Mobile Learning for the Surf Industry
Increasingly education and learning are evolving to match our personal ideals. We hear of parents that are going to university or the young and talented who are foregoing university to build skills in other ways. The way you choose to get your education is now an exciting chance to express yourself and achieve your dreams. This is great news for surfers! We can now spend the morning on dawn patrol and step into the virtual classroom once the wind picks up.
Mobile learning through online courses using webinars and shared intranet teaching materials give you the flexibility you need from your study. Take a class at your own pace and enjoy the freedom to choose when, where and how you complete the modules of your course. If you are committed to surfing every day or you’re travelling as often as possible, an online course allows you to tailor your education to your lifestyle, so you can make the most of the swell when it arrives. All you need is a laptop and a decent wifi connection.
Even if you aren’t of school age, you can now access the learning that perhaps you didn’t have the opportunity to engage in when you were younger. If you were busy scouring the coast for empty peaks as a grom, all the opportunities that were available then are available now, if not more so.
Most online course providers will offer the full spectrum of courses, so that you can start with the basics and work your way through to degree level. Support is provided by qualified teachers, so that should you need a little guidance they are on hand to support you.
Online courses often allow you to submit assignments on a topic of your choice. Here you can apply your real world knowledge, use what you love to do and gain credit for it. For example, if you’re studying photography whilst travelling and surfing, present your travel shots in your portfolio.
Another advantage of mobile learning is that if an opportunity you can’t refuse comes up you can pause courses to take advantage of it. If you decide to drop everything to take off on a surf trip, it’s no big deal. Structuring your education around your lifestyle means that the possibilities are endless. You can re-train for a career change, add to knowledge you already have or learn how to build your own business, without missing out on time in the water.
Look for course providers with testimonials and easy to navigate websites as a starting point. Then do some further research by talking to people. Maybe talk to the teacher who oversees the course material and other people on the course. Then you can make an informed decision about which provider to use in order to get the best fit for you.
If you already have the qualifications you need, then the next step is to build experience and start networking. It is no longer enough to have the relevant qualifications. An appropriate degree is definitely a strong starting point, but employers are now looking for experience too.
There are so many exciting and enjoyable ways to gain experience. Sometimes this will mean taking on work experience or doing an internship. And it doesn’t have to be in an office running coffees. If you want the opportunity to learn, then get talking to other surfers in businesses you’re interested in and find out ways you could work for them.
You can mix travelling, surfing, work experience and meeting interesting people to add to your network. If you have an unusual and interesting way you gained your all-important experience, employers will be interested to hear about it and should see value in your unique set of skills.
Gaining experience is invaluable and also helps you meet the right kinds of people to add to your network. The advantages of having a network will become obvious when you start looking for a job. If you want to work for a company and you have a friend who is connected to them, then getting an introduction is extremely powerful. Now rather than being just another CV, you have a face and they have a point of reference. Next time a job comes up they are likely to remember you.
Never underestimate the power of talking to people. Being genuine and sharing interests can go a long way to establishing a connection that could come in handy in the future. Don’t expect others to do all the work though. You need to find ways to offer them something of value too. If you see something you think could help them out, be sure to forward it to them. Work with each other and collaborate on shared interests as often as you can.
We now have the opportunity to take part in mobile learning and making the most of these awesome new tools is now easier than ever. Have you used online learning and how did you gain experience to further your career?
Posted by: Sarah Price, on February 26, 2014
Shannon Glasson - Ocean Photographer
James McMillan - Byron Bay Surf Festival Director
Shannon Hughes - WSL & ISA Commentator
Craig Sims - White Horses & Surfing Life Publisher
Luke Kennedy - Editor of Tracks Magazine
Simon ‘Swilly’ Williams - Surf Photographer
Jarra Campbell - the Bondi Alchemist
Greg Gordon - Owner of CR Surf
Shayne Nienaber - Surf Photographer
Alexa Hohenberg - Owner of Still Stoked