ONE OF THE GREATEST force multipliers I enjoy occurs when I share and share alike. The concept is part of the ethos I observed during many OpenCoffee sessions in Limerick, such as the one in the photo.
I remember the open conversation that powers the start-up community in Limerick and think it should be recognised by government ministers who are trying to foster creativity and growth among Irish entrepreneurs. The collaborative ethos that so often pores from many of Ireland's start-up clusters is often at odds with the precious (and damaging) attitude that reigns supreme in many of Ireland's educational institutions.
I've felt the sledgehammer of cloistered thought several times during the 12 years I've spent as a third level lecturer. Over time, I've established myself as a journeyman, able to slot into various kinds of teaching duties, often at campus locations more than 50 miles apart. I consider my role part of the job and I believe my contributions help prevent the silo-based thinking that pervades many institutions of higher learning around the world.
So when I discovered that I was cut off from legacy course development materials on a long-running academic module, I wasn't totally amazed. I've seen and heard of worse before.
Tweet from @topgold
I hope both a technological and management solution might prevent the collapse of essential collaboration. Technologically, Office 365 on many Irish college campuses is pushing my colleagues into spaces where they inadvertently share their work. I can see some of this happening when I use Delve, an app Microsoft developed for all major mobile operating systems. Interesting files surface in Delve, based on social signals in workgroups I've joined. I have seen documents through Delve that were never sent to me--when those documents were saved into file locations I've been permitted to access based on my role in the organisation--there is one document meeting this description in the screenshot below. This means that course notes, reading materials and scratch work might also be inside communal working locations, making my access easier and ensuring frictionless collaboration.
At the management level, I believe stronger emphasis should be placed on Creative Commons Licensing of academic material developed while in the receipt of a salary paid by the State. I stamp my work with the CC-by-4.0 license since I want to ensure it can be reused by colleagues now and in the future.
For now, it's back into my Kindle where I'm annotating several essential textbooks that accompany four different modules I currently teach. I hope to extract my electronic annotations and then to share them in a manner that two other lecturers on two different campuses might see them through a view on Delve.
If your work also causes you to tap and learn through Delve, I hope you share your thoughts with me via a comment or a coffee chat.