Dear SYMET-13 colleagues,
I firstly wish to thank Yinka for the opportunity he provided for me to once again participate in the work and enthusiasm of the WMO Education and Training community albeit in my third role, this time as a contractor. I now have a better appreciation of how Bob Riddaway felt in 2009 when we invited him to participate in a small working group dealing with aeronautical meteorological qualifications.
As usual the discussion, debate at times, was healthy and shows the community is not stagnant and is keen to improve its abilities to better serve the wider user community, particularly the NMHSs which many of us come from. However the ETR community is bigger than just the traditional SYMET participants and thus it was great to meet Andrew from the University of Reading, David from Penn State University plus the two Sergiy's one from the University of Helsinki and the other from a university in Ukraine.
I noted one recommendation from this SYMET was to further increase the university participation in future SYMETs which may mean we end up with at least some parallel sessions, one dealing with the more academic education issues and the other the more vocationally orientated training sessions. Conceptually, end users of some of the training courses could also feature at future SYMETs to help us reflect on our practises and get a better appreciation of their needs and requirements.
As David Farrell noted the biggest change for me from the Symposium in Toulouse was the acceptance of, and appetite for, the WMO Global Campus. This was really pleasing to see and shows that the work undertaken by Aileen Semple supporting the Task Team on the WMO Global Campus and the follow-on, ongoing work by the EC Panel of Experts on Education and Training group on the WMO Global Campus led by Rich Jeffries and David Farrell have provided further clarity and addressed many of the concerns that came out of Toulouse. I should not forget all of the efforts of all in the ETR Office during this, particularly but not limited to Pat Parrish.
To me, the WMO Global Campus is about changing people's mindset when undertaking their daily job. Rather than thinking the training team in their institution is only 2 (small centres) or 20 to 30 (centres such as the BMTC in Australia) or 300 plus (CMATC or NUIST) it is saying we are connected to a much wider group of people doing much the same job, often in similar ways whom we can consult with, beg borrow or "steal" resources from, seek their assistance to help deliver material, agree to partner on projects to build new material to meet a particular donor need and generally learn from each other.
To assist people find courses or resources, using a shared software solution such as WMOLearn to find moderated courses or WMOLearningContent (or whatever it will be called) is very useful and provides support for this more integrated way of viewing and thinking about our job and addressing resource challenges.
For me, we would have a WMO Global Campus if all senior training institute and RTC managers had a small daemon in their brain that occasionally prompted them to think "are there any international applications or implications for the work I am about to undertake, if so who should I contact to seek their interest ..." or "before we start building or redesigning courses" the daemon prompts us to see what has been done elsewhere so we can either benchmark our material or consider seeking agreement for us to adapt and adopt the resources, review the associated training development plan to see how it could fit to our particular requirements.
So if the WMO Global Campus is seen as a change of mindset such that we see ourselves doing similar roles but in a globally connected world and have the tools, language, a set of agreed principles guiding our engagement and opportunities to talk we do not need to worry so much about governing the WMO Global Campus as it is really only a mindset change.
The governance is actually around developing and evolving the standards for our shared platforms such as WMOLearn, costing models for their use of such systems and then setting up our digital badging system or potentially participating / extending one that has already been developed and has some positive track history. Similarly when we start considering some sort of credit exchange transfer system to take account of users accessing education and training opportunities from around the globe how can we assist employers and ourselves take these pre existing knowledge, skills and behaviours into account.
Taking this view that the WMO Global Campus is the overall concept and essentially it is just realising that we are part of a small, passionate, educated global workforce charged with the development and delivery of education and training learning opportunities to support NMHS and other personnel develop and deliver improved services to end users, where those end users may also need some ETR we are already making steps towards this.
The short introductions by the RTC plus participants this morning indicated that many were looking for sharing and collaboration. As we saw many one on one and small group discussions around the periherary during the week this talk of cooperation and collaboration may have taken some steps. So the WMO Global Campus is moving and in fact the meeting on Thursday focussed on the RTC Directors but including directors from other training institutions could almost be seen as the first informal meeting of the WMO Global Campus community.
So now having tried to capture these fuzzy thoughts it is now once again time to sleep. Sate travels home and great to meet and work with you all again.