The Coronavirus has laid bare the impact of our collective negligence as we consider instructional technologies and their use in our personal and professional lives. We are more tied to the whims of app and platform developers than we are informed users that are in control of our data and identity.
As many of our everyday interactions now take place in a video call, we must re-examine the social and pedagogical uses of technology post-coronavirus. We need to identify ways to plan for how schools will need to be prepared for online delivery in a post-pandemic society. We need to privilege care and think about how to not lose the human connection.
One of the first changes we saw as we adapted to emergency remote teaching is a desire to quickly replace face-to-face, synchronous classes, with online, video-conference, synchronous classes. This wave was felt from Pre-K through higher education as institutions quickly bought up products and advocated for their use in classes. In my house, this ultimately meant that our family members would move in and out of Zoom calls for classes or social events. At some points, we’re all on Zoom calls at the same time.
It is times like this that highlight the potential that we have to step away from what makes us human. To ignore good teaching and learning, and hope that an app or developer will provide the perfect solution for all that ails us.
To stay connected without losing our humanity, we need to first care for ourselves. On airlines we are directed to first point on our air masks before we try to help others. In these times we need to make sure that we take time for self-care. This may come in the form of meditation, exercise, journaling, or connecting with others.
There needs to be a focus on student agency as we adapt to new technologies and spaces, while also recognizing the challenges that exist as not all individuals may have the same levels of access to these digital tools and spaces.