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Monday, 30 July 2007

Supporting Learning with Online Tools in 2007!

Supporting Learning with Online Tools During 2006 more than 30 teachers completed this program on how to plan and use e-learning strategies to extend and support their teaching. External funds are again available in 2007 to allow us to re-run the program. This program is referred to as the Introduction to Blended Learning in the Computer Schedule. Program overview Participating teachers will be helped to identify a blended learning delivery model appropriate for one of their programs, using TAFE VC Vista. Initial discussion on the pedagogy of learning will be the basis for the how, where and why e-learning techniques can support effective learning. This program will consist of three half-day workshops that will cover: the why, when and where of using e-learning to assist delivery the how. Participants will learn to identify and select appropriate combinations of online activities, assessments and resources to support their teaching. Teachers will use TAFE VC Vista to develop resources for their own teaching area. Following the workshops, participating teachers will be supported by the e-Learning Facilitator (ELF) representing their centre. This will make them eligible for a payment of $300. Program details Dates: Friday 17, 24 and 31 August 2007. ____________________________________________________________ My comments on the above PD Program that was emailed to staff today. I hope I do not offend with this post - my thoughts, based on experience, from my head alone at this time. Please let me preface this by saying, feel free to disagree with me as I do have a bias or two, based on personal experience alone. I could hardly stop laughing when I read, that 30 staff have since 2006, completed this intense and grueling Professional Development (what year are we in again, as I thought it was 2007, not the 'ice age'). Completed, Reported maybe but Applied within a learning context by all 30, sorry but it is too funny for words. Someone make it stop, as my ribs hurt. Well If I had not seen the original, I would not believe it. This PD is useful I guess for those who have not bothered to update their ICT skills in TAFE or for staff new to TAFE, who have not had the opportunity to delve into the unknown encounters and futures of all things 'e', but really, when does this TAFE look beyond sites such as TAFEVC Vista (an upgrade to the old TAFEVC - the one all of those staff who were issued lap tops with in around 2000-2001, signed a document to the effect, that they would undergo the prescribed training and if not they would have the lap tops repossessed). From personal experience and the many tales I have heard in Australia, there was no concrete attempt made to keep track of who did what and thus many lap tops have never been seen again in the workplace, instead they are by now in the trash, but at the time, staff gave to their children for school or used as a door stop or dust catcher. I did all required training along with some others, who like myself felt that as it was part of the contract for the lap top, we should comply. We also wanted to learn more about what we could offer our learners, by engaging all things or some things 'e' into our practice. I do not have exact numbers, I would make a guess at the training completion (all modules completed) by staff at one TAFE to have been between 10-15% of staff population (a multi campus TAFE) over a three or four year period. So those who did not learn how to use TAFE VC, create online learning materials, integrate and apply in teaching practice and all else required in the PD offered now, may do the same training (the upgrade to TAFEVC VISTA replacing TAFEVC), as they were supposed to do, years ago when they signed on the dotted line for a lap top, all those years ago and now get $300 as an added bonus if they satisfy the requirments in 2007. How rapidly TAFE appears to be advancing in all things 'e' or online and blended. Maybe another 5-7 years will see PD offered in the use of social networking tools or maybe blogs! Okay, so government funding is now being used at the cost of $300 per staff member, to train them in basic e-learning principles and practice, they should already know and one would have thought applied in the learning context since the year 2000. This comment of course does not apply to those staff who have only recently begun working in the TAFE, VET, VTE Sector/System (I must have got one of the silly things correct - harder to keep up with than web 2.0, 3.0 and more). This may seem harsh, but it is crazy to spend money on such PD, when the current majority of staff at this TAFE, have shown, little or no interest, instead choosing to spend their time, knocking those who have embraced past and current technologies, applying them, watching and embracing the evolution of the tools and technologies available and evaluating the benefits of their use in the learning context. Funny how most of our PD in the most part has been in our, out of class time at work, at night or the weekends when home. Our PD has been ongoing since the first training session we attended, some years back, because we took the time, to connect with others, join communities, learn, share and collaborate. Our aim simple, to ensure we were maximising the potential of current and relevant tools and technologies, that would enhance the learning environment and experience for all stakeholders, including business/industry, the Australian Economy? Is it not our role in VET, VTE, TAFE, to provide our clients with the learning required to gain employment, survive, grow personally and professionally and succeed in their endeavours. In turn business/industry of all types gain highly skilled, professional employee's (skills required today and those that will aid them in the future - oh and yes I still consider those in the trades as professional) , increasing the capacity of business/industry/people, the country, to advance, to lead, to maximise profit and increase their position in markets, domestic/globally, advancing the position of the nation and creating a healthy, sustainable economy. Okay, so I may be dreaming - but not all dreams are forgotten and some are worth holding onto - Never say Never! I wonder if they have ever heard of blogs or dare I say it, Social Networking Tools, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, The Future??????????????????????????????????????

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