September 18, 2007

Continuing Education At APOP Promotes IT Mastery!

This text was initially published by Profweb under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence, before Eductive was launched.

Because technology is an inescapable part of our daily lives, it’s important for educators to be aware of the innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

In professional activities, e-mail, word processing and other timesaving computer applications are everywhere. A spreadsheet has become a ‘must’ for organizing numeric data within tables, conceptual planning is done with schematic planners, and visual information is presented thanks to digital processing. As labour-efficient as these applications seem, however, their learning curve represents an enormous amount of time for the new user. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this initial investment could be shortened by profiting from the experiences of others?

In academia, the predictability of office routine is replaced by more fluid activities which offer far fewer easy opportunities for transferable technological skills. Colleagues of ours enthuse over discipline-specific software, others use a web-based learning platform to manage their classes, and yet others find a valuable resource through trial and error. But, what an enormous investment in time and effort all of this represents! The road to academic IT integration can be a challenging one en route to pedagogical success.

Why not profit from the experiences of others who have already travelled along this road? Why not use their knowledge as a base to adapt IT to your needs, to your expectations, and to your own working environment? Their expertise provides a solid framework to question pedagogical assumptions and to discuss the resulting classroom strategies.

Making the experience of others discipline-specific and tailoring it your own needs, as well as creating or adapting new scenarios and procedures that result are not without effort, but build IT mastery. This process is a simple, flexible and practical method to perfect your abilities to adapt IT to your own pedagogical needs.

This approach is at the core of APOP’s new activities and services listings (Look at them on the left-hand column of the APOP home page). APOP’s vehicles include the APOP_taxi, the APOP_mobile, the APOP_tandem (under construction) and the caravane_APOP. Some 130 actvities consisting of hands-on, techno-academic workshops of 3 or 6 hour duration target all post secondary personnel (college and university, public and private establishments in English and French). These activities can be adapted to meet the needs of specific programs, disciplines, departments or projects. They can be given in person, through real time web-based telecommunication or as a hybrid, a combination of the two methods.

APOP’s continuing education activities are given by resource people experienced in academic IT integration. They come from all sectors of the educational spectrum including educators, professionals and administrators.

Would you like to be a part in this community of cooperation and exchange by becoming a resource-person? Have you already participated in or led an APOP continuing education activity? Are there any facets of IT integration that you would like to see APOP deal with? Do you have any comments that could help us to better take your needs into account? Please use the comments feature below to let us know!

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