Death of a Disco Dancer

Welcome to a different world. It’s not even the same physical environment I worked in last year. Gone are the days of the daily commute and bustle of an office to work in. We may all get back to it one day, but many of us have been transformed in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic that bit in anger 15 months ago for the UK. Home-working, loungewear, and online grocery shopping; all a new normal. New jobs created in delivering goods, teachers adapting to online pedagogy and technology-enhanced-learning, and suddenly everyone lives in a house with a blurry background. A review of railway ticketing options was the news today. Part of me embraces all this. And yet, we’ve lost something.

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Evolutionary Adaptation of a Muppet

It’s the BIG event today. That’s the STEM Communicators Network‘s annual conference. I’ve just posted the anecdote that ‘the last job interview I went for required a demo of what you might do as a session. I put pins in the bottom of a plastic cup to make an electrolysis cell. For quickness, I didn’t seal the holes with glue, and the cup steadily leaked water over desk for the duration of the interview, becoming an oceanic elephant-in-the-room between me and the panel.

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“Online teaching. How hard can it be?”

So academics have found themselves at home, trying to create learning materials that stand out as good quality in a virtual world. If you were thinking the simplest path was just to record your lecture, you’re in for a rude awakening. It’s a maze of pitfalls and you will lose this game. Here’s eleven things you need to consider first.

Sure, recording video is democratised; anyone with a smart phone can produce something. But especially in a time when everyone is turning to virtual pedagogy, you need to consider the quality of what you are producing. Let me explain.

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