Banner
Training & Education

New learning

By Julie Sammarco

Metal industry textbooks find a home on tablet computers

July 2012 - Regardless of the avenue for learning, there is one constant—the textbook. Today, that constant is taking a new form. Many students tote laptop and tablet computers to classes instead of traditional books, and it’s no different for apprentices and journeymen in the sheet metal industry.

Apprentices attend five years of classes and journeymen continue their education with follow-up coursework. Unlike the sheet metal workers of former generations, these tradesmen and women have access to more than 100 texts by the International Training Institute at their fingertips.

The electronic curriculum is available for the iPad, Windows laptop computers and soon tablets. To date, this industry is the first of the unionized labor trades to initiate such a program.

“We want to keep up with technology because it’s where this industry is moving, and we don’t want sheet metal workers to be afraid of it,” said Mike Harris, program administrator with the ITI. “We threw this idea out to the apprentices and instructors, and they all think it’s a good idea.”

This system is not meant to replace hands-on learning. “At the end of the day, these workers still need to know how to weld,” says Shoulders. It is, however, meant to replace the physical textbook.

Using this system offers many benefits.

Students not only need to carry fewer textbooks to class, they also have more texts available to them. For many students whose schools are already implementing this, the electronic texts are also free.

“Some apprenticeship training committees are even in discussion about purchasing the actual iPads or e-readers for their students,” says James Shoulders, executive administrator for the ITI. “Others are going to require their students to purchase them on their own, just as a set of their tools on their belt. It’ll be required just as much as a pair of snips.”

This system also helps eliminate some of the problems students experienced in the past. Previously, when students wanted to acquire a book from a library, they faced the possibility of the book not being available. “Other students might have already checked the book out,” says Shoulders. “Now, every student can have whichever book they want, whenever they need it. It also allows students and journeymen to carry their materials to the jobsite. They can have everything at their fingertips.”

Overall, Shoulders says the e-books “make our students and instructors more efficient. Books are becoming smarter and more interactive. Students can click on terms, see interactive photos and diagrams, which helps them learn better and helps our instructors teach better. Technology is vital in our industry, and it’s important they learn how to use it to their advantage.

Technical details
The application allows students to learn about techniques such as welding more interactively. The mobile content-delivery system gives students a user-friendly interface with search capabilities, large file view, off line access to downloaded content, password protection, non-stop encryption and push notifications. Students can watch videos of techniques, click and enlarge diagrams and photos, download homework assignments and search the Web.

Apprentices and journeymen must be granted access to the texts by instructors through TotalTrack, a database that puts all apprentice and journeyman information in one place.

TotalTrack also hosts student contact information, assignments and course syllabis as well as grade books and forms for instructors.

By 2013, all 160 sheet metal training centers will be using TotalTrack.

“The systems will make life and learning a whole lot easier for apprentices and journeymen,” Harris said in a press release. “Having your textbooks on a tablet, virtually in your back pocket, is definitely an advantage.” FFJ

Interested in purchasing reprints of this article? Click here

 

Sources

Banner

Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

TPMG2022 Brands


BPA_WW_MASTER.jpg