Time is a precious commodity, but unfortunately, none of us have an abundance of it. Whether you are a HVAC technician, contractor, school instructor, supplier, or manufacturer, we are all short on time. With everything around us changing at an outrageously rapid pace, we must continually act to stay current or eventually become obsolete. This includes every imaginable career in the HVAC industry.
When we talk about HVAC instructors, the talented people teaching at high schools, technical colleges, community college, labor union training centers, wholesalers, and manufacturers, the challenge to stay current, prepare, and teach up-to-date pertinent materials and employ the latest teaching methods and strategies is magnified a hundred-fold. Simply put, they need help to accomplish the many duties required of them.
Educators, administrators, and other educational personnel become bogged down in the education process. Paperwork, reports, lesson plans, written test, performance test, grading, lecture, and demonstration preparation, ordering materials, meetings, and teaching take up the day. All these are necessary components of our current educational system, but it leaves little time for instructors to conduct a full and thorough program assessment and needs analysis on a regular basis.
When we talk about change, the emphasis is generally placed on technology (in other words, equipment). But just as important and unfortunately too often overlooked are the changes in teaching methods, changes in delivery systems, changes to certifications, lab resources, curriculum, and tools and instruments.
There are many questions going through an instructor’s mind: Is there new technology in the field that students/new technicians need to know? What are the latest and greatest tools and test instruments being used? When did they create an app for that? Where/how do I get that equipment? Is there a better way to engage my students in the learning process? Are the books online? How do you set up a blended training program? Will manufacturers partner with school programs? Where can I get professional development? Does anyone make a commercial trainer for ….? How do I introduce new technologies into my program? Where do I find curriculum for …...? Who offers student assessment testing?
These are some of the questions that an HVACR instructor may be asking, and unless he/she spends a countless number of hours doing research, making connections, and finding the right resources, these questions could take years to get answered. Without help, the program may become stagnant or even worse totally antiquated.
So what is the answer to alleviate the stress and provide instructors with the assistance they need to grow their programs for the HVAC industry? The answer is HVAC Resource Networks supported by industry stakeholders that will aide in answering questions and provide support to those requesting assistance. HVAC Resource Networks are somewhat of a clearinghouse of information provided by a single source supported by industry associates, to answer many of these questions and give direct assistance to instructors and administrators to address the challenges they face.
HVAC Education Resource Networks are becoming the rescue centers for many programs throughout the country. One great example is HERN, a collaborate of many manufacturers, publishers, and industry stakeholders who are ready to assist you.