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On Monday, January 22, 2018, I had the great pleasure of visiting the Pont-Viau Competency Development Centre, which is home to the Computer Technology and Tourism Centres of Expertise. I began the day by meeting with Maan Abou Hatab who has been teaching in the Computing Support program at the Centre for 15 years. Maan described the work that the students undertake while in the program which includes learning the intricacies of computer components and even includes touching upon networking trouble-shooting. Students in the program also learn how to deal with issues which arise not only on Windows-based computers, but also on Apple computers and on Linux ones. I was very impressed to find out that the computers in the lab where we were meeting had all been put together by students in the program. Talk about hands-on learning!
I was also very privileged to have the chance to chat with Maan’s teaching colleagues. Hearing how passionate these teachers are about what they do was awesome.
I then met with Maria Alfieri CEN lead in the Tourism (Hotel Reception) sector. Maria welcomed me to the Hotel Reception classroom, which is designed to make you feel like you are in a hotel lobby. The space has not only two reception desks, it also has computers set up with reservation software, credit card machines and even fake cash, for students to really get a feel for taking hotel bookings from beginning to end. I was very impressed to see that this program is set up for individualized learning, meaning that students can study from home, and can even participate to class time online, via a Moodle platform which has been set up by the Computing Support teachers, who also use Moodle for their online teaching. This was a great example of cooperation for the benefit of the students!
I continue to be blown away by the amazing work being done in the various Centres which I visit.