ARRL is undertaking a new initiative to provide online educational opportunities to a broad range of radio amateurs. The Lifelong Learning Initiative will seek to provide a series of learning tracks that will serve the needs of the various interest groups within the Amateur Radio community.
While designed for everyone with an interest in learning more about Amateur Radio, the Lifelong Learning Initiative will initially focus on creating online learning opportunities for new and newer hams, a segment of the Amateur Radio community desperately searching for educational and instructional and resources.
The ARRL Board of Directors set the Lifelong Learning Initiative in motion, endorsing and funding the program and approving the hiring of advertising agency Mintz + Hoke to work with ARRL Lifelong Learning Manager Kris Bickell, K1BIC, and other ARRL staffers in building this learning environment. Mintz + Hoke will conduct the research necessary to identify the different educational needs within the broader Amateur Radio community.
“Mintz + Hoke is a really strong partner in this project,” Bickell said, adding that the firm has developed a really deep understanding of the Amateur Radio community as part of the investigation phase of this endeavor.
Bickell noted that youth education will be a critical component of this Learning Initiative, but he also believes that overall opportunities in this area are huge, as many individuals are looking to expand their knowledge of Amateur Radio.
He said that, where appropriate, the content of these learning tracks within the initiative will build upon much of the knowledge base that already exists within ARRL, such as the material in QST and QEX magazines, as well as other ARRL publications and manuals. Some new content will be created as well, to ensure that the information being provided stays fresh and dynamic.
In addition to providing instruction, the Learning Initiative will offer resources that allow individuals to delve further into a subject, rather than just relying on ARRL content.
“We are building a new learning environment,” Bickell said. “It will take a lot of work to put this all together, but we believe that this initiative will firmly establish ARRL as an educational leader in Amateur Radio.” He expects the online Lifelong Learning platform to launch in the fall of 2019.
In conjunction with its support of the Lifelong Learning Initiative, the ARRL Board also endorsed CEO Howard Michel’s HQ reorganization plans, and the purchase of a modern association management software system.
“These are big investments the Board is making in ARRL, and a strong positive vote of confidence that we can deliver,” Michel said. “They are giving us the tools to be successful.”