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Podcast Updates: POET Readings and new episode “Enter Darkness” at COVID Transitions

POET Readings

Thanks to our dangerous path down the Unified Design for Learning (UDL) concept, we are launching a new podcast program today: POET Readings, where we read the PhilOnEdTech blog posts. We have all posts available through podcasts, starting with April 3 Two out of five US college presidents already considering online options for Fall 2020 term. We all read our own posts, including guest author Stephanie Moore’s (Planning for Resilience, not Resistance). We’re deep into negotiations with Evie Cummings to replace my reading of Higher Ed Should Rise to the Challenge of Offering Greater Student-centered Flexibility. How do we deliver M&Ms to Florida with the brown ones removed, without melting? (Update: negotiations successful, new audio uploaded)

If you go to the program home page, you can choose to see each episode in its own page or subscribe to the feed through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or direct RSS feed.

The primary reason we chose to create this podcast is to give another modality for those who would prefer to consume blog posts by audio. #UDLFTW

COVID Transitions

Over at COVID Transitions, the podcast we launched two weeks ago, we now have four episodes.

On each of these episodes, we include a full transcript on each episode page and also through the Apple Podcasts show notes. I have not figured out how or whether the other podcast platforms allow extended show notes with transcriptions – any guidance, let me know.

COVID Transitions podcast logo

Enter Darkness

From our last episode, released yesterday:

No one knows. And uncertainty seems to be the themes. And one thing that struck me was just how fundamentally different the Fall 2020 decision is from the Spring 2020 decision. We look back at spring and the mass transition where schools within a four week time period, five week max in the United States, all transition to remote learning and all campuses shut down or virtually all of them.

And we look at that and think, okay, that was extraordinarily difficult to do.

But one in one aspect, it was very easy to do, particularly in higher education where you have wo much of a herd mentality of following others. Nobody has questioned, or almost nobody is questioning, that decision about closing down campus operations and transitioning to remote.

Right now, if you’re a college leader and you made that decision in the March timeframe, you’re not getting second guessed right now. You could certainly argue the University of Washington, Stanford and Seattle University, they were the ones who stuck their not necks out and made the initial decisions and put a flag in the ground, said we’re shutting down the campus. But once that happened, en masse everything changed. So one of the aspects from a decision making and a public relations standpoint is that was easy. There was no binary choice of what to do other than maybe we’re going to leave a few weeks for a transition to develop courses. But essentially, you’re choosing to shut down and migrate.

So it’s a fairly simple decision and nobody second guesses you. If you look into the fall.

Listen to what we’re talking about. We’re talking about unknowns and uncertainty. And I don’t think that that’s going to change between now and what, say, July. We’re going to continue to have uncertain situations. We don’t know what’s going to happen. So think about what that means for our campus leadership. They have to make a decision about how they’re going to approach Fall 2020. They’re going to be getting a lot of pushback, whatever they choose, if they choose to say we’re reopening. We’re going online. We’re doing some hybrid approach. They will face pushback. And there’s going to be some basis to that pushback. And it’s also going to change over time. We don’t know if this decision makes sense now, but once we get in October, it’s going to change back. So to me, it’s just a completely different type of decision that we’re facing right now. And that’s part of the reason these schools are having difficulty on how to communicate that to the community and how to be be as clear as you can be. And I think you two are both pointing out from the faculty, for parents, students, there is demand for some clarity. It’s almost like people are saying we need you to make choices, but in uncertain times.

So to me, this is a hugely different situation that we’re facing. And it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens over the next two months or so.