Friday, June 13th, 2014 - Workforce BluePrint

@waperry Packing ready for the #EduTECH congress this week, looking forward to mc'ing & the next big thing in VET! @WorkforcePlan @EduTECH_AU

Having never been to the EduTECH Congress before you can’t help but be impressed, overwhelmed even, with the sheer size of such an event.

If you are at the #EduTECH Congress with 5000+ people, spot Wendy Perry to say hi @waperry @WorkforcePlan #bluedress #redshoes @EduTECH_AU

Exhibitors alone numbered over 200 with 5000+ attendees and 10 streams from K-12, Higher Education, VET, Workplace Learning and Tech Leaders.

For the VET Leaders Congress it was all about being at the forefront of what’s happening in VET and seeing technology as a core capability for the VET sector and Registered Training Organisation’s (RTOs).

Digital engagement strategy = presence, integrate, optimise all connected to mission; extend memory, enrich feedback @educause #EduTECH_au

The VET Leaders’ Congress highlighted that the crossover of these two areas leads to better engagement and outcomes.

Using the digital to engage differently, f2f & online, leads to greater success & belonging, says Dr Diana Oblinger @educause #EduTECH

Interesting ways to segment students by deeply understanding the job to be done #drdianaoblinger @educause #EduTECH

So much is happening in VET and Higher Education Sectors such as the fallout from the Federal budget, State/Territory budgets and governments all at different stages of implementation of national entitlements, with transformational impending VET reform.

 “Like never before questions are being asked about the fundamental products and services provided by the VET sector with comparisons to the Education and Higher Education sectors, particularly with the deregulation of markets”, says Wendy Perry.

Productivity of your world class talent - academics engaging is the most important digital metric says #DrIanLewis @Cambridge_Uni #EduTECH

 “I believe it’s important to consider how you see your RTO, yourself as a VET leader, anytime but not now…. and anything but that?  That is, what is at the heart of your operations, your brand and what you represent over and above what might be playing out in the VET context?”, asks Wendy Perry.

This congress was all about taking practice and knowledge to the next multidimensional level.

1size fits 1 learner, true evidence vs. ritual, what evidence indicates what learning works, continued & aggressive learners @emasie #EduTECH

“But sometimes people don’t realise that ‘next level’ means broader and deeper – more refined but more counter intuitive.  VET is becoming like patting your head and rubbing your tummy, with new skills mastered in every way”, Perry highlights.

Hearing about the big picture, trends, projects, practice and how to make this all work was the focus of the event.

Wendy Perry believes, “It is our responsibility to step up our game in VET - to not let change to be done to us but to create the change that we want to see!  This realisation is something that may change what is it that you are focussing on.”

Having facilitated a Federal budget webinar recently, analysing the Western Australia, Victorian, Queensland budgets with South Australia coming up, Perry suggests there are many hidden opportunities and potential partnerships.

In terms of timing, “…there is no better time than right here right now to reflect on your strategy - otherwise it is being rethought for you” points out Wendy Perry.

The great line up of presenters highlighted a key theme that is critical in VET, and that is engagement – of learners and staff, and definitely with business and industry. 

Shaun McDonagh, Incoming CEO for UNE Partnerships spoke on the importance of partnerships in vocational education with his key points including,

Partnerships are about what we learn, it's a solution to a problem that demonstrates a valuable relationships #shaunmcdonagh #EduTECH #une

Advice from #shaunmcdonagh to providers focus on your business clients - their industry & workforce, NB. Listen more than you talk #EduTECH

Attn RTO's what are you exceptional at? asks #shaunmcdonagh #EduTECH - I'd suggest you need to be exceptional at #engagement @EduTECH_AU

Value add partnerships via work placements, projects, assignments, venues, exhibitions, events, publicity, "need to get our name out there"

Anthony Bohm from Open Colleges focussed on the digital age and the impact on VET with comments and questions like,

Australia has the highest number of @facebook updates per population, screen time #1 smartphone, TV, PC, tablet #EduTECH

Is most synchronous online learning a bad replica of classroom based practice? #anthonybohm @OpenCollegesAU #EduTECH

Would you say blended learning is the Holy Grail? Perhaps not...? #anthonybohm @OpenCollegesAU #EduTECH @EduTECH_AU

Content as king has abdicated, attention scarcity is the new queen #anthonybohm @OpenCollegesAU #EduTECH @EduTECH_AU

Exploring the exhibitions in the breaks there was everything from a holographic talking projection to a mobile planetarium to a telepresence robot.

Moderated by Brad Beach, Director Business, Community, Foundation, Innovation and International Programs, Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE, a panel discussion focussed on eLearning – getting it right.  Panel members included:

  • Anthony Bohm, Joint CEO, Open Colleges
  • Louise Turnball, Manager Workforce Capability, TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute
  • David Garner, Regional Manager Compliance, Australian Skills Quality Authority

These VET leaders raised questions and ideas such as,

Providers - what is your cost to acquire a student & to service a student? Do you know these stats inside out? @OpenCollegesAU #EduTECH

Front load support via outbound calling, SMS get student to 1st assessment, micro badging, progression with peers @OpenCollegesAU #EduTECH

Angus Griffin, Manager Business Development, AARNet outlined how digital natives decide who they trust with their education highlighting,

Choosing a training program is like buying drill bits, different types, shapes, purposes, too much choice or do #digitalnatives suss it? #EduTECH

Blended eLearning Solutions Executive Manager, Pauline Farrell, discussed an approach to mobile learning in the VET sector and how they make it work at Box Hill Institute of TAFE.

Different learning types-situated, authentic, context-aware, augmented reality, personalised, pastoral support, game-based @paulinefarrell1

Ebooks on steroids, in-the-ear prompting, proximity connections great example @BoxHillTAFE @paulinefarrell1 #EduTECH

99% of all logins on @BoxHillTAFE student portal are on #apple or #android devices @paulinefarrell1 #EduTECH #byod

Sir Ken Robinson was funny, commanding the stage and he was seen by the audience like education rock star royalty,

So apparently @SirKenRobinson hangs out with @SirPaulMcCartny who is older? Does it matter? Sirs cancel #selfielater

@SirKenRobinson says enjoy the dance of your life #EduTECH

At the official EduTECH Gala dinner there was much entertainment and networking,

No time to get changed as off to the #EduTECH dinner shortly with loads of #vetleaders & friends @EduTECH_AU

Love an Irish dancer or two... #EduTECH dinner entertainment #awesome @EduTECH_AU @SirKenRobinson @adambspencer mc

Amazing grace by Scottish pipe band = so special = #gottingles #EduTECH @EduTECH_AU #irisheyesaresmiling #lovemusic

Such precision - to be commended #irishdancing @adambspencer #anotherreasontolove #education

Amazing upper body strength I hope to have one day after #bodybalance & #shbam #zumba @SirKenRobinson would love this

Equally important and complimentary to the presentations was the conversations that occurred alongside, in the breaks and over the dinner continuing on the flight home with QANTAS staff getting in on the act,

Flying home from #edutech announcement by @qantasairways crew “the principal has turned on the seatbelt sign, eyes forward & quiet to land”

Thank you to the speakers, EduTECH organisers and to the VET leaders who are stepping up.  Join colleagues in the Australian VET Leaders group on LinkedIn and focus on the next big thing in VET which is engagement.


Contact Profile

Workforce BluePrint

Wendy Perry and Associates (WPAA) was established in 2002 as a Vocational and Educational and Training (VET) specialist with Workforce BluePrint (a division of the company) launched in 2006.  The company provides workforce development and planning, VET and contact centre consultancy, and small business support services in addition to projects completed for Commonwealth, State/Territory and local governments.

Workforce BluePrint provides Workforce Development and Planning Services for Clusters, Community Development, Firms, Industry Development, Major Projects, Networks, Organisations, Regional, Rural and Remote Development, Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises (SME), Small Business Health Checks, Supply Chain and Value Chains.

Wendy A Perry, Head Workforce Planner
M: +61 416 150 491


EduTECH, VET Leaders Congress, engagement, Vocational Education and Training, Higher Education, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, BCEC, Sir Ken Robinson, technology, #EduTECH



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