November 2013
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Also In This Issue Outside line training debuted for utility industry read_more

P&I organizing program nets new members read_more

Founders' Scholarship winners announced read_more

North of 49°
New Campaigns Promote Canada's Unions read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Nouvelles campagnes visant à promouvoir les syndicats au Canada read_more

LMRDA notice read_more





  Cover Photo

Apprenticeship 2.0
Games and Social Media Transform Apprentice Training

Look over the shoulders of the apprentices in Tim Bell's classroom at the Evansville, Ind., training center and they're playing video games. They're chatting over instant messenger. It looks like the entire room is goofing off, wasting time and ignoring Bell — except he's in on the game, a simulator for wiring a transformer.

The game-like simulation is one new tool in a new apprenticeship curriculum from the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, the most significant update to the way inside apprentices are taught since it was created in 1941. The new program combines increased time in labs with greatly expanded use of computer-based teaching tools like videos, simulations and assignments. Evansville and six other training centers are the first to pilot it, but the new curriculum will be rolled out nationwide in the fall of 2014 for all first-year apprentices.

A combination of on-the-job experience and significant class time to cover theory and basics, apprenticeship training has changed little over the decades. It is, and will remain, the educational standard for generations of future inside and outside apprentices.

"The apprenticeship is a wonderful model, and that won't change," said Mike Callanan, executive director of the NJATC. "In essence our challenge is increasing the efficiency of classroom time. Our apprentices are off the job, not getting paid, not working for our contractors and it is vital that those minimum 180 hours a year in class are worthwhile and effective. We have no choice: we have to leverage technology."

Now students will spend less class time reviewing homework and sitting through lectures and more time in labs and group discussions. Students will complete all of their homework online and have access to a growing suite of videos and computer-based simulations — many designed to look and feel like video games — that teach core skills to aspiring electricians. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Hill and Chilia: Progress Amid Chaos read_more

LettersSounding the Alarm;
Missed Opportunities;
Union Proud read_more

CircuitsDanish Union Delegation Visits IBEW;
USA's 2014 Gun-A-Week Calendar: 52 Chances to Win read_more

TransitionsWilliam 'Chico' McGill read_more

In MemoriamSeptember 2013 read_more

Who We AreRENEW Conference Energizes Young Workers read_more