]This past weekend I took my hockey refereeing certification course. I haven’t been a referee since my younger days, but as a student I couldn’t think of a better part time job. I get to work when I want to, I get to participate in something I love, and the money is pretty good.
I know what you’re thinking: Kyle, what does this have to do with your blog relating to education, specifically technology? Everything, believe it or not. When I used to go to these officiating clinics back when I was in grade 7 or 8 it was a full day event. You would show up at nine in the morning and stay until somewhere around 4 or 5; a full day. Much to my surprise, things have changed significantly in the past few years. Before showing up to the clinic I was required to do online modules. The last thing I wanted to do was do online modules on top of the full day I thought I going to have to use to do the clinic.
So what did these modules include? They had slides on all the different topics: rules, penalties, procedures, expectations, and safety. Some topics even had excellent images and videos to complement the slides. This would come in very handy for someone who doesn’t quite understand what an offside or an icing is for example. After each set of slides or movies there was usually a quiz that you had to pass in order to move on. Someone who knows nothing about hockey or officiating the sport could quickly start to grasp the game and its confusing rules. And the best part was that the clinic was reduced to only four hours!
Whoever thought of doing this course this way is a genius! Not only did it save me half of a day of sitting in an uncomfortable desk, but I didn’t have to go anywhere. It could have only made sense for the Saskatchewan Hockey Association as well: They would have only had to pay their instructors half the hours and rent the classrooms for half of the time. It was really a win-win for both of us.
This clinic really got me wondering. Why don’t teachers take advantage of effective learning tools like online modules? Perhaps some do, but I sure never encountered one as a student. Why not have quick little modules or videos for our students to do as homework? Maybe even just some quick review tutorials on how to do some tasks. How handy would a quick video on how to do long division be for a student who is at home struggling with their long division homework? It would be an invaluable resource to students! I know there are some sites with videos like these kicking around, but what if your teacher is teaching you a different way than the video you stumbled across does? Having that reinforcement and help from a teacher while he/she isn’t their could be just as good as them being their helping with homework.
I think that the SHA has increased effectiveness with their clinics through this method. Why shouldn’t we be trying to increase our effectiveness in our every day lessons? With all the tools at our fingertips, it’s well within our reach.
On a sidenote, if anyone is interested in learning more about the rules of hockey, I believe anyone can take the modules here.