Online Games for Learning and Healing
Heron, Montana / May 11, 2012
HVACRedu.net includes games, animations, and simulations in many online HVACR courses. It’s surprising when we hear stories like this one about how those activities are used by our students, our instructors, and even by a little boy. This note was sent from Mike Richardson, one of our online instructors, and it is published here with his permission:
I need to share this story about my grandson and the HVACRedu van simulator game.
Three times each week my 6 year old grandson needs to get an injection into a medport on the side of his chest for a preventive medication for the HAE (Hereditary Angioedema) blood disorder he has to live with. Because he is 6 and has become very afraid of getting a shot (from all his traumatic experiences since he was 3) my wife and I (grandparents are good for something) are on hand each time for our moral support – and to provide “double or nothin’” bravery treats.
Usually he watches a video cartoon or program to keep distracted from the actual injection. But last week I brought up the van simulation game on the HVACRedu.net campus intro page and showed it to him. Needless to say, a 6 year old boy has got to drive a computer simucar game. So that took the place of his video last Friday. On his injection yesterday, he didn’t want anything to do with videos, he just wanted grandpa’s van game for his injection distraction.
It was rather difficult to maneuver with his right hand because his left hand was being occupied in keeping out of the way of the injection port, and WASD navigation keys are kind of on the left side of the keyboard. But that didn’t slow him down a bit.
Then he discovered that the “R” key was not just used to set the van right after tipping over, it also made the van “jump”, and if he hit that key repeatedly it “pumped” it clear up into the sky above the screen so that all that was visible of it was its shadow – until you stopped pumping it up higher. Then with a stop in the action the van fell from the sky and either bounced or sank up to the doors, depending on how high it was pumped into the air. It was all we could do to get him to take a break long enough to get the needle out when the infusion was completed.
Needless to say, the ripple effect from the new simulator has certainly found an unusual audience. But he’s still got 11 more school grades to go before he will be ready to join the online student body at HVACRedu.net.
After Mike shared this story with us, Justin Lloyd, HVACRedu.net’s Technology Director wrote, “You caused me to go back into the game to test the new “R” feature. Now I can go up a ramp at an angle, hit the “R” key until the van rises up and turns around, then drop it so it goes down the ramp.”
This van simulator story came up during an online faculty discussion about how online education is moving forward and providing the best available learning experience with rich resources to students anywhere anytime. It requires a very different teacher/student relationship, as Mike Richardson said, “Most of my teaching is in the form of personal coaching rather than classroom lecturing.” Online students benefit from a one-to-one teacher/student ratio, unlike any classroom. Online students are more independently motivated to search for the information or explore the resources to build their own knowledge base. Many college professors and administrators are fearful of diving into the online environment because it is a different world. It moves the onus for learning out of the control of the instructor and into the responsibility of the online student.
If you’d like to explore a few of the resources available to our online students, visit http://www.hvacredu.net, then click on the “Sample Campus”. After you create your own user login for free, you can hang out in the lobby, take a sample course of your choice, and play a game or two. You might even try to beat Justin’s “flip around, drop, and down the ramp” maneuver.
Now, back to Mike’s grandson. The Hereditary Angioedema Association (www.haea.org) has actively been searching for individuals who suffer from this disorder for the last 10 years to let them know that there is hope and relief available, even if there isn’t a cure. We thank him for letting us share his story and we wish him well.
HVACRedu.net offers a large selection of assessments, reviews, courses, and entire programs to educate the HVACR and Building Performance workforce. Technicians can prepare for certification exams, add new credentials, learn new technologies, and earn some Continuing Education Hours online. Visit the campus store for all the details. All courses are available entirely online, 24 hours a day. All you need is an internet connection. Purchase online at http://main.hvacrstore.net/ and start learning tomorrow.
Doing the Right Thing
By Chris Compton, Founder and CEO of HVACRedu.net
Ya know I’ve been messing around in this industry for a pretty good while. I went to a private trade school in Yakima, Washington called JM Perry Trade. It was one of the best programs around 30 years ago and still is today. They are still running a hard core HVACR technical program that goes 2 years straight (2784 Hours). The school is a “dot.org” that was begun through the philanthropy of a fruit baron’s wife in his honor. It was called Perry Trade when I was there and now referred to as Perry Technical Institute. I haven’t been back since 1981 when I graduated but still get their alumni letters. If you want to check them out click on the link: Perry Technical Institute. I’m going to drop in on them one of these days and say thank you. It’s been a real whirl since I left there, all of it good.
Over the years I have come to realize that there are not many schools that hard core in our industry, none that provide that many hours of straight industry stuff that I’m aware of. I graduated from there in September of 1981 after beginning the program in October of 1979…actually I was out of school in April of 81 because I had a good job as a technician and was only required to check in once a week and hand in my home work. Two of us finished at the top of the class with the same GPA and performance rating. I’m thankful that I access to such a good education. What made it good for me was I found out that this stuff turned my crank and I had a passion to know everything that I could about it. Hmmm, I’m still trying but 30 years later I don’t think I’ll ever get there.
Fortunately for me the things that were taught and drilled by the instructors were the basic and fundamental principles of the technology; electron flow, fluid physics, thermo dynamics, mechanical concepts, etc. The other great benefit was the labs. We were taught maintenance and service tasks by the book and then well exercised in the lab activities. At the time I assumed that that was what you needed to know to be successful as a technician and everyone did. Silly me.
I discovered when I went to work for a service company that I was just starting to learn the trade and ended up doing a lot of review and study of what I had already learned. That continues. After working the street for 4 years as a tech I tried my hand at contracting (yes I have the dreaded Entrepreneurial disease) for the next 10 years. We did pretty well at contracting and ended up with a 20 man crew mostly doing residential, commercial and industrial service work with a couple of install crews working and a sheet metal shop. While messing around being a contractor I found out how to be a business man..it was either that or die a bankrupt death. There were a few times that seemed possible.
We decided to go home back to the Ranch in Montana so we sold out and moved home. I thought that I would just open up a shop but on the way through Coeur d’Alene, Idaho I got hired to teach the HVACR program at North Idaho College. Some day maybe I’ll talk about a 160 commute every day for 179 contract days over 18 years. Good thing I have a passion for this stuff. My school teacher thing taught me more lessons than I taught my students.
Since you who are reading my dribble might be one of my students I intend to share some observations with you about this industry; HVACR. The education side of the industry hasn’t changed much in 30 years. I was lucky to have 2 years of GI bill left and then fall into Perry Trade looking for a career. That isn’t necessarily the case for many then and still today. I run into many techs that have been OJT since day one without an educational foundation in the trade. The folks they are working for don’t have any either. The blind leading the blind BUT they are making a living at it.
In today’s complex technology of HVACR basic fundamental knowledge and skills are critical to your success and the success of an entire nation that depends on your skills. HVACR figures HUGE in the national energy scene not to mention all of the people that expect to be comfortable in their home, office, or any other place that is indoors and requires conditioning. The national food supply is another small issue that we are in charge of after it has been harvested or processed. And then there are all of the other things that HVACR supports and without it would not be happening. I usually challenge people to tell me something that hasn’t been touched by HVACR in the market place.
As a technician I used to call myself the best hated man in town…nobody wanted to call me but everybody did. I knew that I was VERY important to my customers and that they trusted me explicitly to do the right thing when it came to their products or comfort. Some might not want that kind of trust and the responsibility that comes with it but I enjoyed it as a tech, a contractor and continue to do so as an educator. It is good for the ego and boosts your confidence right up there but It does come with a price.
The price is to know what you are doing and then doing what you say you are going to do, i.e. “Doing the Right Thing”. That is my definition of a professional and it fits just about anywhere, even in the HVACR industry. My experience as well as the experience of thousands of others in the trade shows this to be a true statement over and over again. Unfortunately that wasn’t the norm back when and still isn’t today. In my opinion our industry deserves the butt crack persona that we enjoy…don’t ask me how many butt crack cartoons have been sent to me.
Being around the block so many times I have formed an opinion about the HVACR workforce. I think that most of us are good and hard working folks making a living for ourselves and families following a career that we have chosen or is it just a job? I chose the career word for me which means that I’ve been trying to “Do the Right Thing” for a long time and continue to push my personal envelope of professionalism. If it’s just a job for you then you are probably at the end of your professional growth and should not bother reading any more of my dribble.
If you are into a career that doesn’t have any limits, doesn’t need a 4 year degree, does need a good foundation of knowledge, does need skilled and educated hands, does have a scope of work that never stops, has more openings and opportunities for professionals than anything else I know of and can be found needed anywhere in the world then you are in the right place, congratulations.
Myself and my crew have developed an online program called HVACRedu.net which is also providing the ItsAboutQ.net program in Southern California. We are doing the right thing for the industry we serve by providing that which is badly needed in a format and delivery method that provides high level and
asynchronous access to the knowledge and skill development necessary to Do the Right Thing. If you aspire to be a professional the first thing that you should realize is that you are a valuable person doing very valuable work.
With ongoing experience and a reasonable continuous effort to improve your status the limit is unknown. Don’t bitch at me about your wages or maybe the tightwad that you work for. If you are worth more than you are getting that becomes obvious very quickly and either your employer will bump you up or someone will make you an offer you can’t refuse. I’ve seen many a professional move up because their skills and abilities become known in the industry circles that we all travel in. If you are in the game, ultimately you will develop a reputation that is hard to hide and the opportunities start showing up. My comments are intended to be encouragement, press on, be a professional, you won’t be sad!
ANSI Accredits Blue C, LLC, dba HVACRedu.net,
New York, October 7, 2011: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment systems, is pleased to announce that Blue C, LLC has been accredited under the ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program, or ANSI-CAP.
Blue C, LLC is a professional organization of HVACR educators working together to provide challenging and comprehensive online assessments, reviews, courses, and programs for the HVACR industry. The ANSI accreditation has been awarded to Blue C’s HVACR 4-Year Apprenticeship Program.
"ANSI commends Blue C for achieving accreditation under ANSI-CAP and demonstrating their commitment to the continual improvement of their certificate programs," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "Accreditation under ANSI-CAP helps to assure integrity and consistency within the credentialing field, and helps to bolster a more robust and qualified workforce. Blue C now has a concrete way to show students and customers that its certificates represent the best in quality education and training."
Launched in 2009, ANSI-CAP accredits organizations that issue education and training certificates to the U.S. workforce. The program is the first of its kind to offer a formal, third-party process for review and recognition of quality certificate programs. ANSI-CAP provides neutral, third-party attestation that a given certificate program meets ASTM E2659-09, Standard Practice for Certificate Programs, an American National Standard developed by ASTM International. By demonstrating compliance to this standard, accredited certificate programs further the development of a well-educated and qualified workforce, a chief goal of the Obama Administration.
ANSI-CAP also provides quality benchmarks for the design of future certificate programs. With these benchmarks, workers and employers are better able to determine the value and meaning of training and educational certificates, helping to boost the overall quality of the American workforce.
"This has been a grass roots effort since we started," said Chris Compton, CEO at Blue C. "We now have the only ANSI accredited HVACR Technician Apprenticeship Related Training Program in the World! It’s also worth mentioning that it’s the only online program. Now we have both ANSI and HVAC Excellence Accreditations which serve as monuments for our hard work. Achieving this level of accreditation should leverage decision makers at all levels to recognize that online for the trades occupations is a worthwhile endeavor and a significant tool to be used to keep our workforce in top notch condition in a very efficient and timely way.
"This is important to our country! Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning is the second largest consumer of energy in our nation. HVAC is THE top level target identified by the DOE and National Utility providers as the highest priority in our struggle for energy independence. The key objective to achieve that difficult goal is educating the existing workforce and new entry level technicians to perform their tasks to industry standards," continued Mr. Compton.
Information about HVACRedu.net’s online educational offerings for the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Quality Installation/Quality Maintenance, and Building Performance industries is available at www.hvacredu.net; email: email@example.com, or phone: 888-655-4822.
New Online BPI Building Analyst Learning Program with Certification Exams in the Field
Heron, Montana /September 2011/
Now there are fewer barriers to becoming a BPI Certified Building Analyst because the educational program is available entirely online 24/7 at your convenience, and the BPI Building Analyst field training and certification exams are scheduled with you and Everblue in an area near you.
HVACRedu.net has partnered with Everblue to bring Building Analyst Certification training to those who need it. BPI Building Analyst Certification is a great way to compliment and increase your company’s Energy Saving and Environmental Services for your customers and to open new doors of opportunity in the Green building industry.
The Building Analyst Blended Program is made up of 44 or more ONLINE instructional hours, followed by 8
hours of BPI Field Training, and BPI proctored Building Analyst Certification Written and Field Exams.
The BPI Building Analyst Blended Program covers everything you need to know to keep your customers’
homes functioning at the very peak of performance.
This educational program was created and developed in partnership with nationally recognized building
science experts. Instruction aligns with ANSI/ACCA Quality Installation & Maintenance Standards. It is made
up of two comprehensive online courses:
- 107 Principles of Building Science (14 instructional hours online), and
- 306 Performing the Comprehensive Building Assessment (30 instructional hours online).
Your online studies are supported by online instructors who are experts in building performance and who are
only an email away. When your online studies are complete, you’re ready for the field portion of the blended
BPI Building Analyst Field Training and BPI Testing includes:
- 8 hours of live field training with an instructor in a residential home
- 2 hour BPI Written Exam, and the
- 2 hour BPI Field Exam
When you enroll, HVACRedu.net will contact you to set the date for your face-to-face BPI Certification field training, written exam, and field exam with Everblue in an area near you (included in the program enrollment fee). The price is very competitive for the market at $1,664.
Become a Familiar Face
Lessons learned and shared in the pursuit of a job in HVACR
By Chris Compton, Founder and CEO HVACRedu.net
“As a manager, I would receive mountains of job applications. The ‘Familiar Faces’ were the ones that got hired! When I really needed a warm body, it was the person that showed up and bugged me that came to mind and got the phone call for the interview — classic human nature.” — Dan Linthicum
The following advice and direction to entry level HVACR students has been developed, provided and exercised over the past 20+ years by myself as an HVACR educator advising students. The job search success for any student that actually followed through with the advice given has been very impressive. The main issues that I have encountered are: A) a majority of the students will not follow through and B) those that do follow through end up with more opportunities than one and have a difficult time deciding where they want to go to work (a tough problem to have).
Often those that do follow through are able to begin working with the employer before they are finished with their program of study. This is an ideal arrangement due to the workplace experience that enhances and re-enforces the lessons learned in the program of study thereby accelerating the success of an entry level tech. One real danger in this arrangement is that the employer will ask you to quit school and go full time. If that is the case the employer is not displaying professional business sense and is inadvertently asking you to compromise your professional growth and opportunity.
My plug to the students (those that pay attention) is coming from experience. My rose colored glasses have always seen opportunity. HVACR does not have a glass ceiling, you can go where ever you want to aspire to. The field is open for anyone that "performs".
The steps below focus on gaining employment with a "Professional" HVACR employer. The key term is "Professional"! The HVACR industry in the United States consists of a number of occupational paths for entry level technicians with contractors or facilities. These directions could apply to either of the paths. There are approximately 220,000 HVACR contractors in the United States and an unknown number of facilities maintenance shops. I suspect that the facilities maintenance positions are as significant in number as the contractor base.
FET (Facilities Engineering Technicians) are typically employed by companies or organizations that have a significant amount of HVACR equipment in their owned buildings or under contract. Think of hospitals, school districts, hotels, large commercial complexes, etc. The position is NOT a janitor gig, rather a continuous monitoring, service and maintenance process on the HVACR equipment that serves the facility, often called the physical plant. The work is very much the same but it does not fall under the category of contracting. The primary difference is that you deal with the same equipment on a continuous cycle and the hours are much more of an 8 hour shift arrangement.
Because I don’t have any specific knowledge of the facilities maintenance numbers I am only able to address the contractor market. Statistically the National contractor base consists of companies that are small in size averaging "5 trucks". This means that they employ 5 to 9 persons total. The HVACR contracting business follows the same rule that many other occupations follow, the 80/20 rule. This means 20% of the HVACR contractors generate 80% of the sales revenue and the other 80% of the contractors generate the remaining 20% of the sales volume that is attributed to the industry. These numbers have not changed much if at all in the 33 years that I have been paying attention.
Obviously there is a huge difference between the 20% and 80% contractors. The difference is professionalism in the business operation and workplace. My consistent recommendation to any person working in the HVACR industry is to work for a Professional Company! How do you know they are professional? Read on…..
This timeline for the process begins during the first week of school/program:
- Engage the student/s in conversation and ask why they are studying HVACR.
- The #1 answer is because they want a job
- Go figure (the expected response)
- The #1 answer is because they want a job
- The student is informed that "NOW" is the time to begin a job search
- Normal student response is surprise, they are just starting school
- The student is given the steps to follow
- Get a phone book for the area that you wish to work in
- Look in the yellow pages under the following categories
- Air Conditioning
- Normal student response is surprise, they are just starting school
- The category with the most employer potential is usually AC and Heating
- The same employers are found under both categories
- Size of advertisement is not an indicator of professionalism
- The yellow pages are for identifying employer locations only
- Make a list of the potential employers and their locations
- Visit the employer location park in their parking lot or across the street and gauge the professionalism of the company
- Professional employer visual references
- Professional looking building, well marked, clean, inviting
New Aeroseal Company Offers HVAC Professionals Easy Entry into Flourishing Home Energy Conservation Market
JMD Acquires AEROSEAL LLC From Carrier Corp. — Places Focus On Partner Success In Green-Sustainability Market
East Syracuse, NY (PRWEB) May 23, 2011
JMD Corporation, owners of Aeroseal LLC, today announced the launch of the “new Aeroseal” with a program focused on helping HVAC business owners and other contracting professionals rapidly increase business revenue. The program, aimed at meeting the growing nationwide demand for Aeroseal services, gives new dealers everything they need to quickly become successful Aeroseal service providers and active players in the flourishing home energy conservation market.
JMD recently acquired AEROSEAL LLC from Carrier Corporation. The new Aeroseal dealer program highlights the company’s commitment to ongoing service and support.
As part of the new program, investing businesses receive all of the Aeroseal testing and application equipment and supplies they need to begin. They also receive ongoing training, service, marketing and business support to help ensure continued success. Aeroseal is signing up dealers on a regional basis and is limiting the number of licenses to maximize the success of each licensed Aeroseal service provider.
“We are a totally new Aeroseal dedicated to the success of our partnering service providers,” said Neal Walsh, vice president of sales and marketing for Aeroseal. “For a limited investment in supplies and equipment, an HVAC service company or duct cleaning business receives everything needed to begin meeting the growing homeowner demand for effective energy conservation services.”
Rated as one of the most effective and affordable means of lowering home energy use, Aeroseal duct sealing is poised to capture a significant amount of the $40 billion energy efficient home improvement market.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the Electric Power Research Institute, 25% to 40% of the heating and cooling energy put out by heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems is lost through leaky ductwork systems. Aeroseal plugs the leaks responsible for energy loss, potentially saving U.S. homeowners approximately $25 billion in energy costs every year.