University life during a pandemic

We are such social creatures but when we can't be social ...

University life during a pandemic

It's the start of another semester here in the Czech Republic and there's renewed hope of a fresh start with face-to-face contact. With no one wanting to jinks anything, hushed voices and the occasional mention of hybrid teaching ☹️ we are tentatively designing our courses to be in an actual classroom.

It's crazy to think that there are pretty much two year levels of students at university that have never set foot on campus, where the only social contact with fellow students they've had was whatever teachers designed into their courses. No O-week, no uni parties, no dorm room antics, no drinking nights meeting new people. Two years of university done and barely a new friend to show for it (let alone a love interest) 😢

Designing more social aspects into courses

Although I did my best to design as much social group work into my online courses as possible, there is something to be said for being able to scan faces and know whether they are on-board or not, or wander around the room and overhear things to give feedback on. Until we get hologram technology, there are still a few subtle things that can not be replaced with online technologies.

While designing the coming semester, a few thoughts come to mind. Firstly, relax a little on the content, with project and task work, the content will come. Designing in a little social something into every lesson will go a long way. There are some aspects of online learning I want to keep but I'll need to be careful not to have them behind the computer screens too often. It'll need to be a careful balance.

My favourite things this week

  1. Discovering this Teaching Tactics podcast that gives me renewed hopes and dreams for physical classroom greatness.
  2. I got to recreate my podcasting lessons for future teachers and it's given me renewed hope for getting some awesome podcasts to review.
  3. Rediscovering Jim Carrey's Commencement speech at MIU in 2014 is such a blessing. If you haven't seen it, or even if you have, have another listen as there's so much there that you're sure to catch something anew.

Quote for the week

"We didn't know what we were doing, but we kept going anyway."
— Just about every successful story when looking back

Belinda Allan is an education advisor who is dedicated to empowering lifelong learners. By exploring the intersection of technology, personal development and learning futures, Belinda uses her expertise in education, IT and AI to guide individuals in creating the course or training program of their dreams. With a focus on how AI can drive productivity and well-being in the ever-changing landscape of education and work, Belinda will help you unlock your full potential.

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