In my previous blogs on the fieldwork of the Learning Layers (LL) project I have firstly focused on stakeholder engagement events and then on the blogs of the full-time trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) in Bau-ABC. Now I will shift the emphasis to the wok with video material, again carried out by the colleagues in Bau-ABC. Here, it is worthwhile to notice that the progress of the trainers with blogs (as tools for organising workplace learning projetcs) is a result of the Multimedia Training organised by the LL partners (Pontydysgu and ITB). In a similar way the work with video material has been a major theme in these training workshops. Now the colleagues from Bau-ABC have sent a message via video to the LL project consortium meeting in Tallin (when they themselves have not been able to come to the meeting). Although the video is a lengthy one (31 minutes) and it is mostly in German language (not accessible to all LL partners), I hope these brief commentaries in English will help us to receive the message as original version with the hear and soul and the sincere commitment of our colleagues in Bau-ABC Rostrup.
So, please have a look at the video message to us even if it (as it stands now) might seem a long message! It is rich with content and there are several messages to convey – as I will describe briefly below. The link is the following:
1. How to use the Learning Toolbox in the training of Bau-ABC
Already during the three first minutes of the video you get insights how the trainers and apprentices of Bau-ABC demonstrate uses of tools like the Learning Toolbox in the training. Mr Schütte, trainer fot the mechanic engineering and machinery shows the multitude of chains for different equipments for the training – each one of them being a unique example for pulling different loads with different maximum weights. They have already been tagged but it would be beneficial for all parties involved if a tool like Learning Toolbox would have all this information stored.
In a similar way Arnold, an apprentice in his second year of apprentice training shows how he can drive the heavy vehicle with the help of the driving instructions that he gets via QR-tags. As we know, one of the key features of the Learning Toolbox is the QR-reader. And one of the key features in the LL Multimedia Training was to create QR-codes.
2. How to enrich the apprentices’ projects with the help of the Learning Toolbox?
After these starters the video offers us several (lengthy but interesting) examples, how the apprentices work with typical workplace learning projects and how they are instructed.
Martin, apprentice in his second year of training for industrial maintenance work (Industriemechaniker) demonstrates firstly with instruction and planning & evaluation documents what he has to carry out. Then he demonstrates with tools and materials how this works and how he can support this work with smartphone/tablet PC and with the Learning Toolbox (LTB) how he can carry out his project with access to information resources. Here, the big difference with the LTB is the fact that the search processes can be repeated. Also, the key advantage is the possibility to access the health and safety requirements while completing such tasks and to get alerted to clothing, procedures and to treatment of materials.
In a similar way the full-time trainer (Lehrwerkmeister) of road-builders, Mr Wiedenstried, is demonstrating the process of instructing new apprentices in his trade (road building) into the basics and then he shows a video on the ‘ticks of the trade’ in getting the plastering of the roads more even when using specific ‘old-fashioned tools’ (Sandhobel). Here we have a clear case for the Learning Toolbox to provide access to such exemplary videos as ‘tricks of the trade’.
Likewise, the full-time trainer (Lehrwerkmeister) of the carpenters, Mr Pape demonstrates the usability of Learning toolbox in getting quick instructions for building the scaffolding (Gerüstebau) and for wearing the right clothing (that complies with the health and safety requirements) when building such scaffolding.
3. Reflections on the LL project, on the Multimedia Training and on the Learning Toolbox
In the third part of the video we see four full-time trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) reflecting on their experiences with the LL project and on their expectations on the LTB. Here, the trainers indicate that when they have revealed some of the featurtes of the emerging Learning Toolbox, the apprentices have been full of enthusiasm and that they themselves have got convinced that the use of smartphones and other mobile devices will be positive already in the near future. (Officially these devices are still banned to avoid distraction.)
When thinking about the multimedia training they have gone through in the context of the LL project, they have a high opinion on it. also, they have got positive feedback from their apprentices on the blogs they have set up and on the way they have supported the projects of apprentices.
Finally, regarding the Learning Toolbox, the trainers are looking forward to have a beta-version of a functioning tool to work with. They – just as their colleagues in other trades – have identified quite a lot of points where they could make use of it. In a similar way they are confident that the apprentices are capable of addressing how the tool could be developed further. They are not expecting a product in its final stage but something that can be used and developed further.
4. PS: What can a trainer’s blog achieve and what messages to the LTB developers?
As the first ‘bonus track’ the video contains an introduction (by Mr Pape) to the carpenters’ blog (Zimmererblog) and to the way in which such a blog can be used to guide the self-organised learning of apprentices at different stages. Also, the reflection session shows how the blog has suddenly become international. So, there we are – the Layers’ fieldwork agenda is taking off, far quicker than we expected.
As the second ‘bonus track’ Mr Schoka – well known to usd as a participant in the Helsinki Design Conference – addresses the general wish of the Bau-ABC colleagues: to get a nice package with the LTB tiles and to find a fully functioning mobile phone with the LTB functionality ready to be tested. The trainers and their apprentices are ready for this step!
I guess I have written enough to convey the message of our Bau-ABC colleagues. The ball is clearly on our side of the (tennis) court. What shall we do next?
More blogs to come …