2020 Week 13


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.

⚙️ Work

Our elearn.ucalgary.ca support website is shaping up really nicely - we put a lot of effort into getting Zoom resources up, and are now revising the YuJa and D2L sections.

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?

Zoooooooom!

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.

Zoom meetings per day, March 28, 2020

Zoombombing!

Zoom and privacy!

🤔 PhD

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.

📚 Reading

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.

Chris Lee: Real learning in a virtual classroom is difficult

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.

🧺 Other

Hah!

🗓️ Focus for next week

Zoom meetings and Teams meetings and Skype meetings and phone calls. Also, planning the Zoom-YuJa integration.


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