April Auto teacher News

April 6, 2009 Teacher News

A vocational supervisor asked me about online curriculum last week during an Industry Certification site visit. We were in a new auto lab with nothing as of yet purchased in the way of curriculum. Now just so we are all on the same page what do you call curriculum? If all it is for the teacher and student to have a textbook then I feel pain for your students in this fast paced, ever changing technology world we train for the future in. Curriculum to me is everything from all your resources; textbooks, lesson plans for the course and each day, web based resources, online modules, transitional trainers, assessments and rubrics you use to judge your delivery and student mastery. I also include the LCD, digital cameras and video equipment, smart boards and student computers.
In the conversation we had he also asked how I taught automotive. I replied that lecturing more than 20 minutes is a waste of time; few people can hold or give attention longer than 20 minutes. I described how I teach. Each day of course varies along with each class is different. Sometimes I demonstrate with real car parts how the system works beginning with the simple science or physics first. I then describe how the system relates to something they know, like how vacuum is used to fill their lungs in the same way a combustion cylinder is filled with fuel/air mix. I may have already assigned an online resource for the students to watch online, or I may project it on the smart board and use the video or graphics to demo the system. The online resources I use are from the very latest virtual reality programs using the latest technology. See
http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=b2b198b5bb5ba7961a95

The student may have homework to learn or introduce the system before the class. We then go with our teams to the lab for a practical demonstration of the system either on a real vehicle or a transitional trainer. What is a transitional trainer? A Transitional Trainer is one that uses real parts and/or cutaways to give the student something they can see in operation, touch, and demo just like the component or system was in a live vehicle. It may be a set of lights or cooling fans on a board that allows students to hook up and operate just as it would on a vehicle. The trainers can be made to order by a company or created by students in your lab. See
http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=82054fbac07cd4a8ba2b

http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=061806a5f4b358e1d5fc

http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=16d496f4d48b6d5e513b

I tell all my students that this is a fun, working class; they work and I have fun.
Seriously I become the facilitator of learning instead of the fount of all knowledge and professor in charge of a lock step lesson. Automotive technology is dynamic and evolving as we speak. The methods of the 60s will not meet the needs of today’s digital native “Why” generation student. If you were to check most of your students have learned to memorize for the test. They are masters of using short term memory to meet the academic requirements of NCLB testing. We have to challenge them to stop using short term memory to meet long term goals. Learning to learn is our biggest challenge. Next month “Performance Testing!

Sonny Reeves www.autoteacher.net

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