THE FEATURE -- Howard Rheingold writes about a generation "immersed in cyberculture" when entering school, "mobile and wirelessly connected". Bryan Alexander from Middlebury College in Vermont calls them "nomadic swarms". I wonder if those attributes can be applied to incoming multimedia degree students at Tipperary Institute.
MOODLE -- At its core, our online open media programme is underpiinned by a decidedly student-entric ethos. Central to this ethos is the self-service ideal--the notion that online education enables more convenient, user-friendly interaction with educational materials.
CLONMEL -- The most common password into Moodle, our virtual learning environment, is "password" and that will not surprise people who study human memory. On average, the human brain can hold only five to nine "random bits of information" in short-term memory. Considering the brain's limited capacity and the sheer number of secret names, codes, and words a person needs to remember in this password-protected age, it's no surprise that the most common password is simply "password."
LOVESAC -- After watching the reaction of people walking through the latest Ernesto Neto exhibition in The Butler Gallery, I know giant beanbags are magnetic. We need one of these.
These giant bags are six feet across. Just the thing for a ready-made snug in the corner of the campus.
DUBLIN -- In class with Mick Wilson, the course developer of Dun Laoghaire's Master of Visual Arts Practises (MAVIS) programme, people wanted to know what kind of legacy might extend from the MAVIS programme. Wilson's perspective illuminated some enriching dimensions.
He is more interested in what graduates will be doing three to five years later.
ARTS AND LETTERS -- Easy grades, light reading loads, and above all a professor you can enjoy. Today’s university culture is one of all entertainment all the time.. an essay by Mark Edmunson based on his new book
Why Read? about the the "crisis in the humanities", called the most provocative look since Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind. It's not just a problem in America--it's endemic in my Irish classrooms. An American report from the National Endowment for the Arts documents how Americans are reading less. The unfortunate thing about that finding is that it's a globalistic effect--people everywhere are reading less. That harms society and reduces political discussion to the realm of the sound bite.
CLONMEL -- As I begin my seventh year of teaching young adults the essential elements of multimedia, I realise the bar is raised higher than in years past. I know this is true because I am asking for more deliverables in less time. For this to be viable, I have also made the following assumptions:
CLONMEL -- Students in Tipperary Institute pay half of what their friends in the National College of Ireland pay each week for room rent. The top 10 most expensive bed sits in Ireland, according to Students' Unions:
DUBLIN -- Dublin City University (DCU) hosts a day-long conference that uses and explains Moodle, the world's most successful Open Source e-learning platform. We expect 80 people at the event and at least that number will view the proceedings online.
CLONMEL -- If you believe rumblings from the Irish press, third level colleges and universities will find themselves gasping for revenue before the end of the decade. The Department of Education has reduced the funding line for most of its third level institutions and has told provosts they must find alternative funding channels. This attitude suggests the colleges involved should begin measuring their effectiveness with some market data. I have some monthly measurement indicators in mind.