How quickly life changes. Last Monday we held a conference from keynote speeches to pitch competition –and this Monday only essential personnel are on campus.
No one was prepared for the massive call from bricks to distance learning – except those who have developed distance learning business models for the last few decades. Many have partial solutions but few can cope with the diverse needs of multiple communities, learning styles, teaching styles, and demands for outcomes equivalent to face-to-face modalities for all who need to be educated.
I received an email requesting I read the book, Bricks to Clicks, which was created in 48 hours from multi-author development to release on Amazon — technology, innovation, and learning at its best. As an educator, now with anything related to increased effectiveness and productivity in the current environment of physical space closures and community concern relative to education continuity, this book, and others that surely will follow soon were of interest. First, it is a quick read not taking more than a few hours. The good news is that there were a few good tips in Chapter 4 on Student Engagement; Chapter 7 on Being a Parent during changes in learning modality; and Chapter 9, Lessons from an On-Line Higher Educator. The bad news, in my opinion, I found that much of the e-book was of little relevance. The novice would need more than is provided here and others may find the information too basic. Of most value is the contact list of educators who produce the volume in 48 hours from start to publication in response to the need to have more support now in the growing online community. Also helpful is the list of Distance Learning Resources following the Conclusion. For the price of “free” for Amazon Prime users, it is well worth the read. For all others, after a 5 day free download period which starts today, the book is probably worth the $.99 price — not sure I would pay it.
In times like these, we need careful thought. The current environment is complex needing solutions for the diverse communities that are being impacted by a historic challenge. Quick fixes may result in short term gains but may not resolve the challenge of teaching and learning with outcomes that are of value to those we serve. Communication with those cited in the book and others nationally and internationally may yield more permanent solutions than those presented in this one text.