This week, we will feature a series of blogs from Professor Susan Smith, Associate Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching, at Leeds Beckett University. Susan first shared her findings and reflections on educating in a lockdown back in May; in this third instalment, she reflects on how, while some jobs lend themselves to lockdown working better than others, everyone is now finding ways to make things work, and has developed new skills. You can find Monday’s introductory blog here, and yesterday’s instalment on lockdown working as a ‘messy business but getting tidier’ here.
I wrote in my earlier blog about how initially our super, tech-savvy team members stressed less in the initial months about the digital tools. I think we can safely say now that we have all (including the overtly less technically adept) adapted to using the digital tools for teaching and meetings and are all more confident in their use. Unexpected, triumphant summer successes designing our online conference from scratch to an appreciative pan- University receptive audience boosted our confidence. It was timely, and it was exactly what colleagues needed.
Generally, we all are now sliding seamlessly between Skype and Microsoft Teams, engaging students and colleagues better, using Panopto and quiz tools and bite-sized chunking and working on building interaction with colleagues and students.
It is also clear we are also becoming more confident in making sure our colleagues remain focused on thinking about the pedagogy and letting that lead the way for digital tool choice instead of the other way around.
Professor Susan Smith, Associate Director, Centre for Learning & Teaching, Leeds Beckett University