Page 45 - Campus Technology, May/June 2020
P. 45

face an online environment that mirrors their physical lockdown? Or can we at last begin to think creatively about living, working and communicating across multiple platforms, some of them closed, some of them open, within an essentially and gloriously multimodal internet?
There have been people experimenting with open education for decades, but still, on a global internet scale, they remain a determined minority, subject to well-meaning but ultimately narrow thinking by others who feel the need for control. So, our precious and amazing internet is always in peril — and in any crisis, our responsibility as educators and stewards is heightened.
You could say: We have a moment here. We could avoid the usual, extend our creativity into the digital realm anew, learn one thing we might have been too shy or proud to try to learn before. Along with the necessary and beneficial hunkering down, we might consider a few tentative, caring steps toward renewing the web. The opportunities are endless: online annotation with — the patient and revelatory work in Wikipedia led by Wiki Education — or perhaps even hanging out one’s professional digital “shingle” by at last securing a domain name and some server space for oneself. It’s easier than ever to
record and edit video and audio. One can even reinforce the day’s learning with an appropriate virtual background in Zoom. In fact, in my introductory film class this semester, I pick an interesting scene from the movie we’re studying, and use it for my virtual background — putting myself into the world of the film as I lead my students through that world. And they can do it too.
None of these things will necessarily work. Any of them may work. Success in teaching, as in most areas of life, depends on many variables. But the spirit of the best of the internet, the values of collaboration, openness, trust and courageous creativity can and should inform all the work we do in this environment. Now’s the time to uphold those values, and to renew them during a difficult but, I hope, instructive time.
CT: So even as we rely on our internet technologies to keep our institutions
on track through the disruption of the pandemic, we need to focus on the higher values of what we do?
Campbell: Especially as we rely on internet technologies in times of crisis, we need to focus on values. And always, always: Aim high. Our students deserve no less.

   42   43   44   45   46