For several years now, I’ve been teaching a Technician License course with a team of instructors from our local radio club. We use a very successful 2-day format (90% success rate on the FCC exam), holding the class on 2 consecutive Saturdays at the local fire station. Our next session starts on Sept 29th.

For this compressed two-day class, we’ve been using the Gordon West Technician Class book and (optionally) encouraged the class to read the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual. The Gordon West book is very focused on the exam questions, with some explanation around each one. The ARRL book is more thorough and deeper technically, so it is a good reference to round out the student’s understanding. Basically, the Gordon West book is good for “teaching the exam questions” and the ARRL book is good for providing a more comprehensive understanding.

My fellow instructor, Stu Turner WØSTU, got the idea into his head that it would be good to create a license manual that gave a solid treatment of the material while still highlighting the specific questions on the exam. The next thing you know, he is off creating  a new book, Ham Radio Technician License Course. Stu did an excellent job writing this book, keeping it focused on the relevant topics but going beyond just teaching the exam questions. He also has a good knack for keeping it interesting.

The story didn’t end there. One thing led to another and the book concept blossomed into a integrated learning system that includes a web site, iPhone/iPad app and (of course) the book.  The web site offers some written content and interesting videos that help people learn about amateur radio. I will be contributing some material to the web site from time to time.

The Ham Radio School iPhone app is really sweet…check it out on iTunes. All the questions from the current Technician question pool are included in both review-style quizzes and in properly weighted, full 35-question practice exams, just like the one you’ll take at your VE session.

The most important thing is that the book, the web site and the iPhone app are coordinated and work together as a system. We all have different learning styles, so the system approach allows the student to focus on what suits them best.

73, Bob K0NR