Goodbye FE

Harold Wilson

For the last two or three years I have been involved in the mainstream (Further -FE) education sector as a part-time Hospitality Assessor.

But no more.

I left the college that employed me last week and I have no desire to return to the sector as it continues to eat itself up from the inside.

I know that I must sound like an old curmudgeon, but I have spent a good part of my working life in FE, and loved every minute of it – until recently, when the learners/students/apprentices (call them what you like) started to be seen as monetary outcomes, rather than souls to be nurtured, taught and encouraged.

This was just one of the reasons I had for handing in my notice, there were many more, but all were based around the fact that middle managers are squeezed so tight that they really have no time to manage their team, their time or their learners’ academic outcomes.

For the last four months my charges, all level 2 food preparation apprentices, were seen as outcomes to be achieved by half term, when their funded time is up. Their practical (and often pastoral) needs were ignored: well, not ignored exactly, but no one cared whether they were being taught the skills they needed – just that they came into college and that that TICK was put on the register. The permanent staff treated apprentices like vermin.

With that sort of attitude, unchecked by a management more interested in securing and receiving funding I had to leave.

So, goodbye FE, thanks for all the fish.

I resign (as mayor)

It would seem that I am now the mayor of:

And yet, I’ve had enough.

Is it the glory of it all? The weight of the bling? (hardly). 

No, it’s much more mundane than that. I’m fed up with it all. Gowalla too – I’ve already deleted them both from my iPad and will soon delete them from my iPhone too.

I wrote about my experiment with situational social applications last month – https://eduvel.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/gowalla-and-foursquare/ – and wondered then just how worthwhile they would turn out to be. Well, for me, they have not turned out to be worthwhile at all and have been constantly frustrating.

My main problem is that I cannot register my presence at every place I want to. Foursquare constantly tells me that there’s something wrong with my connection to the internet – yet everything else still works (even Gowalla, which was at first just as erratic). I find this very frustrating.

It’s even more frustrating when the only reason I can see for using the App is the competitive element of it. I’m always just in front of, or just behind John Popham and Alison Lones but never in the lead because James Clay seems to register every step he takes 🙂

The other day, I was in Slaithwaite post office and noted that it wasn’t registered, so I set out to do so but the App refused to let me because (I assume) ‘post office’ was already registered (although nowhere to be seen on the system). It has also been know to tell me that I’m too far away from the point I’m trying to register my presence at e.g. Clacket Lane Services, even when I’m stood in the car park!

Enough. I resign.

Ensuing discussions:

http://elearningstuff.net/2011/06/19/e-learning-stuff-podcast-077-i-resign-as-mayor/
http://tech.jamesclay.net/?p=2011&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

Other views:

http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/technology/foursquare-getting-the-students-to-go-outside/