I SPEND MINUTES EVERY DAY during the summer reviewing snaps I've taken of creative work recorded during the 10 years I've taught in Tipperary Institute. It's easy to see creativity in bloom as shots of former students flow by in slideshows.
I think we should be doing more to hook up with past graduates, perhaps sharing snippets of the curriculum they conquered by showcasing current work from practical sessions and by offering a flow of lectures that might help upskill graduates on the job. My Media Writing module has evolved a lot since 2001 and now features snippets from films, audio segments from radio shows, and a challenging foray into semiotics. Some of our social media module would fit directly into the jobs that many of our graduates hold. It's just a matter of packaging the material for a select audience and then getting feedback from that group to improve our classroom presentation.
Getting into this practise means a root-and-branch review of my own presentation style. I'm trying to do that now, during the summer break, with the result being a series of shownotes that I follow during a scheduled lecture. We may use Qik, Audioboo, our own podcasting channel, Online Meeting Rooms and Livestream to pull together all the pieces.
Over on my iPod Touch, I see gigs of content from video shows by tech news presenters, university educators and hobbyists. It's all good stuff because I can use what I see and hear. Scroll through iTunesU and you can see courses from many the world's top universities. Professors give away a lot of their course content now--and much of it is free. You can find subscriptions on iTunes, Go to Youtube, Blip.tv, Livestream and Vimeo. Ireland needs to be in that space too.
I'm joining a conversation in the Limerick Institute of Technology and hope that the senior management shows personal interest in setting up their own smart phones to download and interact with content we produce. Because it you intent to make critical strategic choices, you need to be swimming with the team that's already in the water.
Quality multimedia snippets can easily arise during compelling third level courses. To be effective, they need to be packaged professionally inside a subscription plan and involve an engaging feedback loop. Professionals like Leo Laporte and Howard Rheingold know the ropes. They're the voices guiding me in a process that I hope can elevate the value of Irish third level education above the weakening public finances that cannot support this kind of initiative.