2012 was quite a year! In a little under ten months American Welding Online grew from a small dream of providing welding education to anyone, at anytime, anywhere in the world, to a core AWS service. Last year saw the growth of AWO Online Seminars, the first AWS Virtual Conference, and the launch of educational initiatives designed to support the needs of the industry such as the Sense Online System, the Professional Program Podcasts, and the AWO Blog.
As one of the founding members of American Welding Online I can honestly tell you that we entered 2012 full of ideas, energy, and a desire to make a noticeable difference in our industry. While I am proud of everything we accomplished last year, I am also disappointed we didn’t do more. Even though we have big ideas, we are still a relatively small staff that relies upon the efforts of volunteers to provide the quality content befitting AWS.
Although 2012 saw exceptional growth for AWO, 2013 will be better. Our staff is reenergized, refocused, and dedicated to making a difference.
In 2013, the AWS staff and volunteers that produce, maintain, and host the vast selection of AWO programs and resources are focused on accomplishing three main goals:
1) Expand the AWO Online Seminar/ Certification offerings to integrate learning pathways with entry level and advanced courses, allowing AWO users to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to receive AWS certifications.
2) Support the welding industry by providing educational content for all levels of knowledge and skills. Share information and ideas consistently through social media, the AWO Blog, Podcasts, and webinars.
3) Develop new means of supporting the welding and joining industry through AWO programs such as SENSE Online System, open access AWO professional development courses, free educational webinars, welding competition tracking, a resource center with open content from a variety of providers, and AWO mobile apps.
Moving forward, the AWS staff will be releasing new content on American Welding Online on a set schedule. We are hoping that this schedule will provide quality educational content that will bring you back to AWO every day! While there will be some variation to the schedule we are hoping to keep it fairly regular. Starting today, new content will be released on the following schedule:
- Mondays – New Professional Program Podcast
- Tuesdays – New AWO Blog post
- Wednesday – Special events such as new videos, webinars, etc.
- Thursdays – New AWO Blog post
- Fridays – I can’t promise that every Friday we will have new content, but when we have something we want to release, but could fit it into our regular schedule, we will be releasing it on Fridays.
I wanted to conclude this blog post by saying that this blog is for you, the reader. I am currently sitting on my couch at home, typing away on my laptop, while I watch the Heat and the Timberwolves. Like many of you, my day did not end at 5 pm. After dinner was over, the dishes washed, and the kids put to bed, I sat down to write this post because the AWS Education Services team decided that this blog is a new priority. This blog is our way to communicate directly to you. And have you communicate with us.
Over the past year, many of you have offered suggestions, comments, even critiques. None of this fell on deaf ears. Everything you told us we took to heart. We implemented what we could, slated potential changes for the future, and tried our hardest to make sure you were heard. I don’t think anyone on the AWO team would consider themselves an expert. We are always looking for ways of doing it better, faster, and with a bigger impact. If you have any suggestions for the team, anything that would make your job, your career, or your education better, please let us know by leaving us a note at this end of this blog post, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t promise we can do everything you want, but I can promise we will listen.
I will updating everyone throughout the year about some of the projects we are working on, releasing, or are dreaming up. If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to sign up for out newsletter. This month we will begin sending out regular updates on AWO products and services to all subscribers.
Thank you for your continued support!