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March 17, 2021

Help.LauraGibbs.net What can I do to help you?


I spent last weekend preparing some materials that I thought might be helpful (stuff about blogging), but now things have gotten very real, very fast... and it's overwhelming. I've tried to focus on reliable reports from epidemiologists and medical professionals about what is probably going to happen here, and I am very much in the "cancel everything" camp; the phrase "flatten the curve" has become part of my vocabulary.
Update: Weekend of March 14-15 I did Canvas stuff, plus some Misc. March 16: Feedback Resources.

K-12 schools face really hard choices now, balancing the advantages of "cancel everything" against the incredibly important role that schools play in people's lives. Luckily, at colleges and universities, it is easier to make the call; the advantages of canceling classes outweigh the disadvantages (we really can do a lot online! more about that below), and I hope they will also allow campus employees to work remotely. To me, that looks like the right thing to do.

Admittedly, that's easy for me to say: I've taught fully online, only online, since 2002. And I've worked remotely since 2007 (I teach for the University of Oklahoma but for family reasons I live in North Carolina). For me, teaching online and working remotely are normal. Classrooms and offices are what seem weird to me, but I know that for people about to go online now and work remotely, things must feel very weird. And it's happening under stress and duress, making the switch even harder.

I am hoping I can find good ways to share what I've learned about teaching online in ways that will help others find some satisfaction... and even joy... in what they are able to do online, connecting with their students, and learning new things in new ways. We need that sense of connection now more than ever, and it really can happen online. The reason I chose to shift my career to online teaching years ago was because there was so much I wanted to do as a teacher that I could not do in the classroom. 

So, my classes are rolling along, already online, and my students and I have good channels of communication in place. That means I can devote my time this weekend and during our Spring Break (this coming week) to making myself available to help others who are trying to figure out what to do as they figure out how best to connect with their students online all of a sudden. Last weekend, I wrote: Be There with Blogging: A Guide for Teachers. (And hey, blogging works: if you are reading this, that's proof positive.)

And what next? Honestly, there are a hundred posts I could write about things I do in my classes, just simple online stuff that focuses on students learning and then sharing what they learn. I'm going to be writing all weekend and this week, and I'll be marking posts here with that label: Help, plus I've set up a simple URL Help.LauraGibbs.net that points here.

It would also really help if you could let me know: what can I do to help you? 

I've embedded a Google Form below: please chime in, and thank you in advance for letting me know where/how to direct my efforts! I've listed some ideas below, and feel free to suggest ANYTHING if you fill out the Form. The list is just here to give you a sense of what thoughts sprang to mind when I wrote this post: what should I do? where should I start? 

Twitter as a stream of class content
creating super-simple websites
helping students create super-simple websites
helping students start blogging
building a library of free online books
curating resources at Diigo

You can help me prioritize and identify more/better ideas: all suggestions welcome! I don't know how much I'll be able to do, but I'll be doing what I can. :-)



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If the comment form misbehaves, you can also find me at Twitter: @OnlineCrsLady. After I update my records, I am DELETING comments posted at the Alternate Grading list... so let me say in advance: thank you for your help! If your comment is deleted at that post, it just means I have moved your school either to the main list or pending list. Thanks again!