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Too busy to blog! Yelps

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Is this a good sign? My sympathy goes out to all teachers - I take classes (in theory) one day a week. This week I have stepped in to offer 'Isolation' cover for five classes. Putting together a 90 minute online class that follows lessons I've picked up in 10 weeks of PGCE takes a while - though the training allows me to get it done more quickly as I have a better feel for what will work.

But where is the work on live classes taught remotely to draw on for best practice? Maybe I'll author one.

OERs and resources available 'out there' is one thing - shoehorning them into your sessions is another. I know from the corporate training years that 'bespoke' was always best if you could afford it. Everything else screams 'compromise'.

I need to reversion somethign aimed at graduates and something else aimed at teachers. Playing a segment of these videos is easy enough, doing something myself and citing the sources is another. I still have to script it and record it.

At least I have recordings of these classes. When I have the energy and brain space I can reflect on each and the collection. And with three more days, and three more classes I will take the opportunity now to make changes.

The class is on digital communications - basically how to do better than PowerPoint or Slides. 

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Design Museum

A month at home - never been busier

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Asthmatic blowing on their Peak Flow Meter

As I'm asthmatic I started remote or 'distributed' working a week before my colleagues - some of whom stayed at college to man the phones.

The transition to working online, and bringing as many teachers and students up to speed, has been both swift and largely smooth. GBMET has had dedicated 'learning technologists' in a Digital Team for several years. We have been pushing to bring staff, educators and students online for the last two years. The last 9 months has seen a breakthrough with internal workshops and conferences, greater integration with internal marketing and more one to one coaching.

The current pandemic has made it all the more urgent. If we think of it in terms of the stages of 'diffusion of innovations' then in the space of a few weeks we've broken free to take in the 'late adopters'; a few so called 'laggards' remain. Not a term I like. Too pejorative. 'Late developers' or 'Traditionalists' might be better.

How are you getting on?

We use Google Suite for Education. 

I was thrilled when Thinglink announced yesterday that they were working closely with Google so that all Google assets can be directly embedded into Thinglinks or 'interactivities' - the term is evolving!! 'Thinglinks' are what we who use the platform call them. 'Interactivities' is the term coined by Jilly Salmon 12 years ago - it is less cumbersome that 'interactive activities'. 

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Design Museum

Our time has come!

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Those of us with a background, academic interest in and experience with online learning now have an opportunity to bring everyone to the table. Working remotely for the last few days, and for the next few months I see a palpable change.

Google Meet and Zoom are the go to conferencing tools for College Staff and Students, and Town and District Councillors and staff. These, email and chat are now a stream of activity. 

People also know that I am at home, not 'on my travels' so I get a lot of straight phone calls too.

Coming out of the woodwork, belatedly, are people who have felt too shy to ask before on how to do some things that many of us by now feel are commonplace. On the other hand, I have always been surprised when with others what odd get arounds we all have, not knowing there is a shortcut to do this, that or the other.

I am wondering sometimes how much BETTER a conference call is for a meeting. It can be recorded, screens can be shared, and you can make a point even when others are talking by adding a note in 'chat' - useful, because some people do like to dominate the space. Online you can temporarily mute them, certainly hide their face smile Try that in a meeting face to face. 


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