I’ve now racked up about three hours trying to fix an issue on campus. I initially tried about six months ago where I gave up after about half an hour because of funding. The issue has come back as a student has suggested a brick might work just as well. Yes, it’s an issue that could be solved with a brick.
There are two display cabinets with locked glass fronts in a corridor of a heavily used learning space on campus. They are a great opportunity to promote what units are available, possible internships, and generally support for graduation. In fact, that is what they contain. It’s just from Semester 2, 2007.
Turns out, as Jenny has pointed out to me, if no one owns the problem, no one will fix it. These cabinets used to belong to one faculty who has since moved out of the building (and lost the key). The building is now a shared space and no one can tell me who ‘owns’ the cabinets. All I can say, is after another two or so hours, I have found someone to pay for the locksmith to come out and I have filled in the hard copy form that I then had to scan to attach to the electronic form which is how I log the request. I eagerly wait to see how many more hours I will spend trying to fix a problem no one wanted to own but a student was willing to fix with a brick. See, the old information really annoys them. It annoys me too, but I don’t have to look at it so I wasn’t owning the problem. This time, I owned it because, well, someone should.
It’s been a week…………
I forget that education is not about always about successful student learning and that sometimes it is about the politics. Fortunately these times are rare, but it just so happens that this week, there has been a confluence of politic events that has sharpened my focus.
Just when I was ready to inform some people in very non politic way that I thought maybe they should stick their ideas elsewhere, I saw students present on their experiences in relation to our education approaches. They made me remember the point of it all. They also used no politics at all. They spoke from the heart. They reminded me that education is about the heart as much as it is about the head and that quite frankly, we can play politics all we want, they will go on learning in spite of us.
You know, sometimes, it really is just worth it to stop and remember the point. Thank you to you amazing students!
Interestingly I started another blog for my certificate II that I’m trying to complete. After missing the point of the exercise several times I finally got there. (A big thank you to Carol Green for her patience…..) Although I’ve not passed yet so I shouldn’t be counting chickens.
Anyway, as part of that blog we are discussing Plato and the allegory of the cave. A part of me wishes I’d come across this 20 years ago, but then again, I may not have placed such importance on the concepts when I was that age. Apparently timing is everything. So, we have come to a discussion of truth. What is it and how do we know it when we do see it? While it’s been an interesting conversation to have with friends on a blog, for me, it actually relates to the world of higher education today.
Truth for academics (as I refer to a lot) is a mixture of research, teaching, technology support, administration, adherence to what appear to be obscure and arcane rules and generally a lot of work. For the first time this week, in real terms, I started to think about what is the truth for students. What are they seeking from higher education and what are we actually providing?
In our rush to go online and become flexible, is the truth that we have left students behind wondering where the lecture went? In an age of information where students can have an answer at their finger tips, is the truth that they have no idea how to research effectively and don’t know the right answer when it appears on the screen? Are we actually facing a truth in higher education that there is no digital native?
It’s been a while since I posted on this blog (been blogging elsewhere) and it’s also been a while since I did any research, so I think for the moment my truth is I need to research more and think more about what the learning experience is for students. In the mean time, I think the truth really is that the sunset tonight is amazing.