It was interesting to read Mark Laity’s post on Week 9 and Christina Donaldson’s post Technology and Integration as they both had similar themes relating to the difficulty of incorporating ICT’s into adult training. Something I have been struggling with myself over the last couple of months.
During my search for references for Assignment 3 in EDC3100 I came across this document Transforming Queensland VET: Challenges and Opportunities and in particular was surprised at how little had changed since 2009. In Chapter 1 E-Education for SkillsTech Australia: An Holistic Approach by James Waterson a Teacher with SkillsTech Australia points out the following on page 9
“Sadly, the VET teacher of today faces a number of challenges. It is no secret that the VET teacher is often a person with many years experience and a number of factors affect their engagement in new learning:
• Retirement age is near or has been passed by many;
• Teaching staff are only required to attain minimum teaching qualification at a Certificate IV level;
• Recruitment of new staff is at minimal levels;
• Class sizes have been increased (Electrical – from 14 to 28 students);
• Professional development is an ad hoc experience, and;
• Administrative time overheads for teachers are ever increasing.”
It goes on further to discuss the resistance for change exhibited by many teachers and also the lack of time allocated to learn new technology with the following quote located on the same page.
“Brennan (2003) indicated that: A large number of teachers are not only struggling with the demands of rapidly changing technologies, but also with an often unfriendly teaching context that is pre-determined by institutional structures and management
practices, course content, material presentation and the nature of the platform that their institution is tied to. It is a credit to teacher/trainer professionalism and dogged persistence that online delivery works as well as it does. (p.5)”
It’s interesting that these collection of papers were written in 2009 and yet little has changed over the last 5 years. Many TAFE’s around the country are only just introducing on-line courses and blended learning formats. So Mark and Christina you are not alone in your journey of how best to incorporate ICT’s into lessons. I hope you find something of interest in these papers.