This year I have written 94 blog posts. In 2019 I had written 52 blog posts which was up from 2018 when I only wrote 17 blog posts.
I decided when I got my new role in March 2019 that I would publish a weekly blog post about my week. I did this all across 2020 as well which added to the number of posts. I did once get asked if these week notes were popular, not really, but they are much more for me than for others.
Well 2020 was an unexpected and interesting year, this did have an impact on what blog posts were popular and those that people read. I certainly didn’t think back in January 2020 we would have the pandemic and subsequent lockdown that hit the UK. Due to the impact of the lockdown on higher education this influenced what I was writing about in 2020. Unlike in previous top ten, half of the posts that were popular this year were published in 2020.
So the blog post at number ten in the top ten is a post on assessment and ethical issues that I wrote this year.
The lockdown meant that many universities had to consider how to undertake assessment, and in many ways this was complicated by the requirements of external professional bodies. My opinion piece suggested that universities should consider the ethical issues before implementing a technological solution.
The ninth place was was Frame Magic – iPhone App of the Week, which dropped four places from fifth last year. Still don’t know why this one is so popular!
At number eight was one of the three Lost in Translation posts that are in the top ten.
One of the things I noticed as the education sector moved rapidly to remote delivery was the different models that people used. However what we did see was many people were translating their usual practice to an online version. As part of my work in looking at the challenges in delivering teaching remotely during this crisis period I had been reflecting on how teaching staff can translate their existing practice into new models of delivery that could result in better learning, but also have less of detrimental impact on staff an students. So I decided to write a series of blog posts about translating existing teaching practices into online models of delivery.
The post at number eight was from 2020 and was about mapping your teaching and was derived from a post that I had written in 2016.
I did start to think if mapping could be useful in helping staff plan their future course and curriculum design.
The seventh most popular post was on embracing technology, dropping three places from last year.
Back in 2015 I asked I can do that… What does “embrace technology” mean? in relation to the Area Review process and this post was a reflection piece on that.
Sticking at number six was a post from 2008 about full resolution video on the PSP.
Still surprised by how popular Full Resolution Video on the PSP was even though I am pretty sure that no one is still using PSPs.
Dropping from last year’s number one spot to number five is a post again from 2008 on downloading movie trailers to show in a classroom.
One of the many copyright articles that I posted some years back, this one was in 2008. Things have changed since then, one of which is better connectivity which would allow you to stream content direct into a classroom, as for the legal issues well that’s something I am a little behind on the times though in that space.
New at number four is a post from 2020, …and the Russians used a pencil
There is an apocryphal story that has no basis in fact, about how the US space agency, NASA spent millions of dollars developing an ‘astronaut pen’ that would work in outer space, while the Russians fixed the problem much more cheaply and quickly by using pencils. What the story reminds us that sometimes the low tech solution can be a better choice than trying to utilise a high tech solution. I then reflected on what this might mean for emergency remote teaching and learning.
The third most popular post in 2020 is one of the all time popular posts, The iPad Pedagogy Wheel. Published in 2013, this was number one for many years, number two last year and this year drops another place to number three.
I re-posted the iPad Pedagogy Wheel as I was getting asked a fair bit, “how can I use this nice shiny iPad that you have given me to support teaching and learning?”.
It’s a really simple nice graphic that explores the different apps available and where they fit within Bloom’s Taxonomy. What I like about it is that you can start where you like, if you have an iPad app you like you can see how it fits into the pedagogy. Or you can work out which iPads apps fit into a pedagogical problem.
The second most popular blog post in 2020 was published in 2020 and was one from my Lost in Translation blogs, Lost in translation: the seminar.
Merely translating that one hour seminar into a one hour Teams or Zoom discussion probably works fine for many in isolation. However it’s not just an hour, students may also be involved in other online seminars, Zoom lectures, live video streams and more online content. The blog post looked at ways in transforming the live in-person seminar into an online experience.
My top blog post was written in April 2020.
This was the first of the Lost in Translation articles and was on the lecture.
Before having 4-5 hours in a lecture theatre or a classroom was certainly possible and done by many institutions. However merely translating that into 4 hours of Zoom video presentations and discussions is exhausting for those taking part, but also we need to remember that in this time there are huge number of other negative factors impacting on people’s wellbeing, energy and motivation.
This post explored the options and possibilities that could be undertaken instead of merely translating a one hour lecture into a one hour Zoom presentation.
So there we have it, the top ten posts 2020.