COVID-19 and higher education: three video gatherings

COVID-19 single moleculeAs the coronavirus pandemic continues to infect the world (169,225 cases, 6,494 deaths now) higher education keeps responding.  More campuses are shutting down face to face classes and migrating instruction online (see our latest data).

Among many other developments, video is rising as a pedagogical and communications mechanism in both its synchronous and asynchronous forms.  I’ve been working on this for years, and will have much to say over the next few days.

But first I wanted to draw your attention to something I’m doing along these lines.  Since my family now lives in the Land of Blazing Broadband and we’re also trying not to leave the house, I’m spending more time hosting videoconferences.  That means the Future Trends Forum, meetings with my students, meetings with clients, conversations with reporters, and helping other folks with their live video events.  I will share more on this.

…starting with several news items.

First, this Thursday’s Future Trends Forum will be an open conversation about COVIID-19 and higher ed.   The session won’t be based on one guest as per usual.  Instead, we want to hear from you all.  What are you seeing and doing?  What are your anxieties and hopes for this crisis? Add your thoughts to the comment box below.

I’ve also invited a bunch of practitioners to say a few words about what they’re doing.  Join us from 2-3 pm EDT on Thursday the 19th.  Please spread the word about this community event.

Future Trends Forum banner

Second, on Tuesday ISTE/EdSurge and I have joined forces to offer a video event on How Colleges Should Respond to the CoronavirusJeff Young and I will moderate and respond to your questions.  With us will be Beth Kalikoff, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Washington, and Stephen Downes, international ed tech commentator and inventor, who runs the long-running OLDaily newsletter.

You can participate starting at 4 pm EDT/1 pm PT.

Third, this past Friday I helped host the largest live video event I’ve ever worked on.  Nearly 3,000 people preregistered for a conversation hosted with the Chronicle of Higher Education.  At any given time during the session we had from 400 to 800 people engaged in the conversation by my count, while hundreds more took in the program through streaming services, even when a presidential press conference intervened.  The Chronicle’s reporter Karin Fischer did a terrific job interviewing guests and participants.  USC’s Dr. Sarah Van Orman shared what she’s learned by applying her medical expertise to a major university facing the pandemic, then took many good questions.

Forum Chronicle_Greg Britton

Karin Fischer, myself, Greg Britton. Screenshot by Liz McMillen.

So many questions and ideas came up through Shindig!  What are the strategies campuses are using to transition from face-to-face to online learning?  What are the roles of accreditors and stage agencies? What happens with international students attending US campuses and American students abroad?  Should certain staff be eligible for hazard pay?  How can we support populations lacking technological infrastructure to participate in online education?   Should academic libraries curtail or cease face-to-face services?

Forum Chronicle Doug Reilly_Roxann

Doug Reilly and colleague; Karin Fischer; myself. Screengrab by Roxann Riskin.

What I’m trying to do with all of these live video events is to provide spaces for people in and around higher education to talk and think through what’s happening to us.

I want to use this video tech productively, inclusively, accessibly.  I hope this practice can help us improve our responses to the crisis, to address problems carefully, and drive towards a better academia.

More to come.

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4 Responses to COVID-19 and higher education: three video gatherings

  1. I’m adding both the EdSurge and FTT Forum events to my calendar now. 🙂

    (We are out this week so faculty can try to prepare for a hard shift a week from now to online learning, so my calendar is more…flexible.)

  2. Hi Bryan: I’ll be attending your forum today, thank you. Here’s my near future-oriented question for the forum: What are higher education institutions doing to deal with the future possibility of closing and/or suspending most campus and classroom activities into the summer and even possibly into the fall?

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