Higher-tech cuts it

The Advertiser - Careers - - General Vacancies - STEVE RICE

THE hum­ble pen and pa­per is mak­ing way for the high-de­mand of rev­o­lu­tion­ary tech­nol­ogy as bud­ding ap­pren­tices seek t o be t aught i n new and ex­cit­ing ways.

An in­creas­ing trend for busi­nesses us­ing in­no­va­tive train­ing meth­ods to suit their op­er­a­tional needs and min­imise the amount of down-time staff are away from work has led to teach­ing changes at aca­demic level.

These changes are re­flected by ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion col­lege TAFE SA, which is work­ing with in­dus­try to find dif­fer­ent ways of us­ing on­line tech­nol­ogy to turn class­rooms into work­places.

More than 75 per cent of TAFE SA lec­tur­ers now use elec­tronic learn­ing (e-learn­ing) tools dur­ing teach­ing.

They in­clude e-port­fo­lios, which are a col­lec­tion of learner-driven dig­i­tal ob­jects that can demon­strate ex­pe­ri­ences.

TAFE SA Tea Tree Gully cam­pus’ hair and beauty course has de­vel­oped a range of e-learn­ing tech­nol­ogy to com­ple­ment class­room and work­place train­ing.

It gives stu­dents a real-world sa­lon ex­pe­ri­ence and the op­por­tu­nity to make con­nec­tions within the in­dus­try.

TAFE SA hair­dress­ing lec­turer Ma­rina Bor­rello says e-port­fo­lios en­cour­age on and off-the-job train­ing and help to build strong and ef­fec­tive re­la­tion­ships be­tween the em­ployer and the train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Ms Bor­rello, who works with ap­pren­tices in class­rooms for one day a week, says the e-port­fo­lios help to cus­tomise train­ing to suit sa­lon re­quire­ments.

‘‘Hair­dress­ing is a highly-vis­ual trade, so the abil­ity to pho­to­graph hair­styles done at work in the sa­lon, up­load to per­sonal e-port­fo­lios and then share with their lec­turer when next in class is pow­er­ful, stu­dent-cen­tred train­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘E-port­fo­lios al­low stu­dents to eas­ily gather ev­i­dence of their skills that can then be used for dis­cus­sion, teacher in­put and as­sess­ment. ‘‘It works ex­tremely well. ‘‘If a sa­lon does cre­ative up­styling hair styles, this is what we can fo­cus on qual­i­fi­ca­tion.’’

Ms Bor­rello says the e-port­fo­lios make train­ing more time-efficient and rel­e­vant to what an em­ployer needs from their ap­pren­tice.

‘‘E-port­fo­lios are em­pow­er­ing and give stu­dents the abil­ity to take con­trol of their own learn­ing and yet they are flex­i­ble enough to give stu­dents, em­ploy­ers and train­ers the abil­ity to blend where learn­ing takes place,’’ she says.

Last year, e-read­ers such as iPad and Kin­dle were tri­alled by the hair and beauty course to de­ter­mine which mo­bile de­vice would best suit the needs for a hair­dress­ing re­source guide.

The dig­i­tal ref­er­ence book,

first in the known as the ‘‘hairy e-book’’, is ex­pected to be launched next month and will give stu­dents the ba­sic knowl­edge nec­es­sary for their highly vis­ual train­ing.

‘‘Stu­dents like to learn in dif­fer­ent places, in dif­fer­ent ways, and mo­bile de­vices like these will al­low them to do that,’’ Ms Bor­rello says.

Gauci Hair Care Beauty Sa­lon de­vel­op­ment man­ager Elyce Cave says e-learn­ing tools let stu­dents learn while on the job in the sa­lon.

‘‘It is good for stu­dents to self­assess what they have done, what they like and how they could do bet­ter next time,’’ she says.

‘‘It is re­fresh­ing to see the stu­dents want­ing to learn and ac­tu­ally en­joy­ing it.’’

Pic­ture: Camp­bell Brodie

Jessica Cluse, a first-year ap­pren­tice with Gauci Hair Care Beauty Sa­lon at Tea Tree Gully TAFE, with Gauci de­vel­op­ment man­ager Elyce Cave.

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