We’re delighted to have Mark Shelton, a VET educator from Victoria hosting EduTweetOz for the coming week. Mark is our first educator from TAFE, a sector which has been facing major challenges over the past few years around Australia. We’re looking forward to the unique perspective he’ll bring to EduTweetOz this week.
Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?
Hello my name is Mark Shelton and I’m really excited to be hosting EduTweetOz this week. I am a Vocational Educator and I work at Advance TAFE in Gippsland, Victoria.
When I was working in the Hospitality industry the most rewarding part of my job was mentoring the Trainees and Apprentices. I simply reached a point in my career where I decided that I wanted to focus on that full time.
Flexibility is extremely important in the current climate in the TAFE sector and my role reflects this pretty well.
– I deliver units to Hospitality, Tourism, Business and IT students.
– I design and deliver courses to disengaged students that come to us via Job Network Agencies.
– This year I will be delivering professional development courses to Primary, Secondary and VET educators on how to incorporate technology into the classroom.
– The other really exciting thing I will be involved in for the first time this year is the delivery of the Cert IV Training and Assessment. This is the qualification required to become a VET educator.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
Student outcomes are the driving force behind my teaching. Seeing them go on to do wonderful things is all the motivation I need.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
The world is changing rapidly. Every day there are amazing new tools available for educators. At the same time our students are requiring ever-changing skill sets to thrive in tomorrows world. The reward for us is that we get to be involved in what I see as inevitable wholesale changes to education.
The challenge is that there is still a wide range of forces working feverishly against these necessary changes.
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
I would start by asking all the key stakeholders a very simple question. “What is the purpose of education?”. I think the answer to that question is along way off what our current system forces us to work towards.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
It’s almost as if some educators have transferred the ‘chalk and talk’ approach to Twitter. “I will impart my wisdom. You will listen intently and be thankful for the opportunity”.
I think this is where EduTweetOz sets itself apart. I always feel as though I’m part of a discussion and that I’m part of a vibrant community of like minded educators. I see the role of EduTweetOz as building on this and continually trying new and exciting things.
My hopes for the account this week is to ask some big questions on a range of topics that will spark interesting discussion. I’m also proud to be bringing a TAFE perspective to the table and it would be great to attract some more Vocational Educators to EduTweetOz.