The Covid 19 pandemic is creating opportunities for educators to think differently. Some, from what I have seen and heard, aren’t really thinking about the potential of ‘blended learning’, preferring to go into online  information and workload overload for the students.Others appear to have embraced the new learning opportunities and provided support and guidance for their students; such is the changing nature of education and training.
Learning is learning in whatever environment the tutors and students find themselves; exploiting the potential of technology to help students learn will pay dividends in the long run.

Recognising that students are responsible for their own learning should drive the creation of evidence based learning outcomes, discipline resources and associated teaching environments, on or offline. Constructive alignment protocols must be available to the students to enable them to see some purpose in what they are expected to do and learn. However, in the final analysis:

All control should not be in the hands of the teacher, because students would not see learning as an act for which they are responsible and would become indifferent to the information given them; 

but too much control cannot be given to the students because they do not know enough about what they do not know to choose the best direction to follow”

White, R. (1988). Learning Science. Blackwell: London

It’s all about balance.

Again I would reiterate that in the current environment, it is critical that all learners(and tutors of course) master time management and effective, efficient and constructive feedback loops; constructive feedback enables effective time management enables focussed learning.

Rant over. Next month I will be exploring the potential of STEM cells (or maybe the month after)

On to the garden where much ruminating is done on the issues associated with learning and teaching; the vegetables are very obliging by not supplying any critical response 🙂

For those interested in tilling the sod, Beetroot, Silverbeet, Spinach, Leeks, Lettuces,Radishes, Tomatoes, Carrots  and  Runner Beans are all beginning to produce some edible offerings. Have already had 6kg Red potatoes; grown from some found in the corner of the garage. Beetroot (Alan Levine’s favourite… not)was consumed last week and plenty more to come.

I haven’t spent a lot of time perusing cyberspace but have come across a few resources you might find useful. All the material identified below provides a wealth of information through comprehensive reports and studies. Two are from JISC which always producing quality material which is relevant to the learning environment today and in the future.

Take care and stay safe.

1. LifeComp: The European Framework for Personal, Social and Learning to Learn Key Competences

2.Learner digital experience insights survey 2020: UK further education (FE) findings.
3. Preparing students for the digital workplace
5. Publications
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology:
A new issue has been published.
6.Conferences: NOTE; Details are given of various conferences in the pipeline. As a consequence of the Corona Virus , it is highly likely some will be cancelled or move online.
6.1  Due to current circumstances, ASCILITE 2020 will run virtually. It will be held, online, on Monday 30 November and Tuesday 1 December 2020.
6.2 1st call for papers for the 8th International Conference on Educational Technologies 2021, Virtual, 3 – 5 March 2021: submit until 26 October 2020
* Important: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this conference will be held online via Zoom.
The Eternal Macademic
New Zealand

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