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Pandemic Pedagogy

In a few of my courses, I set up the discussion forums in our Learning Management System to focus on students’ opinions about their online learning experiences. Where to begin. First of all, I did not ask them for permission to quote them, so I cannot do so. But, overall, the vast majority of them noted a negative pivot for their learning and there were so many complaints about the technology fails. It was not so much that their technology did not work, but that instructors’ learning curve to use said technology was problematic. I read through their conversations and felt like a fly on the wall, yet I also felt terrible for them.

COVID19 has affected every aspect of our lives during the last year. For my students, their education was clearly affected in mostly negative ways. Sure, I have some students who have found the pivot to online learning has helped their learning or supported their lives given an array of reasons. But, these students are the minority. Most note that they are not doing as well in terms of their learning and their grades.

I wonder about the Fall and our return (allegedly) to face to face and how students and instructors will pivot. I want to take my version of Radical Kindness to my teaching and learning environments. But, I am also aware of the trauma of this global pandemic and things will not go back to normal. I do not think I want things to go back to normal. I want to see more students-centered teaching and learning. I want the institutions of higher education to deeply pivot and think about supporting all of us better. Right now, I am thinking about what I have learned about myself during this last year and what my students have taught me.

Here is a photo of my spawnlette. I am tipping a cheers to her and all of you.

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