Many teachers and instructors find themselves in the position of 'product manager' as their courses are converted from in-person to online delivery. What this means is that the work is being done by a team of writers, illustrators and programmers, while they find themselves in the role of describing what the course should look like and how it should function. It's not the easiest role, especially when the outcome isn't always easy to imagine. This website (it's too long to call it a post) isn't a description of the role so much as it is a series of very valuable lessons about it. They are shortish individually, but they add up to a lot. As is so often the case in documents like this, the best value is found by reading from the bottom up.
The Arizona State University authors describe three features of the 'new normal' (quoted):
In other words, "COVID-19 raises questions about the relevance, the quality, and the accessibility of higher education - and these are the same challenges higher education has been grappling with for years." Now, is ASU a model response to these challenges? The Charles Koch Foundation, which sponsored this article, may think so. But diligence demands a broader and more democratic consideration.
As workplace communications systems become more popular the temptation to 'manage' them can become irresistible, and of course, Facebook is looking to capitalize on that trend. This article describes a company presentation that "discussed the 'benefits' of 'content control.' And it offered one example of a topic employers might find it useful to blacklist: the word 'unionize.'" Facebook has apologized, noting that "censoring users is not the purpose of this feature and Workplace’s ambition is to give everyone a voice, while maintaining a respectful work environment." But if it's not the purpose of this feature, then what is the purpose of this feature?
Ewan McIntosh is beginning to hit a new stride this week as he comes out with this expressive vision for learning: "Every child will have the entitlement to make music, to peace and quiet, to space and technology to learn what they need to, in the time it takes them, with access to great mentors, teachers and peers who talk about the stuff that matters, teach each other new tricks." Sounds good to me. A vision worth working toward.
This article looks at new methods for creating and using documents, referencing especially Notion, Coda, and Airtable. "What they do is create fully integrated and dynamic documents that combine the features of a word processor, database, spreadsheet and project management system." The author refers back to Google Wave, a great idea hat never went anywhere, but the new formats also draw inspiration from projects like Jupyter Notebooks, a system that embeds functing software in digital documents, and also collaborative authoring tools, including Google Docs.
Google Meet is getting a number of "teacher requested" features, including: hand raising, mute all, digital whiteboard, new knocking and access controls, lock presentation screen & chat. Students will also be able to customize or blur their backgrounds (with admin controls to disable this functionality). I wish teachers were "requesting" more than just greater control over the virtual environment. Here's a Twitter Chat with Google following the announcement.
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Copyright 2020 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.