terms of data protection. Watters suggests not only having an AUP but an informed consent form explaining to parents what tools are being used and why.
Below, I have summarized in a table the 9 steps suggested by Jennifer Careyto build a solid infrastructure in preparation for a 1:1 iPad ripad imageoll out. For a more detailed version, please click on her name:

Step Checklist

1. Catalogue
- Know the exact number of devices
- Get the serial numbers
- Consider who will be the primary users
- Consider: make, size and capabilities

2. Assess your needs
- Who are your users
- How will the devices be used
- Where will they be used
- Do we need multiple policies
- Consider the security of the devices

3. Examine and revise existing policies.
- Examine existing policies
- What does it say about mobile devices
- Does the AUP need to be tweaked and expended
- Consider replace for loss and damage (will there be a deductible?)
- Consider cellular data
- Consider security protocols

4. Determine End Management
- What can the user do?
- Consider updates, installations, access restriction, security and ownership.

5. Numbers and Record Keeping
- Determine tax and reporting obligations
- Establish effective record-keeping
- Will the costs be recurrent, one-tie or periodic

6. Pick your management system
- Ideally, select ONE system
- Should you work within existing infracstructure
- Must be easy to manage
- Must meet the organization’s needs at ALL levels

7. Draft your policy
- Management policy
- Security
- Configuration and usability
- App purchase procedure
- Cell subscriptions
- Record keeping
- Replacement and retirement

8. Introduce to your community
- Introduce policy and procedures to your community
- Transparency
- Be prepared for push back

9. Be open to feedback
- Have discussions
- Be open

*Evergreen apps include: Explain Everything, Notability, Socrative, Garage Band, iMovie, Google Drive, Book Creator and Subtext.