All posts tagged: COVID-19

Photo by Tyler Delgado on Unsplash

A Strange Season: It is time to start thinking about the holidays, 2020 edition.

Rain danced on the window and opaque clouds turned the world vivid grey while we enjoyed our warm, dry, and glowing home. My son was quietly focused on his building blocks and the baby played at my feet while I cleaned up breakfast. I called to Arlo in the other room, “Would you like some music?” “Yeah,” he replied. “Charlie Brown Christmas!” It is the middle of August, but it seemed like a welcome change from the rotation of Raffi and the Laurie Berkner Band. I threw on the record and we settled into the peace that comes with the nostalgic offering of the Vince Guaraldi Trio. It brought to mind, again, something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: what are we to do about the 2020 holidays? It is entirely too early to begin making plans for the fall and winter celebrations, but this is an exceptional year. Why is this on my mind? It is more than a distraction from the strangeness that permeates social and political life. I find myself …

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Best Practices for Teaching Online Coursework: 15 Suggestions, or What to Do When You Suddenly Find Yourself Teaching Online

An extended family member, who is also in academe, brought it to my attention that many in our field are thinking of the future state of the college classroom. It was only a matter of time before those of us who work in higher education would need to consider alternative methods of teaching. Measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 may begin to impact our learning communities, requiring more virtual classrooms to “pop” up. Just today, both Princeton and Columbia announced intentions to cancel in-person classes while we pass through the storm. Unfortunately, many very good, knowledgeable instructors have little, if any, experience teaching online. My intention with this post is to share a list of best practices that I adhere to while teaching online courses. These are my standards, and though they overlap with those prescribed by my institution, this list should not be considered as their official stance. I hold a Ph.D. in American studies and a good portion of my dissertation focuses on the ways digital culture is a harbinger for broader …