A new website developed from the experiences of teachers and learners in the food and fiber sector in New Zealand provides technology-based learning resources and information to educators and providers in the fields of food and fiber. agriculture, forestry, horticulture and fishing.
It is also a valuable tool for those in other disciplines.
The website, techenabledlearning.nz, is funded by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and supported by the Food and Fiber Center for Vocational Excellence (FFCoVE).
The threat posed by COVID-19 to primary sectors led to the formation of the Learning Through Technology – Lessons From Lockdown research project, which marked the beginning of a process that culminated in this website.
Research analytics specialist Scarlatti was commissioned to lead the project, working with Dairy Training NZ, Wintec and Primary ITO.
The project was designed to capture the experiences of staff and students from training organizations providing vocational education and training for the primary sector. This was to better understand the role of technology during Alert Level Four, their unique needs, and how technology-enabled learning experiences could be improved in the future.
The initial objective was to find new modes of training and the best way to support the attraction and retention of displaced workers from other industries. However, the direction and results of the project were informed by the initial research and interviewed managers, tutors and learners who brought their own experiences of levels of confinement.
Paul Hollings, chief executive of Food and Fiber CoVE, said the information gathered during the project was too good not to be put to meaningful use.
“When a research project is carried out, there is a risk that it will result in a report that is not widely distributed. The idea of this website was to make this information accessible to those who needed it.
“What makes this resource special is that although it is designed specifically for tutors and providers in New Zealand primary industry, it is relevant for all tutors and providers in the education sector. and professional training. When people search for resources, they usually find foreign products that may not quite meet their needs. This website does it!” said Paul.
“Given the rural setting of the industries within it, we have real connectivity issues in the food and fiber sector and the site is responding to these by identifying areas of good and bad connectivity and providing ideas for work. Again, this applies to any industry, but more specifically to food and fiber.
Techenabledlearning.nz offers trending “tips and tricks” including creating culturally inclusive online classrooms, setting up online classrooms for success, personalizing education for Maori learners, and providing pastoral accompaniment in technology-based learning.
Tutors have the option of creating their own toolkit of resources they deem appropriate for them. An interactive dashboard is available to find out what the research says about technology-enabled learning in the food and fiber sector. Training providers also receive information on how to implement effective learning solutions. There’s also an ROI calculator, a connectivity map highlighting areas of poor reception, and practical infrastructure advice.
Links to the resource can be found on the websites of TEC, FFCoVE, Ako Aotearoa and Te Kete Ipurangi.
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