5e - Information search

  
 Information sources
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One of your jobs as a trainer is to support the apprentice in learning independently. This means that the apprentice should also seek information himself.

But today, it's harder to find your way around the mountains of information that exist.

Therefore, it's important for the apprentice to know, where he/she can find the right information. Effective searching in books, magazines and on the Internet can save time.

Some of the company's employees may also have specialised knowledge that can't be found elsewhere. So the apprentice should also be encouraged to be "curious" in his/her daily work.
  
 Supplier materials
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Suppliers often make availabe learning materials such as:
  • Manuals
  • Samples of tests (such as small chemistry experiments)
  • Research results and statistics
  • Interactive learning programmes (such as computer animation)
  • Charts and diagrams
  • Measuring devices
What is suitable for the apprentice?

NOTE: Be critical. The suppliers don't want to make their products look less than perfect. Therefore, the material won't have information on errors and lacks. You can also order materials from other competitive suppliers.
  
 The company's own materials
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If you have had apprentices earlier, you may already have materials that can be used for training.

If not, it's a good idea to save and compile the papers you make for the new apprentice. Reusing is a good thing!

The company's own materials can also be materials made in other situations, such as:
  • Documentation of damages
  • Presentations for customers
  • A handbook for the new machines
  • Exercises written to the apprentice, before he/she is let loose in production.
Documentation of damages is good learning material, because we don't only learn from our own mistakes, but also from others'!
  
 The Internet
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The Internet is starting to take over as the most used information source. This is especially the case for young people, who have grown up with computers.

But the Internet is also a time robber and can distract in many ways.

Give the apprentice a list of addresses for relevant websites.

  
 Text books
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It's a good idea to check the text books used by the school. Maybe you can update your knowledge? 

The VET organisation may also be able to help, by recommending books, cds or other training materials.
  
 Trade journals
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You probably have an opinion about the quality of different trade journals. Show the journals to your apprentice. You can also refer to international journals.

Maybe the apprentice can also come up with suggestions? Especially if he/she comes from country the company hasn't been in contact with. 

The school may also have presented new journals to the apprentice.

  
 Colleagues
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"Stupid" questions should be allowed!

Experienced colleagues are worth their weight in gold. Refer the apprentice to colleagues,who know what he/she needs to learn. And tell colleagues that the apprentice may need their expertise.

There are always colleagues, who are especially good at keeping up with the newest developments, or finding the right solution to a problem.

Sharing knowledge doesn't make you poorer! On the contrary, you'll probably get something in return some other time. And being open and willing to help creates a good working climate!
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5 - The learning process

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