This is an overview of UNESCO's response to the need to provide learning in the time of coronavirus. The Education Response Task Force "created a web platform with examples of online remote learning solutions, and of different set ups per country," according to the report. It's also planning to set up a Global Covid-19 Education Coalition "to give technical assistance and capacity development to countries in the face of the crisis."
This post revises the old Tuckman model of group formation, dropping the 'storming' phase (as I guess advocacy of 'storming' is a bit impolitic) and adapting it to digital teams. Some of the advice is quite practical (eg., "in the sudden switch to remote working your team is potentially facing a reduction in screen real estate" (which is why I bought a big-screen monitor for the home a few months ago)). In the norming phase we learn "how important it is to create space for being social as well as productive." Quite so. As for performing, well, "it takes time and, unfortunately, experience to build trust in ways of managing a crisis when meeting in person isn’t an option."
After a bit of generic commentary in the first half (eg., "teaching is a radical act," and "the bureaucracies of schooling attempt to flatten our differences") the gist of the article "against scaffolding" comes to the fore in the second. "Too much of what we do breaks learning down into neat chunks, discrete linear steps, carefully 'scaffolded' to control for anxiety and distraction— without being responsive to the specific contexts, backgrounds, and experiences of students... too much of this framework is built in advance, during the design phase of a course, before teachers have even met the students." I've always thought of scaffolding as a toolbox, not a design element. So I'm sympathetic with the argument in this post.
This is a simple and straightforward post that makes the point that there are good alternatives to videoconferencing to support online learning. The centerpiece is a table of four quadrants describing tools that are high and low immediacy against tools that are high and low bandwidth. The post is "a reminder that seemingly small (and sometimes unconscious) choices about the technologies we use can have a big impact on how inclusive and effective our teaching is."
This page overviews the response of my employer, the National Research Council of Canada, to the Covid-19 outbreak. Of course, this does not preclude other responses, such as my own work supporting the nation-wide transition to online learning. The page provides mechanisms for researchers and companies to collaborate wither with the NRC challenge programs and for companies to respond with innovative products and services to meet the challenge.
This article looks at how teachers reacted to a pilot project using digital badges. One of the findings serves as a caution: "we observed that discourse across the groups tended to isolate knowledge of learning strategies or concepts — seen as a form of disciplinary knowledge to be assessed by a 'knowledge' badge — from pedagogic practice." This obviously is not desirable. " National educational policy documents identify this theory-practice dualism as problematic for teacher education in India."
Because I don't use Facebook (on account of it being generally evil) I can't join the Online Learning Collective. But I like the objective and would encourage them to use a less predatory communications channel. "The (higher ed) Online (Teaching &) Learning Collective was initiated to aid college and university educators transitioning from face-2-face instruction to online and remote learning during the spring 2020 semester. The purpose is to help each other—experts and novices—get through the next couple weeks or entire semester and beyond. Together." To date they've set up this website, discussed some things in Facebook, created a mentored open online course, managed already to get some publicity, and created a few videos on how to get started teaching online.
You have to read right to the end of this article to get today's word of the day: MOOP (Massive Open Online Publication). A lovely word. Anyhow, this paper focuses mostly on the definition of open scholarship, with an extended look at the histories of the related concepts of free and open source software (FOSS) and open science. The aurthors argue "there is substantial scope for new communities of practice to form within scholarly communities that place sharing and collaboration/open participation at their focus" but warn that "Open Scholarship risks being subverted and compromised by commercial players."
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