ON HER FINAL DAY of primary school, Mia (12) joined with 30 other classmates in a surreal setting that typifies the way her life has been for the previous 15 weeks. She stayed two metres apart from friends she has known throughout primary school. I watched the setting and wondered what lies ahead in what may be a hybrid form of education for our two school children.
AFTER A SHORT PERIOD teaching remotely, I can feel seismic shifts under the foundation of third level teaching in Ireland. I believe it's only a matter of time that lecturers will be timetabled to deliver their core teaching hours electronically as well as in a classroom.
I'VE STARTED USING my laptop and Note 9 screens to stay in touch with people through Zoom. I feel I'm getting closer to people by having meaningful conversations and then documenting the process through open education initiatives.
LIKE MANY FAMILIES, we're practicing evidence-based techniques of self-isolation--such as the ready-made face protection shown in the photo. I've also observed three items related to surviving during the 2019 Corona Virus. The three images in this post are the three most-viewed through my Flickr account on Friday, March 13, 2020.
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.
In 1989, I created basic computer literacy training material for US Army snipers and tank mechanics. The average students were GED graduates who often studied the field classroom shown above. Since the 90s, I’ve used Moodle  and Microsoft Education tools  while trying to ensure high levels of accessibility as the absolute measure of merit with whatever I create. Through the years, I’ve validated ten tips for effective distance education that I often offer to colleagues for their peer review as they attempt to adapt lectures, assignments, and activities for online learning. It is a lot of work so if have to “get on with it” you might consider a few ideas from my corner.
FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS I've been using video conferencing facilities (such as the one above), first with my laptop and now with my Samsung Note 9. I think some of the hard-learned skills could be put to good use if we have to close our campus to stave off COVID-19.
I WISH parents with primary school children would shut off the engines of their cars when stopping to drop off their kids. And I hope I never see an unattended car, left idling outside of an after-school facility, jump into gear and hit an unsuspecting pedestrian.
I talk about these things and a few other items printed in the Sunday newspapers in Ireland.