IRELAND HAS TAKEN CONTACTLESS to a whole new level by effectively locking down venues such as community swimming pools, libraries and cultural centres. The Corona Virus Strategy also means changing my teaching style from hands-on lab session to a virtual realm, a new connotation of "contactless" in our daily routines.
I got very good advice about the meaning of effective social distancing while listening to Darren Ryan from Clonmel Child Care. Darren spoke to Fran Curry in the TippFM Roadcaster on the streets of Clonmel. He gave specific advice for parents and spoke about what it means for all licensed child care facilities to close during a critical time as Ireland tries to "flatten the curve" of viral infection.
I need to get a routine that enables me to help my students pass their academic modules. It means revising one of my final exams because nearly one third of the examination material has not been covered in class. I could try to push out the material through e-learning but the academic programme has not been accredited for distance learning.
As I plan to shut down my campus office, I hope to improve my workflow by diving into some trusted assets.
Twitter List of Educators
During the past five years, I've added the handles of educators to my Edchatie Twitter List. Several of those teachers and education advocates share best practice online before they present their research at major events or through peer-reviewed publications. I expect to glean helpful advice about home schooling from dozens of these teachers during the next four weeks because I doubt they will return to the classroom before May.
Upskilling with Eugene
I'm a fan of Eugene O'Loughlin's YouTube Channel and if I don't have to attend administrative meetings, I should have time to finally master pivot tables and regression analysis through the handy YouTube videos Eugene has produced over the past decade.
Documenting Listening Posts
I need to stay in touch with students during this challenging phase of life. So I need to (1) contact every one of my 59 students within the next week to ensure they know what's required to pass their academic programmes and (2) discover the major touchpoints they're using for their learning. I suspect Moodle will be the main focal point. I've also discovered I can see what people are reading by looking at statistics about images on Flickr and on Instagram. I'm using Contactually as my contact manager.
Getting Quality Alerts from Newsfeeds
I've set up several alerts with Inoreader, a paid news aggregator I've used for more than five years. It's serving me COVID-19 information ahead of Ireland's national broadcaster. I've used Inoreader to pull a variety of information about the local community from RSS feeds scattered across the internet. I currently offer a small amount of academic marks to students to annotate their creative media products with #clonmeldigital when they post it to their own eportfolio sites or to places like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Gamifying Remaining Material
The next six weeks will prove whether Socrative can keep students on task as I use results from online quizzes as part of a revised continuous assessment schedule for classes. I'll explain what I'm doing in an upcoming episode of the Clonmel Digital Podcast.
These will be challenging times.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology.]