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Education everywhere

Vocational education needs to evolve to a new way of teaching and learning – with technology at its core.

Education everywhere

Although her title is director of teaching and learning at Victoria’s vocational training Chisholm Institute, Amanda Achterberg is part futurist, part business catalyst.

Not only is she looking to prepare the college’s students for the workplaces of tomorrow, she also has to double guess the skills and attributes that will carry the institute’s students into the future.

“Our students need to understand that they can you can work anywhere, at any time, on any device and still be really productive,” Achterberg says. “I want vocational education to look more business-focused for the industries we work with, and the contention around that is that we’ve got to be current for what’s needed right now, but we also have to look at the emerging needs five, 10 years down the track.”

To create these truly forward-looking educational opportunities, Achterberg has had to challenge the thinking of teaching staff and educational administrators and find creative ways to support staff to deliver some 400 courses that in any given year are preparing more than 55,000 students for the jobs of tomorrow.

What I’ve been doing in the last couple of years is looking at the interconnection between learning spaces, capability and technology.
Amanda Achterberg, Executive Director, Teaching and Learning, Chisholm Institute

 

[transcript]

I’m the type of person that probably pushes the boundaries a little bit so that, change the space, change the activity and push without overly giving [people] that safety net, but knowing there is a safety net at the back. So that if it does go, you know, pear-shaped, we’ve got that support.

What I’ve been doing in the last couple of years is looking at the interconnection between learning spaces, capability and technology.

The human collaboration that happens in a learning space, in an environment [that] allows for that kind of tactical, applied-based approach to learning.

Traditionally our teachers come with really high-level industry skills, like fantastic technical skills, but they’re not natural educators.

We’re building learning spaces where we don’t have the barriers. There’s no lectern, there’s no front of the classroom, there’s no whiteboard, you know. As a facilitator, you’re in there with the learners. You know, asking the questions, pushing the boundaries.

Week one, every student turned up with either a tablet or a laptop – and they were ready. They were on the learning management system because we’d sent the links beforehand. They’d already engaged in it and our teachers, with me in the room went, ah-ha, right.

So less of the, “I’m going to tell you what to do” and more of the “here’s a problem, what are we going to do about it?”

I’m of the approach that if we actually push our teachers a little bit further, they’ll actually jump and take that risk. I want vocational education to look more business-focused for the industries we work with.

We’ve got to be current for what’s needed right now, but we also have to look at the emerging – the emerging needs five, 10 years down the track.

Excellent change management is often the key to creating successful collaborative outcomes – talk to your Account Exeutive to find out more.

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