Thursday, March 5, 2009

Otago Polytechnic Staff Development conference ideas

From the committee meeting on Wednesday we have agreed to a key note speech from Sam Mann and a panel discussion on sustainable practice issues.

One of the points of discussion was around including general/admin staff in the key note speech. Sam you may have a good idea what to include in your speech to ensure this. Mark Jackson maybe able to advise and as the Sustainable Management Group won't be meeting before this time input from others maybe helpful to Sam.

Following on from this the panel discussion must also include general/admin staff. Mark Jackson is probably best placed to do this. Barry (if he agrees) and I will speak together r.e. integrating sustainable practice into teaching. I have approached Maureen Howard (DCC Sustainable Living programme and Sustainable Dunedin City, Education person) to speak as an outside voice on the OP Sustainability objectives and how they fit into the sustainability in the Dunedin community or something like that. I'd also like to find a student who would talk about sustainability throughout the Polytechnic from their perspective.

Perhaps Sam could also sit on the panel to have input into the answers to any questions, though he would not speak on the panel as he would have just spoken for an hour?

Half day workshops:
- I have proposed to Barry that he and I run a half day workshop (2 1/2 hrs) for academic staff on integrating sustainable practice into teaching. I propose that this includes staff bringing their course outlines, ideas and any resources that already have for Barry and I to work with them individually as well as collectively to get them going on the right track.

- Another half day workshop could be run by Mark Jackson specifically for general/admin staff on operations, including supply chains, department events, admin resources, sourcing, induction etc.

I'd really appreciate feedback on these ideas, including what needs to be or could be covered by Sam in his key note and each panel presenter. If anyone can think of a student who would be suitable that would be helpful. Thanks. Anna :)


Leigh Blackall said...

"integrating sustainable practice into teaching"

Lets turn that around for a tick:

"integrating teaching into sustainable practice"

It occurs to me that the sustainability effort should do more at identifying what goes on already that it thinks relates to or IS sustainable practice.

This is different from asking each department to nominate the things it thinks it does (as Sam has been gathering up until recently).

This is a much more difficult task for you though. Getting to intimately know each course in the Polytechnic and identifying sustainable practice.

You could start with the open educational work though. I think most agree that open education relates to sustainability, and in some instances the finer detail of that effort relates in a big way.

Anyway, that's my suggestion. As usual I might be the only one who bothers to comment on other people's blogs. Sorry if I come across blunt or rude.

Anna Hughes said...

Dont' really understand what you're saying Leigh. Will talk to you about it Face to Face!

Remember that Open Education, if you're talking online, wikieducator type stuff is only accessible to the 30-40% of the population who have internet access!

I'm not sure that the 'finer detail of that (open education) effort relates (to sustainability) in a big way'. You may need to enlighten me - as I'm sure you will!

:) Anna

Leigh Blackall said...

OK will try to explain the reversal with you face to face (the Internet's loss).

As for you correct comment regarding access to open educational resources that happen to be mostly online at the moment: the Creative Commons copyright license (and the spirit of sharing) anables content that is prodominantly online in the first instance, to be reused and repurposed for other contexts.. film nights, books, theatre, other websites. And so the content is made sustainable through the reuse, and the information made sustainable through the reuse into other formats.

As for open educational practice.. its a social equity thing. If as many people as possible has as much access to as much learning opportunities as possible.. then that can help with social sustainability in many ways.

Phil said...

I think a keynote from Sam is a good idea - with the intent of "inspiring capability"! It is important, I believe, to take this opportunity to reiterate why OP has adopted sustainability as a strategic platform, and to inform staff about our three strategy strands and the wonderful achievements to date. By the time of the conference every service area in the polytechnic will have engaged with Leadership Team (as part of the service review process)about what sustainability means for their area, what they have been doing and what they could be doing. And every programme area will know that they have the same discussion coming up in the programme review process.So, the address is an opportunity also to throw out a challenge or two.
Also, more sustainable practices not only are good for the environment and society, but good for OP and for the individual. I talk to too many people who do not make that connection. I am not an Adam Smith fan, but it does not hurt to press the self interest button now and then.
As for Leigh's challenge, I think it is actually about integrating teaching and sustainable practice - it really does not matter what the starting point is, does it?

Leigh Blackall said...

it really does not matter what the starting point is, does it?

I wonder.. part of my quick response would be to "integrate teaching into sustainability", because teachers think their profession is already full and are resistant to change (and more work). I have found it very difficult to encourage changes in teaching practices and in some instances subject matter.. so I was wondering if showing by doing is a better way.

Its also a little more humble. Its an approach that says, "we the sustainability people are trying to work out ways to fit the practice of teaching into what we consider and do", rather than, "we the sustainability people have the process for you teachers to apply or follow"...

Dunno.. I know I have been guilty of saying the later a lot, and by recognising it in myself I can perhaps recognise it in others...

Anna Hughes said...

Thanks for your comments Phil and Leigh.
To update, Barry does not have the time to run a workshop with me so I have proposed to do it myself.
Maureen is still to response to my invitation, but sounds interested. I would appreciate some more feedback from the rest of the Sustainable Management group, so if you see any of them please give them a nudge! Cheers. anna :)