Sunday, March 29, 2020

First Full Week of On-line Classes - How was it?

Phew! Last week was my first ever doing all my classes on-line. Many colleagues have done the same, and from those that I have been in contact with - all seems to have gone well. It is a major achievement for everybody to turn around from delivering classes in lecture theatres and computer laboratories, to a totally on-line environment - all in just one week. Adobe Connect and Microsoft Teams, with a lot of help from Moodle, are the main tools being employed. In a short while, education is being revolutionized - I fervently hope that we do not go back to the way things were, and instead start to make use of more on-line learning and teaching.

Last week flew by, and I'm sure I am not alone in wondering what day it is. It is Sunday afternoon as I write this and I am taking a break from grading assignments. There is no structure to my day any more, so it doesn't seem to matter when I do things. I do have a timetable to adhere to for the next three weeks - so at least there is something regular for me. Going back to 9 to 5 will not be the same again - I certainly feel that I could do a lot more of my work at home. I do miss my colleagues and the chats in the corridor and staff canteen. The College is always buzzing with activity, and I miss this too. As the College has made the decision to finish out the semester on-line, there will be many students that I will not see again, and I am a bit sad about that.

For our 4th year School of Computing students (I have this class for Statistics) this coming week is their last in College. Their world has been turned upside down from just a few weeks ago when they could confidently look forward to a career in IT, to a very uncertain future indeed. I feel for them - I have just two more classes with them. There will be lots of new opportunities as a result of the current crisis - some optimism I hope.

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