My FLL journey will grow wings tomorrow when I head to Adelaide for the induction workshop. I've spent the past few weeks refining ideas in my head and working out how various aspects of work and my fll program fit together. Working on this last assignment for MGT8033 has been interesting because it has been about different change strategies that I can use to implement the outcomes of my fll year.
Another thing has been working out the best ways to record the year - this post has been written on a Palm handheld m505 and uploaded to the blog via my mobile phone while I'm in Launceston for a Leadership Development Workshop. I also want to experiment with uploading photos - that's next.
...are endless. Out of the induction workshop I was able to form links with many talented people that will enrich this FLL year (8 months?)
One question I asked dozens of people was "What's your project about?" so I'd better answer the same question here.
- working out how the broad range of flexible learning strategies/ methods/ tools can be used to enhance learning outcomes for learners in the workplace,
- experimenting how our FlexiTrain Centres can provide support to these learners, and
- exploring how best to provide continuing professional development for those staff engaged in flexible learning.
FlexiTrain centres are about increasing learner access to facilities and services that help their learning. This might be providing a space for classes, tutorials or supported study sessions to take place, or it might be the resources they need to work well on their own schedule and pathway, knowing that support is available when they need it.
Here's some shots from one of our centres to give you an idea.
Never got back here to report on the 2nd day of the National Induction Workshop properly so here goes...
Nola Campbell spoke on Friday morning about her experiences of teaching online and gave us a few tips:
- Ask the question "where is the teaching happening?"
- Structure learning activities in such a way that there are no right answers, to do this you need to use clever questions
She advised us that student engagement requires:
- Clarity of purpose, be clear in what you are asking students to do
- Information must be accessible
- Activities should be realistic, relevant, acheivable and motivating
Provide the unexpected and the memorable.
Librarians are integral to the planning and delivery of online courses and are a part of Nola's online classroom.
Another idea shown to us was the use of hand-drawn diagrams by students to explain concepts - these were submitted via fax, but could also be scanned and emailed or submitted online as an alternative.
Robby Weatherley briefed us on Knowledge Workers. The Final Report of the Professional Development for the Future Project is available online but here's a definition I jotted down from Robby's presentation:
Knowledge work involves making connections and building relationships through which knowledge flows leading to spontenaity and new activities in the workplace
What does this mean to me? Well, it highlights an important aspect of the FLL project - being able to share and communicate information to others has potential to create innovation, creating the relationships through which this information can flow and create new possibilities will be essential. How do I go about this? Make use of existing networks within the organisation to share information and looking for ways that knowledge can be shared between areas that may not otherwise link up.
While preparing the final (for now?) version of my pd plan it was useful to reflect on how the activities I have planned will feed into other areas of my work role. All of a sudden it doesn't feel as daunting.
What have I learnt this week that progresses me towards the final outcome?
Firstly, I need to carefully plan the outcomes, be quite specific in what I set out to achieve and that instantly increases my chances of success.
Secondly, look for synergy between different tasks - they can often feed into each other in surprising ways.
I've learnt more than just that though.
In planning my outcomes I asked a few people about what form those outcomes should take, and again this afternoon I'll be asking our Tasmanian Flexible Learning Network for their input. At this point I'm thinking: toolkits, quick guides to..., implementation checklists, stories to demonstrate concepts and case studies.
I was part of a discussion yesterday where a staff development approach was being brainstormed and it came down to Training + Performance Support and this is really the message I'm getting from the reading I've done so far about workplace learning.
There are benefits to both on- and off-the-job training solutions, but the phrase above really sums up how this project could develop. We (as training practitioners) shouldn't discard everything in favour of the latest, greatest thing, whatever it is, but look at how we can add value. In most cases radical transformative change is not needed, in others it may be absolutely necessary.
link to website
by Andy Hargreaves and Dean Fink
Education leaders want to accomplish goals that matter, inspire others to join them in working toward those goals, and leave a lasting legacy.
This article talks from the context of the school sector, and the key message is about sustainability of leadership initiatives.
Finding the time to think has been one of the harder tasks this year...
"Working longer hours is no longer the point. Sure, the longer I stay out baling hay the more bales I will bale. However, I for one know that if I spend much longer than an hour writing, the quality severely diminishes. I need to take a break and when I come back I tend to have a freshness and clarity.
Being busy is often an excuse for not doing something you should be doing. For me it has often been an excuse for not thinking, managing, and planning properly. Working hard is no longer the route to success it once was perceived to be. In an era of outsourcing and offshoring, success definitely does require hard work, but what is way more important is smart work. Basically, all the hard work will be outsourced, with just the smart work remaining."
"Reforms to Australia's vocational education and training (VET) sector over the past few years have brought about significant changes to the work of VET staff and the focus of their roles. This publication summarises recent research into the changing roles of VET leaders, managers, teaching and support staff, and the way they work. The role of senior managers is increasingly focused on the external environment and building links with stakeholder organisations. Front-line managers focus on internal business practices and how to modify these to meet new clients' needs. The role of VET teachers is becoming more diverse and team-based. Within these teams, teaching support staff play a critical part. The publication also summarises a range of human resource and professional development issues, identified by VET staff, which need to be tackled to help them work more effectively in the future."
I found this a solid summary of various issues that have been covered in more detail elsewhere, covering both the changes that are needed, and the capability building that is required to get there.
decided I don't really like the green colour on the sidebar. Must change it.
in this article from innovate online journal, by Donald Norris, Jon Mason, and Paul Lefrere discuss "Experiencing Knowledge"
..."Taken together, some of the most significant trends indicate the emergence of pervasive computing environments. By pervasive computing, we mean a combination of mobile information and communications technology (through laptops, notebooks, personal digital assistants, and fused-function devices) and ubiquitous computer technology (through the embedding of small, low-cost devices in clothing, appliances, cars, automobiles, work settings, and every other place). Pervasive, ambient computing environments are portrayed in Figure 1. These new technology-suffused settings will change the knowledge experience, disrupting many of our social, organizational, economic, and institutional structures. They will also stimulate new pathways to innovation."
My Flexible Learning Leader project has come to the end of its time, but as the National Project Team keep reminding us, it never really ends. I'll be continuing my exploration of flexible and workplace learning, and participating in various networks and communities.
Feel free to wander back through the archives of this site - use the menus on the right hand side, but new material will not be added from now on. I will continue to maintain my other blog at http://www.otheredge.com.au/klogs/toolkit/