I started this week with ambitions to curate the Connected Learning Alliance’s networked wisdom on how to grapple with social distancing and a jarring transition to online learning. Bleary from too many hours of managing crises on screen, tonight brings humility and a modest goal of sharing a few gems from my idiosyncratic vantage point.
I asked my personal learning network where educators and parents can find helpful guidance during the crisis – specifically around digital equity, wellness, and staying socially connected. I was rewarded with a firehose of resources, advice, and support. Here is a small sample.
- Mia Zamora and Maha Bali were first to the gate with their call for faculty to share resources for “continuity with care,” emphasizing human connection in the scramble to move instruction online.
- Howard Rheingold who has been facilitating co-learning online for longer than anyone I know, shared Some Tips for Teaching Higher Ed Online
- The Scratch team launched #ScratchAtHome and a new discussion forum for their open online course for educators, “Learning Creative Learning.”
- Gamer therapist Mike Langlois suggested parents should not panic and let their kids play games to support wellbeing and Anne Collier pondered Parenting (in RL) during a pandemic.
- Justin Reich, YoungMoo Kim, and Vikki Katz cautioned educators that the rush to online instruction would create serious equity gaps without proper attention to the needs of vulnerable learners.
- The North American Scholastic Esports Federation and Steve Isaacs spun up a daily agenda of free esports related healthy gaming offerings.
- College counselors in my very own non-profit, Connected Camps, expanded the hours of their free moderated Kid Club Minecraft server to be open every day of the week.
I ended my evening with a recommendation from a college student near and dear, the Facebook group Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens. Take a browse to laugh and cry with students across the world as they poke fun at their professors and share their heartbreak over lost graduations and internships.
This is just my tiny corner of the Internet, but it has taken these dark times to remind me of what drew me to online research back in the early days — people from around the country and globe, reaching out as we grapple with disconnection, loss, and uncertainty. Who knows what the coming weeks will bring, but I would hazard to guess that online learning will never be the same after COVID-19, nor the Internet.