I spent much of the week working from home.
Most of the week was spent reading, analysing and writing.
Guardian published this article: Awaiting a ‘tsunami of Covid’: UK lecturers fear students’ return.
Dr Stephanie Coen, assistant professor in health geography at Nottingham University, is eager to get back to teaching in person. But she fears that with students not required to wear masks when classes start in a few weeks, squeezing them like “sardines” into her tiny room for seminars will be unsafe.
I don’t think anyone will be surprised if we see a repeat of what we saw last September when students returned to university. Though the numbers initially back then weren’t high they did start to rise as term continued. What will happen now, we don’t really know.
This tweet from Alejandro Armellini resonated with me.
I invite colleagues to be very pedagogically critical of apparently sexy environments or approaches, e.g. #hyflex or hybrid (which are anything but new). Review the research into and practice with such approaches. Not everything is rosy. #practicalpedagogy1 #Highered
— Alejandro Armellini (@alejandroa) September 13, 2021
It was a thread of tweets about the importance of being pedagogically critical of new ways of delivery such as hybrid. Ale has actually done hybrid and brings that experience and perspective to his views.
Lawrie posted a really good blog post this week: We need to stop designing curricula with “white able males” as the default setting, based on a presentation he gave about the research he has been doing.
The pandemic has also shown us that we do not have to do anything special for the people for whom institutions and systems have been built. Our white male able students are going to be fine, they are the default category of person higher education is already built for.. It is ok–I would argue it is necessary– to start saying to ourselves “my starting point for designing this curriculum, this system, this process, will be to serve those students who are disadvantaged, who are disabled by our institutions.
I went to York so this story was interesting for me: University of York offers students accommodation – in Hull.
The University of York is offering students housing an hour’s drive away in Hull due to a shortage of accommodation. The crisis has been sparked by an over-subscription on the university’s courses which has created a surge in demand for student housing.
This kind of situation is one reason why universities might want to consider a more flexible curriculum which takes advantages of the affordances of online and digital so that students don’t have to spent two to three hours commuting to campus five days a week. Though I imagine that students might actually want to go to campus (and the city) as they applied to York not Hull. I went to York as much for the city as for the course.
Thinking that this mobile telephony would never catch on….
— BBC Archive (@BBCArchive) September 13, 2021
Michael Rodd makes a call with an experimental cordless mobile phone. It’s 1979 and time for the telephone to go mobile. In this report from a longer programme, Michael Rodd examines a British prototype for a cordless telephone that allows the user to make calls from anywhere. Also included at the end of this item is a rather nice out-take as Rodd also experiences the first mobile wrong number.
I do recall watching this when it was broadcast.
Of course we don’t really use our phones as phones these days, the mini computer we have in our pockets is now used for way more than just making calls.
Thursday I was off to Birmingham for our all staff conference.
This was my second in-person event in a week. I drove to Birmingham, parked my car. I parked at Five Ways. In the past when I parked there I would generally have to park on the roof, this time I could have parked on level 1, though as there was more room I parked on level 2. I walked to the ICC and showed my covid pass and I was into the event. There were nearly 500 Jisc staff in the event.
This was the final day for Paul Feldman as CEO and the first day for Heidi Fraser-Krauss our new CEO.
The day mainly consisted of talks with Q&A. There was some group work, but overall probably about 30 minutes worth, a missed opportunity I think, but it’s always challenging to design a programme such as this for 500 people. What was nice was the time to connect with people, though we obviously talk a lot through Teams and Zoom, there is something different about meeting in-person.
Friday I had a chat with some consultants about some possible work, and we also discussed the Intelligent Campus concept as well.
My top tweet this week was this one.
Tell us your favourite edtech person without telling us your favourite edtech person.
— James Clay (@jamesclay) September 12, 2021