Spring break —

Last week was spring break; sorry about not posting and also not mentioning why there was a lack of posting, but I have absolutely no ability to connect to the internet from home because my new laptop is extraordinarily annoying.

This week, posting will resume, but wow, what a fantastic semester to be asked to teach a class, now I get to learn how to convert everything to online only. It’s especially annoying because we are finally finished with the boring part of General Biology and were just about to begin the interesting part of the class. I enjoy classroom interaction. Very provoking, though I guess the decision to go online-only for the rest of the semester was probably reasonable. In a few weeks, I hope we conclude that it was not necessary.

I hope you all are staying well, here at the tag end of winter!

Update: Wow, it is incredibly tedious to take a perfectly good quiz or test you’ve written in Word and enter it, one question and answer at a time, into the mandated online test builder.

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6 thoughts on “Spring break —”

  1. Very glad the lack of posts was due to nothing more than internet issues, but how are you supposed to teach online without internet??

  2. Why, I will drive to work, unlock my office, and connect from here using MAC’s wifi.

    I know for certain that some of our students also lack internet from home. I’m not sure what to tell them. Drive to a wifi-capable area and do the class from there? Drive to MAC and sit in the parking lot and connect from your car?

    We’re all — all the faculty here and all the tutors in the Student Support Services office where I actually work — trying out Zoom and Google Hangouts and things this week to see (a) what we can tolerate ourselves, and (b) what seems potentially like the least awful modality for students who did not, after all, sign up for online classes. I have created a YouTube channel! It has the extremely boring name: Mineral Area College General Biology 2020. It’s not supposed to be inviting, just identifiable. Nothing’s on that channel yet, it’s just sitting there in case I need to use it. It seems impossible I would ever want to actually use it voluntarily for any purpose whatsoever, but if such a thing should occur, I will give that channel a much more interesting name.

  3. We’re making the same transition at the law school. There’s a lot of Zoom, but due to connectivity issues and Zoom congestion there’s also some use of asynchronous methods like recorded lectures, and low bandwidth text based interactions using tools like Slack. Obviously no one wanted to be dumped into the deep end of the pool with no warning, so there’s a lot of scrambling now.

  4. Kathryn McConaughy

    I’m teaching what is primarily a discussion class (intro to sociolinguistics) right now… not looking forward to doing that over Zoom. All the best to you with your class!

  5. Today I’m going to try recording a short lecture over, let me see, ploidy issues, and common monosomies and trisomies that arise because of errors during meiosis. That’s a tiny, self-contained topic. If I can load that to YouTube, that would be ideal because I know some of my students have little kids and allowing them to watch a recorded lecture whenever they can find time is better than requiring them to lock the kids in a crate so they can participate in a lecture at the same time as everyone else.

    Recorded lectures would also let our tutors record brief explanations of upcoming topics in calculus, chemistry, and physics, aimed at the exact topics the instructors will be covering.

    I would really prefer a virtual whiteboard to a recording of a person standing up in front of a whiteboard, but we’ll see.k

    And I’ll look up Slack. Though math and chemistry are difficult to handle fast in texting. Still, we’ll see.

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