teaching trades and technology

This post is written by Malcolm Dawson, Carpentry Trade Teacher, Holmesglen Institute, Victoria.

Bob Dylan must have known something when he wrote the song “The times they are a changing” and there certainly has been a shift in the way things are done within the trades training and assessment landscape.

Traditionally the written word was the way to go , a list of materials on a block of wood or the back of a house plan. A schedule of jobs to be done on a piece of plywood. Trade training and assessment was also done with folders of learning resources and a piles of A4 “tick” sheets.


At Victorias biggest trade training centre the introduction of iPads and the use of Moodle has help de-clutter many staff rooms and made on-site assessment easier for both the apprentice and the assessor. Touch screens allow assessment sheets to be filled out with ease and even signed by the builder and the assessor when the apprentice is deemed competent.

One enterprising carpentry apprentice filmed himself on his iPhone putting hinges on a door he was hanging…….. whilst on the job. All this can then be emailed to the Institute and stored on hard drives and in e-folders for those apprentices.

I doubt computers or iPhones will ever be able to build a house but technology will help us to train and assess the future tradesmen and women of Australia.

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3 Responses to teaching trades and technology

  1. mwalker says:

    I really liked your example of the students using the iPhone.

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