Week in Review: May 4, 2020

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I attended a LOT of webinars this week – mostly BCcampus’. We still get a lot of folks showing up and I’m trying to understand why so we can plan what to do next. There is a combination of practical advice and kind reassurance going on. Our team is so incredible, I never get tired of listening to them and never stop being amazed at how smart and talented they are. And…the way we’re doing these webinars isn’t sustainable so we’re starting to talk about that. We have to be thinking in shorter terms than usual, i.e., “now-to-fall”.

What’s next? “New normals”, etc

I went to a really fun online party 🙂
  • News: Since my “all-reclusive retreat“, my news consumption is still cut by about 80% from what it was, and I am better for it.
  • Pivoting Online (still) does not mean replicating f2f, particularly teaching practices inspired by factories: lecturing in 3+ hour lecture/webinars, online proctored exams, “going to class” in virtual classroom environments (we don’t need another Second Life). What DOES it mean? We gotta figure it out together, but certainly more focus on STUDENTS and LEARNING (vs. content and teaching), which means inclusion, assessment FOR learning, more compassion and trust. This is a powerful moment; I hope we don’t squander it and “go back” to the way things were before. It’s that whole “Maslow before Bloom” thing. I worry every time I catch a story about how online learning sucks – it doesn’t have to!
  • Are we connecting less? When this all started, I was calling people I hadn’t talked to in a long time, checking in with my mom daily, talking to friends every night, attending many online pub nights. We were grabbing around for new tools to connect. Feels like that energy has faded a bit.
  • That said, I went to a really fun online party – it was way more fun than it should have been. But it had all the important elements: great music, cool people, some fanciness, tasty wine, dancing, and puppets. A great illustration about how any experience is good/bad, engaging/boring, fun/lame because of design and participation, not mode (online or f2f) or tool (Zoom, BlueJeans, Collaborate, bla bla bla).

Media, Apps, etc

  • Finding Fred – podcast. If you grew up listening to Mr. Rogers, you might be surprised how moving it is to listen to him now.
  • Forest App – recommended by Brenna Clarke Grey. It’s a gentle little app designed to keep you on task/off your phone or iPad.

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