I GET INSPIRED by third level students and that's what keeps me in the game of education. Today, I'm merely reblogging an item by Eamonn Healy, a student in the creative multimedia programme at the Limerick Institute of Technology. There's a little of Einstein and a little of Edison in Eamonn's post.
"When I returned to education in 2009 I recall a conversation that I had with my brother. Having been away from education for over a decade and never having studied at third level I was a little concerned. I remember one of the things he spoke about was self guided learning. He told me that in his experience as a graduate, that the people who done well and got the most from their education were the students who worked beyond what was taught in the classroom.
"In the past few weeks I have really noticed how true this is, and listening to a talk given yesterday by a recent graduate from our college, who has now gone to study for a Masters Degree. It has brought it home even more. I have found that most of what the tutors in college have taught is the beginning of my education in the subject, not the cap that makes me a qualified expert.
"If there is one thing I have learned from my three years in college, it is that this is only the beginning of my education, and it is up to me to go away with the tools I have been given and further my knowledge. At times this is hard, especially when there are deadlines for assignments looming. Spending four hours trolling through obscure forums, poring over code or watching tutorial videos on YouTube. Often it can feel like time that could have been better spent, but I’m quickly realising research like this is never time wasted.
If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.
"It is important to keep this in mind when working, often the time spent researching something that ultimately seems of no practical use to you, can, as I mentioned, feel like time wasted. I have often found that weeks or months down the line that something I thought I had wasted a day on will come into play and I can progress at a quicker rate due to my diligent research earlier on.
"My advice to anyone asking the question, ‘Is it worth spending time looking into this?’, yes. Yes it is worth spending time looking into it, you have nothing to lose, you will only expand your knowledge, ok, so you might miss X-Factor or a football match, but in the long run you will have something much more valuable. If it does not seem that way when your trying to learn something, that no tutor has explicitly told you that you have to learn, do not worry, this is the real key to making the most from your time at college. Well, at least from my experience, that is my opinion.
"Too many people confine their learning to the campus or the curriculum, expand your knowledge and expand your horizons. "
Eamonn Healy -- "Expand Your Horizons" on his Posterous blog, March 24, 2012.
Michelle Moloney-King -- "Albert Einstein", October 31, 2011.
Kevin Harris -- "Collected Quotes from Albert Einstein", 1995.