Tips for Teaching

September 2015  
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Rob Thompson's Automotive Technology Education Newsletter

Welcome to my newsletter.

This newsletter is to share teaching ideas for auto tech instructors and to provide informational updates on what is happening in CT education around the country. 

Tips for Teaching and Practicing Safety

Safety, as a subject and as a way of thinking, is probably the most important thing we teach. WIth a rabidly aggressive legal system and a society that seeks to assign blame to teachers and schools for every conceivable problem, how can we not make safety our first priority? But beyond being a priority, how do we teach safety so that it is learned as a behavior and not just a regurgitated set of rules? Below are some methods I use in my high school class.
Safety seek and find problems in the shop. I set up several safety problems in the shop and have teams of students go looking and documenting the problems. Examples of problems include blocked fire extinguishers, faulty electrical cords, a damaged or missing guard, and equipment where it shouldn't be

We do safety demonstrations, such as how to use fire extinguishers, why loose clothing is such a bad idea, and how wearing jewelry can lead to serious problems. I have a collection of old metal watches, rings, and other pieces of jewelry that we use to demonstrate electrical conductivity, like in the video. 

Students make a safety map of the shops. Similar to the safety seek and find, students locate and label the locations of all safety-related items in the shops. At a later point, students are quizzed on remembering the locations of various safety items. 

Students have to pass the safety test with 100%. This rarely happens on the first attempt, so the second and third versions of the test are different though the content is the same. 

Student generated safety videos are a great way to have them apply what they've learned into what are typically entertaining and funny videos. Be sure to provide parameters for what is acceptable and what is not; left on their own, students may take things too far and create safety problems instead. 

Case studies from real life examples. Students do some searching for real examples of auto shop situations, such as this. We then examine what factors may have or did contribute to the accident and discuss ways of preventing such an accident from occurring.
Mike Rowe's Safety Third message is something I like to include when discussing shop safety. He is correct when saying it's easy to get complacent about safety and to assume that being in compliance equals being safe. 

While not an educational approach, these two items help alleviate the problem of equipment being used inappropriately or without permission. Similar to lock-out/tag-out, I use plug locks on pieces of equipment that I don't want anyone to use without permission. An example of this is shown in the picture of the bench grinder referenced above. And Extra Safety Zones are marked to limit the number of students in the area and/or to reinforce the zones requires additional PPE or other safety precautions. 
If you have anything you'd like to contribute to the safety discussion, send me the info, and we'll continue this topic. 

More to come next month.
Stay Tuned!
Just in case this newsletter isn't wasting enough of your time, I've started a blog! Well, actually two blogs. One is with and for my students as I'm implementing blogging as a writing requirement with my senior class. The other blog, linked here, is a random stream of semi-consciousness. 

What's going on in the automotive industry and in education.

Chrysler offers hacking fix

Governments look to regulate self-driving vehicles

California Has a Plan to End the Auto Industry as We Know It

German automakers buying Nokia's HERE map business

Auto Focus: Facing a game-changing technology

Tensions over US electric vehicle mandates spill into the open

Detroit Wants to Change Image of Auto Industry to Attract Talent

Virginia is in the driver's seat on piloted cars

How the elderly became the future of the US auto industry

Newsletter author seeks feedback

Digital maps are a precious resource

Smart Dust May Become The Pinnacle Innovation Of The Internet Of Things

Apple said to show interest in automotive testing facility

GERMANY: Leoni to showcase pyrotechnical switch at Frankfurt

The Latest News Says We're Closer to an Apple Car Than You May Think

The Road Ahead For Connected Cars

JD Power: Consumers Not Taking Advantage of In-Car Technology

China Set To Overtake US In 2015 As EV Sales Leader

Tesla Wants White House to Press China on Auto-Industry Rules

Car-hacking feud revs up on the Hill
Head to my website for PowerPoints, waveform images, PICO .psd files, and photos that are available for download for instructional use. Check back often as I add more images and additional instructor resources. 

If you want to use resources shown in this newsletter, links to the lab activities and images can be downloaded and used for instruction from here.

Proud member of the North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT).

NACAT is devoted
to automotive education and to the teachers and trainers of automotive technology. 

Join us at the NACAT conference at San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas, July 2016.
Comments, questions, complaints, criticisms? Email me!
Recently added - a blog! Now even more random ramblings are available. See link below.

Visit my website to check out my automotive textbooks available through Cengage Learning.  

Past issues of this newsletter are available from the bottom of the home page.
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