Time is passing, technology races towards mobile e-learning, Moodle and books with vowels in front of the names like iBook, eBooks, ePubs, are sprouting like mushrooms. A thought occurs to me. As staff and trainers grow older and cuts bite deep into training we are falling into a holding pattern, treading water.
The construction industry is in the foetal position and only just beginning to move slightly, trades are not employing new apprentices to replace the workers exiting the industry even with the $13,000 subsidy and lecturer numbers are shrinking and ageing.
“All sounds terrible right!”
There are people coming through the system but they are out numbered and need upskilling too.
Training in these new technologies is time intensive, expensive and you have to be committed. “Not in a mentally insane way” but a motivated way. That means change and other dreaded terms, like collaboration, sharing, auditing, validation, all challenges in themselves.
The biggest surprise to me came recently. Involved in working since 2008 on e-learning, mobile delivery, Assessment for Learning, Moodle, Electronic resources a person who I have had association with over these years and shown no interest outside of a slight motivation for a Diploma and asking me to setup a Moodle site for a unit for his course suddenly took off in the e-learning and resources sphere. Google Doc spread sheets for resulting something I had been working on for 12 months or so but had not shown him bloomed and took hold. A new student management system had been installed complex and daunting, but his training in it and a desire to show the best student of the year meant that he needed a system to track the results live. This combined with the issue of an IPad for trials was the trigger for a benefit.
The newer versions are more complex, though easy to use, they are live documents so all lecturers can access them on line and add results at the same time.
My take home from this, something mentioned to me by a Mentor Michael Coghlan is that you keep going if you believe that it is a good thing with benefits and when the benefit is realised those who have heard you speak or been in contact with you will come on board.
Demonstration of those benefits is paramount, promotion of every aspect of the benefits and opportunities is so much more important than the final product looking perfect and designer. Well lesson learned and some heart taken from the hours I have put into projects and thought they were not being productive. Progress is a slow and temperamental beast, till it starts to run and then it is time to hold on.