Saturday, December 16, 2006

Alumini graduate with insight for students and teachers

Popped in for a coffee and met Bianca a graduate from TAFE now employed, we got to talking about a teaching event management exercise I helped out on. Jeanie a teacher got her students interviewing and recording their learning using an audio recorder and digital camera. Bianca commented on how fun it was and that it was important that the teachers where keeping up.

As an educator it was great for me to actually meet a graduate now employed and in particular get positive feedback on what they experienced using technology in their learning. Now that Bianca's getting on with her working life, current students could potentially benefit from her insight, what is it actually like? Through communication using new connecting technologies such as and graduates like Bianca can give current students context and meaning, the prospect of actually getting paid work from those hard yards of studying and submitting assignments could perhaps be a motivating factor.

As an alumni of TAFE she plans to keep teachers in the loop on changes in industry that she may be dealing which can then feed back to current students. Even posting videos of what she is doing in work!!...

Establishing Alumini networks offers real potential for learning, video blogs being one off the tools graduates students and teachers can connect with as part of day to day life...a trend I'd like to see grow as part of VET education in general.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

George Siemens - The role of management in facilitating change within a learning organisation

I recently spoke to George Siemens a leading theorist on the implications of technology and societal trends on learning and knowledge and recent Key note speaker at both the global conference and elearning06, sponsored by the TAFE NSW management association.

'…I think most educators do have the desire to be excellent instructors that’s why we got into this field in the first place some of us aren’t here because we’re hoping to get rich we have a genuine passionate commitment to students. It’s the roles of managers to create an environment where that natural desire that teachers have to deliver excellent level of instruction can be nurtured. That requires removing barriers it does require building skills and extending an instructor competence so they can do the things that they want to do. That’s why I refer to an ecology being created by management so that instructors can do what they want to do I am quite convinced if management plays a role of removing rather that becoming barriers then the people hired by the organisation in the first place will be will capable in achieving the objectives that are required…'

In this interview he asserts that changing the work habits of an individual is a secondary trait to changing the working ecology of an educational organisation. What are the barriers to change? – The many pressures on teachers? - What is the role of management in facilitating change? -How can management remove barriers and create a work ecology that encourages an emasse spirit of innovation and experimentation by teachers? Have a listen...

'S-How could you sell this idea to management to really allow teaches the time to get together and start having conversations about their pedagogy their ways of working and using new technologies?

G- That’s a good question I’m not sure if you can sell it to management. One of the point s that I’ve been making recently when I talk about learning and technologies and I’m talking at a higher education level is that it’s not the trends that are out there, its not the people like you that are agitating for change in an organisation, or people like me that go out and talk to others about making change, that’s not really where its going to happen. I think where it will happen is where an educator or administrator gets it and I’m afraid that the only way they are going to get it is when a student’s start walking with their feet let me give you an example…'

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