Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Andrew Massie's presentation on reconnecting Christchurch's electricity supply after earthquakes
Andrew Massie, one of my Diploma in Tertiary Teaching and Learning students who is an electrical trades tutor. Andrew is completing a project, recording the learning garnered during his academic study leave and then using the data to write a curriculum document for training electricity supply industry trades people, working as linesmen, specifically for cable jointing and line mechanics.
Andrew recorded most his learning through a blog and collected a range of industry pertinent photos and videos, recording the work he undertook. The timing of his academic leave coincided with the Canterbury earthquakes. Therefore, his blog and it's contents are now of interest to a much wider audience than just Andrew and myself!
I attended the presentation which was well attended by industry, the people Andrew worked on his attachments and a few of Andrew's family. The main objective was to assess Andrew for about 3/4 of the negotiated learning outcomes for his course, but the information presented was also of interest for finding out how a part of Christchurch's infrastructure was reestablished after the major earthquake events.
Much of the presentation focused on the technical details of different types of heavy duty cables used and how these are installed or repaired. For me, the really interesting part was to capture a glimpse of the distinctive work culture and practices of a specialised type of work. Andrew mentioned how putting up power poles was done with little verbal communication and yet accomplishing a highly technical and complicated task efficiently. How do we help our students enter such a tight knit community of practice and learn the required skills?