Student Engagement: How do we engage the NetGeners? Web Conference

It’s been excellent working with my learning partner Dennis Wilson-Cole.  We are working on our Trends and Roles Blogs as part of course 3100 of the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma Program. He’s educated and earnest but also quick to laugh and enjoy himself. He’s been a tremendous resource as I embark on my new career.  We Skyped together and discussed our respective topics.  I spoke about “Engaging Net-Geners” and Dennis spoke on his topic of Emerging Trends and the Role of the Adult Educator.

We discussed his interest in Emerging Trends in Workplace Learning and the Role of the Adult Educator in helping learners access Quality Health Information on the Internet.

Dennis was attracted to contemplate Emerging Trends in Workplace Learning as the result of his own experience as a Finance Manager.  He realized that many of his clients needed direction, organization and education.  He viewed his role as incorporating his financial knowledge and his ability to educate and help people access and evaluate resources.

Dennis was attracted to the current zeitgeist of accessing Health Information on the Internet.  He posited that people need an educator to help them locate, access and evaluate Quality Health Information.

We spoke of how growing needs for adult educators in the workplace and in the market would help ensure our future employment!!

My work as an Electrician, while physical, was often technical and and intellectually engaging.  My colleagues and I communicated with each other using trade jargon, schematics and technical documents.  We spoke a language that probably had little meaning for non-Electricians.  We were also very connected, sharing documents, files, net-working applications, and time and materials management software.

Since beginning my teaching career in July I have had to learn how to re-frame my trades knowledge into language and lessons that are effective and accessible.  Dennis brings with him a wealth of knowledge as a business person and andragogue.  He has been most helpful in my efforts to become a better educator.

Dennis came up with some good insights on “How to engage the Netgener”, which is my topic of interest. This topic has direct relevance to me as I have had to strictly enforce the School of Electrical Construction policy on cell-phone use.  Some of my students were aghast at the prospect of spending 2 hours without being in constant touch with their social clicks.  Yet with the technological temptation kept at bay, they are more able to focus and complete complicated wiring schematics.

Dennis reinforced the importance of implementing my new knowledge as an instructor in the classroom.  He also stressed the importance of employer feedback as our Electrical Foundation’s graduates go out into the workforce.  We spoke of how to help students “learn how to learn”. This is especially relevant to Electricians, as the code, technology and wiring methods of the trade are evolving quickly and the actual field of knowledge is vast.

My students are also keeping me engaged.  While I am sometimes bewildered at their lack of knowledge and their seeming inattention I am also impressed by their instant connection to the world around them.  They are fun, energetic and sincere. They recommend movies, net-shows and social media to me.  As I interact with them, I observe moments of connection and disconnection.  I am beginning to learn what works for most students and what doesn’t.  It is hugely enjoyable watching student’s “aha” moments and their pride at their new electrical skills.


About Electric yogini

Trades education from a different perspective
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