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.
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).
The VET Leaders’ Congress highlighted that the crossover of these two areas leads to better engagement and outcomes.
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.
“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.
“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,
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,
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,
Angus Griffin, Manager Business Development, AARNet outlined how digital natives decide who they trust with their education highlighting,
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
Sir Ken Robinson was funny, commanding the stage and he was seen by the audience like education rock star royalty,
At the official EduTECH Gala dinner there was much entertainment and networking,
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,
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.
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