Friday, November 18, 2005

eTXT trial week 1

Week one of the etxt trial has progressed well. I am especially encouraged by the prompt replies I am getting from my apprentice participants. Last week, I texted all the apprentices who had volunteered to help with the trial. This group of apprentices came to CPIT on a second year block course back in August. I introduced the concept of the mlearning trial to the class of 16 apprentices while they were at CPIT. All in, a 5 minute session. 10 of the apprentices filled in a form volunteering to be part of the trial. Of the 10 I texted last week, 9 replied, with 8 agreeing and 1 declining to take part. All replied within the space of 2 hours of the text message being sent out to them.

During week 1 of the trial, at least 5 of the apprentices replied to food safety questions being sent out to them. I had already posted several messages to them to say that it was not compulsory for them to answer the food safety questions. So the response has been very heartening.

Text messages work better than email messages as apprentices are connected to the phone all the time. They check their phones for messages at every opportunity and I have noticed that smokers tend to check phone messages while they are on a smoking break. Several years ago, an apprentice told me that the only way he could get a break at work was to become a smoker. Otherwise, the bakers at his bakery worked from 2am to noon without a break! I think that the realities of the workplace, especially in a trade like baking, mean that being provided with the opportunity to take snack sized bites at completing work towards their unit standards works well. After a 10 to 12 hour day of hard, physical and often hot work that also demands maximum input from their cognitive senses, bakers are often too tired to make the effort to put in more hours in front of a computer to do work necessary to completing their qualification. Providing some incentive and motivation by way of sneaking in some learning moments using mlearning will hopefully pave the way for more reflective learning to take place when the time does come for the apprentice to ‘hit the books’. Therefore, I see mlearning as a good way of starting apprentices on an on going cycle of working towards their qualifications. In my context, mlearning should be used as a support tool, not be the primary way in which content is delivered to apprentices.


Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Selena,

I applied for a job at Otago Polytechnic today (program developer). Hopefully they'll call me over for an interview. If that happens, I'd love to meet up with you if you're around.

My email: leighblackallATgmailDOTcom

Selena said...

Hi Leigh,

yes. If you are able to get up to Christchurch from Dunedin (5 hours drive or 45 mins plane ride)it will be great to meet up.


Leigh Blackall said...

5 hours drive! Crikey, doesn't look that far on the map... must be one of those Northern Hemisphere maps I'm looking at. I did get an interview, looks to be late January. Have you kept in touch with Gary Sewell from the Baking Section of Hamilton NSW? That's how I found your blog.

Liking your reflections on Web and eLearning 2.0

btw, bad thing about commenting in blogger is I don't know if you reply. my email is leighblackallATgmailDOTcom

Jerry Gene said...

Your blog is so excellent that I like it very much, you must be good at writing.

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