Techniques Magazine Techniques February 2011 : Page 14

Q & A An Interview with CTE Entrepreneur Nai Wang better than videos. Sous Chef is actually a training tool that was used originally as a professional development tool to train teachers so they could have the skills to train their students. And it just kind of evolved from there. ACTE: How do schools imple-ment it? Is it just for culinary arts? NW: The curriculum is actually deployed in multiple facets. Culinary arts is our primary target, but it’s also being utilized in food and nutrition classes—anything that involves cooking. Cooking is cooking whether it is done professionally or at home. The skills that are being taught in our curriculum can be applied to other fields as well. ACTE: Tell us about any other tools or systems that you have and how they’re being used. NW: The Sous Chef was a tool used to train teachers, which then evolved into a tool that teachers use to train students. Since then, we’ve created a unique curriculum solution called the KP Curriculum Suite, which involved creating a test generator that utilizes Bloom’s taxonomy as our basis to generate the test. It is one of the most unique things that I’ve seen in education because all of our test questions are weighted by Bloom’s and you’re able to generate a very balanced Bloom’s test because of the way that we implement our tests. All the teacher has to do is drag a slider to tell the system how many questions they want from each level of Bloom’s and it will create a test for them right there. After that, we’re creating other tools to be able to do things such as an online assessment engine, which utilizes the same testing engine, but also allows the teacher to be able to create custom courses right from the same source material. ACTE: So, you’ve got the testing portion and then you’ve got the video portion as the tutorial. NW: Yes. The video portions of the Sous Chef contains 340 instructional videos that are very education focused. You won’t ever see the chef’s face; we don’t believe in talking heads. So, the videos are very important because we focus on the skill and the technique. I believe that we were one of the first to actually do nothing but focus on skill/ technique videos. Everything in the industry at the time was a chef standing there lecturing, and eventually you go to a wide shot and you see them doing something. You really don’t get to see the actual technique. ACTE: This started out as a small enterprise. How did you make the leap to help it grow? NW: It started out kind of like a garage band. Like any teacher, you think to yourself, “Gosh! I could videotape that.” And then you go, “Wow! OK, now I have a few videos, maybe I can put something together.” Every teacher has thought about that. The difference is that we took it to the next level. We formulated a plan. We shot the videos. We created a structure. And the difference is that instead of just creating a vast video library, we formulated it into a software structure which evolved over the years, with a very strong focus on further innovation every other year. Once we got settled, finished a version, we took a little break and then we went and re-innovated. In about five years’ time we finally broke even, and then we were Wang has been an innovator in the field developing software such as Sous Chef and Kp Curriculum Suite. ACTE: You entered the CTE field in 1997, when you created the educational tool Sous Chef. Tell our readers what Sous Chef is. NW: Sous Chef was a dream of three of us—myself, Michael Murray and Dominic O’Neill. We basically got together and decided to create a training tool to address the needs of teachers. Chef O’Neill taught professional development to teachers for approximately 10 years. But the problem was that whenever he trained the teachers over the summer, when they came back and actually had to perform the skill in the springtime, they couldn’t remember everything. So we wanted to do something that was 14 Techniques Februar y 2011

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