Thursday, August 03, 2006

Organising myself for conferences

July has been a busy month. At the beginning of July, I attended (& presented) at the Australian annual National Centre for Vocational Education Research ‘no frills’ conference. The conference was held on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland at Mooloolaba TAFE. It’s my yearly opportunity to catch up with several other TAFE tutors who have embarked on a similar journey that I have taken. They are often trades based tutors who have worked their way gradually through formal academic qualifications in education and who currently research in the adult learning / vocational education field. My paper was a distillation of the main threads from my interviews of first year apprentices titled – Falling into a trade: Apprentices’ perceptions of becoming a baker.

On returning from the conference, I had a block course with third year apprentices. Two weeks of wonderful teaching & learning. It was good to see how well these young people have become acculturated into the baking trade. The third year apprentices were a mature, conscientious, inquiring and demanding group. Almost all of them have come to the realisation that their apprenticeship is only the beginning of their careers as bakers. A couple wanted to have a break from the long hours and heavy labour. The majority had a career path to work with and 2 were moving into bakery management already.

Added to this all, papers I submitted for two conferences were approved late last week & early this week. So I have been busy submitting conference grant approvals to see if I can get to them. So far, CPIT has been generous, so I should be off to both of them.

In September, there is efest. This is the NZ polytechnic elearning conference. Steven Downes is a keynote & ‘moving learning’ is this year’s theme. It will be a good opportunity to network, keep up with the play with regards to NZ government policy and to learn more from everyone. My paper is on mLearning and the workplace learner:- trials, tribulations and triumphs and based on a report of our trials to deliver mlearning to apprentices.

In October, the international mlearn2006 conference will be held in Banff, Canada. A long way to go but I am really excited about the opportunity to be part of the international mlearning community. I am presenting a short paper on mLearning for workplace based apprentices: a report on trials undertaken to establish mobile portfolios. It will have to be a very quick overview. I have started writing the paper for this and I plan to concentrate more on the eportfolio bit as it is an area that mlearning has not got into very much.

At present, I am also running trials with apprentices over the next month or so to obtain data for the above conference presentations. So a busy few months coming up but things are starting to make more sense, the links are starting to be form and bits of the puzzle are coming together.

2 comments:

Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Selena

I thought you would have picked this one up by now. Stephen and many others will be in Christchurch September 21 ... and other locations around NZ

Its for the Future of Learning in a Networked World traveling conference.

Jerry Gene said...

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

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