SEVEN YEARS AGO, I marveled at the YouTube tutorials Eugene O'Loughlin was churning out. I listened as he shared his experiences with a packed room during DIT's e-learning Summer School in 2013. Eugene often recorded his lectures beforehand and posted them on YouTube. After every lecture period at the National College of Ireland, Eugene would return to his office to often discover 100 more people had viewed his material online than had listened to him in the lecture hall.
Last week, Eugene O'Loughlin finished packing up Room 3.21 in the National College of Ireland. And today he retired from teaching.
Image snapped by @eoloughlin.
Like Eugene, I'm lucky to have an office all to my own on campus. Actually, because I'm teaching everything online during COVID-19, my office is now the official isolation room. It's important to have a quiet space to meet up and chat with students. I can see expressions of gratitude in the eyes of students who stop as we talk through our masks.
I picked up a lot of clever ideas from Eugene but I've never been able to quickly produce the high quality academic content he consistently shared through the years. I've pointed several of my business modules at Eugene's clips since his explanations are always more straightforward and confident than mine. I've suggested Eugene's perspective on Pareto Analysis to more than 100 students on three campuses of the Limerick Institute of Technology.
I'm glad I've several listening posts tuned into Eugene's thoughts because I want to read (and possibly hear) him reflect on his 31 years of teaching. We both taught at third level for the same period of time so we share many of the same perspectives. I'm very interested in seeing if some of the data analytics methods Eugene embedded on the NCI curriculum might be worth considering when teaching data journalism.
In the meantime, I'm spending a few hours reflecting on the memorable impression Eugene O'Loughlin has made on Ireland's education landscape. In several posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, hundreds of commentators have already acclaimed Eugene's excellence as a data analyst, blogger, lecturer, YouTube, biker, photographer, and writer. His legacy extends beyond his time in Mayor Square. I would love to catch up with him for a long retirement chat.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus for the Limerick Institute of Technology. You can subscribe to Eugene's blog with your fav feed reader. Remember those?]