Thursday, January 18, 2007
Last week assignment was about the three areas concerning the use, communicating and supporting of technology. I was trying to relate the knowledge of the technology before all three of the mentioned areas can happen.
AREA 1. Using Technology
In my field of work (automotive technology) as in many other fields, there are too many available tools, techniques, and technologies to help us to complete our tasks efficiently. Technology literacy is a must. As an automotive instructor, the knowledge of using technology such as electronic or mechanical tools, electronic manuals and programmings besides the newly developed systems equipped in the modern vehicles which require up-date and training constantly. On the average, my class spends three third of the time on hand-on in the shop. Our major class work is with using technology. In my case, I must continuously learning and upgrade my knowing concerning technology of this vocational field to survive in this trade, especially to help and lead students effectively. The beauty of technology is it always makes my job easier after I learn the technology.
AREA 2. Communicating about the effective use of technology
To me, the basic and the most important in communication to others about technology is the technical terms. I find out that any new field of technology I want to talk about, I must use (or learn) the terms of that field first before I can express my thoughts effectively. For example, last week I must ask one of my scholar a simple or may be a non-sense question: What is blog? This term is new to me. I heard of it before, but I never pay close attention to it because it has nothing to do with my automotive field. After she took time to explain it to me, I had a clear under stand of this term and moved on. Thanks to her. The same thing happens to my Basic Automotive Mechanic class. Every new semester, during my lecture, I have many new student ask me to explain the technical terms I used. After clearing out all of the terms then the uses of equipments, tools, and techniques in the classroom, in the workshop most students find enjoyment in working with the technology. I can see that they start to use the new technical terms which they pick up in classroom to talk and work with each others effectively and productively. From this personal experience, I would say that in order to communicate about the effective use of technology, I must use the correct terms or vocabulary, and the other person must understand the terms that I use. Then from here, we can discuss, planing, or trying to improve the mentioned technology.
AREA 3. Supporting the effective use of technology
Last year, I had a chance to attend CAT (California Automotive Teacher) conference and Los Angeles Auto Show. I could not believe that many advanced automotive technologies available out there on the market. I have been keeping up with the automotive technology from websites, magazines, and catalogs, but nothing is compared to see and witness the real live demonstrations of these technologies. I ended up with successfully convincing my Department Chair to purchase a brand new tire changing machine. My reasons were: Presently, too many vehicles equipped with the new and contemporary wheels (from 20 to 27 inches in diameter). We need to upgrade our equipment for training students. This new equipment certainly benefit the Basic, Brake, Transmission, and Suspension classes. After bugging my Dept. Chair a few times, We got this new tire changing machine. I also noticed that the amount of students came and asked me how to use it were tripled. They want to use it to install the new wheels for their cars, and many other students watched and learned too. I also got feedback from other instructors that lately their students do much better on all the lab. assignments involving with this new tire changing machine. This included quite a few of female students because it does not need "muscles" to operate. It is all hydraulic and compressed air. I am all for supporting the effective use of technology. As long as it helps and increases the effectiveness of learning and teaching.