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Sometime in your life, you most likely will receive an offer to sign on to a project that undermines your value as a professional. Do you accept the offer since it will beef up your professional resume or do you decline on principle?

On one hand, if this project involves a charitable organization, it might be a no brainer. You would not only be gaining valuable experience, you might argue, but you would also be making the world a better place.

On the other hand, what if you were hired to design courseware for one of the richest global corporations in the world and offered not only below minimum wage compensation at the Masters or PhD level, but below the U.S. dollar level wages per hour?

Recently, a company contacted me to design online courses intended for retail employees to help them gain a leg up in a competitive world.

Untitled.pngOnline education has come a long way in the last few years. Even though a lot of you might still feel that the conventional classroom setting is safer, the fact is online training provides immense flexibility that classroom setting does not. The convenience of attending an online, interactive class and studying at your own pace is unparalleled.

People who don't have time to attend a full-time college turn to online programs for career advancement. Working professionals looking for hikes and promotions, those wishing to switch careers, or stay-at-home moms who wish to pursue a course and begin working, all welcome the flexibility an online education can provide. There are hundreds of colleges that offer legit online programs, and here are some of the best and most popular online programs that guarantee a steady career with a respectable income.

Ten Tips to Save Money (for Montreal Students)

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Top 5 Benefits of Distance Learning.

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Distance learning has become increasingly popular in recent years and has become a common route for individuals who wish to pursue higher education without the constraints of the traditional classroom. It's an optional choice for adults who have restricted schedules and are in need of flexible school hours. A number of universities and colleges offer such course options, including CEGEPS in Quebec. Why choose a local CEGEP? If you are a young adult learner who wants to gain work experience while preparing for the university, registering for distance courses will allow you to complete your degree with greater flexibility. La Salle College, for example, is currently expanding its online course offerings.

We will take you through the top 5 benefits distance learning has to offer:

How to handle misbehavior in your classroom

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Profile: Education for the New Generation

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Education is one of the first things that come to mind when discussing Montreal. With access to six universities and twelve junior colleges in an eight kilometer radius, Montreal, Quebec (Canada) has the highest proportion of post-secondary students of all major cities in North America. This represents approximately 248,000 post-secondary students, one of the largest numbers in the world. Many innovative people in the field of education have made countless changes to the educational system in Montreal, with many others still working hard to make their mark on the way teachers educate their students and in those students' lives. From teachers in kindergarten, elementary, and high schools, to professors in colleges and universities, to principles, and any number of other educators, there are innumerable people pursuing change and innovation in education. One person who strives to improve the education system in Montreal, and who has exhibited a history of innovating, experimenting with, and rethinking how we should better educate the new generation is Ofra Aslan.

Guide to vocational schooling

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The Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy

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Feature Article: The Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy  

Modern Beauty Academies

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Most people do not take beauty seriously when it comes to careers. When thinking of beauty school many people will still conjure an image of Grease's "Beauty School Drop Out" song in their minds. This image needs to be reinvented because today's beauty schools provide the training for women and men alike to create a successful and respectable career. With vocational training becoming a popular choice for students here in Quebec, many people are looking at beauty academies in a new light. When looking into beauty academies (or any vocational training school for that matter) it is well worth considering a public school because public vocational training is completely free for residents of Quebec.

 The Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy

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One of the best public beauty academies in Montreal is the Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy. The Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy is located in the West Island of Montreal in Beaconsfield and their programs provide training for all aspects of the beauty field. The Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy was built in 1994 and was the first school of its kind located on the West Island of Montreal. The school is part of the Lester B. Pearson School Board and is named after Gordon Robertson who was a friend of the school board and a strong supporter of vocational training programs. The programs offered include:

-Become an Aesthetics Professional

-Become a Hair Care Professional

-Become a Professional Electrologist

-Become a Body Care Professional

-Become an Entrepreneur in the Beauty Industry

On the Gordon Robertson website they provide 5 questions to ask yourself if you are thinking of joining their beauty academy:

1)      Do you want a career in the beauty industry?

2)      Do you want a career that is in high demand?

3)      Are you a hands-on person?

4)      Do you want to own your own business?

5)      Do you want a fresh start in less than a year?

If you answered yes to most, or all of these questions, then The Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy is probably a good place for you to be.  All of the courses are offered solely on a part-time basis except for the aesthetics and hair care courses which can be taken full-time or part-time full time for 12 or 24 months respectively. Gordon Robertson is an English school, so all of the courses are offered in English only.

 

Gordon Robertson Beauty Academy

240 Beaurepaire Drive

Beaconsfield, QC

H9W 6G4

514-426-5096

http://grc.lbpsb.qc.ca/ 

 Interview with a Gordon Robertson Graduate

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(Photo of Amanda and I at the Interview: Amanda is on the right)

Amanda Carrier is a graduate of the aesthetics course at Gordon Robertson, and she offered to share some of her experience with me. We decide to meet for drinks so that I can ask her questions about the program that she completed.

Amanda is a 23 year old with a lot of drive and determination. She completed her aesthetics course a couple of years ago and is now halfway through the highly competitive professional photography program at Dawson College. She loves fashion and hopes to become a fashion photographer one day. She is brimming with creativity and it is no wonder that she loves to make things beautiful. She is a small girl with bright red hair, and very fair, porcelain-like skin. Her love of fashion and makeup can be seen right away through her stylish and fashion forward appearance. She carries herself very confidently. We order martinis and sit down at a table to proceed with the interview.

Stephanie: So, what course did you take at Gordon Robertson?

Amanda: I took the Aesthetics course.

S: What did the course cover exactly?

A: It covered makeup, waxing, facial treatments, body treatments, and a little bit of business and customer service skills.

S: How long was the course? When did it start and finish?

A: The course started at the end of August and went until mid-June. Just like high school or elementary school.

S: How did you find the teachers? Helpful?

A: The teachers were really nice and very passionate about what they taught. I was very impressed by them.

S: What kind of form did the course take? Was it mostly hands-on?

A: When we first started it was mostly theory, for about a month. Then at the end of the course we had to learn a little bit about business which was also mostly theory, but everything else in between was completely hands-on practice.

S: Who did you practice on?

A: For a month we practiced our skills on each other. Then we were allowed to bring people in to practice on, like friends and family members. Then we started getting real clients.

S: Yeah, I read about that on the website, apparently people can make appointments and receive spa quality treatments from the students for reduced prices? Is that right? Are those the clients that you're talking about?

A: Yes. It was mostly older women who came in. They were always really nice and patient with us. Every week one person would be manager. Basically you greeted the clients and assigned them to a student. We always had to tell the teacher what our facial treatment plan/makeup plan was before we started. The teacher would double check and ok our plan. We did facials, back facials (a facial for your back), makeup, waxing, manicures, and pedicures.

S: What did you spend the most time learning?

A: We spent the most time on facials. There was a lot to learn about skin types, skin condition, skin diseases, so on.

S: Did you have to complete a stage to graduate?

A: Yes we had to do a stage at the end of May. We had to work at a spa, for free, to see what the job was like.

S: What would you say the best and worst parts of the course were?

A: The best parts were the teachers, and learning about makeup. I love makeup so that was my favourite. We got so many makeup items that we were allowed to keep. Big palettes of all different colors, makeup brushes, almost everything that we would need for our kits. The worst part for me had to be the girls in my class. They were so lazy and never wanted to do anything, especially with the clients that came in. They would ask dumb questions in class, like why does the skin have three layers? There is no answer! It just does! I was taking the course very seriously. It is a career program! It seemed like the other girls weren't though. That's the only negative thing I can say though. Everything about the school itself was great.

S: Thanks for all the information! I'm sure it will help someone out to read about your experience!

A: You're welcome!


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Montreal is a great place to pursue vocational training programs. There are many vocational schools on the island where students can learn a variety of skilled trades. Successful and stimulating careers can be pursued through vocational training programs. Students can study cosmetology, hairdressing, plumbing, computer servicing, restaurant and hotel management, culinary work and more. Vocational training programs are a good choice for anyone who is ready to work hands-on.

Here in Quebec, vocational training programs are designed in collaboration with employers and are suited to regional economic activities. They also reflect the needs of the current labor market. This means that graduates usually have no trouble finding a job in their field, and most programs will even set students up with internships that can turn into full-time jobs after graduation. In fact in Quebec 75% of vocational school graduates find full-time work within a year, as there is currently a huge demand for skilled workers. Another amazing thing about pursuing vocational training in Quebec is that through public schools it is completely free for Quebec residents! This helps to encourage more people to study skilled trades.

There are many great vocational training schools that offer their courses in French, and there are also many private vocational training schools in Montreal, but this review will examine the top five English-language, public vocational training schools in Montreal. Let's get started!

5) Pearson Electrotechnology Centre (PEC):

5000 René-Huguet

Lachine, Quebec

H8T 1M7

514-798-1818

http://pec.lbpsb.qc.ca

This school belongs to the Lester B. Pearson School Board, and it is the only English public school of its kind in all of Quebec. It has been open since 2007 and the programs offered include: Electricity, Installation and Repair of Telecommunications Equipment and Computing Support Courses. Sometime in the near future the school will also be offering a Heating and Plumbing program.

Classes for all three programs are offered either during the day from 8:00 to 3:00, or in the evenings from 3:30-10:30. The school features state of the art equipment and all training involves hands-on experience with the highest safety standards. The school partners closely with many businesses including Videotron, Belden, Commission de la construction du Quebec and more. Students are offered many training opportunities through the school's various connections.

4) West Island Career Centre (W.I.C.C):

13700 Pierrefonds Blvd.

Pierrefonds, QC

H9A 1A7

514-620-0707

http://wicc.lbpsb.qc.ca

The West Island Career Centre belongs to the Lester B. Pearson School Board and offers training for a wide variety of skilled trades. They cover the fields of healthcare, automobile mechanics, interior decorating and visual display, residential and commercial drafting, and accounting and administration. The specific programs include: Accounting, Administrative Professional, Assistance in Healthcare Facilities, Automobile Mechanics, General building Maintenance, Health, Assistance and Nursing Care, Home Care Assistance, Hygiene and Sanitation in Health Care Settings, Interior Decorating and Visual Display, Medical Office Specialist, Medical Secretary, Residential and Commercial Drafting, and Starting a Business.

This school offers a "Student for a Day" program which pairs up potential students with current students. They are able to spend the day at the school, attending real classes before they decide if it is the right school and/or program for them.

3) PACC Vocational Centre (Pearson Adult and Career Centre):

8310 George Street

LaSalle, QC

H8P 1E5

514-363-6213

http://paccvoc.lbpsb.qc.ca/

The PACC Vocational Centre belongs to the Lester B. Pearson School Board. The school offers vocational programs in the fields of food services and tourism, administration, and health. The programs include: Retail Butchery, Food & Beverage Services, Professional Cooking, Pastry Making, Accounting Studies, Administrative Professional , Pharmacy Technical Assistance, Home Care Assistance, Health, Assistance and Nursing Care, Dental Assistance, Assistance in HealthCare Facilities. There is a great variety of programs available to students.

An interesting note is that PACC offers their students an amazing resource free of charge, the online use of the language learning software, Rosetta Stone!

2) Shadd Business Centre:

1000 Old Orchard

Montreal, QC

H4A 3A4

(514) 484-0485

shadd@emsb.qc.ca

The Shadd Business Centre is part of the English Montreal School Board. The school has been around for over 15 years and their reputation is highly respected. The Shadd Business Centre boasts an impressive job placement rate for qualified graduates. The programs that they offer include: Accounting, Assistance in Healthcare, Pharmacy Technical Assistance, Secretarial Studies, and Starting a Business.

All programs are full-time, but students have the option to sign up for daytime or evening classes. The Shadd Business Centre is very aware that many students are going to be balancing full-time jobs with school, and their flexible scheduling options reflect that.

1) Rosemount Technology Centre (RTC):

3737 Beaubien Ave

Montreal, QC

H1X 1H2

514-376-4724

http://www.rosemount-technology.qc.ca/

The Rosemount Technology Centre is one of the largest English-language technical career training centres in all of Quebec. It belongs to the English Montreal School Board. The school offers amazing programs that are hands-on, and all of the featured trades are very in demand in Quebec. Programs include: Automated Systems in Electromechanics, Cabinet Making, Computer Graphics Techniques, Furniture Finishing, Industrial Drafting (CAD), Industrial Machine Operator, Machining Techniques, Numerical-Control Machine Tool Operation (CNC), and Printing and Digital Layout.

The school employs a work-study assignment within all of their programs which allows students to use their newly learned skills in real working environments. This often leads to job opportunities in the future.

 

 

 

ResidentialSchoolGirl.gifAlthough Aboriginals attended residential schools during the late 19th to mid-20th century, their pain and suffering are still evident today. The children were sexually, physically, psychologically, and spiritually abused. These emotional scars are still in effect, either through the attendees themselves, or through their families.To further stipulate, the abuse that the attendees received were passed down knowingly and unknowingly to their family members, especially their children. As the attendees were children themselves, they grew up in an environment where abuse was habitual and seemed normal. Therefore, when they had children themselves, they often imitated the habits they learned at school, consciously or unconsciously. This created discord amongst the communities where drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and sexual abuse are still active today. The main focus is that not enough action has been done to provide treatment and closure to the victims and their families.

BANNER SPOT.jpgThe positive development of any given society is borne by its members and the contributions which they are allowed to make continue to enhance its progression.  This statement can be true, if all members are willing participants and are allowed to share in the enrichment of their respective society. The level and manner towards this participation must be defined and determined by each individual/group. For every person acquires his/her own experiences and perspectives of the world, which are unique unto themselves. Permitting the inclusion of these perceptions would not only add to the social flavor of that populace, it would also increase the likelihood of its members reaching their human potential. To stifle this reality would limit the richness that that society could potentially reach. The depth of this progression could be capitalized on if the society was comprised of an array of ethnic groups. For each cultural community possesses its own distinct language, art, literature, food, religion, traditions and history.

The same is true for the Black community of Montreal, whose recorded history starts four hundred years ago with Mathieu DaCosta. DaCosta, a free Black African, who was the interpreter to the Native peoples for Samuel de Champlain and Pierre Dugua de Monts in 1608 and according to early documents he may have been present in the Port Royal Habitation in the Annapolis Basin in 1605. [1]   Mathieu DaCosta was an experienced translator who had many interactions with the Europeans and spoke French, Portuguese and Dutch. It is assumed that his ability to communicate with the Aboriginal people stems from frequenting the Americas or learning "pidgin"a dialect used in the New World by the Basques of Spain, which the Natives understood.[2]

Quebec's Education Reform

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In the year 2000, the Ministry of Education rang in the new millennium with a whole new way of educating Quebec children. In the mid-1990s, Pauline Marois, then the Education Minister, had noticed a high dropout rate and decided to see what could be done to improve that, so a series of studies were undertaken, and the Quebec Education Program, colloquially known as "the Reform," was born (Guimont). The Reform was implemented gradually, starting in preschool and elementary in 2000, Grades 7-8 in 2005 and Grades 9-11 between 2006 and 2009. Junior high school teachers began seeing children who had been educated exclusively under the Reform in 2005, senior high school teachers in 2007. The first cohort of students who were educated entirely under the Reform are now in their 2nd year of CEGEP (Branswell).

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Last year I had the privilege of hearing a talk delivered by a young man at the secondary school where I teach. Shaun Perrier has Asperger Syndrome, and he gave the talk - on his own initiative - to his peers at the school, to let them know what it is like to have Asperger's. The syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction due to an inability to catch nuances in others' words and body language, and a similar lack of nuance of their own - a lack of facial expression, and speaking in a monotonous or overly formal manner. It is also characterized by a need to have a highly controlled environment, with a fixation on repetitive routines or rituals, as well as clumsiness. I was teary-eyed listening to the struggles that Shaun had gone through in his life and deeply impressed by how much he had overcome, and my heart went out to him and others like him, who deserve every opportunity to succeed that society can give them.

Time for Take Off!

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By Dunia Abbas

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Graduation can mean so many things. It means happiness and sadness, freedom and restriction, utter fear and absolute excitement, all at the same time. This is all due to the many decisions that must be taken as soon as graduation becomes a near event. Even the smallest decisions become big ones as all of us graduating students begin to think of what each decision could possibly translate into later on for us. Relocation is the biggest decision for international students who usually have to compare and contrast where they are now with their home. To help make their decision, they need to decide which important criteria they need to base their decision on to be able to make the best one possible. Personally, I have to make a decision on whether or not I should stay in Canada a few years after graduation or relocate back to the Emirates. I am Palestinian, which means in most countries I am considered a 'stateless' person which is what makes immigration laws and citizenship the most major decisive factors for my relocation. Canada and the UAE are both great countries that I have enjoyed and I honestly would not mind settling in either, but I need to compare and contrast immigration laws as well as employment ones for me to make a decision after graduation.

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By Heather GrahamScreen shot 2011-05-30 at 11.22.01 AM.pngWhen a student graduates with a bachelor's degree, it is generally known that it equates a great deal of student debt. Rising financial costs of education and its affect on student debt have been discussed ad nauseam by Governments, the Private Sector, and the University Institution itself. What is not often considered or discussed are the social costs of the diminishing value of an undergraduate degree. Today's Generation Y is the highest educated, lowest employed generation to graduate after having accrued the highest level of student debt. What does this mean for Society?


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Fabienne Beauséjour
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Image source: Flickr


Language remains a controversial issue in Quebec, especially Montreal. The adequacy of Law 101 is at the core of many discussions in and outside the province. People's understanding of this law depends on whether they sit among the Francophones or Anglophones. Most French speakers believe this law is very important and fair, while most English speakers see the Charter of the French language as a totalitarian law. Thirty five years after Bill 101 was passed, the government of Quebec still has to defend some of its amendments in court.

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Vera PolouvytnovaScreen shot 2011-04-25 at 1.06.51 PM.png Image source: Radical Graphics

Understanding the process of integration for immigrant youth and the factors at play will allow the parents and the community to support the young adults better and ensure their successful integration into the host society.

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By Julie PhaneufThumbnail image for Screen shot 2011-04-02 at 2.45.55 PM.png The French students' lack of knowledge of the English language has been a preoccupation for our government for many years now. Recently, our Prime Minister Jean Charest announced an expansion of a new English immersion program for sixth graders in Quebec's francophone schools. Such a system already exists but it is available only to a small number of students whom have the capacities needed to be able to achieve a complete curriculum in five months. A better knowledge of English is certainly mandatory; however, the implementation of an English immersion program to every French school in Quebec will undoubtedly fail.



Image source: Flickr
Marieke Bivar-Wikhammer
Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 2.43.18 PM.pngImmigration is a recurrent issue in countries around the world. The meeting of the host country's and the immigrant's cultures and languages can sometimes cause conflict as nationalisms flare up and cultural and linguistic protectionisms kicks in. An interesting phenomenon is that of the more recently founded nations like those of the Americas. For some countries, like the United States, there is less emphasis on official multiculturalism and more of a tendency to regard the ensemble of citizens as being simply American. For other countries, like Canada, there is an emphasis on multiculturalism and on encouraging cultural diversity... that is, officially.

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By Cinzia Vicario
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 1.06.41 PM.pngOur society is constantly changing, and its evolution seems to be affecting people's values and morals at every age. For example, today it is not uncommon to turn on the TV in the middle of the day and see scenes of violence or sexual content that should be reserved to adult viewers. In addition, some rap music, or even video-games, also add to the problem by promoting use of violence or sexist behaviour that in the long run tend to desensitize us. All of these factors, at various levels, contribute to the decline of moral values in modern society. In fact, they are valid examples of the lack of respect shown to our youth's normal psychological development, or to the dignity of those we call minorities because of their gender, race or sexual orientation.


Marieke Bivar-Wikhammer
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 12.18.43 PM.pngThe issue of educational integration for immigrant youth in Quebec is a complicated one. To best explore the subject, I have chosen two articles that examine the problem through studies. The first is Who's in and who's out? Language and the integration of new immigrant youth in Quebec by Dawn Allen, which focuses on the government of Quebec's definition of integration and argues for more inclusive policy. She argues that "...in Quebec's current policy documents, integration is conceptualized in such a way that immigrants are the objects rather than the subjects of integration." (Allen, 2). The second article is by Marilyn Steinbach and is based on findings from a study drawing on interviews with a number of immigrant youth navigating Quebec's "Accueil" system. Its title Quand je sors d'accueil: linguistic integration of immigrant adolescents in Quebec secondary schools refers to the isolation experienced by immigrant youth both socially and academically due to their status. As the issue is a complex one and both papers are quite long, I have chosen to focus on outlining the Accueil (meaning "welcome") system that immigrant youth are required to go through in Quebec before joining regular classes.

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Language Law Flaws

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Christine Fournierlaws.pngAccess to an education in English through the public system should be a right and not a privilege in Quebec. However, that is all about to change.  A recent development in the National Assembly of Quebec, regarding language of instruction, has lead to the creation of Bill 115. This bill will block access to public English education unless someone has considerable means to pay for entry into the system. Bill 115 should not be received with open arms because it is rather unnecessary and the legislation is confusing, unconstitutional and unfair.

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Tutoring

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  • Grade A Tutors Montreal - Lists tutors available in Montreal by area providing help for students in all grades and subjects
  • Liberty Tutoring - Offers 1-on-1 tutoring for students in the Montreal area

If you know of any quality tutoring services, please drop a note in the comment box below.

Educational Animals

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Christine Fournierowl.pngLooking for educational activity children will enjoy? Why not visit the Ecomuseum in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, on the western tip of the island of Montreal. This 28-acre wildlife park houses over ninety species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and mammals that can be seen in their natural habitat.

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Mohamed NaiemScreen shot 2011-02-15 at 1.52.58 PM.pngOne of the most alarming issues educators and teachers discuss these days is the decrease of children's academic performance and the escalating aggressiveness among them. The scope of this awful fact has reached a dreadful point: teachers are only 'pushing' students from one grade level to another. In the meantime, electronic devices providing access to movies and video games that are full of sexuality and violence--intended for children-- are booming. As children's mental abilities (still in development) can be shaped by whatever they are exposed to, these digital devices, used mainly to entertain with movies and games, may have played a role in the wrong turn of children's education. In other words, the technological advance, that once was anticipated to enhance children's education, has turned out to be rather harmful to their cognitive and social skills development because technology marketers have set consumption, not education, as a main goal to electronic innovations. To investigate this matter deeply, I relied on works of renowned educationists in an attempt to raise awareness about this subject. Indeed, understanding how technology may harm some precious elements of our society, children, may draw parents' and teachers' attention so that they act to save kids before it's too late. To apprehend the topic at hand, I first explained what the basic objectives of children's education are. Second, I showed how technology may contribute in teaching and learning. Then, I detailed the harm the unguided use of computers and other consumption oriented technology tools may cause to children's health, behaviors, and education.

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By GB Harding
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 1.47.50 PM.pngQuebec parents have the right to educate their children in the language of their choice, in primary and secondary schools. These rights are immutable. Every child who attends English school will continue the rights for generations to come. Choosing an English school will stop the declining number of English schools in Quebec and ensure the survival of this important linguistic heritage.

Canada is a multi-cultural country where minority language rights instruction in education (English in Quebec and French in the rest of Canada) have been guaranteed under the law since the British North America Act.








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