Board unveiling tuition-free telecommunication, computing courses

Classes good fit for hands-on learners

A three-phase Lester B. Pearson School Board pilot project offering tuition free trade courses in telecommunication and computing support is expected to be ready by the end of the month.

The Pearson Electrotechnology Centre in Lachine, which boasts interactive resource classrooms and e-learning systems, will offer courses in Computing Support, Installation and Repair of Telecommunications Equipment and two courses specializing in Maintenance and Construction Electricity.

The classes may be the perfect fit for students not interested in pursuing CEGEP or university degrees, but who want to train for 21st Century jobs.

Organizers say the courses will give students an added edge in preparing for the future.

“We are creating a smart resource classroom at university-level caliber,” said Richard Oliver, director of PEC, the Lester B. Pearson vocational school offering the new courses.

Oliver said adult students will have access to current and emerging technologies.

“Students enter our programs with different academic backgrounds, different learning styles and in many cases, language barriers,” he explained. “We intend to use educational technology to help support the different needs of our students”.

Among other things, the school will teach computer hardware and software, soldering and installations of cables, fiber-optic equipment, as well as electrical and fire control systems in its state-of-the-art labs.

It also offers the only English-language Installation and Repair of Telecommunications Equipment and Electricity course in the province.

Phase One of the new program involved the creation of a classroom designed to promote student engagement and virtual collaboration with community and industry partners.

Oliver said students will be able to connect with onsite co-op students, industry experts and other educational centers through web conferencing and virtual classroom technology.

Phase Two will give students online access to course content and electronic resources including safety compliance tutorials, instrument-user guides and student self-assessment tools.

Finally, phase Three will see students develop electronic portfolios, give multimedia presentations, use social media, conduct webinars and complete community-based projects. To learn more about the Pearson Electrotechnology Centre courses call the centre at 514 798-1818, or go to http://pec.lbpsb.qc.ca.

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