Hoo boy. Pandemic picking up steam. I’m running out of steam. Good times.
Like everyone I talk to, Zoom Fatigue has set in. I sit at my desk in my basement office area for hours at a time, without standing up or moving from in front of my laptop. Camera on for much of it. It’s exhausting. I don’t know if this is just an adjustment period, but I find it difficult to have the kinds of discussions we have in person - there are no informal “hey, got a second?” chats anymore. Everything is a Scheduled Meeting, or a chain of emails.
Online workshops and drop-in sessions this week. Lots of support via email. Lots of planning for Spring and Summer 2020, which are now online as well. How to handle field schools? Practicum placements? Labs? Online exams?
My life is Zoom now. There is no real world, there is only Zoom. We’re up to almost 2,000 meetings per day in our campus environment. The platform is holding up - the only part that seems to be creaking a little is internet in participants’ homes - wifi can be flaky, and ISPs seem to be struggling a bit. Not a Zoom-specific issue, but it impacts the experience.
Taylor Lorenz in NYTimes: ‘Zoombombing’: When Video Conferences Go Wrong
- and Zoom’s response: Best Practices for Securing Your Virtual Classroom
We tweaked the campus account settings to hopefully limit this - we don’t want to block screensharing by participants outright, because that’s a useful thing that grown-ups should be able to do with each other during online collaborative meetings…
Zoom and privacy!
- Doc Searls: Zoom needs to clean up its privacy act (their mis-step of having an illicit webserver built into the macOS Zoom app is still causing trust issues even after they removed it - that was pretty horrible security practice, and who knows what other sloppy things were done in the name of making it easier to use?)
- Mehreen Kasana: Zoom’s attention-tracking feature is ripe for misuse
- I turned it off and locked it out for all users of the UCalgary Zoom campus account
- Joseph Cox: Zoom iOS App Sends Data to Facebook Even If You Don’t Have A Facebook Account (I’m assuming they’re using a library or something that includes that - why would iOS do this but not other platforms? still. concerning…)
- and Zoom’s response: Zoom’s Use of Facebook’s SDK in iOS Client
No time to think much about it again this week. Working on my candidacy reading list - hopefully have a draft of that ready for review next week.
Yup. I know people with WM are immuno-atypical - the flu vaccine is only 8% effective, apparently. Who knows what COVID would do with that?
Cancer treatments delayed because of COVID - I have an immunotherapy maintenance infusion scheduled for mid-April. Now I get to balance “I’d rather not expose myself to COVID because my immune system is likely less able to handle it” with “I’d rather not give my cancer the opportunity to dig in again by delaying treatment”. Good times.
Teaching is a performance. Anything that comes between the teacher and the student reduces the connection between the two. In that sense, all forms of technology interfere with the intimacy of teaching and consequently impair performance. The counter-point is that technology, including the humble whiteboard, tries to make up for the limitations of being human, and that is often a worthwhile effort.
Yup. Teachers who understand that performance is a key part of teaching have always incorporated various tools to enhance their performance. Teachers who view teaching as content dissemination may struggle with adapting.
🗓️ Focus for next week
Zoom meetings and Teams meetings and Skype meetings and phone calls. Also, planning the Zoom-YuJa integration.