The database had its share of glitches; my project manager and I frequently joked about our new repetitive stress injuries acquired after checking what turned out to be over 20, 000 terms! We were effectively beta-testing the database, although it was our main tool for creating the book. Ultimately, the project inspired a number of other CEGEP teachers to propose similar work for different disciplines. Given the continued interest and the evident need in Québec for adequate translations of specialized lexicons, the CCDMD is currently developing a new and sophisticated database to facilitate data entry, storage, organization, revision, and output.
When the content was finalized, the CCDMD found a wonderful graphic design team who worked with me to integrate my original paintings and collaborate on the overall aesthetic of the book. The book is now published, three years after beginning what I initially expected to be a one-year project. It is 500 pages, colour-coded, and costs $68.00. Following our program review at Dawson that recommended improved French instruction, the Guide is now a required text for first year stage seminars. It has also been adopted in France at several Institut Régional de Travail Social with whom further collaboration is planned following the France-Québec accord to recognize Social Work professionals from each location at par.
My vision now is to promote the tool and further develop a collaborative system for revision, where new language and new language uses can be added. We can redefine our definitions together so we are referring to each other in ways that best respect our unique identities. In other words, we hope this tool will be the ‘go to' source for respectful language across disciplines and remain current to the evolution of each language. There is no doubt that the new online database will be a necessary step in achieving this.
Technology and Social Work may be like oil and vinegar, but with a good tool, some creativity, and a lot of hard work, what could be better?
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