I had an interesting chat with my colleague walking through the terminal to fly out on this trip. He was carrying his mini training guitar, the sort you sit in your room with using earphones or a boombox.
We talked for a while about Bert Weedon and Hendrix, then I posed the question, “Can you read music and how did you learn to play?” “Oh, just the same as I learn most things, through YouTube. There are tutorials on the ‘Toob’ for anything and everything, some are poor but many are really brilliant.”
The talk continued for a while about how the web had transformed many of the things we do (I was doing the listening) and then I posed the question, “Eddie, where exactly did you say you learnt to fly?”
The world is moving on, the pressure to train pilots is piling up on nations and airlines. Despite the economic woes we are all facing, they are churning them through in ever increasing numbers. China particularly is supplementing their undersupply with a steady stream of pilots from the battered US community.
Quite how that training is delivered is my point of discussion here. Face to face (f2f) methods have their benefits, but they are an inefficient and expensive way of delivering volume learning in a high bandwidth, networked world.
You may be enthusiastically working your way through the delights of Air Law, Navigation or Meteorology, but if you are driving for an hour or two to get to a classroom then doing the reverse at the end o the day, every dollar you slop into your gas tank is another you cannot spend getting nearer your license goal. And if you with an airline changing types on the company tab, the time and money spent on the motorway could be better spent elsewhere – our planet might breath a little easier too (the irony?).
Enter the Virtual Learning Environment – the ‘VLE’ There are plenty around, some good, some awful, but over the coming weeks I will be feeding into this blog some of the discoveries I am making during an Open University degree I have been working through since early February, an MA in Online & Distance Education (ODE).
VLE’s are not a magic bullet for all learning needs, they are simply a focus point for materials and collaborative learning – the new paradigm gradually sweeping its way through higher education. Within aviation ‘blended learning’, a mix of f2f and eLearning is obviously the way we do it.
If you have any comments or experiences to relate, I would be delighted to hear from you either through the comments facility here or via email. With your permission I will even use the results in my projects, either anonymous or quoted – all within internal, closed discussion groups within my OU cohort. Strictly not for external publication and no ‘creative’ use of your email address either.
‘Fancy sharing your experiences? Please use 777globalnomad at gmail dot com
Yes, I decided it was time to add the facility and to kick it off here is a little Gnome audio magic from another age.
‘Research’ for me is a word that evokes stuffiness, bookish tendencies and frankly, a dry as dust well where the spirits sink. At least that was the case until I started doing a little digging myself, it seems quite different now as the mud and metal of Flanders and Arras edge closer.
Left: Unknown, Centre: Capt PCO Riddell (Recording Officer), Right: Capt AW Keen
They don’t know it yet, but our next door neighbour’s kids are going to the movies. What a shame we have to wait till 2013!
The latest add campaign (initially) had us shuffling in our seats slightly, the voiceover is a little… I loved the historical reconstructions, the biplanes and the references to the ascent of the transport links, the routes that span the globe serving all humanity. In fact, I think its fair to say that the majority of the narrative could refer to all of those who have gone before us, everywhere on the planet. Every airline, every country – I see this as a celebration of commercial flight.
British Airways is running a new add campaign where the pilot is the focus of attention. It is a low pressure and light hearted look at what our people get up to in their spare time. Based around the achievers and the unusual it peeps into some interesting corners.
Few aerial spectacles halt toil with the leaf rake like balloons. They creep up silently then roar sending collie dogs scatty. Apparently they think the moon is about to land.
It occurred to me that if you have kids who are challenged by maths, this might be an opportunity for them to shine rather than struggle. As I write this Khan Academy is being featured on BBC Click. Spooky!
Sal Khan has a unique approach to education and elearning. His Ted talk is another example of someone with a mission backed by a formidable intellect. He shows us at a stroke how elearning intertwined with a powerful LMS can bring unparalleled access to an education to anyone with the most basic of e-tools. Better than that, he opens the door on transforming education by making every moment of a teachers time count where it is needed most.
Just look at the spread of subject matter available and the tools employed!