Monday, August 02, 2010

ITP Trades Forum @ Weltec

At the ITP trades forum on Friday, held at Weltec in Petone, Wellington. This is an intermittent one day forum attended by tutors and managers from trades faculties/ schools throughout NZ. The forum was opened by convenor, Ken Whittle after welcome and housekeeping messages from Alan Peck (from Weltec) who was the convener/organiser of the forum. Ken provided some background on the history of trades training which was set up just over a hundred years ago in NZ. Message is of change as various political /social changes influence the way in which trades training is delivered.

First up, Peter Mellow on '21st century learners and Web 2.0 - implications for learners' with a focus on learning environments / learning spaces and role of teachers in setting up / bringing about change within trades teaching. Peter ran an interactive session supported with multimedia clips. He began with a warm up to start and provided opportunities for participants to work together on several feedback sessions. He ran through characteristics of 21st learners, how technology now connects people (not only young people), how elearning can help students assess learning where & when they need to. Many teachers at level 1/2 (competent but still need help) with technology, need to be at level 3 - automous explorer in order to make the most use of technology for teaching/learning - perhaps teachers as educational technologist/technological educators. Good, M. (2001)- in the book Teaching and Learning online: New pedgogies for new technologies.  On the way to online pedagogy. Learning spaces involve some lateral thinking. Whiteboards on all walls (Resene sells white board paint), whiteboards on tables, lecture chairs which turn 360 degrees etc. to assist with building learning communities which can then be continued after class either physically (whole campus learning space) or virtually. 'your primary influence is the environment you create' Peter Senge. Web 3.0 - semantic web, 3D AI driven, data driven, web 4.0 all about activity, not data. gotoweb20 is a website which collects web 2.0 sites. Used blogging as an example of using web 2.0 to enhance student learning and showed Seth Godlin/Tom Peters video on blogging - and openforum event. also covered wikis, podcasting (Pt England in NZ as an example & AUT Maori language on ipod/ipod touches), eporfolio (Mahara), microblogging (Twitter - flash cards or announcement system). Ends with encouragement to give it a go :)

After morning tea, my session on 'becoming a trades tutor - crossing identity boundaries' went well and touched a cord with several tutors who are new to the ITP sector and their roles as trades tutors.

Then Lee Baglow from Unitec on 'self - exploration - a fresh look at pre-trade auto education. Programme change driven by staff dissatisfaction with the current ways things were being done. Involves a 'living curricula' which involves complex conversation, curiosity etc. creative skills. Examples provided of how programme adapted with improvement in retention, completion rates and increase in staff:student ratio. Includes the use of Web 2.0 to create eportfolios. Begins with students obtaining gmail accounts, use google docs. as repository for learning resources which students use to access resources and templates for students to work through, tutors are able to mark and feedback. Material also available via class blogger site. Students issued with Dell netbooks but all information stored on the cloud. Also 8 HD JVC video players to increase access to video material/powerpoints etc. Students are encouraged to store to maintain a learning journa/eportfolio on Flexibility in delivery allows students to lead their own learning and set individual learning goals. Tutors build capability by using youtube videos to teach them how to use google docs etc.

After lunch, Julia Bruce from Wintec presented on 'principle-based teaching practice' and encouraging students to live their dreams. Developing her own teaching philosophy was a key towards becoming a better teacher and also in helping her students learn better. Her presentation provided examples of teaching resources aligned to her teaching philosophy. She started things out with a 'speed dating' activity in order to get conversation going on how to bring about change in tutor's approach to change, being change agents and working in an environment which is continually changing. Strategies to bring about authentic and collaborative learning including the use of photo shoots to collect hairdressing students' work, production of 'newspaper' by groups of students on theory aspects of the course, presentations by groups of students on other students' work, review teams to revise concepts using group work & kinesthetic resources (play dough, paint, markers etc.). Online discussion groups also used to explore case studies based around customer relationships etc. students encouraged to use journal tool on Moodle to reflect on learning. Possibilities for hairdressing beyond local opened out by using comparative tasks. Quizzes on Moodle also used for revision. Web based books turned into ebooks which are accessible on ipod touches. Julia has a Ako Aotearoa funded project to build guidelines for hairdressing tutors to engage with online learning. Work experience and polytech salon/client days assist with the attitudinal/dispositional skills. Salon teams are used so that each 'salon' has a concept of ownership and sense of purpose. Second interactive session with groups working on individual tutors' approaches/philosophies to teaching followed by groups sharing their discussion. Good sharing and discussion ensued :) opportunities for feedback on the session or for further questions offered as the presentation completed.

Then Ken Whittle from EIT on the development of new trades facilities at EIT which replace facilities that were 35 years old. Design of the facility driven by 'the curriculum' and focused on future industry needs. Curriculum based on feedback from industry / employers for greater emphasis on employability skills (communication, lit/num, info tech. time management etc.) rather than just technical skills. There is an increase in use of flexible learning materials to allow for smaller class numbers and greater access to p/t students. Therefore facilities designed to allow flexible use of space, integration of practical/theory and technician support centralised. Professional development provided to staff to adapt to teaching in new learning environment and in project based learning. Change over in curriculum along with implementation of embedded lit/num has increased both outcomes and retention.

The last session of the day was with James Cannan from MIT on 'Tertiary High School' a concept which CPIT is also going to put in place in 2011. This is for students still at high school to attend courses usually offered at tertiary institutions, so not only trades subjects but also computer studies, horticulture etc. Presentation began with a video from Dr. Stuart Middleton who blogs on edtalk. He has been championing the concept of tertiary high school but is out of NZ and unable to present f2f. He introduced the 'leaking education pipeline' in NZ including 20% of students disappearing from education by age 16, 30.000 secondary truants a day!, 4,000 excluded from school, 85% of youths who present in the youth courts are not attending school on a regular basis. All sobering stats. This 'leak' presents social issues, disengagment, youth inactivity and skills shortages. Disengagement - physical (not in school), virtual (at school but no school quals) and unintended (good intentions, right move, but little or no success post school - esp. in first year of tertiary ed.). Tertiary high school have a programme at polytech offered collaborative with secondary schools. Students identified as having potential but likely to not complete at year 10 are targeted for the programme. Mix of polytech and school qualifications offered with high credit bearing activities based on NZ curriculum. Included with be the development of work and personal skills including the development fo personal pathway plan, literacy (lit/num/digital) support and structured self-directed activities. Year 1 to inform student choice and provide discipline foundation skills. years 2 - 4 in mainstream polytechnic programmes.

Forum clossed with last thoughts / summary from Ken Whittle. An interesting day which the ITP sector needs to continue organising. There does not seem to be any other forum, apart from specific trade groups, in which trades tutors are able to meet and share ideas.  Most other ITP conferences are focused on elearning or on general teaching & learning, so a specific forum, open to all trades tutors, should be considered for the future. In particular to allow innovative tutors to share their work and for tutors to network beyond their own specialist areas and teaching institutions.


Anonymous said...


Jerry Gene said...

Nice post! Can’t wait for the next one. Keep stuff like this coming.

Asus - 14.1" Notebook 6 GB Memory - 750 GB Hard Drive - Silver

Asus - 17.3" K Series Laptop - 4GB Memory - 750GB Hard Drive - Mocha