For the fourteenth year running we have been providing education courses at Postgraduate level for IADT, the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire close to Dublin in Ireland. Usually the programmes are carried out face to face and we have been so lucky to have such amazing students over this time. Many of them pop up in courses in other institutions where we teach including Edinburgh and Liverpool as well as working at venues and on events across the UK. Some have been theatre managers, concert promotors, gallery curators and festival managers, whilst some are looking for a change of job late in life and the arts hold a big attraction for them.

However, this year has been different and for the first time, the twenty-two students were taught online. As usual a bright bunch asking a lot of pertinent questions, mostly about Covid as the work features projects in Covid safe venues and also some of the new research related to the new density plans created by MOM. With two more sessions yet to come we are looking forward to more time with this great group.

The missing link with teaching online is the ability to form a community of practice. Over time this becomes easy but in short bursts trying to create a rapport is difficult as you are just a face on the screen and they are participants. However, the next session is much more interactive after laying down the theory and we are looking forward to making this a different experience.

Going to IADT every year is a wonderful experience with a wide range of students from every possible art form and I miss the dinners and lunches with friends that I have made over the years. The one element which I miss the most is the craic and having a meal with some of the other tutors and managers where we discuss every subject under the sun. The Irish are such a hospitable race and I can’t wait to get back over to Ireland next year.