REACHING APPRENTICES: FROM CORRESPONDENCE TO EBOOKS – ENGAGING DIGITAL NATIVES
Unitec Institute of Technology (NEW ZEALAND)
Over the last couple of years Unitec New Zealand has developed a suite of twenty-five eBooks for the plumbing and gasfitting industry. Based on our successful correspondence model, the eBooks are substantially enhanced with multimedia including custom-made animation, interactive simulations and QuickTime Virtual Reality. This resource is proving popular with apprentices, particularly otherwise reluctant learners.
Prototype software was developed in collaboration with a group of talented Unitec NZ computing science students for their end-of-degree Industry Project. On completion, the prototype was so successful that Unitec retained the Industry Project group to develop the fully functional software necessary to compile the eBooks (Katipowriter) and to host them (the website).
The design of the website and the custom built compiler that drives it enables Unitec to move quickly when changes occur in the industry.
The investment in multimedia enables users to easily interact in a virtual sense with the science and general principles which underlie the 'what' and the 'how' of plumbing and gasfitting, enabling everyone to readily make connections between theory and practice. Eventually, the Website will include a series of short course for qualified plumbers and gasfitters wanting to undertake ongoing professional development.
This paper provides background and context to the development of Unitec Applied Technology Institutes’ Plumbing and Gafitting eBook Project. The actual presentation will be in the form of a live presentation of the resource.