Research & Publications
Modern society pressures the educational systems. Technologies transformed industries requiring competencies involving new methods of solving problems. The need to solve today’s complex problems gives rise to new types of workspaces, new approaches and new forms of thinking, such as computational thinking. However, in the scientific literature, the relationship between learning spaces and the process of computational thinking is still unclear. Our case study draws on the grounded theory method answering the question: How do learning spaces contribute to the process of computational thinking? We aim to explicit the process of computational thinking in a context of creating a computational thinking challenge and to identify the characteristics of learning spaces that could potentially contribute to this process. Using a qualitative methodology, results show that students applied the computational thinking process model drawing upon concepts and approaches in a multifunctional, comfortable, diversified and engaging environment that constitute the foundations of the 21st century learning.
A learning space contributing to the process of computational thinking (PDF). Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change, Transition 18, Symposium Proceedings, Phoenix 2018, 7-9 oct., p.107-115.
Substantial transformations in modern society puts pressures on educational systems to reflect new competencies in solving complex problems including computational thinking (CT) which provides new methods of approaching problems in multifunctional, diversified, comfortable and engaging environments thus leading to organizing new learning spaces (LS). Our case study investigates the relationship between learning space and the process of computational thinking. We aim to make the process of computational thinking explicit in a context of middle school students creating a robotics challenge, and to identify the characteristics of learning spaces that influence this process. Our main finding is that new learning spaces amplify students’ capacity to handle the task of creating, validating and sharing new knowledge thus increasing their potential to become successful 21st century learners.
Enjeux de la diversification et de complexification de ressources: Un cas de programmation informatique d’un robot dans une école de demain (PDF). Espace mathématique francophone, Gennevilliers, France 2018, 22-26 oct., p.62-70.
Lorsque les élèves de l’école intermédiaire s’engagent dans une tâche interdisciplinaire de programmation d’un robot, ils vivent une situation d’apprentissage authentique leur permettant deconcevoir, de réaliser et de partager avec leurs pairs un défi informatique. Ce processus nouveau fait appel à un accès élargi à une multitude de ressources, tente diverses approches de résolution de problème, mobilise une variété de concepts mathématiques et informatiques tout en prenant conscience des affordances de cet espace d’apprentissage plus diversifié et complexe.
A learning space embracing the development of the computational thinking skills of students (PDF). Transition Inhabiting Innovative Learning Environments – North America, Grand-Rapids, Michigan 2017, p. 83-88.
Since the 1980s, industries have embraced digital technologies to increase efficiencies. Consequently, physical spaces have also been redesigned to nurture communication and collaboration, giving birth to a new set of competencies. Computational Thinking (CT) seems to be one of the essential competencies needed in the new industry and beyond. While its definition is still not clear, the school system seems to struggle to design a process favoring CT development, especially regarding the learning space. Our pilot study, conducted in two schools, introduced computer programming into their technology curriculum. This provided us with some initial insights about characteristics of learning environments that could enhance CT while pointing at new patterns of learning that also occur in the same environment. We are at the very beginning of trying to understand the complexity of the relationship between the learning space and the development of computational thinking skills of students, and deeper investigation of this relationship is needed.
Repenser à fond l’école du 21e siècle : impact des changements sur l’enseignement et l’apprentissage de mathématiques à l’ère de l’intelligence artificielle et de la cryptographie (PDF). Actes du Colloque du Groupe de didactique des mathématiques du Québec 2017, Canada, 31 mai-2 juin, p. 230-241.
Le monde numérique est en train de bousculer toutes les facettes de la société moderne en imposant des changements radicaux dans le mode de vie et de travail de tous les citoyens. Plusieurs littératies nouvelles voient le jour en reflétant une demande croissante quant aux habiletés de résoudre des tâches plus complexes dans des environnements riches en technologies numériques. On parle notamment d’une littératie numérique, de la littératie financière, ainsi que de la littératie des données. L’enseignement de mathématiques au 21e siècle doit-il aussi tenir compte de ces littératies en les intégrant au curriculum scolaire et postsecondaire? Si oui, de quelle façon faut-il le faire? Comment cette intégration affectera-t-elle les contenus traditionnels? En lien avec le thème du Colloque et de la Table ronde, ce texte réflexif a pour but de poursuivre la discussion tant au niveau théorique que pratique, en faisant des recherches sur le terrain.
Measurement of Computational Thinking in K-12 Education: The need for innovative practice (PDF). Digital Technologie:SustainableInnovations forImproving Teachingand Learning, Springer 2018, p. 193-222.
We are currently living in a period where computational thinking (CT) will influence everyone in every field of endeavor (Wing, 2006, 2008). While its definition as well as its place in school curricula are still not clear, the process of integrating CT within the K-12 school system is underway. In New Brunswick, Canada, as in other parts of the world, more and more students are being exposed to a different programming and coding activities that seek to introduce CT skills such as abstraction, decomposition, algorithmic thinking, as well as pattern recognition while solving problems in a variety of technology-rich environments. Our 3-year study of innovative practices targeting the development of CT consists of three main stages: (1) the research and development of a visual data flow programming language for development of CT skills in K-12, (2) the development of a testing method based on a selection of tasks and its application to measuring CT in middle and high school students, (3) deeper investigation into the process of CT development in students, along with the elaboration of a novel testing suite in order to better detect students’ progress for each of four components of CT skills. Our findings demonstrate, along with students’ engagement and interest in solving challenging tasks, the complexity of issues that emerge from this process as well as possible paths for future investigations.
Closing the Gap: How Can the School System Embrace the Age of Acceleration? (PDF). EdMedia 2017 – Washington, DC, United States, June 20-23, 2017
Facing increasing demand from the digital industry, the school system has been suffering to prepare student for the digital society. The education system needs to have a complete face lift. Therefore, we have identified Three Educational Forces that could transform the learning culture to prepare students for the digital society.
Towards the Life-Long Continuum of Digital Competencies: Exploring combination of soft-skills and digital skills development (PDF) International Technology, Education and Development Conference, March 2017, 9518-9527.
A new trend that is spreading in different parts of the world, advocates a gradual transition of digital literacy to the notion of digital competences, since these are key competences for lifelong learning.
Supported by Anglophone East School District in 2013, the purpose of this research study is twofold: to have a better understanding of the efficiency of the personal mobile device used as an instructional tool and to develop a systematic process to allow schools to incorporate a BYOD program safely, as part of the school culture.
In September of 2009, students and teachers from Riverview Middle School embarked on a two year unique journey utilizing Apple iPod touch as a resource tool to improve learning in the areas of literacy and numeracy.
Perception and Attitude of School Administrators regarding ICT integration.
Achieve Magazine, Fall, (P.9)
Mike Belong, Principal Moncton High School, Moncton, NB
I have had the great privilege to have worked with some outstanding people throughout my twenty-seven year educational career and I can honestly say I have worked with none better than M. Mario Chiasson.
I hold Mr. Chiasson In the highest esteem and his passion and work ethic is contagious; he makes us all better. He is an incredible leader and an even better person!