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Clever use of ICT at CCEG

Upon completion of their project, the team was asked to share their vision of a clever use of ICT at their centre.This is what they said:

  • Clever use of ICTs for/in our organisation will mean a closer interaction with the smaller ACFE providers in the remote locations, through formal and informal partnerships.
  • Clever use of ICTs for/in our organisation could mean increased training opportunities for people in remote locations, enhanced delivery in the classroom and developing an effective means of online communication between students and trainers.
Clever use of ICT at CCEG means anything from fully online to a blend with classroom based activities for Certificate courses such as Children's Services or Aged Care all of which have a practical component.CCEG's long term vision of clever use of ICT will always include a blend that will be determined by the content and the teacher.

What could it look like?

Our vision for clever use is one where ICTs will enable greater participation in accredited and pre-accredited training across the board from students who live in areas where distance makes coming to CCEG prohibitive.map.jpg

Some of the practical applications CCEG is currently considering are:
  • 24/7 access to class materials for students at the centre as well as distance based clients.
  • effective enhanced communication between participants and trainers e.g. using TAFE VC, discussion boards etc. to build up a body of knowledge around Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for specific subject areas. Even for classroom students this will be useful as the students can access the FAQ for out of class support. This might take away the reliance on phone calls, and encourage more independence in some learners.
  • access to videos and other AV materials online.
  • provision of out of class support.
  • investment in staff training otherwise it will never go ahead and the risk is that CCEG will always be playing catch-up.

Implementing the vision:

What are the challenges CCEG faces in implementing this vision of clever use of ICTs in the community?

Teachers and trainers:

  • Need buy in from trainers and students. During 2008 Jan will spend time with trainers and develop professional development opportunities. Sessional trainers will need to be trained as well, as they are the bulk of the workforce.
  • Student induction materials need to be prepared for distribution amongst all students and teachers interessted in teaching and learning online.
  • Time is a significant limiting factor when engaging with e-learning: in ACE it is still largely seen as an innovation.
  • It is therefore important that teachers have opportunities to learn from each other to utilise their time effectively.
  • Mentoring support for teachers will therefore be crucial. Particularly from teachers within the organisation who are already doing it and are experienced in delivering online.
  • Materials are all designed for classroom based delivery. Teachers will need to show that they have a willingness to work online and will need the skills to know how to turn their materials into something suitable for online delivery.
  • Biggest lesson: it is not just a case of making materials available online - you will always need to modify the content and look at different ways of delivering and assessing online.
  • Trainers need to have control over the content.
  • Delivering online has identified a need for all trainers to have online facilitation skills.

Community

  • Individuals in the community don’t know how to access the technology. Basic training needs to be available before students can access online learning.
  • In order to capitalise on the momentum gained through this 2007 projects CCEG will need to keep on working with those communities.
  • Need to work in partnership with community centres and libraries and potentially schools. The libraries will be able to help as a strong working relationship was established in the Community Engagement project.
  • Partnerships in e-learning will need to be built in to the organisational strategy (soft money to support the embedding of the innovation) even once the external funding is finished.

Technology

  • Technical challenges have largely been due to inexperience and unfamiliarity with the tools.
  • Bandwidth is still an issue. Dial up is a problem. Participants live far from local community support centre and the fact that they cannot access that easily has a flow on effect in terms of access to training.