BE ABLE TO CREATE. That's a mantra I've long respected since joining forces with a small cluster of colleagues in the sunny southeast of Ireland. And over the years, I've watched a collaborative creative framework evolve with capable tools to match.
After a meaningful planning session, I'm reflecting on how we could mount a more effective plan to attack some very challenging tasks ahead. Simply put, I'd use some Design Thinking tacked onto some mobile apps that have served me and my creative students well during the past three years. I have become dependent on Airtable, OneNote, and Trello.
We face a numbers challenge just like any other business. In our case, we need to double our daily footfall and that means filling nearly every space in the parking lot outside. Do that and we can count on getting a better-equipped facility (but really no increase in parking slots because Ireland considers parking something that employees pay to use, either as benefit-in-kind or on street through vending machines).
I've a personal interest in winding down my third level teaching career in Ireland by developing three highly regarded online training offerings that enjoy top placement on iTunes U while delivered through iPads. Of course, I'll need my own iPad to test the viability of this strategy. I think all higher education programmes in Ireland will remain viable only if they have a flexible learning dimension to them. Anything purely classroom-based will be relegated to the library stacks of the 20th century, enshrined in the tenure afforded by senior staff. Across Ireland, people have started to realise that providing education for the 21st century graduate means facilitating resource-hungry hardware in labs, rising capital costs, and running on a treadmill of software subscription licenses. It is impossible to meet these constraints without increasing revenues.
I can see a vista ahead where local industry plays a part in specifying relevant lifelong learning programmes as well as offering students meaningful paid work experience opportunities. I believe it's possible to mobilise earned marketing value from both accomplished graduates and local influencers. But getting that kind of result means measuring results of both marketing campaigns and enrollment statistics.
I teach students Web Analytics, Creative Business, Media Writing, e-Commerce, Digital Literacies, and Emerging Trends. According to Moodle, I've taught a dozen other academic modules as well during the past 15 years. I think many business owners, recent graduates, and mid-career professionals would like to pick and choose a relevant assortment of topics from a carvery board of third level options and earn a Special Purpose Award comprised of learning material they deem most helpful instead of having to consume a pre-selected clump of material that they know they will never use. My challenge is to assemble such an academic offering for review by an Academic Council and then see if my business intelligence is correct.
If this sort of lifelong learning option appeals to you, I recommend you subscribe to my blog and follow the feed for my audio meanderings as we evolve one of the most relevant blended education programmes Ireland has seen in this century.